Different By Design
An Indiana builder left construction behind to craft distinctive log furniture pieces for equally unique homes.
An Indiana builder left his construction behind to craft distinctive log furniture pieces for equally unique homes.
Finding the right decor can sometimes be a challenge for cabin owners. There’s a desire to find something that’s not only beautiful, but unique to the owner’s sensibilities. Bob Brown of Brown Enterprises’ Treemendous Designs understands that sentiment completely, and approaches his log furniture business in much the same way.
“We just try to build every piece as a one-of-a-kind. We try to build furniture that truly is going to be passed down to future generations,” Brown observes. “It’s such a throwaway society we live in. People buy things thinking they’re only going to last five or 10 years, with the idea that they’re going to throw them out or sell them at a garage sale.”
Brown spent almost two decades constructing peoples’ conventional and log homes before he decided to pursue a full- time hobby of furniture crafting. He started constructing a variety of table types, and Treemendous Designs was born.
Brown, along with his son Jesse, works on a number of different furniture pieces now, from pool tables to lamps, to clocks to beds. They search the woodlands in their town of Loganfort, Indiana, for local woods such as walnut, white oak, hickory and cherry, but also source species such as juniper from out
west. They cut the wood, then allow it to dry for a period of time before turning it into a piece of furniture.
The Browns will often have piles of wood to sift through to find the perfect piece to craft their designs, which are predominantly personal projects but also involve custom work. Other pieces are still waiting to find out what they’ll become.
“I’ve had pieces that I’ve had for six or eight years and just don’t know exactly what I’m going to use them for yet. But it’ll show up one of these days,” Brown jokes.
The team will mix in other elements, such as leather and tacks, to create a more distinctive appearance. All the leather work is done in house, which often requires the Browns to cut and form the pieces to the curvature of their designs. One of the most challenging pieces they create is the pool table — not necessarily because of the construction of it, but the embellishments that make it more unique.
The pieces are all finished with a clear lacquer to showcase the natural look of the wood. Each piece varies in the length of time it takes to finish it, depending on style and complexity, but they can take about three to four weeks to complete when they are the sole design focus.
“For a custom, one-of-a-kind chair — those are very time-consuming,” Brown explains. “Unless you really have the customer for it, not too many guys just say, ‘Oh, I want to build a chair’ because you usually don’t make much money building chairs. They’re pretty difficult.”
In terms of pricing, numbers will vary again based on the piece in question. Pool tables vary from $7,000 to $12,000, while dining room sets will range from $ 5,000 to $10,000. Coffee tables start at $1,000, with rocking chairs priced around $ 2,000. They also produce floor lamps for $350.