Dif­fer­ent By De­sign

An In­di­ana builder left con­struc­tion be­hind to craft dis­tinc­tive log fur­ni­ture pieces for equally unique homes.

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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.

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