Tag Archives: Wood

The Amazing Creations of Michael Graham: Made in USA

Why should a tabletop be a simple slab of wood or glass and not a means of showing-off things that are important to you?

Disclosure: We’ll get a small commission if you buy through the links in this post: Please do!Michael Graham has the answer with dining tables and coffee tables that can be used to display keepsakes, store wine and more!
He designs and creates his furniture in the Los Angeles Arts District with the help of his faithful companion, Dr. Watson. The pieces are made with wood from 1920’s factories, 90-year-old grape crates and other repurposed materials.I especially love this Shadowbox Table, where I could show off some of my  WWII aviation items. My Dad’s service in the Army Air Corps inspired my collection and it would be great to see the aviator goggles, leather fighter pilot’s cap, and colorful post cards on view every day. Michael Graham says he uses the table he built for himself to display books and hide the TV remote from Dr. watson.

His most stunning design may be this industrial floor lamp made out of wine barrel rings , a vintage surveyor’s tripod and an Edison style LED bulb. Enjoy browsing.




20+ Valet Trays for Keys, Coins, Jewelry and More: Made in USA

Disclosure: If you buy through some of our links, we’ll get a small commission. Please do!

There was a time when the word “valet” referred to an assistant who followed you around and helped you with selecting clothing and accessories and making sure that you left his care looking immaculate. For certain members of our society, that person might still exist but, for most of us, the term “valet” refers to the sometimes  simple, sometimes ornate tray or storage box that we are featuring today.

At home, I use a leather valet that was my father’s and still has his initials printed on it. When I looked at it while writing the post, it bought back fond memories of sneaking a peak inside to see his watch, a bunch of JFK silver dollars and cuff links.aechangetray This change tray from Allen Edmonds is simple and elegantvaletboxesCheck out these beautiful wood valets from Modern Artisan.


The Orvis Leather Dresser Caddy can be personalized.valettrayAccessory trays from Wendell August come in a huge variety of styleslittlewing_traysThese Little Wing Valet Valet Trays come in a charming cluster of colors.catchallGigi New York has several designs for what they call “catchalls.


This Walnut and Steel model is from Uncommon Goods.maxxunicorncatchall Maxx + Unicorn’s Catchalls have amazing designs. leathertraysThe Leather Catch-All Trays at Food54 come in two sizes

trinkettraysThese Trinket Trays can be used by men and women.

valettray_twinsaintsTwin Saints Leather offers a variety of rustic-style valet trays, with themes ranging from religious to recovery to the company logo, above.blakejones_valetThese leather desk trays are from Blake Jones Designs.

redzentrayThis Red Zen ceramic tray is intended as a sushi plate but I think it makes a lovely valet tray for the right decor.

billykirk_trayYou can also find a variety of leather trays made by Billykirk.


Peg+Awl: Recycled Magic, USA-Made

Kathy and I really enjoy this adventure that we call, “The Americanologists.” While it is a shared passion, it’s very unusual for both of us, on the same day,  to say, “Hey, I found some really interesting products that we should write about,” and find we’re both talking about the same company.PegandwllogoBut that’s exactly what happened with Peg and Awl, although, the products appeal to us for different reasons. I like the rugged, broken-in, passed-down-through-three-generations look of the product line while Kathy is crazy about their design sense.Pegawl1Peg and Awl is a Philadelphia, PA based company formed by husband and wife team Walter and Margaux Kent. They are avid recyclers and repurposers . Old fabric, leather, wood or any interesting items they find becomes the foundation of the next cool project for this creative team.pegandawlbagsFor starters, their bags, made from waxed canvas, are unique and very appealing.PegandAwl_CaddiesAnd they do wonders with scraps of recycled wood, creating caddies for desk and dresser, worktable and wall, that I would love to own.PegandAwl_BreadbagsThe line of waxed canvas made to look like paper bags is brilliant. Need a cool lunch bag?A10jr29oqgL._SL1500_Kitchen items include this mess hall knife rackCheeseboard…and a number of good-looking serving pieces.

A1yiRjLoBRL._SL1500_Need a place to sit? How about this folding stool.

71RFhWY8VwL._SL1500_And an old fashioned swing will make any kid (of any age) smile.

To see all of their products, go here.



A Wood Manufacturer that Produces No Wood Waste: Made in USA

Catskillcraftsmen01Catskill Craftsmen was founded in 1948 in a village that was once considered “The Queen of the Catskill Mountains” by vacationing New Yorkers. The company still operates in Stamford, NY, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s an old-fashioned business.Catskillcraftsmen03In fact, Catskill Crafstmen took up environmentally friendly manufacturing 20 years ago and today, they can make the startling claim that they produce no wood waste. That means no sawdust, no shavings, no scraps. Nada. All wood waste from the operation is recycled into wood pellets to be used in high efficiency pellet stoves.
CatskillCraftsmen06Furthermore, all their manufactured products are made from naturally self-sustaining, non-endangered North American hardwoods like birch and hard rock maple. Their lumber is locally purchased from area sawmills.

Why buy cheap imports when companies like this exist?image image CatskillCraftsmen07

This green approach hasn’t deterred the company from becoming the largest American manufacturer of ready-to-assemble kitchen islands, carts and work centers. They also make beautiful butcher blocks, cutting boards, book cases and more.

Catskill Craftsmen doesn’t sell direct to the public, but you can get the full range of products here on Amazon.com.Catskill08The higher end of the product line consists of large, handsome kitchen islands with multiple storage features.

Catskill09 Catskill08Then, a little further down the price list, there are a variety of carts, including book carts and kitchen storage

Catskillcraftsmen02Their lower-priced items, which are certainly not low on appeal, include a wide variety of cutting boards.

Please consider buying American if you need any of these items.

Regards, Kathy


Reclaimed Wood From Old Pabst Factory Becomes Beautiful Tables

table2For a beer-lover, how enjoyable would it be to dine or do business at a table made from the salvaged wood of an old brewery?Pabst Brewery, Circa Early 1900'sSundance now has a limited edition table available and the wood comes from one of Milwaukee’s storied breweries: Pabst Blue Ribbon.  The company once had an enormous brewing complex in the city, seen here in artwork from the early 1900s. It closed over 20 years ago, though the company is still in existence.Table1The reclaimed wood used for the tables is thick-plank heart pine, and it sits on a metal base. table3The wood is full of character and color and it’s treated with an oil-based finish.

To see more American-made wood furniture from Sundance, click here.

If you  get to Milwaukee, you can take a history tour of part of the old Pabst Brewery and, of course, have some beer.