Behind the scenes tours are one of my favourite perks of being a design editor. I had just such a tour recently and I'm pleased to share a sneak peek with you. Recently my colleagues Meg Crossley, Sarah Hartill and I visited the Markham, Ont. finishing shop for Woodcraft, makers of solid wood furniture for more than 30 years. The location features a large showroom up front, and in back is a busy hive of activity.
Woodcraft uses Canadian-grown and harvested pine, oak, maple, ash and cherry. The various components of tables, chairs and cabinetry are milled, turned and assembled at another Canadian facility. Then they are shipped to this location and await the next steps in the manufacturing process here, neatly arranged on shelves. I just love the smell of fresh wood — definitely one of my top five favourite aromas.
This beauty of a table caught our eye right away and we couldn't resist touching it. The wood had a smooth satiny feel and we all agreed we'd like to see it finished with just some oil and wax. Woodcraft will custom finish any of its pieces, but offers 20 standard stain options as well. The same table (Jackson Double Pedestal Table, from $1,360) is in the showroom in this yummy chocolatey stain. Trestle base tables are so versatile. Style-wise they straddle the line between country and contemporary with a slight industrial edge. Practically speaking they are great for accommodating many diners with ample legroom for everyone.
My favourite table is this one called the Pottery Table (from $2,410), which I spotted on the Woodcraft website. I love the large turned legs. I'm a lover of antiques, but I know from experience that the search for an antique table like this can take years — they are highly sought after. Having one custom made makes a lot of sense. Another bonus is that this table can be made to extend and add leaves, which is rarely the case for antiques. I took this detail shot in the showroom of the extension mechanism that Woodcraft makes. It's so beautiful and all wood!
Another favourite piece is the Homestead Buffet & Hutch. The one in the showroom is painted a wonderful warm white. I could picture this piece filled with ironstone in an unfitted country kitchen or with stacks of towels and pretty toiletries in a large principal bathroom. It's the kind of piece you could own for a lifetime and use in many different rooms of a house.
See our Grand Country Houses gallery for more timeless furniture choices.