Wood, steel, and leather. Textures and tones of a taqueria.

Taqueria was a new concept to many who call the East Coast home. For two brothers who grew up eating their way through taquerias in California, it was a big disappointment to find the eateries didn’t exist on the opposite coast. Oliver and Leo came to NYC with their third partner, Tyler, in-tow bringing the taqueria experience to the east. Serving customers, hand-rolling burritos, deconstructing and perfecting recipes; the three did it all. From their work, Dos Toros was born.

Settlers’ Plank Reclaimed Mixed Hardwoods found new life as wall and ceiling paneling in Dos Toros in NYC.

 

A decade after the first Dos Toros opened, new locations continue to develop and are finding lighter and cleaner toned Modern Farmhouse wood has its own appeal.

What these friends started ten years ago has bloomed into 21 Dos Toros locations throughout NYC and Chicago. We chatted with Tyler about the balance of senses in their restaurants and how wood fits into the picture.

Pictured here are the three Dos Toros founders, Tyler, Leo, and Oliver.

 

If you haven’t been, we highly suggest it. As AJ demonstrates, no matter the location you’re going to find a delicious burrito and engaging servers.

Wood, steel, leather, and red were key elements in the first Dos Toros locations. Here Settlers’ Plank Hardwoods serve as paneling, benches, and cabinet doors.

 

“We knew how we wanted guests to feel when they walked in the doors. The experience should be memorable, satisfying the senses for flavor, sound, look, and feel. At first we incorporated traditional red walls and leather along with wood into Dos Toros. Over time we’ve evolved, gained a better understanding that lighter textures and colors and curves can allow us to create a better respite from the dense urban areas where we’re bombarded with harsh exteriors and hard lines,” Tyler explained.

Many of the Dos Toros locations feature our Settlers’ Plank mixed hardwoods, a grade that celebrates original patina, saw marks, some nail holes and other signs of the wood’s previous life. It was the texture and very natural feel that appealed to Tyler and team. “Wood is such a natural element. It’s durable and beautiful. We found it worked well along vertical surfaces even as we added in curving walls to our spaces.”

Maintaining inherent character and texture, a bit of whitewash was incorporated on our Settlers’ Plank, brightening and softening the tones of the mixed hardwoods.

 

The latest installation showcases a brighter, lighter, and smoother look and feel with our Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory. Custom finished to match tables and benches within Dos Toros, Tyler said, “Hickory hits that sweet spot of durability and workability. If we need to make adjustments on site, it was easy enough to do. The smoother texture and lighter tone helps to brighten the somewhat recessed and darker urban spaces.”

Custom finished Modern Farmhouse Clean Hickory maintains the biophilic appeal of Dos Toros spaces with a lighter, modern palette.

 

Biophilia, connecting with natural elements in our surroundings, comes into play, says Tyler. “I’ve always been passionate about reclaimed wood and we’re all about sustainability at Dos Toros from materials to our food. We want to build locations that last. Wood allows longevity in furniture and wall applications, but it’s also something people enjoy interacting with. It is more relaxing and welcoming than plastic or metals. There is a natural sense to it; it feels like it should be in the space.”

What’s Tyler’s favorite wood species? “I worked as the fire master on a farm in Italy for a time. I collected wood from the surrounding land, from Chestnut and Strawberry trees. That combination of wood to flame to food has stuck with me. Those trees will always be special to me. If I was going to craft something for myself? Walnut and the more durable woods with grain variation…that’d be my aesthetic.”

Strawberry tree.

Walnut cabinetry, crafted by our sister company, New Energy Works for a home in Oregon.

 

Our thanks to Tyler for taking the time to share with us. Keep an eye out for a Dos Toros in your neighborhood!

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Portland Basketball History for Sale

Portland Design Studio’s dog in residence, Luca, shows off a Portland Fire basketball slab.

 

If you’re a big NBA or WNBA fan, and especially if you cheer for the Portland Trail Blazers or Portland Fire, we have a reclaimed product just for you—pieces of the actual gym court floor.

It’s almost as if you can hear the squeak of sneakers and the cheer of the crowd with these 4’x8′ slabs; maple strip flooring still with it’s original plywood backer. Turns out they build the floor this way so pieces can be easily swapped out as needed for a team change or repair.

Nearly all have some court markers, and we still have a bunch of really graphic pieces from the Portland Fire set. No, we can’t sell you a full logo, but whether you’re collecting as a fan or just interested in the graphic nature of these pieces, we certainly can work to find a piece that fits your look. (See the full collection, and map of available pieces, here.)

So what do you do with them? Some we’ve sold have made their way into a basketball performance center. Others have been made into furniture like the table you see above. We hear some folks have just leaned them up against the wall as pieces of art.

Whatever your take or purpose, you can get a real-time inventory by calling our Portland Design Studio (503) 719-4800 or sending us an email. Pieces range from $250-$1250, and we can ship to wherever you are.

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Winter is Coming: Find Warmth in a Long-time Favorite

Winter is coming. As it grows ever closer we’ve been talking about the cozy, the warm, the comfortable…and also the tough, the durable, the hardy. “Like Settlers’ Plank,” observed my coworker Deanna. True! Consistently a client favorite, Settlers’ Plank in its various iterations has a depth of character and flexibility that allows for elevated styles to rugged cabin comfort. It seems appropriate that we give a bit of attention to this long-time favorite:

We think Settlers’ Plank exudes a vintage spirit with a modern vigor. Ranging from rough, darker tones to light tans, each plank speaks to a previous life with original wear marks, saw marks, and occasional nail holes. It gives a ‘lived in’ feel that can balance crisp, modern lines, edges, and tones.

Allisen Larsen, Owner + Principal Designer, Introspecs, Portland OR offered her thoughts on this grade: “We love celebrating the unique characteristics of the wood and how when installed, it’s a work of art in and of itself. Settlers’ Plank flooring has so many patinas, surfaces, and tones–its nature is a nice juxtaposition to our smooth-coat white walls and more modern take on interiors.”

Plus,” continued Allisen of Introspecs, “it masks dirt and spills which is great for homeowners who have a dog and a child!”

 

Reclaimed 27′ structural ridge-beam timber and rafters, combined with Settlers’ Plank Mixed Hardwoods reclaimed wood flooring round out this rustic modern living space by Introspecs.

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Adorned with Wood: A Jewel of a Home

Homeowners Phil and Rocio spent some time moving about the US, landing in the bay area for about a decade, but always with a plan to return to their farm in Oregon. Recently retired, they headed back to Oregon, returning to the eight acres they had rented out for 15 years, planning to build a “small but perfect home”. The couple had always been enthralled with the beauty of wood which lead them to timber framing with our sister company New Energy Works and an abundance of our reclaimed and sustainable wood. Phil kindly gave us some insight into the wood in their NEW Jewel of a home:

How did this all begin for you and Rocio?
Well, we knew we wanted a modest but highly-detailed home to spend our retirement in. We’d been renting out the land for 15 years…it was a major task to re-conquer the wilderness and visualize a new home on-site. Jonathan and David [of New Energy Works/Pioneer Millworks] visited early on and saw the raw material we had to work with. They were able to see the possibilities with us.

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