We’ve been talking about Thoughtful Sophistication™ a lot in our studios; what it means to us and what we hope it means to others. Of course, there’s our Thoughtful Sophistication collection—but it’s more than just the products and finishes you see. It’s a way to move Beyond the Barn™ to see the other side of reclaimed wood, options that are sleek and modern with a soul.
However, nothing good comes from just talking in your own bubble, so we reached out to some of our design friends to get their take on Thoughtful Sophistication.
Lacey Bartels, Associate IIDA and LEED Green Associate, SERA Architects.
Deanna Varble, our Creative Director, had the fantastic opportunity to chat with Lacey Bartels of SERA Architects, an architecture & design firm highly focused on sustainable design. Associate IIDA and LEED Green Associate, Lacey’s desire to create healthy, uplifting spaces for people to live their lives make her design for multifamily housing all the more relevant.
Deanna: Why did you become a designer?
Lacey: I have always been interested in layout and how spaces function. I was that kid that spent a lot of time designing elaborate “set designs” for my dolls more than playing with them. Interior design allows me to have a creative outlet while also having functional problems to solve. I like the challenge of crafting a space that will be multifaceted—beautiful as well as functional. I also came into this field with a desire to make a positive impact on the world in some tangible way. We spend so much time inside the buildings where we live, work or visit, and as a designer I have the opportunity to support the people that interact with interiors by making healthy, uplifting spaces for people to live their lives.
We recently chatted with Tysha, one of the key players in our custom finishing group. Tysha is one of those happy folks, always wearing a big smile, a cheerful attitude, and full of fun stories about her daughter. We talked about her role at Pioneer Millworks, her favorite products, and her secret obsession (she has an affinity for the old and storied):
Folks that are passionate about a hobby, their profession, their home, a color, an author, a material, a movement—about anything at all—are fun to talk with. Their enthusiasm is often infectious and they always have something new (and many times unknown to others) to share. I found myself having such a conversation with Roblyn. A naturally creative and design passionate person, armed with an Interior Design degree from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), she has helped many of our clients achieve just what they envisioned with our wood products. Her excitement about color and textures or the latest and greatest in the design world is genuine. It comes across within moments of meeting her. We found comfortable spots in our lounge to chat about what she’s seeing in the design world, what role Thoughtful Sophistication plays, and what she expects we’ll all see more of in the future:
Megan: Thanks for taking the time to chat.
Roblyn: Of course!
M: I wanted to pick your brain a bit. I know you’re into design and often take what you see and create your own experience; personalize it. And you bring that to clients. So what do you think is the next wave, the next trend in our industry?
R: I think we’ll continue to see an aesthetic where designers are taking existing spaces and materials and incorporating them into a modern environment without losing the history or value of what already existed. We’re definitely in a time where there’s a strong desire to celebrate the history—and story—of our environments while marrying them with new elements and the high tech products we want and need to live and work with.
Pioneer Millworks American Gothic Mixed Hardwoods reclaimed paneling
Intentionally charring wood? Though it may seem a bit unorthodox, the benefits and history of this technique show it to be a very useful surface treatment. We’ve taken the time-honored practice and modified it, wire brushing away layers, adding color tones, experimenting with species.