Wood & Texture for a Brand Experience

Partners + Napier, an advertising agency in Rochester, NY, took on new space in The Metropolitan building this spring, an iconic location full of creative potential. The team at Bergman Associates, led by Project Interior Designer Suzanne LeFebvre, was tasked with designing the agency’s new offices. Their plans called for inventive and purposeful spaces that would give Partners’ employees and clients a comfortable experience while allowing their clients to see how the creative projects come to life.

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An Interview with Oak & Apple Cidery

Christian and Christina Krapf are owners of Oak and Apple Cidery, a new Rochester, NY micro-cidery that shows off its fair share of Pioneer Millworks reclaimed wood. They partnered with Ketmar Development to build the production and tasting room in Penfield, NY. Many thanks to them for taking some time out to talk with us (amidst getting ready for their public opening on September 22nd) about the space’s design, how they chose materials, and what makes for a really good cider.


Oak & Apple Cidery in Penfield, NY. Photo by Jerome Davis


Deanna: Tell me about Oak & Apple Cidery…

Christian: 11 years ago my best friend took me to a picnic in Olean [NY] where they have this tradition of farmers bringing their homemade ciders. The ciders I had had up to that point were really sweet, candy-tasting ciders, and the cider I had at the picnic were really different. I wanted to try making cider myself–and bring my own the following year.

When I met Christina, my wife, we started making it together. We had a lot of fun doing it and improving. We thought maybe we could sell it, so we set out on this journey to Oak & Apple. Our mission is to make the best quality cider we can.

Christina: What makes us unique is we do all of the production on site—the whole process is done here right on our farm. So we grow the apples, we press the apples, we ferment on site, bottle, filter, and sell right here. So it’s really a farm to glass experience.

We farm 700 trees, and our varietals are rare apples. Not your typical old English style and French varietals…Golden Russet, Balmers…they’re more rare, very bittersweet tart apples, which are good for hard cider.

Reclaimed barn siding, Pioneer Millworks American Prairie Taphouse. Photo from Oak & Apple’s Instagram.


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Black and Tan, stout and layered.

Visually tasty contrasting black layered over natural oak tones define our Black & Tan grades to create a dynamic and durable canvas. We’ve reclaimed the oak fence boards from mid-west farms where they spent years on farm duty, experiencing the elements and the animals. The mix of red and white oak has distinct character which we’ve classified into a few standard grades: Black & Tan—50/50, Black & Tan—Tan, and Black & Tan—Black.

When we salvage Black & Tan, each board is layered with eco and animal-friendly black paint that we celebrate in each grade.


Creative client requests and our finishing team’s inspiration have made Black & Tan a go-to for additional surfacing (such as saw marks, wire brushing, and Raked) or including a bit more color.

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Thoughtful Sophistication—Interview with Lacey Bartels

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

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.

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