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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Shou Sugi Ban and Detailed Craft: a note from the NEW Jewel

A modest timber frame home, designed, built, and crafted by our sister company (New Energy Works Timberframers), clad with our Shou Sugi Ban deep char and sporting other finely crafted reclaimed and sustainable woods: the NEW Jewel. The project is completed and officially “home” to Phil and Rocio, who continue to generously share their Jewel and their words:

Phil and Rocio along with pups Luca and Sherlock enjoy a moment on the porch of their nearly completed NEW Jewel. We created their Shou Sugi Ban siding using sustainably harvested larch.


“Jonathan, et al…
As I write out the final check for Invoice #9, it seems the right moment to pen a note of appreciation for the bundle of work, energy, and creativity that we currently reside in. It is not lost on us for a moment that we discovered New Energy Works and Pioneer Millworks at a moment in time that was just right for everyone; Rocio stumbled onto the NEW website looking for a builder of ‘barn homes’ and was immediately captured by the concepts and pics displayed. Everything seemed to line up: small house, close to shop, (relatively) simple design, similar vision, seasonal timing, etc. to enable you all to pull off an amazing, wonderful, beautiful, efficient, stunning, one-of-a-kind home for us.

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Hospitality! and Pioneer Millworks in Los Angeles

We’re excited to have a new display in downtown LA in the Hospitality! resource and showroom space, the place to see and touch a variety of our wood samples:

Interior Designer, Christian, and Hospitality! Principal, Annika, pictured with the Pioneer Millworks display in the Hospitality! showroom.


“A few years ago, I recognized as a designer the lack of resource showrooms to trade and the value they could bring to our design community. To fill this void, the Hospitality! showroom came about as a place to be introduced to, explore, and learn about new products—a location to grow professionally! We are delighted to welcome Pioneer Millworks to our dynamic list of vendors and manufacturers and look forward to the endless possibilities that the introduction of their phenomenal products will bring to our industry of design.“ — Annika Sandberg, Principal/CEO Hospitality!

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Heavy Timber. Trending for 200+ Years.

Heavy timber construction has been around for centuries. Timber is near to our hearts as we got our start making flooring with off-cuts from our sister company’s timber frame projects. For nearly 30 years our buyers, sales folks, and sawyers have worked with timbers. We supply structural timbers, accent beams, mantles, and anything else you need.

We inventory thousands of beams in our yards in McMinnville, OR and Farmington, NY.

These antique timbers are sourced from agricultural and industrial structures that have outlived their use. Some have hand-hewn surfaces, some are rough-sawn, others may feature various colors of paint. All served as the bones of old buildings, many a vital part of the industrial revolution or family farm, and all are ready for their next evolution.

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