Thursday night (7/13) was the opening for HiLo in downtown Portland, Oregon. A few of us from Pioneer Millworks attended the event where we ate, were painted gold, and silently discoed the night away. The 120-room boutique style hotel resides in the Oregon Pioneer Building (a National Register of Historic Places). We have a few ties—turns out back in 2008-10 our own Elise Payne worked in the building.
The party started as soon as we walked in the door. There were specialty drinks and intricate food of various varieties scattered throughout the hotel.
I had never been to Denver, except for a prolonged visit to the airport several years ago. So last month, I flew out to meet some people and see some of Pioneer Millworks‘ finished work. Even though many commercial and retail projects are consistent from one location to the next, it is always gratifying to see how our reclaimed wood is integrated with other aspects of design.
My first stop was a small womens clothing store that opened a couple of years back – No doubt, the floor has gotten better with age. Even the staff at the store knows it!
Old paint, scratches, dents & dings, and absolutely beautiful.
Salvaged from a factory in Michigan, the occasional stripes of paint help to make the floor come to life, along with the scratches and dents imparted by decades of use. Sometimes the floors aren’t the only things with stories to tell. A woman that works at the store explained that just days before my visit, a newlywed couple had come in twice – first on their own, and second with their interior designer – to look at the flooring and use it in their new home. We love it when a design makes that kind of an impression.
Just down the corridor is another gem, where the floor was crafted from Yellow Pine planks recycled from a grain mill in Arkansas. A trend in both residential and commercial design is to celebrate the beauty of imperfection, which this floor does exceptionally.
Surprisingly smooth from years of use
The undulating surface, tonal differences from one plank to the next, and even some subtle texture caused by years of grain rushing past, makes for a perfect backdrop for the clothing. Some of the fixtures in the store make use of our reclaimed Douglas Fir as well.
Though I didn’t need any makeup, I dropped by this cosmetics store, which uses our barn siding on the exterior of many of their new locations. The dark and rich tones in the barnwood are selected such that when installed, the brightly lit interior of the store stands out. At the same time, the siding creates a highly textured facade that keeps the continuity of natural materials and products.
Variegated colors, textures, and signs of previous – quite a contrast to the surroundings!
Lastly, I noticed some familiar looking shutters made with our Attic Collection reclaimed softwoods. These are a great example of our capabilities beyond floors and walls, having been fabricated in our own shop. Even though these are heavily whitewashed, the randomized texture from the original and planed surfaces is a crucial part of the overall design. This variation breaks up the color of the shutters to help them stand out from the background wall color.
Shutters? Yep – we make those too!
Denver, and the entire Rocky Mountain region, is well served by either of our two locations. This helps to keep shipping costs down, with a faster lead time on a broader selection of products. If you have a chance to stop by the local shopping malls in the Mile High City, feel free to check out these stores for yourself. I’m hopeful that not long from now, we’ll have more projects to share.
While Jered was traversing NYC to meet with folks and look in on a few projects he kept us up-to-date (have to love technology!) with photos. Here are a few from his stops:
On his way to meeting with potential clients, Jered stopped by the new (and only) Chobani yogurt store. He charmed his way in the door even as they were preparing for a commercial photo shoot. Some of our redwood, salvaged from a Finger Lakes winery, has new life as the fixtures and ceiling paneling in the shop. It really looks stellar!
Steve Madden, Broadway NYC
Jered made another quick stop to the newest Steve Madden store capturing a few images of our Grandma’s Attic mixed softwoods flooring and antique grey barn siding on the walls. The contrast of the antique wood with the LED shelf display lighting (see image below) is a perfect example of old melding with new. To think that in the past this antique wood handled whatever Mother Nature and farm animals dished out…today it faces a new challenge: shoe obsessed humans.
Sunburnt Calf, NYC
Speaking of wood that has dealt with animals, Black & Tan, Black reclaimed horse farm fence boards now offer protection to the exterior waiting area at the Sunburnt Calf bar/restaurant. Don’t worry, the black paint was traced back to its original source and was found to be an environmentally friendly, waterborne polymer. It is a non-toxic, non-flammable, solvent free, low VOC waterproof coating used in agricultural settings and safe for use around farm animals…and hungry folks.
Chevron Pattern, NYC
We’ve been salvaging flooring and bleachers from educational institutions that are re-vamping their gymnasiums. Some of the bleacher boards have made their way to the floor in an interesting chevron pattern. All of the original aisle numbers, paint markings, bolt holes, dings, dents, and scuffs were maintained in this floor. The only thing missing is the old gum stuck to the bottom – our prep crew had fun scraping it off! (We heard that Juicy Fruit continued to offer a recognizable scent. Now that is long lasting.)