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Croft House: Reclaimed wood comes from afar, but this furniture maker's story is local, local, local

February 3, 2011 |  7:30 am

Croft-House-Riley-Alex
Early blogging and Web reviews of the new furniture store Croft House have focused on the reclaimed materials — deeply patinated pine salvaged from a 1905 building, perhaps, or oak recycled from an 1880s distillery.

Croft-House-dining But two other elements may make Croft House's story different from all the other retailers hawking reclaimed-wood furniture these days: location and price. Croft House founder Riley Rea started making his designs at a warehouse just south of downtown Los Angeles, selling the pieces to whomever stumbled across his posts on Craigslist. Now he and a core team of about a dozen people still mill wood, weld steel, upholster cushions and deliver orders from 27th Street and Grand Avenue, keeping the new Croft House showroom across town on La Brea Avenue as much of an L.A. story as possible.

"When we started, it was important to use resources available here — work force, tooling, we wanted to keep it all local," said Rea, pictured above left with business development director Alex Segal. Though many companies consider overseas manufacturing as an inevitability, Rea points to the advantages of local production: better quality control, lower shipping costs (financially and environmentally) and a quicker turnaround for made-to-order and custom tables, seating, beds, bookcases and more. Shoppers might expect to pay a premium, but the prices — at least for now — are remarkably reasonable.

Step into the La Brea showroom and you'll see an 84-inch dining table crafted from strips of hand-brushed hardwood for $1,500, above right. You'll also see a reclaimed-plank coffee table for $775, rustic bookcases and consoles starting at $575 and industrial steel end tables for under $300 — all available for purchase online as well.

Keep reading to see more of the furniture, all made to order, in L.A. ...

Croft-House-console
The Mossam media cabinet consists of steel legs, a mixed reclaimed wood exterior and a finished birch interior. Price: $1,575.

 

Croft-House-coffeetable
The coffee table is $775, and the sofa -- upholstered in a hemp blend -- is $1,600. Consoles and bookcases like the ones seen in the background sell in the neighborhood of $600 to $900.

 

Croft-House-coffeetable2
For a reclaimed-wood coffee table that departs from the usual straight-slat design, Croft House has this piece, which is $850. My colleague who first discovered Croft House on Craigslist liked how Rea tailored the design of pieces based on the type of wood being used.

 

Croft-House-bed
The bed, which seems to float on steel pyramid legs, is $1,600. The steel end tables are $295 apiece.

 

Croft-House-dining2
Another dining table design: thick slabs of reclaimed wood atop an X-shaped steel base. Price: about $1,600 for the table and two benches. Call the showroom for specifics.

 

Croft-House-lamp
Segal is reflected in a mirror constructed with the wood of a 1920 pool table. Croft House also sells lamps and rugs made by other companies.

 

Croft-House-exterior
Rea and Segal carry a mirror into the showroom, which opened in November.

Custom sizing is offered. Local pickup or delivery is available. For customers beyond, Rea said, he uses a shipper that buys carbon offsets, reducing the environmental impact.

326 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (855) 276-3846; www.crofthouse.com

— Craig Nakano

Photo credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times

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