Ebony and Ivory

320 Words - Posted on 9th August 2018

…Live together on really expensive old pianos but no longer have any place on contemporary furniture. And hurray for that!

It’s come to our notice that fewer and fewer people are interested in exotic hardwoods, but that doesn’t mean they’re not interested in interesting hardwoods. This has had an unforeseen effect on the projects themselves.

At the risk of generalising, interesting and oft-forgotten woods are typically less expensive than the old school exotics. A reduction in the materials cost of any project is always a good thing, and I can think of three scenarios where this helps us as cabinetmakers.

For our better heeled clients with a good budget it means more of their money can go into the making of the piece. This might mean the addition of a drawer, or the inclusion of hand cut dovetails. It could be a finer marble top, or an extra chair to go with a table. 

On the plus side

As the price of certain woods, like American Black Walnut, go through the roof (in the UK it has more than doubled in 5 years), so other timbers are becoming introduced and appreciated. Olive Ash, Ripple Maple, Elm and Yew are increasingly sought after as their price no longer looks on the lumpy side.

Finally, and possibly most happily of all, woods that may have been overlooked at in the past, like regular Ash, Sapele and even Iroko, are now being considered for important projects. Better than that, the prices of these woods are so attractive that they can bring the pricing point of a project down to the level of a far wider audience.

It fills our hearts to know that not only is there a greater appreciation of the work done by people working in the crafts industries, there is also a greater number of people who can afford to buy what we do. 

Until next time,


Lakshmi Bhaskaran

Writer at Rowden Atelier
Lakshmi Bhaskaran studied at the Rowden Atelier in 2008, following on from a successful career as a design writer and author. It was at Rowden that she met her husband and business partner, Jonathan Walter. The pair set up Bark Furniture in 2010 and now run a successful furniture business, based in Cornwall, with clients all around the world. Lakshmi has written for renowned publications like Wallpaper, and has authored five books in the design area.
Lakshmi Bhaskaran

Latest posts by Lakshmi Bhaskaran (see all)

Categories: bespoke furniture

Tags: Tags: , , ,

Share on your social Networks
Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Pin on Pinterest
Share on Tumblr
Email this to someone
Share on LinkedIn


Comments are closed.