Wood Love

Heartwood is lovin' the Oregon Black Walnut, salvaging it from the firewood pile and transforming it into elegant furniture.

By Kristin Belz January 1, 2013


Heartwood dining ogqpbv
Dining table, chairs, bench and credenza of salvaged Oregon Black Walnut.

Salvaged wood never looked so sleek as it does after Grant McGavin transforms it into Heartwood furniture. His clean lines accentuate the simplicity of the Oregon Black Walnut he uses. Salvaged timber, in contrast to reclaimed or re-used wood, doesn't have to have been already used as something else (that is, it's not old barn doors or table tops) but rather is wood that would likely end up as firewood if McGavin hadn’t gotten ahold of it and turned it into a piece of gorgeous furniture.

Oregon Black Walnut is a fabulous deep dark chocolate color with, yes, a black tone to it. It's very elegant and understated – the opposite of warm blond oak or knotty pine. It's the black marble of wood. The 26-year-old has batted around the furniture design world for some years, and lived in Portland for five years now, but has been working full time on the Heartwood furniture design company for only about six months. Already he's got a small but complete line of pieces designed – a dining table and chairs, bench, cabinet and credenza, coffee and end tables. These can be adapted and he takes custom commissions as well. 

McGavin is one of those Portland designers who making quality pieces to last a lifetime (or at least until middle or old age) and creating a furniture and design movement reaching critical mass.  It's furniture designed to reduce the size of our landfills, but without shouting out its social and environmental credentials.

The Courting Bench is the chaste cousin of a loveseat, as well as a clever play on a Shaker chair.

McGavin showed his line at holiday gift festivals this season, including at ADX and the PDX Bazaar. You can find him at the company website online, phone 503.798.6764 or email to [email protected]. (Don't confuse his company with the Eugene based Heartwood Toys or with Heartwood Furniture of Massachusetts, both of which appear to do nice work but are not affiliated.)

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