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

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.

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. …