Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Cars!

This month will be the start of something completely different for Marian Built. While we continue to build furniture and interior environments, we are embarking on a new project, antique cars.

I recently had the opportunity to be one of the first people to look at an estate sale where the grandfather of the family had been spending years collecting everything he could for the Ford Models "A" and "T". This collection included a couple of complete cars. So I got my hands on a 1927 Model T (above) and a 1930 Model A.

These will be two separate and very different projects. Though I cannot fully disclose the exact nature of what we will be doing, I can say that it will be right on par with what I've come to expect from my team. Amazing execution, a devotion to preserving a period correct look, and a knack for breathing new life into old characters through innovative engineering and fabrication.

Thanks for keeping in touch.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Light It Up

We've been meaning to make a desk lamp for awhile now. Mostly based on requests from our loyal fans, but also because it's a natural next step for Marian Built.

Luckily, the inspiration stream was flowing and so were our creative juices! The team got together and we were able to build these beauties in a few days. It's funny how fast you work when you're inspired by what's in your head and can't wait until the thoughts become a reality.

Cylinder Table Lamp $525
Toggle Switch

Soft Lighting

Oh The Tables You'll Build

One of our top sellers are the tables we build. We have made numerous dining room tables, coffee tables, desks, kitchen islands...the list goes on and on.

Reclaimed Fir

Original Markings

Loving the Woodgrain

The Benches Make it Complete

Mirror Mirror

Sometimes we don't have a plan in place or a clear vision of what we're making. Case in point, the reclaimed wall mirror we recently built for SPUN Sustainable Collective in Seattle, Washington.

SPUN Sustainable Collective

The owner of the store, Sara, wanted a mirror for the wall. All she requested was that it was in the same style as the rest of the furnishings in her shop and that it was a large mirror.

This is the same shop that currently houses the dressing room door that got us a lot of attention. So why not keep the same look by using an old door and giving it a new life as a mirror? That's exactly what we decided to do!

The details that make this mirror unique are the vintage pieces that we used. Mixing old and new is what we love to do here at Marian Built and this mirror is a perfect example of the beauty that can come out of that union. This mirror is workable in the way that it can be raised up/down using the hand cranks and sideways via the tracking system it hangs from.

Aside from being a unique wall mirror, it can be used as a room separator. Imagine it hanging in a small condo to create separate living areas or an office instead of typical cubicles.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

It's All About the People

The heart of Marian Built is the people we meet and the treasures we uncover. There are so many stories that come from the people who sell us their vintage pieces.

We've met so many interesting characters and downright cool people. We've walked up to complete strangers and ended up talking to them for hours about all kinds of stuff. The friendship and energy that is created from these interactions transfers into the pieces we build in a way that could never explain. When we pick up a piece of metal bought from a new acquaintance we have formed a friendship with, we use it to build something with good memories of where we got it. We push the next idea or shape of a piece that will be built of much more than metal and wood. A piece born out of good energy from genuine people and a history you could never reproduce. That's what makes these pieces so special. Not just because they are Marian Built (well kind of) but because of the people we got it from, the journey it's been on and it's next life as the focal point in someone's house.

We believe these pieces radiate that energy wherever they are. We believe in people's energy transferring into the things they create. You can give two amazing chefs the same recipe and the same ingredients and the one who puts more love into their dish will end up with the superior tasting meal. When we build, we build using pieces from amazing places struck of a deal with amazing people. And when we bring those pieces back to our studio, we are doing it's history justice by building something with care, made to last.

Meet Mac
Meet Mac, a retired law enforcement professional who has been an antique dealer as of late. We bought one of favorite, most amazing chandeliers from him, as well as two crystal hurricane lamps. We saw his chandelier listed online and called him immediately. We talked for a bit but it took a month and a half later for us to make a deal that worked for both of us. We drove to Tacoma, packed up the chandelier in his basement (which can take a long time on its own) and ended up talking for a really long time. Thanks for pieces and all the advice on buying antiques Mac!

Hello Jim
This is Jim. Jims owns a little cottage industry saw mill where he's been reclaiming old beams for years... Long before it was popular! We had a grand old time with Jim. Talking about old wood, reclaiming beams, tools and stuff we wanted to build. Jim's a great guy with a classic northwest logger attitude. He's got a great place out on the peninsula with tons of old equipment and logs.

This is Red...Of course his name is Red, right! Red owns a junkyard in Eastern Washington where he scraps metal that sprawls about 150 acres. It's impressive to say the least! Red is probably a hundred years old and spry. We drove around his property in his truck looking at pieces and putting prices to them. All the while him telling me just how lame we were (in a joking manner) and making jokes the whole time. He did not let us bargain him down (which is very hard to do), put a lot of things in perspective for us and left us with an old fashioned piece of advice: "Every day of my life has been a good day, and that's no mistake, I make it that way. Every day I wake up I make sure it will be a good day.  Otherwise, f%#k it! I'll go back to bed!"

Lynette and Mike
Say hi to Lynette! Via email, Lynette informed us that the barn we were interested in had four others who wanted it. We stayed in contact and I think she must have either like us enough to scare the rest of the people off because a few days later, the barn was ours for the taking! We were on our way to Soap Lake to have a look at it! Within minutes, we decided that this was the barn for us! She was so happy the barn would be reused instead of just thrown away. She really helped us get the barn and for that, we are grateful.

These stories and relationships are the base for so much of what we do.  We couldn't get the materials we get without the help of these great people. We also couldn't create what we love, without them.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Meet My Bride-to-be

Admittedly, I really like football. The playoffs this year have been some great games. But today of all days, I don't care!

Yesterday, my beautiful bride-to-be and I went down to my shop in Georgetown and cleaned all our stuff to get it ready to sell. It requires cleaning because it's been sitting in an old house or barn getting more "vintage-ie". It was a great day. We rediscovered some treasures we forgot we had, went to lunch, and met up with a friend. I couldn't think of a better way to spend time with Kelley. I am so lucky to have a partner who shares in what I do so much. And it's not like these are common girly things to do! Yesterday, she was wearing rubber boots and gloves scrubbing old rusty metal chairs! And when we go to a junkyard, a trying-to-break-the-habit hoarders house, random site.... whatever it is, she's the first one to be climbing around a pile holding up a hub cap or something with her dog bouncing around going nuts yelling at me "hey babe look at this!" HUGE smile on her face. I have no doubt that she genuinely enjoys this and it's not something I dragged her into. I told my friend last night as Kelley was conveying the details of our last junkyard excursion "don't let that blond hair and cute smile fool you, she's a genuine junker". Kelley is my biggest supporter, the reason this blog exists, the sounding board for me, my partner to help load the trailer when we go picking, and soon enough, she will be my wife. The only complaint I have is she gets so excited when we find stuff she just can't hide it. And that ruins some bargaining power. But hey, if I have to shell out a couple extra bucks to see her that happy, it's more than worth it.

In addition to all that she does for me she runs her own, very successful dog walking business. She is amazing at what she does. She posts tons of pictures (amazing pictures! Her other of many talents) of her clients' dogs for them to see, writes a blog about the latest with her "pack", is heavily involved with the raising and care of all her dogs, built her own website, won King-5's best of the Northwest two years in a row, I mean come on...I could go on and on. I love going to the park with her when I have time. It's amazing to see how good she is at her job. She works non-stop. She is hands down the hardest worker I have ever met in my life. Her drive is unparalleled. She doesn't watch TV, she doesn't have a huge social life (she probably doesn't want me to say that) all she does is work. I blows me away.

I love what I do. I love building things, finding vintage treasures, I love negotiating, I love it all!! And I get to do it with the woman of my dreams. I so lucky to be with a woman who shares in my business. So this super bowl Sunday, I'm headed back down to Georgetown with Kelley to take pictures of our newly cleaned goods. If we get done with time to watch the game, great! But if not, I couldn't be happier.

I'm going to spend the rest of my life doing what I want to do. And I get to do it with my best friend in the world.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Always Keep Your Eyes Open

I found a great sale just a few short miles from my house, and a great friend and supporter right inside my attorney's office.

This past weekend Kelley and I stumbled across a serious hoarders situation. This place was gross! But I've had my eye on this building in Frellard (the area between Fremont and Ballard in Seattle) for a while. It always looked like a gold mine to me and it just so happened the guy who lived and worked there took off and left it for the property owner to deal with. I don't blame him! There was no cleaning that place up.

Sometimes we buy raw materials like rusty steel or barn wood for instance. Sometimes we buy pieces that need very little like the vintage chandeliers and lamps we have for sale. And sometimes we find pieces that are halfway in Frellard is halfway between Fremont and Ballard! Whoa, I just figured that out! Anyways, we found an old rusty outdoor fireplace that is just gorgeous but needs a new bottom because it rusted out. We also found some old lawn chairs with beautiful patina to them all they need is a couple new seat cushions. A vintage neon sign that needs a way to mount it, an antique radio that needs cleaning, and a bunch of cool light fixtures.

A few weeks ago I met a great source of support who just happened to work at my attorney's office. Her sister Kristin is my attorney's paralegal and upon explaining to Kristin and my attorney why I wanted to focus on furniture, I showed them some pictures of my work. Immediately Kristin knew her sister Katrina ( ) would love the style we have been cultivating. Well she did. Enough to write about it in her blog which I didn't find out about until today but still, I was honored. This might be pretty commonplace for some people, but being fairly new to this blogging social media networking stuff, I was impressed.

But more than just support, she seems to get it. She gets why this stuff is so special and why vintage feels so comfortable. Being a talented writer, she's explaining it well too. Needless to say, I'm happy to have her on my side!

It's amazing what you can find, right in your backyard, if you just keep your eyes open! I was lucky to find that sale this past weekend, and lucky to stumble into my attorney's office and share some vintage appreciation with Katrina.