Featured Vendor Stories: Borkholder Furniture

Posted by James Baldwin on

Modern Bungalow Featured Vendor: BORKHOLDER FURNITURE

Borkholder Furniture got its start more than 30 years ago in Nappanee, Indiana when founder Freemon Borkholder first began producing heirloom quality solid wood furniture for the general public. Thanks to a unique product development strategy which pairs world-class furniture designers with experienced Amish craftspeople, Borkholder is able to build sustainable, environmentally friendly furniture with an emphasis on multifunction with great care and attention to detail. 

Each Borkholder designed piece is built upon a successful past design, making it easy to mix new pieces with others from their expansive collection. The goal, as Borkholder states on their website, is to build furniture the old-fashioned way but for the way that people live now. This commitment to producing original American-made designs for the modern lifestyle is evident in every step of the production process.

At the beginning of each day, Borkholder's craftsman arrive for their shift on bicycles or horse-drawn buggies. There is great affinity for the natural local hardwoods, and special attention is paid to the natural characteristics of each piece of wood when selected for a particular piece of furniture. The wood is hand selected to match for each individual design, often using the natural grain of the wood as a decorative element.

In order to ensure their commitment to their way of life, the craftsman at Borkholder do not tap into the local power grid, opting instead to use hydraulic or pneumatic pumps powered by diesel compressors. 

The first step in the building process, after the wood has been selected, is an extensive drying process. Following this, each piece is made smooth and level using handheld wood planes. Then, the wood is hand sanded to size to fit the assembly of its specific design. So much attention is paid to the small details at every step of the production process. Even the smallest of parts are hand sanded prior to assembly and finishing to ensure the highest level of quality and durability

Once ready for finishing, every piece of Borkholder furniture is passed along to an expert in that particular design. For example, a chair expert will ensure that every side and every nook and cranny is finished smoothly and evenly for a long-lasting result. In keeping with its environmentally friendly goals, Borkholder only utilizes eco-friendly finishes that are low in VOC's (volatile organic compounds). 

Once a finishing coat is applied, the piece is passed off to a painstaking staining process in which an expert applies and wipes stain again and again to ensure that the natural beauty of the hardwood can shine through. Then, sealer is added and the piece is once again sanded in a multistep process which requires an expert hand and extensive knowledge of woodwork. 

The final step of the process is the application of a top coat. This catalyzed lacquer varnish will ensure a long-lasting finish that protects the piece on a day to day basis for many years. 

The hardware for Borkholder pieces is all custom fit and is often designed specifically for the piece it's applied to. All drawers are fitted into their casings and all leaves fitted into their tables by an expert who's job is to ensure ease of use and incredibly smooth opening and closure. 

Every single Borkholder piece is designed and built one at a time by hand and inspected at every step of the process. When a piece displays the Borkholder stamp you can be absolutely sure that you're seeing a quality piece of heirloom style furniture expertly crafted and assembled and ready to be used in your home for many years to come. 

Modern Bungalow is proud to feature a wide variety of Borkholder pieces in our showroom and on our website. From the bedroom, living room, dining room, and beyond Modern Bungalow has curated a collection of Borkholder furniture sure to satisfy any need in any home. 

 

 


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