Like so many other aspects of the American home, handcrafted furniture is a trend forever on the way out or the way in, and happily, the pendulum seems to be swinging back the correct way in recent years, now that the outlet furniture craze and those celebrity designer lines are burning themselves out. The eternal question remains: Why go through the trouble of finding a neighborhood that fits your personality and a floor plan that matches your lifestyle, then filling your home with furnishings that aren’t only generic but destined for obsolescence?
For Oklahomans, who still like to think of themselves as guardians of that pioneer spirit, there are a number of great artisans to choose from, but the best may be Oklahoma City’s Cooper St. Wood Co. Using only reclaimed and recycled wood, they specialize in tables, chairs, bookcases and consoles so unique and personal that they can only be viewed by appointment. (Their modus operandi isn’t driven by snobbery, either; cutting out the showroom allows them to sell handcrafted items at comparable chain prices, although they do open up their warehouse to the public from time to time with a little advance notice.)
Their bone-inlay collection of dressers and chests, in particular, is unlike anything else in the region, and it’s therefore their signature set. That prestige is reflected in the prices, but when you factor in the relative sturdiness of their product, the excess dollars melt away. Sure, Cooper St. furniture looks raw and real, pieces of living folk art, but they’re also built to be passed down, not just utilized. Want furniture that makes you feel like you’re creating a legacy of your own instead of just a place to park your stuff? Then Cooper is where you want to be; their products give the feel of real permanence, not just utility.