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With the Grain

John Houshmand gives castaway logs a new life.

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John Houshmand's tables mix hardwoods with glass and steel.  

“These aren’t all class-one veneer-grade logs,” says John Houshmand of the gorgeous woods he works with. “Many were destined for the dump. But you open them up and the character comes out.” A furniture collection does, too.

Houshmand, a musician, sculptor, and contractor, recently opened a Tribeca storefront (481 Greenwich Street, No. 3C; 212-965-1238) to showcase his latest venture: a line of furniture made from large pieces of American hardwoods (maple, cherry, elm, black walnut, and mulberry) in combination with glass and steel. Houshmand sources the woods from his Delaware County farm, from other local farmers—and sometimes even by tracking down the rightful owners of trees fallen by the roadside.

The resulting designs are simple, sophisticated, and entirely handmade on Houshmand’s farm. Prices start at $4,000 for a small side or occasional table and reach the heights of $20,000 for a dining table. Pricey, to be sure. But as Houshmand is quick to point out, you’re buying a piece of history. “Trees represent time—they grow radially and vertically,” he says. “That’s why, when you look at a grain, it’s so incredibly beautiful.”


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