Aronson Woodworks. Even Vern Yip bows down. (We’re with ya, man.)

Your coffee table needs this Very Yip book. Speaking of tables, have you seen what Aronson Woodworks does with woodgrain? (Sharp-inhale-gasp here, then breathe out with a slow whoaaaaa.) More on that in the book(!). Woo-hooo-hoooooo. Woodgrain gone wild. That’s what this is. And it’s COOOOOOOL. The Aronson Woodworks folks are not a-feared of a li’l crazy streak, and you can customize their solidly-constructed pieces any way you like. That crazy color combo that popped into your head just now? Oh, it’s possible. (We say so. And Vern seconds that emotion.) So who are these Aronson cats anyway? Read on. Aronson wants to transform the way the world sees wood grain. Quite the lofty goal for a humble shop in Iowa. Yet there they are, tucked away on 6 acres of farmland south of Des Moines, crazy-busy doing just that, courtesy of an ambitious creative vision and one-of-a-kind CLAIZE™, their proprietary 8-step finishing technique. It’s named for Clay, one of the owners, and it’s a process that infuses custom color to both the field and the grain. The result is unique to the core, a dramatic high contrast or subtle blended look that varies depending on the colors applied and the inherent character or grain lines of the wood itself. Essentially, works of art that can stand up to everyday home life. In other words, if you have spilly spillers who spill a lot, or those ubiquitous glass rings turn you into a rage-monster – this finish is totally the way to go. Annnnd why it makes perfect sense in Vern’s casual-living Vacation at Home book. Even though he doesn’t normally recommend wood – he makes an exception for Aronson (because Aronson is obviously exceptional). Here’s what he has to say about them: “In my 25 years of practicing interior design for both commercial and residential clients, on HGTV, TLC, and in private practice, I’ve never come across a finish as functionally and aesthetically ingenious as Claize or furniture as beautifully crafted as that emanating from Aronson Woodworks. Clay Aronson has developed a finish and product line that will endure the test of time because it addresses how we live today with its ability to withstand the wear and tear of everyday life alongside an aesthetic customizable to reflect the unique characteristics of every homeowner. I’m beyond thrilled to live with this product as well as place it in the homes of my best clients. What Clay Aronson has created, and continues to create, is a revelation.”   - Vern Yip How it all came to be. (Weirdly, we have an entire city to thank.)
When the city of Des Moines was planning to proactively clear out ohhh, about a zillion (give or take) mature Ash trees to avoid the Emerald Ash Borer epidemic, Aronson raised its hand and said, “Yo, City. Over here. We’ll take those off your hands.” They recognized those trees were waaaaay too amazing to be reduced to mere mulch. They deserved better. The city said “Deal,” and the Aronson crew has been salvaging that wood and crafting these amazing pieces ever since. If you’ve shopped the wood furniture scene lately, you’re well aware that there are a lot of crappy pieces out there. Faux, particle-board, cheap veneer-y stuff that technically doesn’t even qualify as wood. Which is why, when another local designer referred the Aronson rep to us a few years ago, we nearly lost our minds just breezing through his samples. We’re not advocating theft here, but we did briefly consider pilfering some trays and possibly a small table. The woodworkers craft each piece the “ole-fashioned” way – the RIGHT way – with the butterfly inside the mitered corners. BAM. Want to see a few pieces we’ve put into play? Here are some “for examples.(Looooooove. Love-love-love.)  

We needed a wowza side table for a family room in this traditional home. Since it would be visible from multiple angles, we wanted it to be a focal and feel almost sculptural, so we went simple with a white base and gray grain which complemented the black and white palette throughout the rest of the house. (Bonus points for the custom-sizing wizardry that allows an ottoman to slide underneath it when they want it out of the way.) Project: #dslakeellynviewissweet

  This home was more modern, and we’d chosen a deep blue wall covering for the room – so for the coffee table we went with a black field and custom blue emphasizing the mottled lines of the grain, sizing it to fit the space perfectly. It was for a family with young kids, and we knew that patented 8-step finishing process could handle whatever craft-tastrophes or snack spills happened when the parents weren’t looking. (Kudos to the Claize.) Project: #dsgowest   In this glama-fab Euro-inspired wine room, we had a lotta-lot going on. Marble pattern on the floor, metallic cork on the walls and a chic black back bar with brass fittings. So we kept the table fairly simple (meaning statement-piece simple, not to be confused with boring) – a sleek, modern high-top to seat eight, in classy black with white grain. It was a beast to get down the curved staircase, but we did eventually triumph. Project: #dsundergroundswank   For this dining table, we went more subtle with a natural wood finish. It’s not the full-fledged Claize process, but still seriously durable, well able to withstand the rigors of daily use. The custom stain color really brought the grain texture forward and offered a nice contrast to the painted cabinets in the space. Project: #dsmoorethemerrier

Want to see more? Come ogle the Aronson swatches in our showroom.

Or we can walk you through you the online lookbook. Plus they just made us a custom ottoman for our Storm Inspired shop – give that a gander. We’re digging this table too – with the white sock and brass foot, but you can make it any color you like. Oh, and their serving boards are pretty amazing as well – that end-grain would look great leaning against the kitchen tile backsplash. Or in a butler pantry. Or underneath chunks of imported cheeses, dollops of chutney and a smattering of pistachios (we digress). If you’re intrigued but need validation beyond “Amy’s obsessed!” – you’ll be happy to hear we’re not the only ones crushing on Aronson. They’ve been featured by big names like Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Design Milk and Atlanta Home (to name a few off the verrrry lengthy list) – plus the feature in Vern Yip’s new book. How’s that for cred? We’ll keep the swatches handy and eagerly await your swing-by.




Tristan Cocktail Table | C Table with Novelty Finish Accent Grain | Reese End Table Cookie Serving Board - Black | Cross Base Dining Table | Reese Nightstand C Table with Novelty Finish Ombre | Cookie Serving Board - White | Reese End Table with Socks and Shoes

  Until next time... thanks for reading!