Eco-Friendly? La Lune Has It Covered.

In recent years, the terms “going green” and “eco-friendly” have become buzz words in the media and in product packaging. The term “eco-friendly” has been used so frequently, and for so many different products and practices, that its meaning has quite literally been diluted.

Eco-friendly means earth-friendly or not harmful to the environment – according to Merriam-Webster, “not environmentally harmful” – and the first known use of the term can be tracked to 1989.

However, La Lune Collection’s attention to this ideal precedes the term’s first appearance by about a decade. Since La Lune Collection’s inception in 1979, before eco-friendly became fashionable, we have been concerned about the environment – particularly about deforestation by the lumber and furniture industries. Many of our customers are surprised to learn that La Lune Collection is one of the most eco-friendly furniture companies in the world.

It’s true! And here are the top 10 reasons why:

1.  La Lune harvests only fast growing and invasive wood species such as poplar and willow for the production of all its products. La Lune harvesting is actually beneficial to the restoration of bio-diversity to forests which have been previously clear cut by the lumber industry.

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La Lune Co-Founder Mario Costantini – Logs and Dogs

2.  All harvesting is done by hand by La Lune employees in order to maintain complete control and supervision of the harvesting process. All methods of harvesting are low-tech and eco-friendly using only hand tools. No heavy logging equipment is used.

3.  All woods are harvested near the factory in Wisconsin, thereby reducing the negative impact   and inefficiency of transportation and eliminating any impact on the rainforests of the world where much lumber is harvested by the furniture industry.

La Lune Collection  eco-friendly forest

La Lune Collection Wisconsin Forest

4.  La Lune’s unique yet low-tech and low-processing manufacturing methods are eco-friendly and efficient. Most processes are done entirely by hand using environmentally sound and efficient manufacturing methods. These methods, although sometimes slower, use little energy and generate virtually no waste or pollution, just like a simple low-tech bicycle is slower but much more energy efficient and eco-friendly than any high-tech automobile.

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La Lune Collection Factory – Frame Department

5.  The turn of the century La Lune factory buildings and machinery have been carefully re-cycled and re-stored incorporating high efficient use of energy. The La Lune factory and most of its machines and equipment date back to the early 1900’s. Wood and other waste products are used to fire the kiln and heat the factory building. Even wood shaving waste is used by local farmers for animal bedding.

La Lune Collection tour roof view

La Lune Collection Factory, Showroom, and Offices

6.  La Lune carries no inventory of furniture and manufactures “just in time” as items are sold. This efficient “just in time” manufacturing process reduces the expense and the inefficiencies associated with the production and storage of finished inventory. La Lune markets and sells its products only in the US and Canada in order to reduce the shipping distance to its clients.

7All La Lune finishes are non-polluting, non-toxic, non-flammable, water-based finishes which are locally manufactured exclusively for La Lune. Finishes are applied in dip tanks in order to eliminate the airborne pollution, energy costs, and waste products which are generated with typical spray booth applications.

8.  La Lune furniture is designed and constructed to last for generations, will become tomorrow’s valuable antiques, and thereby will reduce negative environmental impact and landfill waste associated with cheaply made, disposable, non-degradable furniture. However, La Lune furniture is 100% bio-degradable, if it should someday be discarded.

La Lune Collection Factory Showroom

La Lune Collection Factory Showroom

9.  La Lune’s human sustainability is an important part of its environmental sustainability;  in 1986, La Lune relocated its operations to an abandoned factory building in a central city neighborhood now called Riverwest. La Lune has helped to restore the neighborhood by rehabbing the building, providing jobs, and opening a youth center for at-risk children near the factory in 1989.

10. La Lune’s furniture, factory, and company history provide a perfect educational tool to teach others about eco-friendly manufacturing. School and civic groups of all ages regularly tour the La Lune factory in order to learn the La Lune philosophy and process from its founder Mario Costantini. La Lune is also actively supportive of local environmental initiatives, including the Urban Ecology Center, located on the Milwaukee River a few blocks from the La Lune factory.

School Tour at La Lune Collection with Co-Founder Mario

School Tour at La Lune Collection with Co-Founder Mario

 

A Look at the Deacon’s Bench (and Other Rustic Benches from La Lune)

Not long ago we added an updated photo of the beautiful Deacon’s Bench #1149 to our website – which then led us to wonder “where in the world did the Deacon’s Bench get its name?”  This immediately sent us into research mode, and after a little digging we happened upon a bit of interesting history which we are happy to share!

Rustic Deacon's Bench #1149 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Deacon’s Bench #1149 by La Lune Collection

It’s widely known that some religious institutions identify certain respected church “elders”, or “deacons” of the congregation. Essentially, these are non-ordained lay people who assist the pastor, rector, or priest of the church – as the case may be – with his or her various spiritual duties.

It seems that at some point in our country’s early history it became customary for a simple bench with an upright back to be set aside in the sanctuary for ONLY the deacons to sit upon. Often set at a 90 degree angle to the pulpit or lectern, this bench was used by the deacons during services and for special church functions.  Naturally, the bench came to be known as the Deacon’s Bench – and so the term stuck – and subsequently wooden benches with very high and straight backs are today referred to as Deacon’s Benches and are now often used at entry points in a home.

La Lune Collection’s Deacon’s Bench #1149 is indeed a beautiful example of this historically significant furniture design.

 

 

Interested in seeing more beautiful rustic benches? Check out La Lune Collection’s wide assortment of rustic benches, in addition to the Deacon’s Bench, including Rustic Benches #1112, #1147, #1300and many more.

Rustic Bench #1112 by La Lune Collection
Rustic Bench #1112 by La Lune Collection
Rustic Bench #1300 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Bench #1300 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Bench #1147 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Bench #1147 by La Lune Collection

 

 

Baby, it’s Cold Outside – Pull Up a (Rustic) Chair Next to the Fire!

It’s a winter wonderland in La Lune Collection’s beloved Wisconsin, which means warm and relaxed fireplace gatherings are in order. We love fireplaces – they automatically add warmth to a room and a home, and not just in the physical sense but also in the emotional character of the space. However, a fireplace alone doesn’t bring true comfort into your home – the furniture and accessories you choose to decorate the space around the fireplace are what really give it that cozy feeling, and adding a rustic chair or two (or three) is a great way to start.

So go ahead –  pull up that rustic chair and join us on a photo tour of some of our favorite fireplace settings!

Colorado Ski Resort Living Room, Billy Beson, Minneapolis, MN

Colorado Ski Resort Living Room, Billy Beson, Minneapolis, MN

After an exhilarating day on the slopes, what could be better than sharing a bottle of wine in front of the fire in this charming room by Billy Beson, Minneapolis, MN? The La Lune rocking chairs and hexagonal side table are right at home in this rustic ski resort setting. (Rocking Chair #1072, Table #3440)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living Room of Arizona Senator John McCain

Living Room of Arizona Senator John McCain

This living room fireplace, which belongs to Arizona Senator John McCain and was featured in Architectural Digest, looks categorically cozy with its La Lune sofa and club chairs nestled up close. And, a nearby piano makes it the perfect place for family sing-alongs!   (Club Chair #1006, Sofa #1246 , Coffee Table #3218)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Porch Fireplace – BlueStone Construction & Rost Interiors

It’s always porch weather next to this cozy North Carolina fireplace, just splendid with its La Lune Collection club chair, rocking chair, loveseat, coffee table and console table – courtesy of the very talented people at Blue Stone Construction, LLC, Hendersonville, NC and Rost Interiors, Janesville, WI. (Club Chair #1175, Loveseat #1177, Rocking Chair #1075, Console Table #3427, Coffee Table #3230)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Terrace Fireplace – Locati Architects, Bozeman, MT

With its majestic view of the surrounding pine forests, who wouldn’t enjoy relaxing next to this fabulous terrace fireplace with its handsome La Lune chairs and tables courtesy of Locati Architects, Bozeman, MT? (Club Chairs #1174, Table #3408)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Fireplace - The Picket Fence, Ketchum, ID

Outdoor Fireplace – The Picket Fence, Ketchum, ID

There may be snow on the ground in Wisconsin, but in some parts of the country there are lucky people who can still gather around an outdoor fireplace. The rustic rockers in this photo from The Picket Fence in Ketchum, ID look poised for the party to begin! (Rocking Chairs #1190)

 

 

 

“As You Like It” – Custom Rustic Furniture by La Lune

“As You Like It” is of course the beloved comedy penned by William Shakespeare in 1600, but it could also very easily be a tag line for La Lune Collection’s line of fine rustic furniture.  This is because the entire collection is completely bench-made by expert artisans in our small, pristine Wisconsin factory – and, all rustic furniture in the line is entirely customizable, just ‘as you like it’!

La Lune Collection is available in custom dimensions, designs, options, and finishes – and even furniture to the customer’s own design. Interior designers “in the know” across the country have recognized this for decades and appreciate La Lune Collection’s unsurpassed skill and versatility in the area of custom work – this, in part, accounts for the fact that fully one-half of La Lune Collection’s production is custom fabrication.

So, just how is a custom project handled, from conception to finish? Every custom project – whether a simple variation of an existing La Lune product, or a completely new item that either a La Lune artisan or the customer (or both) designs – starts with an idea and a conversation. After that first connection, the next step is a drawing. La Lune Collection generally creates several drawings, offering various options from which to choose. All drawings, as with all La Lune Collection furniture, are hand-done – in fact, La Lune artist Jen personally creates all custom project drawings! Finally, after a drawing is customer-approved, that very same drawing is  the “map” used by a La Lune craftsman to create the custom piece.

Let’s take a look at a few finished examples of the beautiful Rustic Buffet #2118 to better understand the extent of La Lune Collection’s custom capabilities:La Lune Collection 2118 natural

 

This first example shows Buffet #2118 in Natural finish, a rich, warm hue, on both its pine background and its decorative branch trim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Lune Collection 2118 light pine-natural

 

For this buffet, the client desired a lighter custom finish on its pine background, but wished to maintain the trim in standard Natural finish – a beautiful contrast was the delightful result!

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Lune Collection 2118 pine-redwood

 

Here the buffet displays Natural finish on its pine background, while Redwood finish was chosen for the branch trim, achieving an equally dramatic and elegant effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Lune Collection 2118 white birch-natural

 

 

White Birch makes up the custom background on this buffet – combined with trim in Natural finish the result is one of pure and simple rustic beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Lune Collection 2118 cane-natural

 

A unique Cane background is distinctively set off by its Natural trim, which lends this buffet a truly distinctive textural effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel ready to explore some of your own custom rustic furniture design ideas? Contact us – we’d love to get the conversation started!

An Iconic Rustic Table Design

La Lune Collection Rustic Dining Table #3089

La Lune Collection Rustic Dining Table #3089

What makes a design iconic?  After a bit of research on the subject we discovered that there are several qualities which define iconic design, including the following: a design that is aesthetically pleasing, a design that is innovative, a design that stays in the memory of those who see/use it, and a design that inspires other designers.

Using these criteria as a benchmark, La Lune Collection can rightly stake claim to several iconic rustic furniture designs. One of the most popular is the beautiful – and yes, iconic – free-form table base that can be found in several La Lune Collection rustic dining tables, coffee tables, end tables, and side tables.

In this table design the finished product is actually dictated by the natural curves, twists, and bends of the branches used to create it. In the first step of the artistic process the La Lune Collection furniture artisan travels the rivers and forests of Wisconsin carefully choosing individual  limbs and branches for their size, shape, and other qualities. After returning to the workshop he then selects and meticulously arranges and “weaves” the branches, much as one would do to create a floral display. The completed table is a true one-of-a-kind masterpiece of artwork, as with Rustic Dining Table #3089 pictured here, since absolutely no two tables are identical.

Interested in seeing more rustic tables featuring this iconic rustic free-form design? Take a look at the octagonal Rustic Dining Table #3106, the generous and magnificent Rustic Dining Table #3482, Rustic Side Table #3410, and Rustic Coffee Table #3417.

“The Chair That Grew”

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Wisconsin is home to miles of dense pine forests, hundreds of sparkling lakes, thousands of bucolic dairy farms – and of course, the Green Bay Packers.  We are pleased to also call Wisconsin home, but did you know that La Lune Collection is not the only renowned rustic furniture maker from our beloved state?

“The Chair that Grew” was created from 1903-1914 by John Krubsack in Embarrass, WI – and yes, there really is such a place – by bending, tying, and grafting growing tree branches over a span of 11 years. Upon its completion, the chair had its own celebrity tour, displayed among other places at the World’s Fair in 1915, the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held that year in San Francisco, California. The living chair project was also profiled by Robert Ripley, who ran it in his “Believe It or Not” column and later filmed John standing beside the chair, explaining the process. The film ran in the weekly newsreels of the time in theaters across the US. Most recently, in 1988, Mickey Mouse celebrated his 60th birthday seated on the chair at Disney World – which seems quite fitting, as Disney Resorts boast a very large collection of La Lune furniture!

Where is “The Chair that Grew” today? Until a short time ago the chair sat inside its own special Plexiglas case at the entrance of Noritage Furniture, a furniture manufacturing business owned by John Krubsack’s descendants before recently closing.

Although La Lune Collection may not create any “growing chairs”, we offer a beautiful selection of handcrafted rustic chairs and are proud to sustain the ancient tradition of hand-made rustic furniture using the same methods and materials  in our small, pristine factory as those used by the early artisans. Our line is entirely made by hand in the United States, and our craftsmen travel the rivers and forests of Wisconsin, carefully selecting and harvesting the willow, poplar, birch, oak, and pine required to create each piece. Constructed with fast growing, environmentally secure woods, the hallmarks of La Lune Collection are meticulous construction, kiln drying, special joints and finishes, and attention to every possible design and production detail. These features ensure that the beauty and comfort of La Lune Collection furniture will last a lifetime.

Rustic Furniture – or Not?

La Lune Collection has gained a reputation for creating the finest designer rustic furniture available, sustaining the ancient tradition of hand-made rustic furniture by using the same methods and materials that were used by the early artisans. But in reality, La Lune Collection blurs the line between rustic furniture, and furniture that is something else quite different from rustic.

All furniture pieces in the La Lune line are so finely crafted, with such keen attention given to their every design and construction detail that the word ‘rustic’ seems a woefully restrictive adjective to use in describing them. Indeed, interior designers have understood this concept for years and have used La Lune Collection pieces both to accent and to anchor room installations that span a variety of different décor styles: contemporary, eclectic, modern, traditional, transitional, craftsman, mid-century, industrial, AND rustic.

La Lune Collection Twin Bed #4204 is a perfect illustration of this idea. This sophisticated bed could easily be used in many different décors – with its elegant lines and superbly detailed headboard, footboard, and bedposts, one can identify influences of Colonial, Chippendale, and Arts & Crafts styling in this handsome piece, while at the same time acknowledging its solid rustic sensibility. Take a look at La Lune Collection’s variety of beds – and other furniture in the collection – to see what design styles you can identify!

4204 Bed La Lune Collection Rustic Furniture

 

 

A Study in Rustic: Creating a Rustic Home Office

Decorating a home office is a great opportunity to show off your “all-out” rustic style – or to introduce just a touch of rustic to your home.  In fact, one of the joys of working from home is the freedom to create a workspace that you love and feel comfortable in – a space that can spark and nurture your creative energy.

The mainstay of the rustic office is, of course, the rustic desk , and there’s nothing like a big, beautiful wood desk to warm up an office space.  To illustrate this idea, we love the Rustic Desk #2140 by La Lune Collection, which anchors an inviting study space by Faith Sheridan Interior Design in Seattle, WA. Faith has used a bold zebra rug and impressive antique glass-doored hutch – perfect for displaying important treasures – to finish out this space perfectly. Work time would literally fly by while sitting in this delightful office!

Rustic Desk #2140 by La Lune Collection Office by Faith Sheridan, Seattle, WA

Rustic Desk #2140 by La Lune Collection
Office by Faith Sheridan, Seattle, WA

 

If your work area is more on the diminutive side, perhaps a good choice would be Rustic Desk #2176.  On this desk, branches are meticulously cut, positioned and applied by hand to create each individual pattern. Finely crafted, interior and exterior, it is genuinely a piece of artwork for any office, bedroom, or study.

Rustic Desk #2176 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Desk #2176 by La Lune Collection

 

For many, an entire room devoted to creating a home office is just not in the cards. Do you have the smallest of work spaces – maybe even just a corner? Rustic Desk #3202 with a pine top might just be the perfect answer to the challenge.  This sweet little desk is rustic style at its finest, just right for smaller spaces – marvelously constructed by hand, using the same simple tools and techniques employed by furniture craftsman for several centuries. Visit La Lune Collection’s website to view these rustic desks – and more – and have fun creating your own rustic workspace!

Rustic Desk #3202 by La Lune Collection

Rustic Desk #3202 by La Lune Collection

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Reflections – Decorating with Rustic Mirrors

In creating dramatic interiors, choosing how to dress up your walls is critical to establishing the correct atmosphere for the entire room. And, when specifically designing a striking rustic interior, choosing the right rustic mirror can make all the difference!

La Lune Collection Mirror #5020, 3-Drawer Chest #2136

La Lune Collection Mirror #5020, 3-Drawer Chest #2136

Mirrors definitely bring light and depth into rooms – we like to think of them as decorative windows that can be moved around, functioning as virtual “views” wherever they are placed. A bold mirror actually functions as the focal point of a room – it can itself become the space’s artwork, setting the mood for the entire room. Large mirrors in particular brighten any space, creating luminosity and dimension, and visually expanding an area.

La Lune Collection Mirror #5018, which boasts a grand rectangular frame that features finely crafted decorative branch-work, makes a bold rustic statement when paired with a Three-Drawer Chest #2136 showcasing a white birch background. We can also imagine this mirror placed horizontally in a dining room, reflecting candle glow as well as guests’ faces, and setting the tone for a lively dinner.

Another “statement mirror” to consider is La Lune Collection Mirror #5052, which showcases a beautiful sunburst pattern (pictured below).  This mirror is a true piece of artwork, and would be a perfect choice to place above a rustic mantelpiece for maximum rustic impact.

For additional mirror ideas visit La Lune Collection’s website, which features a selection of mirrors in various designs, sizes, and shapes. And, did you know that mirrors are also available from La Lune in custom dimensions, designs, finishes, and options, including mirrors to your own design? Just let us know what you have in mind and we’d be more than delighted to talk to you about your ideas!

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La Lune Collection “Sunburst” Mirror #5052

 

 

 

Rustic Dining Room – The Table!

If you want to spend your mealtimes with friends and family in an environment that imparts an organic ambiance, or if you’d like to bring a bit of nature’s outdoor splendor in to your home, then a rustic dining room is most likely what you’ll want to create.

Rustic interior design is all about nature – it’s primarily about the use of warm woods and natural fabrics, and is full of texture and depth. And, as the rustic dining table will be the centerpiece of your rustic dining room, you’ll want to select just the right one with careful thought given to its design and functionality.

One of the more versatile rustic dining tables in La Lune Collection is the Dining Table #3119, customized with leaves. This beauty handily accommodates an intimate dinner for two, and just as easily seats a boisterous family gathering of ten, simply by adding or subtracting its custom-built leaves.

The first step in what we like to call “the evolution of a dining table”  – can you picture a relaxed breakfast for two at this table on a sunny autumn morning?

3119-Custom-Table-1-La-Lune-Collection-Rustic-Furniture

Rustic Dining Table #3119, without leaves

 

Add a leaf or two…

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Rustic Dining Table #3119, adding leaves

 

…and voilà, ready for the lunch crowd!

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Rustic Dining Table #3119, with leaves

 

Finally, the definitive step of this table evolution – an expansive dining presentation, handsomely arranged with ten La Lune Collection Side Chairs #1164 and Arm Chairs #1166. So, go ahead and set the table, place the centerpiece, and let the joyous dinner guests arrive!

Visit the dining table selection featured on our La Lune Collection website, to find an extensive assortment of finely crafted, elegant rustic tables, all hand-crafted in Wisconsin in our small pristine workshop with the utmost attention to detail and artistry.

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Rustic Dining Table #3119, Rustic Side Chairs #1164 & Arm Chairs #1166 by La Lune Collection