Creativity may be king in design, but when making furniture there are rules to be followed.

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Wood top + legs = table

One St. Augustine woman bends rules and blurs lines between art and function when she crafts contemporary heirloom furniture for her home decor store.

“The process is, typically, I like to find unique bases and I love the [top] pieces to be organic.” Leila Lohr runs her hand over a now smooth tabletop and then points to the holes that make pecky cypress unique. “I love organic wood simply because it’s sturdy. It’s timeless. It’s not something that’s going to go out of style.”

Rediscovered Beauty
There is no formula for the natural wood pieces she creates, but Leila shared her inspiration with me. “I got into the restoration side because I like to have unique and different pieces in my store. I want my customers to have one-of-a-kind, quality pieces but keep it affordable. That’s my goal.”

See the finished spalted pecan table with acrylic base.

When Leila can’t find the perfect piece, she creates it – uncovering the beauty hidden in rough-hewn Florida woods such as pecky cypress, cedar and spalted pecan. “I shape them some to create curves, sand and finish.” She makes beauty sound effortless. These natural tops rest on salvaged and restored bases Leila falls in love with.

“I have something in the works with spalted pecan. It’s going to have an acrylic base. It will be a coffee table or bench. I think I’m going to get myself in trouble with these legs! It’ll be fun to throw contemporary, smoked acrylic legs in with that organic wood.”

Leila has an eye for exceptional design and a flair for bold pairings. Her uptown St. Augustine store, Etc., is filled with pieces sourced from local artists, American upholsterers and exotic accents from Peru and Asia. Native Florida woods stand out in the gallery-like store.

Organic. Eclectic. Funky. Contemporary. Leila’s pure style shines through the store and through the pieces she creates.