Alabama Sawyer’s Not So Secret Diary

1stdibs Aberdeen About Us AIA air quality air quality widget AK Jewelry AL Businesses AL.com alabama Alabama Sawyer Alabama the Beautiful alasaw Alva Amanda Loper American Institute of Architects American Society of Interior Designers apps apps for nature lovers April ASID astronomy ban best of bike biodegradable biodegradable garbage bags Biophilia Biophilic Design Birmingham Birmingham Businesses Birmingham Museum of Art Birmingham Organizations Birmingham Zoo blog board oil Boston botany Bottle Opener Bromberg's Buffalo Rock bug repellent built in shelving Burke Decor butcher blocks Cahaba River Society candles Captain America carbon carbon sequestration carpool charcuterie Christmas cider vinegar cities Citizen's Climate Lobby city city composting programs classic clever tips + tricks Cliff coasters cocktail cubes coffee shop colorful colors compost compost pile composting composting programs concentration conference contest corner shelving creative writing Crying Indian PSA custom table height cutting board cutting board oil David Baker Architects decomposition Dering Hall differences in dish soap DIY Earth Earth Day Earth Overshoot Day Earthrise EastFork Pottery EastFork Pottery Giveaway ECam and Co. eco friendly eco friendly dish detergent eco friendly dish soaps electric cars entertainment environmental environmental glossary environmental holiday Etsy Facebook Famous in AL favorites female owned businesses fixed bracket shelving floating shelving focus food hacks food waste Food52 Fossil Fools Day Friends of Shades Creek fruit fly fruit fly trap garbage bags gas tax GASP gift gift guide giveaway glass recycling glossary Golden Rule Barbecue Google Google Reviews Goop Goop Exclusive goopGIFT green green burial green products greenwashing Grove Collaborative Gulf State Park Gulf State Park shipment Gumption handmade health benefits health concerns health information Hemlock Miyake Bench Hemsmith history of AL holiday holiday gift guide holidays home essentials how to how to guide how to polish wood furniture hybrid cars ice bucket Incense Set instructional guide interior design Interior Designer International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict interview jar Kamado-San Donabe Kassatex Keep America Beautiful kitchen knife holder Lanett Credenza Leigh Leigh Spencer link list local businesses Londontown longest running Made South magnolia MAKEbhm Michael Bruno Milwaukee mineral oil miyake miyake bench Montpelier mosquitoes movies Mullein & Sparrow municipal compost program nadii NASA National Endangered Species Day National Recycling Day natural burial nature nature lovers New York Times news Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin non profit oiling a cutting board orchard table packaging paint Pale Blue Dot pallet pallet compost pile pecan PeeWee Herman personal story Petite Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin photography plants plastic bag plastic garbage bags plastic wrap podcast pop up shop Precious Plastic Alabama PSA public service announcement public transportation recycle Recycled Moroccan Glassware recycling Red Mountain Park red oak Remodelista reviews round sunrise table science Self Made Self Made Foodie Giveaway Sen. Steve Livingston sensitive groups shelving shipment Sloss Furnace smart phones soap software South Jordan Spiderman Spring Break 2019 sputnik table standard table height Stump Side Table Summer Sanctuary Giveaway sustainable sweepstakes table height table top Taking Care of Our State Tender Earth Candle The Blue Marble The Boogie The Helm Tom Ford transportation trash bags tray Trilogy Leather urban wood utensil holder vegetarian walk wall paint walnut walnut wine rack Waverly Table WBHM weedkiller white oak white oak host stand Wide Plank on Legacy Base Wide Plank Table on Sunrise Base wine rack Wine X Wine Rack wood wood furniture wood furniture polish wood polish wood scented wooden cutting board Workshops Inc

EastFork Pottery

July 29, 2019

EastFork Pottery

We are excited to announce that we’ve recently become affiliated with EastFork Pottery! In honor of our affiliation, let’s talk about some of their amazing products and promotions. Right now they are doing a weekly giveaway on their website, so you should definitely check it out for the chance to win free EastFork Pottery products. I mean, seriously, who doesn’t love free stuff? Now, on to the products themselves.  


Imagine this Tender Earth candle sitting on one of our Waverly Tables in Hackberry. The candle’s scent is described as “wet, fresh, and mossy”, which would work great with any biophilic themed interior design scheme.

    

Tender Earth | EastFork Pottery Waverly Table | Alabama Sawyer

Left: Tender Earth Candle, Right: Waverly Table


Or this minimalist Kamado-San Donabe sitting on one of our Wide Plank Tables on a Legacy Base. The Kamando-San Donabe could be used for a variety of dishes and soups.

 

Kamado-San Donabe | EastFork Pottery 

Left: Kamado-San Donabe, Right: Wide Plank Tables on a Legacy Base


Another EastFork recommendation comes in the form of their Incense Set, which includes Palo Santo incense and an Incense Burner. Imagine walking into your living room and seeing two of our Stump Side Tables on either side of the couch, each with an incense burner on it. Then you light the incense (but only one because two would be a little strong), and all your guests compliment you on your tasteful smelling incense. But also because you want your house to smell nice.  


 Incense Set | EastFork Pottery  Stump Side Table | Alabama Sawyer

Left: Incense Set, Right: Stump Side Table


These next recommendations are more alcohol centered so you can get your booze on in style. Imagine picking up an EastFork Pottery Brass Bottle Opener to open your favorite bottle of rosé, which is elegantly displayed in our White Oak Ice Bucket. You then pour yourself a glass in an EastFork Recycled Moroccan Glass. Is it normal to drink wine out of a non wine glass? Probably not, but for only $9, what are you waiting for?

 

Brass Bottle Opener | EastFork Pottery Ice Bucket | Alabama Sawyer Recycled Moroccan Glassware | EastFork Pottery

Left: Brass Bottle Opener, Middle: Ice Bucket, Right: Recycled Moroccan Glassware


Well, there you have it. I went ahead and entered the EastFork Pottery contest, and would strongly recommend you enter it as well.

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Clare Colors + Alabama Sawyer Woods

July 22, 2019

Clare Colors + Alabama Sawyer Woods

Clare brings you a wide variety of gorgeous paint colors and supplies to pick from. While we were looking through their paints, we thought that it would be fun to compare them to some of our wood finishes. 

 

Look-a-like Colors 

Burnt Cherry Coffee Date | Wall Paint | Clare

Left: Burnt Cherry, Right: Coffee Date Wall Paint

 

 Whipped | Wall Paint | Clare

Left: Dogwood Bloom, Right: Whipped Wall Paint

 

 Blue Ivy | Wall Paint | Clare

Left: Blue Magnolia, Right: Blue Ivy Wall Paint

 

 Blackest | Wall Paint | Clare

Left: Coal, Right: Blackest Wall Paint

 

Red Oak Cubes Big Apple | Wall Paint | Clare

Left: Red Oak Cube, Right: Big Apple Wall Paint

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Complimentary Colors

 Prince | Wall Paint | Clare 

Left: Poplar Natural Oil, Right: Prince Wall Paint

 

Cherry Natural Oil Vacay | Wall Paint | Clare

 Left: Cherry Natural Oil, Right: Vacay Wall Paint

 

Walnut Natural Oil Good Jeans | Wall Paint | Vacay

Left: Walnut, Right: Good Jeans Wall Paint

  

Still not sure what color to go with? Not to worry, because Clare has their very own service for helping customers select the right shades of paint. 

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May 29, 2019

Our Alabama Sawyer Google Reviews

Type 'Alabama Sawyer' in Google's search bar and you'll find that our store has three 5-star reviews. Two of those reviews include written descriptions: 

Another review reads: "I purchased a beautiful desk from Alabama Sawyer and I love it. It's extraordinarily well designed and constructed, and I will have it for years."

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May 22, 2019

Our Etsy Product Reviews

If you head over to Alabama Sawyer's Etsy page, you'll see that we have a total of thirty two 5-star reviews. Some of those reviews include written descriptions of why the customer liked our product, and we'd like to share some of those reviews with you.

Noaway Countertop Compost Bin

"Beautifully made, with invisible seams and a gorgeous smooth finish. Just the right depth to hold a few days' worth of kitchen scraps, too, before bringing it all out to the compost pile."

"A work of art sits on my countertop. Hidden inside? Eco-friendly decomposition."

"Impeccable design and function. Truly beautiful piece to adorn your countertop and make composting sleek and exciting! Wonderful craftmanship. Purchasing another as a gift! 5 Stars!!"

All-Natural Wood Polish & Furniture Wax

"Great accessory to maintain the beauty of the natural wood grain."

"I have already applied this all-natural wood polish to several of my wood items. It enhances the beautiful wood grain, without leaving a sticky residue. My oldest daughter has allergies and this wood polish does not affect her at all. I highly recommend this product."

"I love this stuff it brought my table back to life and it even worked great on my boots"

What about some of our less reviewed products, like our Breakfast in Bed Tray?

Breakfast in Bed Tray

These are just a handful of some of our Etsy reviews! Click to read some of our other kind reviews

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What Is ... Carbon Sequestration?

May 08, 2019

What Is ... Carbon Sequestration?

What is carbon sequestration?

"the long-term storage of carbon in plantssoils, geologic formations, and the ocean. Carbon sequestration occurs both naturally and as a result of anthropogenic activities and typically refers to the storage of carbon that has the immediate potential to become carbon dioxide gas. In response to growing concerns about climate change resulting from increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, considerable interest has been drawn to the possibility of increasing the rate of carbon sequestration through changes in land use and forestry and also through geoengineering techniques such as carbon capture and storage." (Source: Carbon Sequestration | Encyclopedia Britannica)

Solid wood furniture, and trees in general tend to store carbon very well in. In fact, "An important function of trees and forests both within and outside of urban areas is carbon sequestration. Nowak and Crane (2002) have estimated that urban trees in the U.S. hold about 774 million tons of carbon ... the importance of tree biomass carbon in urban areas is expected to increase over the coming decades, because the urbanized area is expected to increase notably in the U.S. (Nowak and Walton 2005)." (Source: Carbon Sequestration In Solid Wood Products From Urban Forests | Dovetail Partners Inc.)

As you may very well know, Alabama Sawyer gets a large percent of wood from the urban forests of Alabama. The exciting part of this is that use of urban wood helps diminish the harmful effect of the buildup of greenhouse gases through long term carbon sequestration. 

But why is using urban wood so important in all of this? Well, when urban trees come down, they typically become a waste removal problem. In the forest, a tree coming down isn't much a problem since released carbon just goes back into the carbon cycle. In an urban setting, however, released carbon from a downed tree doesn't really go back into the carbon cycle in the same way. This is especially true if the tree goes to rot in a landfill. Thus, making solid wood furniture from urban wood is a great way to ensure that the wood continues to store that carbon in the long term.   

Sources Cited

Selin, Noelle Eckley. “Carbon Sequestration.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 16 Jan. 2019, www.britannica.com/technology/carbon-sequestration.

Bratkovich, Steve, and Sam Sherrill. “Carbon Sequestration in Wood Products, Urban Forests.” Dovetail Report: Carbon Sequestration in Wood Products, Urban Forests, Dovetail Partners Inc., 19 July 2011

“The Carbon Cycle.” The Carbon Cycle | UCAR Center for Science Education, 2007, scied.ucar.edu/carbon-cycle.

Hardin, LeJean, and Jaime Payne. “Schematic Showing Both Terrestrial and Geological Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide Emissions from a Biomass or Fossil Fuel Power Station.” Wikipedia Commons, 10 July 2009, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_sequestration-2009-10-07.svg.

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Standard Table Heights

May 01, 2019

Standard Table Heights

There are standard table top heights, then there are custom table heights. The height of a custom table will vary depending on table function, user height, chair height, and several other factors. This blog post aims to explore how you might pick a custom table height - and then give a list of standard table heights. 

How Do I Measure Table Height?

Before we get into the nitty gritty, let's discuss how to measure table height in the first place. According to a Parotas blog post, "Standard table height measurements are taken from the floor to the top of the table or counter. This means you need to consider a lower chair height if you have a thick table top or overhanging counter." (Source: Parotas, "A Guide To Standard Table & Chair Heights")

Chair Height

Speaking of chairs, we'd advise a table height that allows for adequate leg room and space to slide the chair underneath the table. Generally, chair heights range from 17-19 inches. We recommend at least 10 inches between chair seat and table top. These discussions should beg the question, 'how do I measure the height of a chair?'

According to the Parotas blog post, "Standard chair heights are measured from the chair legs to the top of the seat surface. You do not include the height of the chair back or armrests in your measurements, unless you plan to slide chairs fully under the table or counter. If you are choosing chairs with armrests, allow around 7 inches (18cm) between the armrest and the underside of your table" (Source: Parotas, "A Guide To Standard Table & Chair Heights")

Elbow space is another important consideration that's very similar to the need for adequate leg room. No one likes using a table that's too tall to rest your elbows on. On the other hand, no one likes jamming their legs under a table because it's way too small. 

User Height

This is a pretty big consideration honestly. How tall or short are the users? If the users are really tall, consider a taller than average table top. The same goes for shorter users, who may require a shorter than average table height. These questions should definitely factor into the process of picking a table height. 

Basically, planning is your best friend when it comes to choosing a custom table height.

Standard Table Top Heights

That said, here are the standard heights of dining tables, counters, coffee tables, and bar tables. Big thanks to Leigh for making the graphics! (Please note: each of the pieces you see below is an Alabama Sawyer table. Find one on our website.)

Wide Plank on Legacy Base | Alabama Sawyer

Lanett Credenza | Alabama Sawyer

Orchard Table in Red Oak | Alabama Sawyer

Wide Plank Table on Sunrise Base | Alabama Sawyer

 

SOURCES

“Empty Table.” PublicDomainPictures.net, www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=271485&picture=empty-table.

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3 Ways to Celebrate 'Keep America Beautiful' Month

April 01, 2019

3 Ways to Celebrate 'Keep America Beautiful' Month

April is 'Keep America Beautiful' month! One excellent way to celebrate would be to participate in the trash tag challenge (which seems to be declining in popularity and relevance unfortunately.) What's the trash tag challenge you ask? On Reddit and Twitter, users have been taking 'before' pictures of areas filled with litter; and 'after' pictures of all the litter collected into trash bags. I love the trash tag challenge because it's a viral trend that benefits the environment.

Another way to participate would be to get your workplace involved in 'Recycling at Work'. This voluntary national effort is dedicated to increasing recycling in the workplace. That's a pretty noble cause, isn't it?

Of course the trash tag challenge and the 'Recycling at Work' effort aren't the only ways to participate in 'Keep America Beautiful' month. Planting and maintaining a garden is another great way to celebrate.

 

A woman enjoying gardening outdoors - Free Stock Photo

Since we're on the topic of gardening, composting for your garden is incredibly resourceful and will greatly help in your gardening adventures. If you need tips getting started, read our blog post on building a pallet backyard compost bin. What's more, this FineGardening article will give you all the information you need to start composting. Keep in mind that you'll need to store the compost somewhere before moving it to your backyard pile, so feel free to check out our beautiful Noaway Counter Top Compost Bin. These expertly crafted bins come in magnolia, walnut, and sapwood made using timber sourced almost entirely from the urban forests of Alabama.  

 

Sources & Further Reading

Olive, Jim. “STUDENTS PICK UP TRASH ALONG ROADSIDE.” Wikipedia Commons, Source U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 9 Oct. 2011, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:STUDENTS_PICK_UP_TRASH_ALONG_ROADSIDE_-_NARA_-_543927.jpg.

Asarch, Steven. “Viral #TrashTag Movement Wants to Make the World a Cleaner Place.” Newsweek, 11 Mar. 2019, www.newsweek.com/trashtag-trash-tag-challenge-twitter-reddit-1359221.

“Keep America Beautiful.” Keep America Beautiful, 6 Feb. 2019, www.kab.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwm-fkBRBBEiwA966fZBtWrzdMQqR5QoLIeuoiKKZsJAIaZEVuJxcy9PgYPZgVFWqIDLBUshoCiLYQAvD_BwE.

“Get Started in Composting.” FineGardening, 25 Apr. 2014, www.finegardening.com/article/get-started-in-composting.

“Take the Pledge Andearn Recognition For.” RecyclingWork RSS, recyclingatwork.org/.

“A Woman Enjoying Gardening Outdoors.” Freestockphotos.biz, www.freestockphotos.biz/stockphoto/16337.

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Alabama Sawyer's wooden credenza

March 04, 2019

Health Benefits of Wood Furniture

Did you know that spending time around wooden furniture can benefit your health? Here are some of the ways:

  • It improves your emotional state
  • It increases your cognitive ability
  • It reduces your stress levels
  • It improves air quality through humidity moderation
  • It stores carbon long term - thus fighting climate change

You might be wondering how wooden furniture can benefit a person’s health. Research does tell us that being around wood furniture produces similar health effects to spending time in nature. Moreover wood tends to elicit feelings of warmth, comfort, and relaxation. Regardless of its effects, wood has a pleasing look that helps you feel more connected to nature, and at the end of the day, who doesn't love that? 

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Interior Design Considerations that Facilitate Focus

January 25, 2019

Interior Design Considerations that Facilitate Focus

First thing's first. Let's talk about the psychology of color, specifically the colors that tend to facilitate focus & concentration. Green tends to promote concentration and focus while also playing into aspects of biophilic design. Blue is incredibly calming, which means using it in your office or home would promote calm and aid concentration.

Read more about color psychology here. Now, on to actual design elements. One important consideration is space. Do you want the area to be more open to encourage collaborative discussion, or closed off to ensure individual work gets done?

According to InteriorArchitects.com - in open office spaces "employees experience more uncontrolled interactions, higher levels of stress, and lower levels of concentration and motivation." Clearly there is a need for balance between collaboration and individual work that promotes concentration and productivity. Consider creating "focus areas" - places where people can work independently, and make the rest of the space more open to encourage collaboration and effective group work. 

Another possibility is to set up the space similar to a library layout, that is, long conference tables (see image below) that serve as collaborative meeting spaces, (but don't have to if an employee would prefer to work individually.)

Live Edge Claro Walnut Conference Table With AV Equipment Installed

Alabama Sawyer Furniture

There are a ton of different ways to approach the maximization of concentration and focus in interior design elements, and these are just a few, so be sure to check out our sources and further reading section!

Sources & Further Reading

Source: Curbed

Source: Focus on Focus | Interior Architect 

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Biophilic Design

January 14, 2019

Biophilic Design

“The biophilia hypothesis ... suggests that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature"

That’s all well and good, but how does biophilia relate to interior design? After all, the title of this blog suggests there’s a type of design related to biophilia. There is, and it’s called biophilic design. The idea is to reconnect people with nature through various design elements:

"Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with little drawbacks."

Let's break that definition down a little, and discuss what is meant by direct and indirect nature.

Direct nature- Simply put, direct nature refers to potential physical contact with some sort of natural feature. This can mean taking advantage of natural lighting with skylights, or having a small fountain where people can sit and listen to the calming sounds of moving water.

Moving water as a biophilic design element

The stream, plant life, and natural lighting are all examples of direct nature here

Although it may sound odd at first, finding a way to use animals to evoke nature can be achieved through aquariums and gardens. Obviously there are a ton of other ways in which nature can be directly evoked in biophilic design, read about those ways here.

Indirect nature- The use of indirect nature is much less involved than direct nature. To have an indirect experience of nature, there need only by contact with images/ depictions of nature. A beach painting over the fireplace, wood furniture, use of earth tones are all examples of indirect nature. Read more about indirect nature here.

Both the plant & the wooden table base would be considered use of indirect nature

To elaborate, indirect nature can involve the use of wooden furniture. Another reason to use wood furniture is the health benefits. That's right, different materials can actually be more harmful than others, especially in furniture where the user is constantly making contact with its surface.

Wood, however, tends to have less toxins than other materials, so you really don't have to worry about that. A piece of wood furniture that would really tie a biophilia inspired room together would be one of our Alabama Sawyer Lanett Credenza's (see image below.)

Lanett Credenza in Elm Veneer

Basically, if you're interested in biophilic design, wood furniture is one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into the room. So go ahead, take a look at some of our other pieces as well - and consider this: all our wood comes from the urban forests of Alabama. 

 
Sources & Further Reading
Feature image, tree buildings: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/964194

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Cutting Board Oil VS Wood Polish

December 24, 2018

Cutting Board Oil VS Wood Polish

We’ve had several customers ask what the difference is between our cutting board oil and our wood polish. In terms of price the board oil is $18 and the wood polish is $6. However, price isn’t the only difference between these two products.

Speaking broadly, there are different reasons for using oil or polish on your wooden furniture. Use oil on furniture that has an oil finish and polish on raw wood. That said, our board oil is really only suited for cutting boards, whereas our wood polish can be used for many types of wood furniture. Click to learn when it’s appropriate to use oil VS wood polish. 

wood polish   

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Wide Plank Table on Legacy Base

December 03, 2018

An Intern's Five Favorite Alabama Sawyer Products

I know what you’re thinking, “why should I care about some stinky college intern’s opinion?” To be honest, you probably shouldn’t. Not about most things anyway. But hear me out, I’ve spent a lot of time exploring Alabama Sawyer’s website, and it isn’t lost on me just how high quality our products are. So without further ado, here is a list of my five favorite Alabama Sawyer products:

Coasters
There are four different coaster designs based on variations of the Alabama Sawyer logo. What does the logo mean, is it supposed to be abstract? I think it looks like a tree, but who knows. The reason these coasters made the list is simple: the logo is awesome. Having guests over? Use these coasters and see what type of discussion they spark.

 

WineX Wine Rack
In typical college student fashion, I like to let people know that I drink- but try not to be annoying about it. The best way to achieve that is by classily displaying my wine selection for all to see. It’s more than that though, the minimalist design really appeals to my taste, while easy storage & assembly is just a bonus.
Alabama Sawyer Wine X Wine Rack

Sputnik Tables
These cute little things are great. This picture reminds me of the dodo birds from Ice Age forming ranks to protect the last watermelon. And with a spacey name like Sputnik, what’s not to love?
Alabama Sawyer Sputnik

Cocktail Cubes with Brass Details
I’m redecorating my room and discovered a fair amount of stuff that would look nice if I had a proper way to display it. The problem is I lack the storage space for all my trinkets, which is where these cocktail cubes come into play. One I use to display my nail polish collection, another I use for movies.

Alabama Sawyer Cocktail Cubes with Brass Details

 

Wide Plank Table on Legacy Base

What can I say. I like minimalism, and this fits the bill. The live edge white oak iteration of this table is especially appealing because of its rustic vibe. Imagine sitting down at this table with your family or spouse after a long day at work.

Alabama Sawyer Wide Plank Base on Legacy Base

Feel free to email us or make a FB post explaining your favorite Alabama Sawyer products (be sure to tag us!) We love hearing from you guys!

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