With its twisted and sometimes knotty appearance, Mesquite wood is full of character, and about as organic as it gets. It's one of the most beautiful woods, creating masterpieces of solid furniture. Indigenous to the Sonoran desert, the Mesquite tree, which can grow majestically or resemble a shrub, symbolizes the Southwest like scorpions and salsa.
Arizonans embracing this rustic look, turn to Mesquite furniture to get into the spirit of bringing the great outdoors in. "It's a timeless style and can warm up any living space," says La Casona Owner Jose Elias.
Elias, originally a financial administrator, came upon Mesquite furniture in Mexico some 19 years ago. He says he immediately appreciated the uniqueness and beauty of the lumber, and became excited to bring this artful furniture to the Valley.
"I saw some of the furniture, and I saw the potential and prices," he says. "And I thought, I could make this same pieces but with better quality. He advises any home owner in the market for Mesquite to verify that the wood is dried properly.
"Improper drying techniques can cause the furniture to crack, split and warp," says Elias."Our supplier from Mexico, uses a technique called 'kiln drying,' to make sure the humidity level within the wood is correct. And when done correctly the wood becomes some of the most stable lumber you can purchase."When Elias first opened in 1997, he simply supplied existing furniture stores with his styles. In 2000, he and wife Christina, an interior designer, decided to open their first showroom, bringing custom options directly to the customer. They also have a design factory in the United States where imported wood is handcrafted into exquisite furniture.
"It's exciting because we're growing and we're able to work directly with clients to help them design one-of-a-kind custom pieces in whatever dimensions they need to fit their home." Some of the custom work includes designing inlays with different materials, such as copper and turquoise. Even though custom dining room tables is still one of Elias' best selling items, he says, "our artisans at La Casona can also hand-craft furniture from Knotty Alder and other fine woods for chairs, armoires, bar stools and more, to fit any space in your home."
As the trend for rustic furniture continues, Elias says he can "make to order" almost any furniture piece with reasonable delivery times. "We're never too busy to put a rush on an order and get it delivered within six weeks or less," he says. "All we want to do is help our customers make their house feel more like home."
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