Remodel Like a Pro

While some things are often described as having a “timeless” quality, it is more often than not that the description only holds weight for so long. Trends have a shelf life and there are few items/looks that can escape that fate. With the change being inevitable, it’s time to remodel. This can easily become an overwhelming process, especially from a financial standpoint. We’re going to go through a few ways that you can save money when you decide those trends have worn their welcome. Continue reading

Why Custom Millwork Still Works for the Home

millworkThere’s a feeling most people get when they walk into a home and the interior is highlighted with wood; from the interior-finish to the decorative highlights, a custom wood highlighted home brings us back to a simpler time, but one of old-school elegance. Custom millwork is still a valued part of most building construction or remodeling projects and Brunsell Lumber prides itself on the custom millwork we create for our clients and have been creating for more than 70 years in Wisconsin! Continue reading

All Decked Out

You might have that pair of jeans you just can’t part with. You know, the ones that are a bit beat up but they’re just so comfortable. There is just too much life left in them it’s hard to justify throwing them away. With a little thread and needle work you may be able to get some more use out of them. Continue reading

A Finishing Touch – The Right Trim

cabinet trim moulding madison wiWithout the right finishing touch things can go downhill in a hurry. This applies to so many things especially when it comes to the trim/ mouldings in your home. Think about it, you’ve put all that effort into selecting the right floor coverings, paint color and what to hang on the walls. With that much time spent planning; you certainly wouldn’t want to botch the whole thing with the wrong trim work. Continue reading

Millwork That’s as Unique as You

custom-millworkEveryone has their own special touch. It makes them stand out amongst the ordinary. That special way they laugh, the way they can brighten a room with their stories, or the way they always make you feel better when you needed it most. You could say we all bring to the table a custom personality. Have you ever been in a home that had a personality you’ve never seen before? Continue reading

The Right Kind of Wood

Deck1-Leesburg-aerial-of-fire-pitTaking advantage of summer and getting outside to work on different projects can be a lot of fun. Just make sure you’re using the right kind of lumber to endure the elements. Brunsell Lumber & Millwork can help you achieve the right look and durability. Let’s review some of the best woods that will ensure you have a sturdy structure for years to come. Continue reading

Built-Ins: Embracing Your Home’s Midwestern Heritage

The Midwest encompasses about a fifth of our nation—ten states full of farmlands and industry. People make a lot of generalizations about us, no matter how big our footprint. Mention Midwestern food, and people think of hot dishes, supper clubs, and the Friday night fish fry. Ask your non-Midwestern friends what the word Midwestern makes them think: Either they’ll bring up folk with funny accents and ear-flap hats, or they’re just being nice.

Photo Credit: The Daily Herald

Photo Credit: The Daily Herald

Many supposedly “Midwestern” things aren’t just Midwestern—tornadoes, casseroles… But Prairie Style architecture isn’t one of them. The style has been borrowed all over the place, but it was born right here on Midwestern soil. It’s decidedly ours. If you live here and don’t own a Prairie Style home, you probably know someone who does.

The Prairie Style home is near and dear to us at Brunsell, because original Prairie Style homes were built during the golden age of millwork. They were born amid a backlash against mass production, when people longed again for handcrafted work. Prairie Style homes also generally tended toward natural materials, which meant a lot of wood (floors, built-in cabinetry, wood casement windows, moldings, etc.).

We believe that a great way to upgrade a Prairie Style home while preserving its design integrity is to add built-ins—a bookcase under a stairway, for example, or a wall unit for your home media items. Built-ins are already a solid part of the established style. And, hey, the world didn’t have TVs, DVD players, and stereo systems at the turn of the 19th century, so it’s your job now to prairie-stylize the way you store and display these modern-day items!

Of course, it’s vitally important that your built-in be designed and crafted true to authentic Prairie Style, including details found carried over from the trim and the molding. No cowboying allowed because harmony of elements is a central idea to the Prairie Style. The minute you add a built-in that isn’t true to the style, you detract from the look and value of your home.

Speaking of which, built-ins done right can really appreciate your home’s value, because they stay with it and add functionality. They also reduce the amount of freestanding furniture needed, which creates an actual or perceived increase in usable square footage.

What would make your Prairie Style home more comfortable or functional? More multimedia storage? Better display space for your dishes? Come talk with us about how we can custom create for you a built-in based update that embraces your Midwestern home’s heritage!

In Praise of Curves

Roundness seems to be a universal human pleasure.”

–Eric Jaffe, for Fastcodesign.com

Marilyn Monroe, Corvettes, the Guggenheim—gentle curves have serious appeal, but so often homeowners don’t think to feature them in the permanent structures in their homes. Think about the woodwork in most homes. From mantels to crown molding and from cabinetry to closet designs, there tends to be a glut of corners and hard angles, more miter-saw work than jigsaw-work. Continue reading

Custom Millwork

When we talk about custom millwork, we don’t just mean the ability to replicate designs found in photographs. Getting Brunsell’s custom cabinetry, stairs, mantels, shelves, furniture, and more does not necessarily require an image grabbed from Pinterest, Houzz, or architectural magazines. In fact, some of our best custom work comes from our designers’ own imaginations. Even better, custom designs can come from client’s imaginations, too.

Custom Millwork

Look at familiar architectural details—fleur de lis finials, for example, or ball-top newel posts on staircases—and consider that there was a time when these designs didn’t exist yet. Because such elements have persisted for generations, it’s easy to forget that they were the product of human creativity. Moreover, it’s easy to forget that new, exciting, and totally unique designs or combinations of designs are still possible.

As much as it’s about exceptional skill and craftsmanship, Brunsell custom millwork is about letting the imagination run wild. It’s about considering what things are possible, maybe even drawing on inspiration from unlikely places like nature or a favorite song, and creating something truly unique for your home. Truly, it’s an art!

Brunsell woodworkers are able to produce custom orders both from hand drawings and CAD, or computer-aided design. We wouldn’t recommend bringing in a drawing on a cocktail napkin, but hey, that could be a start. We do recommend giving from-scratch custom millwork a shot, especially if you’re constructing a home or business from the ground up. (In older structures, it’s often wise to do with designs that honor the architectural style or period original to the home. And we can customize solutions for that, too.)

So, what’s the next big thing? Maybe it’s something from your imagination!

Heavenly Doors: Why Custom Doors Are Worth It

High-quality doors add value and beauty to a home, last longer, and can reduce sound-seepage. They look good, feel good. As long as you’re going to invest in them, you might want to consider customization. A custom door can be made to fit not only any size opening but also so many shapes—while incorporating pleasing touches like arches, angles, and glass inserts.

One Size Does Not Fit All

One hang-up people tend to have when considering the doors for their home is the assumption they have to stick with a standard size, especially for interior doors. But you’re bound to those dimensions only when you buy off-the-shelf doors. With handmade doors you can go big, really big. You can also opt for doors that slide open, barn-door style, rather than swing open. Or you can go for the arched look that adds height and drama. A door that colors outside the lines in these ways adds instant drama.

The Devil Is in the Details

With custom doors, you also get select hinges, decorative nails (aka, clavos), knobs, and pulls. You’d be surprised what a difference this hardware makes. Basically, you treat the door like a canvas, and the result is a work of art.

Durability by Design

We handcraft the rails and stiles for our doors with materials and techniques that prevent warping. The jambs are just as important, framing and complementing the door and taking a lot of wear and tear, so we put just as much energy into crafting them with style and durability.

Changing the Tone of Your Home or Room

You can select from single-species or multiple-species wood design as well as a variety of hand-applied finishes. Working with these variables, you can easily warm up or cool down a room. (Note that not all wood species work well together, but our designers offer great guidance in selecting combos.)

A Touch of Glass

Adding clear glass adds sophistication, imparting a sense of space, openness, and accessibility. If preferred, textured/art glass can be used to allow in light and create warmth without sacrificing privacy. Again, think of the door as a canvas.

Brunsell Lumber - Custom Doors

The doors to your home, and to the rooms in your home, set the tone for what lies beyond them. They are the perfect opportunity to make a style statement. Whether from scratch or from inspirational photos/drawings you bring to us, we can design a just-right door for you that has both a pleasing look and pleasing feel. Forget run-of-the-mill doors and try custom milled doors instead!