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Finely crafted solid timber adds luxury and refinement

There’s pleasure in appreciating the craft of beautiful, handmade natural products and this delight lies at the success of the renovation of the Bankside Bar and Lounge at the Northern Club in Auckland City, anchored by the fine solid timber work done by The Woodsmiths.

The elegant bar and intricate wall units which underpin the rest of the richly crafted interiors in the bar, have helped create an extraordinary environment for one the most prestigious dining rooms and bars in the city. Moreover, it is central to the modernisation of a 150-year-old club that is the second home to high-flying Auckland-based professionals who make up its discerning members—a modernisation that still recalls the traditions and longevity of the ‘city club’.

Cabinetmakers looking for specialists to fabricate exclusive solid timber creations inevitably turn to the experts—The Woodsmiths—who have been fashioning handmade, bespoke solid wood projects like this for over 30 years and the skill they’ve developed over that time has never been on display as effectively as it is here.

The Woodsmiths’ GM, Daryl Boakes, says the popularity of timber is due to how it resonates with people—its natural warmth and character speaks directly to our sense of wellbeing and comfort. Each piece is unique in colour and grain and, when combined, the effect is one of depth and character that creates a greater whole from the sum of the parts and speaks directly from the value of handmade, natural products.

“Realising an architect’s vision can be hard,” says Daryl. “The dowel work on the doors here is actually quite tricky—round dowels need channels to be fixed into, requiring careful measurements to ensure consistency—and isn’t easy to make, but we have a team that’s really committed to excellence and I have to say they’ve just done an exquisitely crafted job.”

Doors featuring dowels like this are a traditional design not often seen these days and certainly not in New Zealand but they perfectly illustrate the outstanding skills of The Woodsmiths’ team of craftspeople.

Alongside the cabinets sits the main bar, beautifully shaped and finished with brass cornices that add a finely detailed flourish. At just 30mm thick, the bartop seemingly floats above highly mirrored brass front, adding to the sense of refinement and tradition but in a marvellously modern interpretation.

The Bankside project was completed using American oak and walnut, currently the Woodsmiths’ clients’ most popular choices, but there are 34 different timbers they work with, providing an enormous range of finishes, colours and grains. These timbers can also be matched to existing native timber flooring in residential spaces.

Daryl says their work with architects, interior designers and cabinetmakers generally follows a similar pattern—the designer specifies the design and The Woodsmiths bring it to life—but often they’ll collaborate if a particular project requires their expertise.

The hardwood timbers that The Wordsmiths use are both extremely strong and durable and also sustainably sourced—something more and more people are becoming concerned with. The strength also increases design parameters—here seen in the relative ‘lightness’ of the bartop.

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About the

The WOODSMITHS you probably already know. Over a quarter of a century dedicated to enduring solid wood craftsmanship has made our badge synonymous with luxury and bespoke excellence. Work that can be seen in the homes, kitchens and industry throughout New Zealand.

Solid Wood Bench Tops have been a part of this. Timber Bench Tops crafted to customers designs, colours, timbers and finishes. All featuring the generous and extensive WOODSMITHS warranties. 

Our products are not mass-produced. Each piece is individually handcrafted. We enjoy working with customers to design solid wood benchtops and other solid wood products that are unique and functional. We are committed to the highest quality of craftsmanship and take pride in each piece we make.