My gift for Orlando each Christmas is always a tricky thing to nail down. He’s impossible to buy for, and he either wants socks or a Maserati. There is no in between in terms of price points. This year we’re also staying home for the holidays for the first time in several years, so I was excited to brainstorm a gift that would tie into waking up on Christmas morning in our own casa. Enter Urban Tree Co. Husband and wife team Scott and Jenni have been friends of mine for a few years now, and in my professional opinion they are one of the coolest couples to ever exist. They run their business as a simultaneous tree service and wood shop, salvaging the wood from their tree care projects and transforming them into beautiful works of art for your home, your kitchen, and so much more.
When I shared a few months back that Orlando and I had finally invested in a new bed (with all the bells and whistles like the senior citizens we are), Scott immediately messaged me on Instagram that they could whip up a super cool headboard for us. A custom wooden headboard?! My brain immediately started churning with all the ideas, particularly since I grew up with a Dad who owned a metal and woodworking business for a few years. He made custom pieces for my mom all the time that still live rent-free in my mind to this day.
The tricky part, however, was going to be how to make this headboard modern and cool, not stuffy and traditional. Orlando and I have pretty minimal/modern style, but we’re always trying to fit that into the context of our Texas Hill Country home. It’s a challenge, and you might remember we struggled with it a bit when we worked with O’Krent’s to remodel our hardwood floors as well! The good news is Scott and Jenni have their incredible wood shop and lumber yard just a short drive away, so I headed up to see what my options were for Orlando’s gift.
When I pulled up to the shop, the smell of cedar wafted to my car, and I stepped into the shop to find a whole smorgasbord of projects underway. The sheer variety of products that Jenni and her team are able to make is staggering and impressively creative. Everything from cutting boards, to spoons, to candle holders, to tables and mirrors. They can do large scale furniture or art pieces, down to tiny chopsticks. As we perused the selection it quickly became evident that I liked the darker tones of wood, with less red in them. We also decided that a live edge (meaning they leave the wood with its natural curves and shape at the end) would have a more contemporary and unique feel that a standard square headboard.
Because of the live edge concept, we stepped out into the sunshine to visit a large root ball the Urban Tree Co. had just harvested a few months prior to my visit. It was enormous, but immediately I could picture how cool the twists and turns would look atop our bed. The final decision to be made was the sizing. Jenni and Scott had the brilliant recommendation to mark off our bedroom wall with painter’s tape to really get a good feel for how the headboard would feel in our room and in comparison to the bed itself. With this being such a big statement piece I REALLY didn’t want it to overwhelm everything or feel too “Game Of Thrones”, so that helped me visualize the scale immensely. I then measured the dimensions with a tape measurer, sent that off to Jenni and Scott, and they had everything they needed to get started!
We’re going to take you on this journey with us leading up to the big reveal, and I can’t wait to share it with you! Next week we’ll show you behind the scenes of the process to make our headboard, and I’m so thrilled that it will have such a fascinating story behind it. You can’t get that at IKEA! This is going to be one of the coolest gifts I’ve ever given Orlando, and hopefully a family heirloom that will last for generations, so stay tuned!
P.S. We’re partnering with Urban Tree Co. to bring you this series, so please support them if you’re on the hunt for unique, locally made gifts this holiday season. They’ve got anything you could want, and if they don’t have it in stock, they can make it!