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Shop Small and Find Unique Items Not Found in Big Box Stores.

Updated: Feb 13, 2022

Lately, it has been surreal going into stores and not being able to buy what you want. The last two years have definitely been a challenge for retailers and consumers alike. According to Esben Poulsson, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, the worst is over for the global supply chain, but due to shipping delays, we are not out of the woods.

Nearly every industry, in some way or other, is feeling the effects. A recent article from NBC News pointed out that it’s not just the microchips and metal that are issues. Glass for specialty bottles, rubber for tires, and plastics are just a few supplies that are not being received due to shipping issues.

It’s interesting to see the resourcefulness of the American people and how these issues have not stopped us from enjoying life. Instead, it has caused many of us to pivot. Home Decor Trends in 2022 are leaning heavily toward reusing, repurposing, and handmade goods. None of which are found at a big box store. Instead, shopping at local boutiques, such as House Counsel, not only gives you unique specialty pieces but tailored service that can’t be found by pointing and clicking on that big online store with a Smile Logo.

Reusing and Repurposing

Oh my, do I love a good hunt! Finding that perfect flea market or antique mall is a small joy in my life. I haven't spent much time buying an old piece of furniture and repurposing it, but there are some fantastic craftsmen out there that are experts at making that old piece new again. People like Andrea from DIY Wife make repurposing furniture look effortless. The other day, my conversation with Jeannie, owner of House Counsel, turned to her struggle getting furniture for her interior design clients. She said in some cases, pieces are more than half a year out for delivery. Reusing and Repurposing opens up a world of possibility that otherwise would leave a big empty space in your home as you wait for your order to come in.

At Black Dog Urban Artistry, we love to repurpose reclaimed wood and old pieces of metal. Like the barnwood we found at Camp Flea In Ozark, Missouri. That dusty, aging and forgotten piece of wood became two whiskey trays.

Not only is reusing and repurposing a way to step around the shipping issues we are currently facing, but it is also eco-friendly by keeping these unwanted, unloved pieces out of the landfill and revived to be loved again.


Now we’re talking! I am happiest when I am in the woods or making something by hand. I know handmade items are not cheap, but quality never is. Can we all agree that we all want that unique piece that can not be found in your neighbor's house? I want my guests to walk in and see a reflection of me. Our clients are the same way - wanting to have that unique piece that can’t be found in anyone else’s space.

When we make a piece, we take special care to find the perfect cut of wood, plan out the final piece and make it unique regardless of how many we are making.

For instance, when we make our handmade charcuterie boards and cheese boards, we start with a trip to the mill to find the perfect cut of wood. We carefully search through the wood choices, looking for the ideal grain pattern, shape, size, and unique characteristics.

Once we find the perfect board, we divide it out based on the characteristics of the wood. Is there a knot we want to keep? Is there a live edge we can make beautiful? Due to the uniqueness of every cut of wood, our boards are not all the same size. The wood itself determines size. We even tag each board with a number. This number tells you how many pieces came from that one cut of wood.

After cutting each piece to size, we then find the perfect placement for the handle. Again this is determined by the wood more than by us. We consider how the rest of the board is taking shape and place the handle based on the perfect esthetic balance.

Once the board takes shape and is sanded six times, the new charcuterie board is sealed with an all-natural cutting board oil and food-safe cutting board wax. This is to seal in the wood's natural beauty and ensure the board will hold up to whatever you place on it.

Detail like this only comes from a handcrafted item. Mass-produced items made from cheap materials, being kicked off an assembly line ,will never have the same character.

My Challenge to You

We are not the only craftsmen around. Our style may not fit your style, but I guarantee there IS someone out there who DOES match your style.

Today I challenge you to step around the supply chain, to step around the status quo, to step around what your neighbor might have, and find that unique piece that fits you. Whether it is reused, repurposed, or handcrafted, you will be sure to receive an item that you can love for years to come.

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