Wednesday, January 4, 2012

English Country Pine & Design provides custom kitchen cabinets, tables & chairs, Traditional & Country Design Furniture, Remodeling and Woodworking in Marin County.

English Country Design was established in 1986 by John Varney, an English Craftsman and Designer with patience and an eye for detail.

In the well-equipped workshop everything from a coffee table to a large kitchen job flows with ease and confidence. A separate building for finishing offers a dust free environment for a variety of eco-friendly finishes.

The showroom is a perfect designing space loaded with samples of wood, hardware, moulding, colors, etc. and lots of pictures to aid in the designing process.

In the showroom you can also purchase:

• Fiddles furniture wax

• Rocky Mountain Hardware

• Sun Mountain Doors

• Michigan Maple Butcher Block tops

• Spekva Scandinavian countertops

• Raymond Enkeboll carvings

• Shaw farm house sinks

• Rohl taps and faucets

Wood Choices

Pine, cherry, oak, maple, alder, teak, mahogany... Don’t be overwhelmed. As you see what you don’t care for, it becomes clearer what you do like. You seek can advise on the pros and cons of different wood species and show you an array of color samples. The showroom is a wonderful and vital aid in assisting with the design process and our multitude of samples are available to be taken home so you can be sure of your selection.


Designing is John’s strong point. With over 25 years of experience, a trained eye, and a good ear, John first listens to your needs then puts pen to paper and starts to sketch for you. Combining this art with examples in the showroom and a myriad of wonderful photographs your idea becomes a reality. John has lectured for the A.S.I.D. on furniture design addressing how to incorporate modern technologies into a traditional design. He’s also a problem solver for those awkward spaces and can always find the perfect balance between function and aesthetic.

Reclaimed Lumber

Typically, reclaimed timber is obtained from the roof joist or flooring of old buildings which are scheduled to be torn down. Although reclaimed timber is usually more expensive than new wood, its rich character and proven quality make it an attractive choice for the discerning furniture buyer.

By the time it reaches your home, reclaimed timber will have endured decades, if not centuries, of seasoning. Its low moisture content and tight grain make reclaimed timber much more resistant to cupping, cracking, curling, splitting, or twisting than new wood.

Reclaimed timber is available in a wide variety of colors and grain patterns. Every piece is unique in its character, often bearing subtle signs of previous use, and can add instant atmosphere to any room in your home or office. At English Country Design, you can personally select the degree of distressing to best suit your taste.

Lastly, by choosing to have your furniture built with reclaimed timber, you will contribute to saving our old growth forests.

Pine Furniture

Antique pine furniture, as we know it today started in popularity in the late 1960's. Young homemakers not wanting the mass produced melamine cheap furniture turned to the auction rooms and secondhand furniture stores for the old pine furniture that had survived from the previous century. Often covered in many coats of paint, a chest of drawers was a bargain at $10.

First they would strip their newly acquired antique down to bare wood, then polish with Briwax, an inexpensive wax polish with a light brown color and this was the birth of STRIPPED PINE FURNITURE, later to be labeled country pine furniture. The antique trade at the time disowned it, considering it junk furniture and not a fine hardwood antique.

Little did they know because over the following 30 years it grew in popularity and prices rose dramatically and a new cottage industry was born. That $10 chest of drawers would sell for $500 in the 90's.

In England a dresser (or hutch as it's called in America) will differ in style depending on the region of its construction, and named after that region i.e. Cornish dresser, Irish dresser, Welsh dresser, Lincolnshire dresser, Scottish dresser.

Differences may at first appear subtle but once one knows what to look for it becomes obvious, much like seeing a Mercedes, BMW, or Jaguar without the emblem, one would still be able to identify it.

Throughout Britain people were stripping their interior room doors and adding a wax finish as most houses have interior wood work of pine. Still to this day watch and English movie and note the pine doors and pine kitchen furniture.

Visit to see our sample designs. Hours is by appointment only please call first (415) 382 1952 to book for appointment.

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