It only takes a couple days to make a table. It takes longer to apply the finish.
Steve Peters works with wood, but he does not consider himself a woodworker. Instead of using new wood to design flawless furniture, Steve favors old, antique wood. Sometimes his wood comes from an old home after it has been torn down. A greener way to build things, he told us, and more beautiful. Where other woodworkers see scraps, he sees history, character, beauty.
People come to Steve “looking for the imperfect,” which has been a trend for a while. “I don’t want any of that shiny finish,” he often hears. And the collaboration begins. He enjoys having clients who come in with ideas, then coming up with a plan to bring their vision to life. “I’m more interested in the people who like more visual variety and multitude of textures and colors,” he told us.
Steve’s passion for designing furniture flows from his artistic, aesthetic side. His pieces are not highly engineered or complicated, he said. That isn’t the point. He wants his furniture to be beautiful. “To feel like a warm presence,” he said. And he has been successful in this feat. From Bulldega to Mateo, many shops and restaurants in Durham showcase his doors, counters, tables, palette walls, and more.
On any given day, walk by Peters Design Works on Parrish Street, and you might see a cloud of dust lit by sunbeams. You might hear the inevitable drum of hammers; smell the aroma of stain. It’s not what might come to mind when you envision ‘art,’ but art it is, no less.
Co-Written & Produced with Chelsey Griffith