GOOD VIBRATIONS: LOCAL #UPCYCLING FURNITURE DESIGNER
Brian Sienkiewicz says he can’t sit still and I believe him. He’s a creative and thoughtful guy.
Looking around his apartment it’s obvious his brain is always working. His surfboard is leaning against the wall, his computer is powered up on the couch and a shelf holds every toy and leash imaginable for his beautiful rescue dog Gypsy.
In a far corner near the door to the balcony is the headquarters of his new endeavor – Wood Vibrations Restorations, a reclaimed wood furniture business.
What began a few months ago as a creative outlet-type hobby, designing and building home décor from the beautiful old wood he found on home renovation sites around the area, has become an in-demand design aesthetic.
Sienkiewicz has cultivated an affordable style that uniquely unpolished and imperfectly perfect. I can see his raw pieces featured in the Anthropologie catalog or on HGTV. Nate Berkus would use his reclaimed shutter side table as an accent piece to soften a room filled with sleek contemporary furniture or Sienkiewicz’s upcycled five-panel door wall organizer in a heritage-style family kitchen.
I spoke with Sienkiewicz, Asbury Park resident, and his “director of design” rescue dog Gypsy last week.
TBP: Your brain sees objects in a repurposed way.
Sienkiewicz: I have always had a vivid imagination and liked to take things apart and put them back together and I always keep moving. Furniture design is new to me but it seems like it was mean to be.
I was walking through the Brooklyn Flea Market earlier this year and thought all the handmade pieces were so cool. Soon after, my brother moved to New York and gave me all his building tools. And then a friend in construction told me about all these great, old doors that were going to be thrown out during a renovation of a mansion. So I started making furniture for myself – tables, wine holders, shelving. Then, my friends started to ask me to make things for them. It just snowballed from there.
This summer I sold pieces at the Asbury Fresh Farmer’s Market. The response was great – I started getting commissioned requests.
Now, Gypsy and I spend my nights and every Saturday building the furniture.
TBP: What are your plans for the pile of wood on the balcony?
Sienkiewicz: My step father was always making something in the garage as I was growing up. He taught me basic cuts and how to use the tools. Also, I had this art teacher, Mr. Johnson at Middletown North High School. He was so cool. He had a pipe and Foo Man Choo mustache. Mr. Johnson was always teaching us about creating organically – from the inside – instead of planning everything out.
So I collect the wood and wait for inspiration, or a commission from someone. I like it when things evolve. I have a bunch of old beautiful windows that I am waiting to make something great with.
My favorite pieces are every piece when I finish it. Building this furniture is just like surfing for me – every time I catch a new wave it’s the best wave of my life. If I had to choose right now, I love the window shutter cocktail tables with storage and the cocktail table made from a reclaimed pallet and painted with the British Union Flag.
Customers like the cocktail table as well because of the storage. I am also getting a lot of requests for the chalkboard wall hanging and coat racks.
When I work, Gypsy zips in and out of the house. She chews on my tools but never on the furniture. She knows what puts the biscuits in the bowl!
Saturday (Sept. 27), Sienkiewicz (sans Gypsy) will be selling his pieces at the Fall Bazaar in the Grand Arcade on the Asbury Park Boardwalk: noon to 5 pm. Like Wood Vibrations Restorations on Facebook for photos and updates.