My mother called me the other day to inform me that a show on HDTV was being shot in Denver and they were using beetle-kill wood in the house remodel. This was a reminder that to those living outside of Colorado, beetle-kill wood may still seem somewhat exotic, but to those of us who have witnesses the death of millions of trees here in the Rockies, it represents more than a unique type of interior design material.
I’ll never forget when I first learned how prevalent and dangerous pine beetles could be. We were visiting Ryan’s uncle's home in the Pole Creek Golf Course area just outside of Winter Park. During our visit they were spraying trees and having some removed, due to the fire danger these dead or dying trees were posing to the neighborhood.
Ryan’s been using beetle-kill for many years now, and while others just saw it as good for trim and rough-hewn log cabin furniture, Ryan saw its potential for use in high-end furniture design.
He even started a product line called INSPIRO. These designs, all built using beetle-kill wood, have a slightly lower price point then some of Ryan's catalog pieces. The clean and simple lines are contemporary and the finishes accentuate the uniqueness of the beetle-kill wood.
Here are a few pieces Ryan’s designed and manufactured over the years using Colorado beetle-kill, also known as blue-stained pine:
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture, Inc. She is also a full-time freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com.