What do you get when you combine an old soul with new ideas? Eclecticasa!
Photography by EE Berger
When Laura Scaccia first saw of one of her friend’s handcrafted and uniquely handsome cutting boards — one that had been produced by the Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit (ASWD) — she immediately thought, “That would make the coolest table!”
And when she learned that the board had been made from the wood of lovingly-de-constructed Detroit homes, she knew she had to add a “Detroit Collection” of tables to her company’s repertoire of tables. Based in Marine City, Scaccia’s Eclecticasa first came on the scene with a group of tables made from discarded and rescued stained-glass windows and doors from old mansions. (Her stained-glass beauties make up Eclecticasa’s main collection, which she has been creating since she began her company two years ago.)
Soon after seeing her friend’s cutting board, Scaccia, of Troy, approached ASWD executive director Chris Rutherford about her idea for a “Detroit Collection” using ASWD’s repurposed wood. Rutherford was totally on board.
“I was very excited to work with Laura on this,” Rutherford says. “In addition to creating jobs in woodworking and building skills, a main part of our mission is to divert waste and celebrate Detroit’s raw materials and heritage (see more of ASWD’s contributions in this issue’s At Work feature). Now, the trees and forests that once covered Michigan are given another life, including through the ‘Detroit Collection’ tables that we help Laura produce.”
The Art of Wood, Glass, & Metal: Turning out gorgeous tables — as well as practical pieces — includes (from left to right) designer Laura Scaccia’s stained-glass discoveries, removed from Cincinnati homes that have been demolished; working with salvaged wood — from ASWD — that eventually becomes an unusual tabletop pattern; and refinishing various pieces that can be turned into vintage table bases and legs, such as a Sears Roebuck and Co. sewing machine (the base now is part of one of Scaccia’s “Detroit Collection” accent tables). “I refinished that metal in a way that allows for the natural patina to show through,” Scaccia explains.
Left: ASWD's Jonathan Meyers and Chris Rutherford, with designer Laura Scaccia. Right: Salvaged wood
The finished table wood — from deconstructed Detroit homes — is about 2 inches thick and has been planed, sanded, cut, and fused together. The result is an intricate, geometric pattern. Scaccia then uses reclaimed industrial legs and pedestals, as well as antique legs, to pair with the tabletops for the unique urban coffee, console, end, and accent tables. Each table is stamped with the address of the home from which its wood was retrieved.
A determined, self-admited out-of-the-box thinker, Scaccia has a natural eye for color and fashion. “My career background was in business,” she says, “but through many years, I also got deeply involved with repainted furniture, explored faux and other décor finishes, and have overseen the complete renovations of several homes, including one turn-of-the-century project. I love saving old, authentic items and taking a bit of the past into the present and future.” The entrepreneur also incorporates her own Italian roots into her business. Eclecticasa combines the words eclectic and “casa,” which means house in Italian, and each of her tables is indeed eclectic.
“I fell in love with the stained-glass ‘Mare (The Sea)’ tabletop,” customer Sue Lauzon says, “but my house is mid-century, with a modern design, and I wasn’t sure it would work.” Then Scaccia and one of her fine-furniture carpenters came through in flying colors. “They crafted the most beautiful, modern frame for it, including back-lighting (to truly allow the stained glass to shine).”
Eclecticasa’s Marine City locale personifies the company’s mission. Scaccia and business associate Gary Kohs have “reclaimed, re-purposed, and recreated” an old theater, which recently became the home of Eclecticasa and Koh’s business, Fine Art Models.
With an eye for beauty and craftsmanship, and the tireless zeal of a treasure hunter, Scaccia isn’t only keeping landfills less full; she’s creating unique tables that are truly from Detroit’s roots.
For more information, visit eclecticasa.com.