BSW Timber’s tongue and groove boards have proved to be a hit both indoor and outdoor at the Kiln in Ouseburn, Newcastle.
Typically a landscaping or agricultural product, tongue and groove was used to create bars, tables, benches and planters at the quirky spot by the Quayside.
A Mediterranean street food café crossed with a contemporary ceramic studio, Kiln sits in an industrial location and lends itself to the aesthetics of timber.
The café’s co-owner, Geffen Yoeli-Rimmer, said: “We discussed many designs when we were planning the space and ultimately settled on the wood as we felt that it gave a nice balance to the space.
“The unit is very industrial with metal girders and concrete floors – so having an organic material like timber offsets some of the harshness and gives the room a really nice warmth.
“We wanted to create a cosy space that people felt comfortable and relaxed in – essentially somewhere you could settle into and hang out in for an afternoon.”
Built from scratch by Geffen and co-owner Richard, who is also her partner, Kiln was partly inspired by their differing heritages and love for food.
The couple fitted everything themselves – from the door at the front to the glass partition at the back and everything in between – and this was described by Geffen as a “long and arduous” process.
Using timber, though, made things easier. Geffen said: “The timber was easy to use. It has a high-quality finish – so when we were building the bar and tables the boards slotted into space well.
“I like the fact it’s an organic product and the finished look is smooth and neat but not too polished.”
She added: “Using the timber to build planters and outdoor seating in our garden has worked particularly well as it makes the garden a coherently beautiful space that matches the interior.
“It has helped to transform what was quite a grubby yard into an oasis of nature in an otherwise busy industrial part of the city!”
Kiln creates tableware for restaurants and uses its café as a live showroom, which forms an exciting multisensory experience for its growing customer base.
The appearance of the timber echoes that of the clay used in the studio in the sense that it’s natural and unique – and Geffen believes this is more interesting on the eye.
“The larch is both contemporary and timeless, making the bar feel modern but also familiar and comforting. This is exactly the effect we hope to achieve with our pots too,” said Geffen.
“I would definitely recommend being creative when it comes to using the timber. Our customers have appreciated the innovation and quirkiness of our aesthetic.
“Deciding to build with timber not only reduced waste but also added another interesting handmade product to our space, emphasising yet again the importance and beauty of craft.”