Larry Cromie, owner of The Rustic Cottage, is seen inside the showroom with some of the pieces he created using reclaimed barn wood.   Thompson Goddard Photo

AVONMORE – Avonmore resident Larry Cromie has built on the skills he learned as a teenager from his grandfather and provides clients with a variety of one-of-a-kind furniture and décor items. He opened The Rustic Cottage in May 2022, which provides Cromie with a location to showcase the pieces he creates in his workshop.

“New pieces are made with reclaimed old barn wood,” explained Cromie as he described the pieces currently on display in the showroom.  He indicated how all of his pieces are now created from reclaimed barn wood which is purchased locally.  The name for his showroom provides a link to the past when Cromie learned, nearly 50 years ago, his woodworking skills as he worked alongside his grandfather in nearby Newington.

With each piece being unique, he described the creative process when building a nightstand. The first step is carefully selecting the wood to be used, paying special attention to the character, patina and structural integrity of the wood.  The different parts of the piece are cut out and lightly sanded to ensure the integrity of the patina and its rustic character.

The next step is to construct the legs which are then attached to the table apron.  The table apron serves to connect the legs while supporting the top. After adding the top and the lower shelf, the piece is given a final light sanding and finished with three or four coats of Varathane, with time between coats for drying.

This process can take up to two days to complete, with Cromie explaining that for larger or more detailed pieces the production time is longer.  Free delivery is provided within a radius of 80 kilometers to the business.

“I truly enjoy creating unique furniture pieces from beautiful old barn wood, and the freedom I have to be creative,” said Cromie, pointing out how he seeks to build solid furniture at a reasonable price. He noted that all pieces are created in his nearby workshop adjacent to the storage area on site.

One of the challenges he has had to overcome when beginning this small business was how to let the public know of his work.  This has been addressed several ways including the use of social media and continuing to provide clients with quality items.

When asked about providing advice to those thinking of starting a small business, Cromie mentioned it is important to “find out what you are passionate about and pursue that dream,” as well as being patient as things take time, suggesting that if you stay focused on your passion, success will follow in due time.

Looking towards the future, Cromie mentioned he is planning some renovations to the interior of his showroom to create a warm and inviting place for people to see the pieces he has created.

The Rustic Cottage is located at 3224 Main Street in Avonmore, where Cedar Barn Homestead is located and operated by his wife Hugette Cromie. More information is available on his Facebook page.

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