KELOWNA, BRITISH COLUMBIA - When Kelowna woodworker Will Brundula began his apprenticeship in his father’s shop, he likened the work to not only a trade but also an art. Over a decade and hundreds of custom millwork designs later, Brundula sees woodworking a little differently.
“I do think of it as art. Absolutely,” says Brundula, the head of Heartland Millworks and the mind behind some of its most talked-about specialized woodworking projects—from the 22-foot table at RauDZ Regional Table to the floor-to-ceiling woodwork renovation at Brandt’s Creek Pub & Liquor Store. “Painters have tools and materials and they have to decide how to put them on a cloth. We’ve got tools and materials, and our cloth is a house.”
Brundula is like any artist: He lives for blank canvasses. Take for example the multi-million dollar home where a couple gave him “free reins” to create the custom furniture for their bedroom. The result was a stunning walnut and leather canopy bed punctuated by nightstands of walnut burl.
“I got to just sit in the dark and dream it up,” says Brundula, who finds his creative mind delivers the best woodworking designs at the end of the day. “I’ve literally gone and sat on the couch, turned off the lights, and just started looking in my head.”
The design for the 20-foot table, which now seats diners at RauDZ Regional Table, evolved out of little more than the owner’s desire for something big and rustic. “You really just build something in your head and then go to the shop and see how you can do it mechanically.”
The now famous RauDZ table, made from reclaimed wood, is a mechanical marvel among Kelowna fine woodworking designs. The table has only two legs, and no nails or glue. Six men once stood on it and tried to get it to shake or sag and couldn’t. That was just after figuring out how to get it through the door to install it without breaking a wall.
After building works from scratch in the shop, there’s often an installation challenge Heartland has to overcome. At Brandt’s Creek Pub & Liquor Store, the owners were able to stay open and serve customers on a temporary bar top built by Brundula. Meanwhile, his Kelowna millwork team stripped, sanded, finished and then installed the new rounded bar top. The signature piece convinced the owners to take on the rest of the bar, once fitted with cabinets by Brundula’s father, and even the liquor store.
“Everything seemed to flow from there,” says Brundula, whose woodworking designs now encase an ice cooler, spirits in glass cabinets, and the till so the store’s cabinetry is seamless.
Heartland Millworks has been designing custom woodworking projects in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and all throughout the Okanagan since 1972. In addition to high-end millwork and custom cabinets for offices, kitchens, bedrooms, wall units, doors, trim, and moulding, Heartland offers complete refinishing solutions for the home and business.
For more information, please contact:
Will Brundula, Owner
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