Meaningful Mantles

A fireplace mantel is not just an important piece for your home aesthetically. Yes, it can help to set a tone and may be the most looked at piece of wood in your home, however,  it can also serve as a sort of modern shrine to your family, holding treasures and pictures of your loved ones. It’s a place for stockings to be hung and the classic picture is taken. Many of our customers feel overwhelmed in the search for the perfect mantel, searching for hours through every board we have. We’re hoping to help guide you through the options here and save you some time and energy. 

We offer not only old hand-hewn beams and reclaimed joists but new wood mantles as well.

Here are a few examples of reclaimed hand-hewn beam mantles. The rough-cut wood texture adds a warm inviting feeling to your home and that sense of age… and an authentic reclaimed beam has a story.

Below are examples of a reclaimed joist mantle.

With a slimmer profile, a reclaimed joist is the supporter and not the star. The joist is a beautiful piece of reclaimed wood and will add that rustic element and warmth to the fireplace without stealing the show.

Beams and joists can be purchased straight out of the barn with dirt and hay included or we can do the work to prepare it, cut it to size, and coat it. Please keep in mind that when we make new cuts into reclaimed wood the texture and color will be different. We can blend the new cuts with the old within reason.

For coatings, we offer VOC free oil, polyurethane, and fire retardants.

We can also join pieces together to make wider mantles…

Is your style more classic? We can mill you a quarter sawn oak mantel. Or paint grade wood with historic details. What many people don’t know about us is that Excelsior Wood Products began by producing architectural millwork. We still produce the finest custom moldings.

We can match almost any existing molding for historic reproductions, as we meticulously grind our own tooling in house.

So whether you are looking for rustic or refined or we can use new wood to make something that fits your style.

Perhaps a more organic form is what you are looking for. A live-edge mantle that focuses on the natural shape of the wood and creates a sculptural effect along the front edge of the mantel would be a fabulous choice.

We'd love to move forward as quickly as possible with your project .... So here's some things to consider:

  1. Dimensions (thickness x width x length)
  2. New or Reclaimed
  3. Style – Classic, rustic, contemporary, transitional
  4. Species of wood
  5. Texture
  6. Pre-coated or un-coated
  7. Lead time

You can find more inspiration and glean some more modern ideas for mantles on our Pinterest board Fireplace Mantles

So whatever style you choose… remember… A mantle may just be one piece of wood, but it’s an important one. So whether you are looking for something New or Reclaimed, let us help!

white kichen with wood accents

Let’s Shelf it!

You have stuff.

Perhaps your autographed framed print of Barry Manilow needs a permanent home. I know mine does!

Put your stuff on our shelves.

They are so pretty and much less expensive than cabinets.

Here are some things to consider…

Think about how you will use them.

Recently a customer increased the depth of his shelves a bit so he could fit two bottles of Tito’s vodka instead of one. Way to think ahead!

Most shelves we make are between 1″ – 2″ thick x 8″ -12″ deep x 2′ – 8′ long.
Depending upon the depth they may be one board piece or… 2 or more where we have to do a glue-up.

Glue-up & Clamping

Keep in mind, that we can make any size within reason.

We can make shelves in just about any new native species like white oak, red oak, walnut or maple. The sky is pretty much the limit with new wood. There are many options available between the species of wood and the thickness and the coating you chose.

The shelves below are white oak. New. Fresh. Contemporary.

Photo: Chestnut Street Design & Construction, Inc.

We offer reclaimed wood shelves in mixed softwoods, heart pine, redwood and oak when available.

Milling Options
We mill one edge straight so they fit nicely against the wall.
The edges will be square and slightly eased so they aren’t too sharp.
There are a few styles we can make using reclaimed wood.

white kitchen with wood accents
Photo: The Farmhouse Project

Reclaimed Shelves with old-face.

Old face top and front edge, new-face on bottom. Please note this is flip-able.

With new-face reclaimed wood, we carefully remove the original surface of the wood to expose the fresh wood underneath. The evidence of reclamation including nail holes, areas of beautiful patina, and gorgeous grain pattern still tell a story with history. It is cleaned-up:)

Here’s an example of old edge, new face top, and bottom

Old-Face wood highlights the true natural beauty and character of reclaimed material. Rugged in appearance, this product maintains as much original surface as possible. Features on this material include old saw marks, patina, tool marks, and years wear-and-tear. Here are some examples of old-face details.

We can also do new-face all sides.

We will custom coat your shelves for you. You pick out the finish you want and leave the rest to us or you can do it yourself.

Excelsior’s coatings options:
•VOC free oil (natural appearance and ingredients, low sheen, requires specific products for upkeep, less durable)
• Polyurethane (very durable, low to mid-sheen, does not require specific products for upkeep)
• Stain can be applied to affect the overall color or to decrease contrast from new face/freshly milled and old face surfaces.

*Please note that Excelsior does not currently supply brackets or mounting hardware however if you need assistance prepping your shelves for your hardware we can likely help.

Do not hesitate to reach out for your shelving quote. Large orders or small, we are happy to help!

So put your stuff on a shelf!

Thank you to The Farmhouse Project,  Chestnut Street Design & Construction & some other fabulous customers for photos.

Comforts of Home

Wood is both natural and nurturing.

This home is filled with the love of wood. It welcomes you from the moment you enter.

Wide plank reclaimed oak is the star of the family room. Some of these planks are over 12″ across! There is a reclaimed beam set atop the brick for a mantle on the fireplace. Using reclaimed paneling on the ceiling and walnut as an accent around the entry closet adds even more interest to this space.

The kitchen is chock full of delicious wood details. Live-edge wood counters and wood cabinets, whitewashed wood paneling on the ceiling, and reclaimed oak on the floors.

The back-entry is a showcase for walnut. It was used through the mudroom and adjoining bathroom on both the floor and walls. And there are live-edge window ledges and a small shelf that extends along the walls.

As you move further in you can go up the magnificent stairs built from beams and live edge oak slabs. This stairs has a comforting sturdy presence in the space and is a focal point.

Upstairs there is new flooring throughout and more reclaimed paneling with a little lighting bling added.

The bathroom door is a solid oak slab.

We dance and play and kick off our boots in our homes… on the wood floors that support us, our babies crawl on and take their first steps on… and grow up before our very eyes.

We love wood at Excelsior and we love to work with our customers and enjoy knowing that we could play even a small part in adding those wood elements to your home to make it the place that welcomes everyone.

Thanks to the models and helpers Leah, Hannah, and Rachel &  of course… Penny:)

Haven Living

Haven: a place of safety or refuge.

Our homes have truly become our havens.

Daydreaming about sprucing up your haven?  We are too…


Maybe you finally have some time to add those open shelves in the kitchen you’ve been wanting…

Or you’re dreaming of that accent wall with shelves for your books… or an area for your favorite hobby! (like your growing collection of friends… ahem… plants that you seem to be talking an awful lot to lately;)



       It may be time to get comfortable working from home… even if you just carve out a small space for a desk. Or you go all out and turn your guest bedroom into an office.


Perhaps consider a dining table you’d be inspired to pull up a chair to and have a meal at…




How about an outdoor area you can enjoy in solitude or with loved ones?

Now that we are spending so much more time at home, why not make it your haven? Even just a few changes can make it work better for you and your family. 

Make your home your Haven!

We are happy to help. Reach out today and request a quote.

Cartoons: Christina Sauer (Products Specialist)


Live Edge Decomposed Desk

We love to collaborate with our customers and help their vision become reality. Seeing decomposition as beauty and art was part of the uniqueness of this project.

After all the prep work of planing & sanding the surface, and the main section was routed out for a piece of glass, we finished with VOC free oil which had to get into all the nooks and crannies of this piece and boy, was this wood thirsty. 

Adding the butterflies was really a necessity in this project!

The glass adds functionality to the desk and also adds a frame to the beauty underneath. It’s also helpful so things don’t fall through;) 

This piece fits perfectly into this home office and truly adds a magnificent element of creativity.

Let us help your vision become reality.

Click HERE and we can get the ball rolling!

Live-edge Decomposed Desktop

We get to collaborate with lots of imaginative people who like to think outside the box. Who would have thought a decomposing live edge slag could look so perfectly at home in an office? Our customers who designed this piece of art knew exactly what they wanted and we love to help vision become reality.

It took a while to get into all the nooks and crannies of this bad-boy. The wood just soaked the oil up.

This desk looks right at home in the space that was designed perfectly for this unique piece. The glass-top keeps things from falling through and also gives a looking glass effect to the art of decomposition.

Inspiration is everywhere!

Reach out and let us help you see your vision become reality! Click HERE.


Mission: Use the pattern provided. Replicate the existing Maverick Concert Benches as closely as possible to the originals.

After months of work, the benches are complete and installed for the 2017 summer season!

Maverick Concerts, Inc. is the oldest, continuous summer chamber music festival in America, celebrating over a century of world-class music in the woods…

Find out more at