Dramatic Entry: A custom mesquite door made by door and furniture maker Wayne Hausknecht is set in a glass surround. Remodeler Janice Donald found Hausknecht through a referral. She is always networking in the community to find local artisans to work with.
courtesy Eren Design Remodel Dramatic Entry: A custom mesquite door made by door and furniture maker Wayne Hausknecht is set in a glass surround. Remodeler Janice Donald found Hausknecht through a referral. She is always networking in the community to find local artisans to work with.

Custom craft pieces are “like buying art for the house,” says Janice Donald, president of Eren Design and Remodel, in Tucson, Ariz., who often works with clients to create unique pieces that reflect the client’s personal style.

Donald says that the benefits of hiring local artisans are threefold: it enables clients to add a custom touch to their project, it helps build the local economy, and it contributes to a greener economy because of local products’ lower carbon footprint.

Through their interaction with a client during the design process, Donald says she and her designer can generally tell if there might be interest in such custom work. The team usually waits until the selections process to make the suggestion. Donald has found that it’s most successful if she introduces the client directly to the artisan because it builds the client’s excitement about the possibilities.

Craft pieces that Eren Design has installed include:

• Metal stair railings
• Metal fireplaces, some with hammered copper panels
• Metal rangehoods
• Security/screen doors
• Handmade metal fasteners and hooks
• Wood beams
• Mesquite wood doors (shown)
• Custom glass for windows
• Floor overlays
• Concrete countertops

Eren Design also gives holiday gifts created by local artisans to its clients. Last year’s gift: glass and metal yard art pendants to hang from the eaves. Another year, the company gave out cutting boards made in-house by the staff.

Nina Patel is a senior editor at REMODELING. Follow her on Twitter at @SilverNina or @RemodelingMag.