Submitted by Annette Callari, Allied ASID; CMG
When you look at this sweet, winter-shrouded home, it has all the cozy essence of a Thomas Kinkade painting. But it’s actually a real homestead in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. This is the original location of a small cottage industry that started out as Historic Floors of Oshkosh. Founded by Tom Peotter and Lee Bettes in 1992, these gentlemen worked from the basement of their home specializing in wood floors and specialty floor products for historic home restorations. But you can’t keep exceptional craftsmanship a secret for very long. Their focus expanded to the new home builder market, and they soon outgrew the meager surroundings of their basement business.
Today, they are known as Oshkosh Designs and their expanded company is located in Winneconne, Wisconsin. What a great story! And what a great line of products these two gentlemen originated. It has since expanded to include intricate floor medallions, hardwood floor inlays, wood floor borders, and parquet floor tiles. Some of their specialty products include intricate wood mouldings for fireplaces and chairrails, decorative stair treads and risers, backsplashes and even ceiling treatments. The medallions are categorized by themes and encompass everything from animals to sports. Other themes available are music, botanical, tropical, compass/stars, and even nautical. If you don’t see something already templated among their collections, their artisans will work with you to create one of your own.
When Oshkosh outgrew its grass roots beginnings, the move to a bigger location brought with it advancements in production and technology. The company implemented laser technology, allowing it to specialize in even more intricate cutting. Later, they started using water jet technology to incorporate stone, recycled glass and non-ferrous metals into their classic designs. You can imagine the unique projects Oshkosh Designs has attracted over the years, given these capabilities. I first learned about them through Galleher in Southern California, who is the Distributor for this line in California, Arizona and Nevada. I definitely decided I needed to share this discovery with you, and I hope I’ve captured your interest enough that you will do your own research at oshkoshdesigns.com. The website will direct you to a distributor in your own area, and even give you a direct contact number for Oshkosh.
The menu of contrasting materials these craftsmen utilize is intriguing. They’ve mastered the art of combining contrasting natural hardwoods, stone, marble, leather, brass, copper and aluminum. For the consumer, this means you have a diverse number of material combinations to choose from to produce your very own “work of art” for your floor. These medallions are appropriate for residential or commercial applications, so if you own your own business, imagine how awesome it would be to have your company logo crafted into a medallion! These unique medallions feature the Oshkosh exclusive Artisan™ Finish. This is a top quality sealer plus a top coat of a cross-linked semi-gloss finish. This protective coat adds exceptional durability. Oshkosh offers a “matching” warranty to the manufacturer’s warranty (that being the warranty offered by the hardwood manufacturer providing the wood field floor).
In this 21st Century, it’s a fact that we’ve lost a lot of the “American-made” pride and craftsmanship that used to be the hallmark of quality products. I see a company like Oshkosh Designs working hard to bring back that pride and establish a true American brand—a brand with value and longevity. We can all be encouraged that fine craftsmanship is not a lost art.