Artisan Dave Nadeau Crafts Wood Furniture with a Customized Approach

Whether it’s an old wagon wheel turned into a coffee table or a family heirloom in need of a revamp, artisan and White Bear Lake native Dave Nadeau creates wood furniture with an approach tailored to his clients’ needs through his company, Lake Life Furniture.

Nadeau’s work began in 2014 as a part-time job while he worked as a civil engineer. He and his wife started building furniture for their home. Once their home filled up, they put a few pieces online. Word spread, and they quickly sold out.

“It slowly escalated to the point where I was coming home from work and I was going straight back to work,” Nadeau says. “I didn’t have any free time for my family, so I needed to make a decision about what I wanted to do.”

He decided to give it a six-month trial, and he’s had no shortage of work since. He’s crafted dining tables, beds, home decor, benches and more. Last summer, he built a treehouse for his aunt and uncle living in White Bear Lake.

“A lot of times I do sentimental pieces. People have had things in their family that they either want to make something out of or want rebuilt,” he says.

On each project, he works with clients to bring their vision to life. For more one-of-a-kind projects, he creates 3D sketches on the computer to show clients. This comes in handy when clients don’t know how to express what they’re looking for or can’t find pictures of what they want.

“I love to throw ideas back and forth and see what comes out at the end,” he says. “Sometimes it pushes the boundaries of what I’m comfortable with, but it ultimately makes me a better woodworker by developing my skill set.”