White Bear Lake Man Crafts Modern Furniture with a Nod to the Past

Most people don’t think about the hard work that goes into each individual piece of furniture you sit at, sit on, eat at or admire. Owner of Rustically Modern, Garrett Adamson, knows just how much hard work, passion and time goes into each piece of furniture he creates. “I build and design furniture—coffee tables, dining tables, end tables—using wood and metal,” Adamson says. He also rents out some of his time-honored, handcrafted pieces for weddings, parties and the like.

Adamson began building at a young age because his father was a general contractor; you could say sawdust and creating things, of putting hammer and nail together, was in his blood. “In the summers, he always had me out on the jobs just kind of following him around,” Adamson says. “So I saw guys doing stuff, and I kind of took a liking to just making stuff in my spare time when I had it. And so the hobby became a passion and a passion became a livelihood.” But it wasn’t until he was redoing his house and his father brought him an industrial cart to use as a coffee table, that he really got the creative juices flowing. It was then that “[I started to] do more of them as kind of a hobby. And it kind of became that I was doing it a lot. And it started to become a business,” he says.

Adamson, who started Rustically Modern in 2013, says he was drawn to the rustic and modern design because it’s not only beautiful to look at, but there’s a historical aspect to it. “Growing up in Minnesota, you see a little bit of that; especially with farms around here. You’ll get some of that creative design and ideas from some of that,” Adamson says. He explains the aesthetic of the rustic and modern pieces is mainly steel legs paired with hard woods like maple and walnut. Adamson usually finds his wood through Craigslist, or he’ll pick up nice walnuts and maples from other companies around the Twin Cities.

He just started renting out a handful of his furniture, including dining tables, benches, cocktail tables, chairs and more about a year ago. “There’s also games, like I make some mini-golf holes. They’re kind of fun for the weddings,” Adamson says.

He sells most of his furniture on Craigslist, Etsy and eBay. “People have asked me to make one-off items and I’ll do that as well,” Adamson says. He originally had a store in White Bear Lake, but decided working out of his house made it a lot easier. “I really just do everything in my garage, and I’ve got a workshop down in my basement where I can construct everything,” he says.

A passion that started as a child has fueled Adamson throughout his life and enabled him to create some wonderful pieces. “I just really enjoy it,” Adamson says. “Taking something from start to finish, and seeing the creation kind of come to life.”