Kathy Arnold has created a niche that is bourbon-inspired, literally.
Her company, Havenwood Cottage makes art out of repurposed whiskey barrels. Arnold has transformed barrel lids into rustic clocks, anniversary keepsakes, and eye-catching art to decorate the garage, den, or entryway.
Arnold says that each piece is unique because every piece is made from different wood. He started creating them as a hobby and launched the business during the pandemic. “I don’t sand them, as it looks too beautiful to sand.”
The majority of barrels are made at distilleries like Jack Daniels, Makers Mark, and Four Roses. However, a few barrels come from wineries. Arnold buys bourbon barrels from distributors in Kentucky or Illinois on the secondary market.
Marc, her husband, created the designs by using a computer numerical controlling method–think 3-D printer and router drill. Arnold says that the house smells like a distillery when they cut them. “The incredible smell that emanates from these barrels after they are cut is unbelievable. It was a wonderful smell. I could smell it all day.
All of the American-made products are hand-painted by Arnold. One of the designs that were carved into barrel heads was railroad logos. This area was explored by Michael, her son. Arnold plans to sell whiskey barrel tables this fall with doors and customizable tops that hide a shelf for bottles and glasses.
Arnold states, “I am just drawn to it as a person who has an artistic flair.”