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Reclaimed-wood floors, walls and furniture are hot in interior design right now, but sometimes such materials can't be trusted to endure heavy trafficking without splinters or splitting. (After all, there's a reason barns fall down.) Now Angelenos from art and fashion circles have set up a studio that makes fresh lumber look old.

Downtown L.A.'s Timeline sources local lumber that's sustainably harvested. Next, the company hand-ages and chisels each piece of wood to bring out its inherent beauty, then stains or paints it in a range of colors such as cottonwood white, northern ebony and traditional barn red.

Best of all, at $285 for 30 square feet, Timeline's strong, labor-intensive product is competitively priced with most reclaimed-wood products. And since it's fabricated, materials may be reordered in case projects get larger--or clients are so delighted, they want to use more.

Principals Matt Stroud (he's the veteran furniture crafter) and Shelby Keyser (she's the fashion-industry vet, formerly of L.A.M.B. and Anna Sui) operate out of an airy loft in downtown L.A. The light-filled space is a combination showroom and workshop for their ongoing design process, which includes custom furniture and new brighter colors.

A quick drive downtown versus waiting decades for wood to age: That's progress.

Timeline, 544 Mateo St.; 213-620-5730 or

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