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Interview. New Bathroom Collections by American Brand Native Trails

Interview. New Bathroom Collections by American Brand Native Trails
Mendocino with Ocean finish. Courtesy of Native Trails.

Native Trails is renowned for its iconic recycled copper sinks and its use of reclaimed wood. Now, a bathroom collection made from reclaimed oak staves from California wineries—and more.

Native Trails, an industry leader in sustainable, artisan-crafted kitchen and bath products, has once again set a new standard in home design. Founded in 1996 by Naomi Neilson, Native Trails has built its reputation on the fusion of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design, bringing the unique artistry of central Mexican artisans to homes across North America

“My inspiration for starting Native Trails originated during my travels visiting family in central Mexico. The hammered copper sinks are made in a small town a short distance from where my stepfather grew up,” Naomi Neilson, Founder and CEO of Native Trails, said in an email correspondence with ArchiExpo e-Magazine.

It began when Neilson found copper vases, bowls, and other decor items. In conversation with the artisans, she suggested putting a whole into a bowl to produce a sink. She gave them a few sketches and, together, they transformed a fruit bowl and a hanging planter into sinks, creating the brand’s first copper sink collection.

“The village has a long copper smithing history, going back to the Aztec Empire, but copper is no longer extracted locally. They had access to recycled copper from regional sources, as well as newly mined copper brought in from South America. The environmental benefits were very clear, so there was never a doubt in my mind that recycled copper was what we would be using.”

The company’s dedication to sustainability and fair trade practices has made it a pioneer in the field, with products that range from hand-hammered recycled copper sinks to innovative concrete and reclaimed wood vanities. Continuing its tradition of innovation, Native Trails recently unveiled two new collections that further underscore its commitment to sustainability and design excellence.

A Splash of Tranquility: Native Trails Introduces the Ocean Finish

Native Trails has expanded its acclaimed NativeStone® Collection with the Ocean finish as seen in Cabrillo, Morro, and Trough 3619. This new finish combines serene blue and captivating green hues to evoke the tranquility of the sea, offering a fresh and luxurious aesthetic for bathroom sinks and bathtubs.

“Native Trails is based on California’s central coast where we’re lucky to see the ocean every day. I’ve always felt the color evokes a sense of tranquility and calm, and I wanted to help bring that feeling to interior spaces. I’m personally a bit obsessed with the color – I may even paint my whole house to match our Ocean finish!”

“Before Ocean, all our NativeStone finishes were inspired by the earth. Shades of grays, black, earth, and white. Ocean is the first in the collection to be inspired by water. It brings much more color to the series, which was previously dominated by neutrals.”

NativeStone® products, including those in the new Ocean finish, are handcrafted by artisans in Vietnam using a groundbreaking combination of natural jute—a natural, renewable vegetable fiber—and cement. This material is 40% lighter, stronger, and more sustainable than traditional concrete. The collection uses eco-friendly practices and materials to minimize waste and consume less energy.

The NativeStone® line, now available in six finishes, exemplifies the brand’s dedication to handcrafted quality and sustainable living. The Ocean finish products are made by artisans in Vietnam using an innovative mix of natural jute fiber and cement. This blend results in products that are 40% lighter and significantly stronger than traditional concrete, reducing waste and energy consumption. Each piece is sealed with NativeStone® Shield, a protective layer applied through a meticulous multi-step process, ensuring resistance to stains, scratches, and various household substances.

“Jute fiber strengthens the concrete, making it much more durable and resistant to cracking. At the same time, it reduces the weight which makes it much more sustainable to ship and much easier to work with on all accounts.” 

From Vine to Vanity: The Winemaker Series

In a creative twist on sustainability, Native Trails has launched the Winemaker Series, a collection that transforms reclaimed oak staves from California wineries into elegant bathroom furniture. This new series includes bath vanities and mirrors that celebrate the rich history and character of the wood, which has absorbed the flavors and aromas of wine during the fermentation process.

The Winemaker Series features five distinct pieces, including 30-inch and 48-inch freestanding vanities, a floating vanity, and two mirror sizes. Each piece showcases horizontal slatting and the natural grain of the wood, enhanced by a smooth, hand-applied finish. Available in two finishes—Cask Oak, a warm, nutty brown, and Charred Oak, a sophisticated, washed black—these vanities combine contemporary design with timeless appeal. Functional elements such as open shelving and soft-close drawers with integrated pulls ensure that these pieces are as practical as they are beautiful.

“We are always searching for discarded or unused materials with “soul” that may benefit from being repurposed. When we discovered that oak staves were typically discarded or incinerated after their useful life in winemaking ends, we began to explore how we could transform those sugar-encrusted, wine-stained – and strongly wine-scented – oak staves into something beautiful and useful.” 

“We came up with a process to clean them and bring out the fullness of their beauty, which is only enhanced by their wine-infused history. We first created the Vintner’s Collection, a gorgeous bath vanity collection with a more rustic aesthetic, and now, Winemaker.” 

“On a personal note, my father was a winemaker and an avid restorer of period homes, with a passion for creatively repurposing items. He was also a NASA scientist and a pioneering renewable energy engineer! And as we embarked on the journey to create the Winemaker Series, my father was continually on my mind. He is no longer with us, but his spirit played a significant role in this project.”

Naomi Neilson’s vision for Native Trails has always been about more than just creating beautiful products. It’s about forging connections between artisans and consumers, promoting sustainable practices, and using business as a force for good. With the introduction of the Ocean finish and the Winemaker Series, Native Trails continues to lead the industry in innovation and ethical craftsmanship.

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