In 2009, James Pader, a licensed general contractor based out of North Carolina, posted a photograph of a rustic wooden handrail made from Appalachian Mountain wood that his construction company had designed. Before long, the photo had received tremendous attention, and Mountain Laurel Handrail was born.
“Mountain Laurel Handrails are inspired by the rustic elegance of a beautiful forest in the Appalachian Mountains,” said Pader. “This is a traditional art form that I stumbled upon at the beginning of my construction career, and I’m still captivated by the design possibilities.”
In the 10 years since the first posting, the business had grown to include bespoke furniture, both for indoors and out. “Mountain laurel is hard and durable,” he said. “It does really well for exterior usage and that’s why people have been using it for generations to make exterior furniture and decorations. The other thing is that it comes in unique shapes and configurations… No two sticks are quite the same, so the work is always unique.”
The art created by Pader is highlighted in accents ranging from headboards to door pulls to tables. Each piece is highly individualized and crafted with care, just like the railings.