The History of Belle Artae
Our story began as custom millwork fabricators in New England, serving primarily the New York City metro area. We were hired to provide diverse millwork products for luxury custom homes. Those items included stairs, specialty windows and doors, cabinetry, columns, pilasters, newels and balusters, but we were best known for complex, curved and arched millwork items.
Many projects included custom mouldings designed by the architect specifically for the home. Though the designs were often excellent, many were unnecessarily expensive because they were not designed within standard lumber sizes, and some designs couldn't be manufactured at all using modern milling machinery. So we would re-design the moulding(s) — correcting any issues that would hinder the manufacturing process, all the while doing our best to retain the original design intent — then submit the revised designs to the architect for approval.
It got us thinking, why were architects spending their time designing custom mouldings? So we asked, and architects told us they were unhappy with the unattractive choices commercially available. Hoping to save architects (and ourselves) time on design, we decided to create a collection of new, unique sculptural designs. That launched our journey of innovation.
“True innovation comes from recognizing an unmet need and designing a creative way to fill it.” – Steve Jobs
In 1986, designer Brett Arrowood began creating his collection of unique mouldings. The beauty of his sculptural designs soon attracted the attention of leading American architects — some of those architects would later create sculptural designs exclusively for our Guest Designer Collection. The architects really appreciated the distinctive lines and excellent proportions of Brett's designs, and specifying the cost-effective profiles saved them time.
In 1988, A & B Wood Design Associates was founded on the principle that moulding design should be both practical and artistic. According to our design philosophy, form, balance, scale and proportion — not ornamentation — were essential to beautiful sculptural design. As a result, we have become known for our clean, elegant and well-proportioned moulding profiles.
Though we continued to provide millwork to our long-time customers, our focus had turned to mouldings, which brought us national recognition and international sales. Then, in 2001, we expanded our product line to include a line of doors, and changed our name to Belle Artae.
Our passion for design, innovation, and tradition, continues to refine and improve our offerings, resulting in exceptional custom mouldings, doors and millwork that are praised by architects and builders alike.