Ozark Makers Building Better

Building Better leads to the best discoveries.

Madison County, Arkansas – the whole county – has just one stoplight. On a quiet morning, there’s no trace of traffic on the road to Assemblage Arts’ studio, an old US government seed mill in the rural community of Witter, population 668. The only sounds are our footsteps in the gravel parking lot and the boisterous bleat of a sheep in the pasture behind the utilitarian block and stone building. 

Let’s just say that the setting isn’t one you’d associate with haute design. And you’d be dead wrong.

Inside this unassuming building, Assemblage founders Christian and Heidi Batteau lead a crew of artisans in creating some of the world’s most exquisite wallpaper. The handmade papers are rich with Italian plaster, mica, beeswax, and even abalone. Assemblage papers can be found in private homes around the world as well as showrooms for Chanel, Tiffany, and other global brands.

When we read about Assemblage’s painstaking creative process and their commitment to sustainability in Dwell Magazine, we had to meet them. When we saw their work, we fell in love. We commissioned a custom paper for the main reception area at Brick Avenue Lofts, our newly opened community in Bentonville.  It was a natural choice: not only is using local materials part of LEED design standards, the SREG cornerstone of Building Better challenges us to showcase makers from the Ozarks. 

In collaboration with our design team, Assemblage Arts designed a custom paper just for Brick Avenue. The design is a deconstructed herringbone in a deep blue. The Assemblage production team carefully applied each inch of the design in several layers. The paper was then installed by local craftsman, Brian Elenbarger. This is the first time Assemblage’s work has been installed in a location open to the public in Arkansas, and you can see it for yourself at the grand opening for Brick Avenue Lofts.

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