Andree Areno was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. Her wood shop is located in the downtown area of Santa Barbara and was once the location of an art studio used by her father, Joseph Areno. As a young girl, Andree apprenticed under Joe who taught her how to use various tools and machinery to make frames for his artwork. During the time spent with her father, Andree formed an appreciation for art and the creative process. Eventually, she discovered woodworking as her own form of artistic expression.
As a self-taught furniture maker, Andree has been designing and building custom furniture on her own since 2011. Her woodworking career began a few years prior when her home and neighbors' homes were burned in the 2008 Tea Fire. At that time, she began working with a finish carpentry crew under the local artist and skilled woodworker David Moseley. When homes were finally being rebuilt, she was commissioned by neighbors to design and build new furniture to replace what was lost in the fire. She began getting more jobs by word of mouth; continuing to hone her skills as a woodworker and discovering her passion for making unique, quality furniture.
Andree works with a variety of woods including locally harvested and milled timbers. She has a great appreciation for the amount of engineering needed to construct each piece.
“ So much thought and care is put into every individual piece I make, from grain direction for strength, to choosing the correct joint in order to allow for wood movement and load, to hand picking each piece of wood for its figure and beauty. I enjoy every step in the process of making furniture and I love the amount of precision and attention to detail that is essential to making not just a beautiful piece, but one that is solid and will last for generations to come.”
Currently Andree designs and makes custom furniture for personal clients and often works with the talented and visionary interior designer Elizabeth Vallino, who occupies the office next door. Andree appreciates many different styles of furniture and because of this she keeps an open mind when designing unique pieces for unique homes. Typically her clients are people who are not only looking for a piece of locally handcrafted furniture, but who also hold an appreciation for woodworking as an art form.