‘One of a kind’: A local wood maker’s creative passion for home décor 

Native-New Yorker Theo Pina found his inspiration for hand-made home decor from his mother.

It began in the backyard of his parents’ Long Island home and grew into Aura King Designs, named in honor of his mother, whose maiden name was King.    

“She was always doing DIY projects and constantly building new things for our home in New York,” Pina told On the PULSE. “She was able to use her talents and take them into the field of interior design in Long Island, helping local families and friends better organize their homes while also creating a beautiful clean aesthetic for them. She is a huge inspiration of mine and one of the main reasons I started this business.”

Pina specializes in tables, shelves, cutting boards, bowls and other in-home items fashioned out of vintage barn-wood recovered from aging farms around the eastern United States. 

While he was still building items in his parent’s backyard, Pina’s girlfriend, Jersey Shore native Rikki Feerar, suggested he consider a workshop in Central PA. He soon became familiar with the Williamsport Community Woodshop, starting his own local shop at the Pajama Factory in 2019. 

As of Jan. 13, Pina’s website is up and running with a variety of hand-made items for sale. At first, a few of Pina’s products will be for pick-up only, as shipping is not initially available on larger pieces. Folks wishing to discuss custom-made orders can contact Pina at the website, on Instagram or by email at theo.pina@aurakingdesigns.com.

“The home decor industry is booming,” Pina said. “People are really understanding the value of having quality custom pieces of furniture in their home. It’s neat to have something that is one of a kind with its own story to be displayed in the home. Right now, most of my clients are from out of town.

“All of my furniture is handmade in our shop,” Pina continued. “The wood I use is all sourced from old barns throughout the East Coast. I purchase it here in PA from a crew of guys who travel the East Coast ripping down old barns for clients. Most of the wood I use is white oak and is well over 150 years old.”

Pina is currently AKD’s sole employee, handling design, construction, sales and content in his well-equipped workshop at the Pajama Factory, where he also plans to open a showroom and storefront on March 4.

As he continues crafting custom-built items for individual clients, Pina often uses decorative ceramic tiles for inlays on his cabinets, tables and shelves; some of these tiles have likewise been recovered from aging structures around the local area.

Pina also credited the Williamsport Community Woodshop and its host for his success in launching locally.

“Working in the Pajama Factory is wonderful,” he said. “The building itself and the people who create inside of it make this a perfect place to find creative inspiration for an artist. The Williamsport Community Woodshop has been a huge blessing for me as well! I truly don’t think I would be at this point in my career today without the help and lessons I learned from being a part of that community.

“As for the future of AKD,” Pina concluded, “I’m excited for what it holds. I built this business from scratch, and I have so much passion for what I do. The business has turned into something more than what I could’ve hoped for. I plan to continue to grow and find inspiration with new designs and décor findings from around the world as well as hopefully taking a bigger step into interior design.”

Author

  • Smith is a writer, speaker and teacher in Central Pennsylvania. His fourth book, "The Best Movies You Never Saw," is due out this summer. More info is available at josephwsmithiii.com -- or robbwhitefan@gmail.com.

Joseph W. Smith III

Smith is a writer, speaker and teacher in Central Pennsylvania. His fourth book, "The Best Movies You Never Saw," is due out this summer. More info is available at josephwsmithiii.com -- or robbwhitefan@gmail.com.