New design studio coming to Little Italy in Schenectady

“Anything But Bland Designs” aims to add vitality

September 29, 2019

BY PETE DEMOLA, The Daily Gazette

SCHENECTADY — Sometimes the road to revitalization begins in unlikely places.

For Thomas and Alexandra Bland, who are opening a new downtown retail design studio and woodworking shop, it all started with a changing table.

Alexandra’s interest was piqued when she saw furniture made with wood pallets on Pinterest.

She asked her husband to make a table for their daughter. After purchasing basic tools, Thomas managed to transform several pallets into an item with a herringbone top.

The couple agreed it looked good.

“That’s when the woodworking thing took off,” said Thomas, who had already developed serious carpentry skills during a previous home renovation project.

Fueled by social media, Thomas’ creations — which range from candle holders to charcuterie boards — garnered attention and commissions began trickling in, including a pair of bathroom vanities for Mangino’s Gourmet Market, the newly-opened Eastern Avenue eatery.

At the same time, Alexandra was carving out a freelance landscape design career.

“Once the woodworking took off, we decided to join the woodworking and design into one business,” she said.

Enter Anything But Bland Designs, the name of their new studio.

Now, fueled by an assistance provided by a downtown business incubator, they’re poised to transform a warehouse at 10 North Center St. into a retail design studio and woodworking shop.

To view the complete article on The Daily Gazette website, click here.

Alexandra and Tom Bland with daughters Ella, 4, and Nora, 2, in front of 10 N. Center Street. PHOTOGRAPHER: PETER R. BARBER/GAZETTE PHOTOGRAPHER


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