Custom Desk Project Review: Union State Bank – Hazen, ND

With most of our design+build projects the conversation gets started via email or by phone call and we arrange a time to meet with the client to go over their needs. Now, although this is the case about 95% the time, we do also get opportunities in other ways that would fall into the atypical category and this custom desk project for Union State Bank is just that.

On a June summer day Blain and I were driving out to Bismarck to install a couple of sliding barn doors and a mantle for a remodel project. As we were contemplating the tools we may have forgotten at the shop 100 miles away we both noticed an email that came through our custom order request page. I could paraphrase what it said but I decided to simply copy and paste the email as it is the whole reason behind us getting the opportunity to work on this project.

“So – I am driving from Jamestown to Bismarck this morning. I saw a white pick up ahead of me that had an advertisement on the back that said “handmade wel-made.” And I thought – that’s pretty cool. So, as I passed this pick up, I was paying attention to what the business was – and noticed GrainDesigns, with the notation about sliding doors, tables, etc. I was immediately intrigued, so I pulled up your website. I am in the middle of remodeling the Lending Corridor of our bank in Hazen, which is a very old space, and am reclaiming a lot of the original materials. I have been contemplating what to do about desks and shelving. So, it feels awfully serendipitous that I passed your pickup today, and that you have such great marketing on your vehicles. (Congratulations!). I would love to visit with someone about possibilities. Does anyone ever come to Hazen?”


With some time on our hands we decided to respond right away with a phone call to Christie to learn more about her project. It wasn’t 5 minutes later that we had a plan to meet her in Bismarck as soon as we arrived to go over project details before our install. After hearing her vision for the space and understanding what her style preferences were, we knew this was a project that fit us and decided to take it on.

With such a long intro I’m going to keep the rest of the text brief and just get to the good stuff. Here’s a look at some of the process pictures and finished photos of the 10 office desks we got the chance to design and build for the remodel of Union State Bank in Hazen, ND.

With a project of this scale we had to use the entire shop for production. It also meant we had to rent a 30′ box truck to deliver all of these pieces from Fargo to Hazen.

On the desks we added a piece of flat black steel to the desk tops were most of the transactions between the lender and customer would take place. The steel will protect the desk from possible damage caused by ball point pens and ink.

The privacy screen on the right hand side of the desk is going to hide most of the clutter from the 3 monitors that each lender uses and it will also double as signage once the new branding for the bank is complete.

Projects like this one really stand out in my mind not only because of the product built but also from the story this project has. It became one of the favorites for everyone on the G.D. Team and we are excited to add more pieces to the bank as more remodeling and updates occur!

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