One afternoon, the Lumber + Salt salvage and antique shop on Sound Avenue in Jamesport had the following among its wares: a six-foot-high vintage bookbinding press, tiny porcelain doll heads displayed in wine glasses, oxidized copper door frames from London’s Savoy Hotel, metal die-cuts to create puzzles, stacked fireplace hearths of indeterminate age, a textile rollerturned- lamp, primitive carved heads and about a thousand other eclectic objects — all with a rustic patina and a mysterious past.
In the hands of anyone less creative than business partners John Mazur and Brooke Cantone, these esoteric finds might seem perplexing at best. But the pair know how to integrate their signature “raw and refined” aesthetic into everything they do. Their retailsourcing-architecture-design-branding business is the ultimate multi-hyphenate — a growing operation known for revamping some of the coolest interiors and exteriors in and around the North Fork.
Lumber + Salt has also been busy expanding its own lifestyle brand, including creative collaborations with like-minded tastemakers in the region, plus a café, farm market and greenhouse in the works.
A highly conceptual designer, Mazur is wary of Lumber + Salt getting pigeon-holed into any one thing, as the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. “What we do is creative concepting,” said the artist, who offers to sketch his ideas rather than try to put them into words. “We introduce unique material solutions and object integration into an overall plan,” he said. “It’s about creatively rethinking new ways of approaching spaces and how the client’s lifestyle integrates within it. We’re not just selling product; we’re selling a feeling.”
Even the Lumber + Salt name is open to interpretation. It can represent land and sea, or an aged patina weathered by time and sea-swept forces. Or it could serve as a metaphor for the partners’ aesthetic and working style — a fusion of hard elements sprinkled with elegant touches like a chef’s finishing salt.
If Mazur is the Lumber, Cantone is the Salt. “We curate our spaces, then splash softer touches that evoke brand emotion and vibe,” said Cantone, who left Manhattan’s corporate fashion world behind during the pandemic and relocated full-time to the North Fork to help evolve her passion project into a full brand concept.
Lumber + Salt falls under the Mazur & Co. banner, founded by owner Mazur and creative director Cantone, who bring years of combined experience from retail, industrial design, fashion, art and antiques. Mazur previously served as principal and designer of an industrial and graphic design firm in Soho, specializing in branding for retail spaces. He majored in industrial and graphic design at RIT and worked in Germany post-grad. Cantone held senior creative corporate roles in fashion, visual merchandising, marketing and retail brand experience, with a B.A. in fashion merchandising from the Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science.
The company was originally born in 2014 as Material Objects, living on the 1291 Main Road grounds in Jamesport, which Mazur still owns. Today, their salvage showroom is at 5570 Sound Ave., while the Main Road campus serves as a brand showcase of sorts for Lumber + Salt, Sherwood House Vineyards (which Lumber + Salt renovated), William Ris Gallery (run by Cantone’s mother, Mary) and a barn out back that houses the duo’s design studio and is also used for pop-ups and collaborations.
“In the past two years, we’ve really brought the brand voice to life. It’s been a refreshing and creative rebirth,” said Cantone, mentioning a weekend fashion event they had in the barn with a fashion brand called, fittingly, The Salting.
Mazur and Cantone are excited to bring the retail space to the next level, praising their new transplanted team additions.
“Our store is now open daily, thanks to our day-to-day manager Kenneth Montusi (and his trusted canine assistant Kali),” said Cantone, noting that Montusi traded the corporate finance world for a career reinvention on the North Fork. Renowned pop artist Peter Marco (also known as Marcoart) also joins the team, she said, “adding his whimsical pop artwork, personality and spirit into the brand mix, having moved from the Lower East Side to the North Fork to be part of the refreshing creative movement.”
This fall, Lumber + Salt will host weekend pop-ups with likeminded creatives: furniture designers, artists, ceramicists, artisanal coffee makers and fresh-pressed juicers, chocolatiers, flower designers, organic herbalists, winemakers and fashion brands — all of whom “get” the aesthetic and vibe. The idea, said Mazur and Cantone, is to celebrate both artistry and community (or commUNITY, as they put it).
The duo can’t wait to take their reclaimed creativity to new projects and realms. “There are no more parameters for us,” said Cantone. “We are taking Lumber + Salt out of bounds!”
Thanks to an influx of new team members, the Lumber + Salt showroom is now open seven days a week.
Rose Hill Vineyards
“We hired John and Brooke in 2018 to define and redesign our tasting room with essentially a blank slate. We met with them on a Monday and by Friday they came back to us with a 50-page deck with inspiration and renderings that approached the project from truly a 360 perspective! Since then, I’ve consulted with them on every project, big or small.
They designed our wine library from the ground up and built a stunning ceiling that resembles a barrel in the most elevated way. Not only do they have incredible vision, they also repurpose items in the most unexpected ways that adds both character and history to our farm. John repurposed an old corn sift as our light fixture that often prompts guests to ask: “What is that?!”
— Chelsea Frankel, General Manager
Terre Vite Winery & Vineyard
“As lovers of Tuscany (specifically Florence), we knew we wanted to replicate its old-world atmosphere while creating a trendy environment, but couldn’t articulate this vision. John redesigned our tasting room in front of our eyes with an amazing free-hand sketch and Brooke brought everything we wanted full circle, both bringing the “old world with a new spirit” design to life.
The focal point of our tasting room is, of course, our grand bar, backed with two vintage hardware pieces from the 1940’s. These pieces bring a classic apothecary vibe to the room and Brooke styled them with gorgeous drawers and pieces that really balance the whole act. They also sourced a vintage gate from which they constructed the skeleton of our bar, and then lined it with antique conveyor belt!
As we have extremely high ceilings, they brought in a piece of the top of a windmill and adorned it with a lamp shade fit for a giant. It’s such a cool piece to have part of our tasting room and I constantly see our guests staring up and marveling at it, trying to figure out what it is. Although I’m obsessed with every inch of it, I would have to say that my favorite corner of the tasting room is corner with the patina high top tables. Brooke styled it with the most gorgeous mirror that invokes the Medici palace of Florence.”
— Jacqui Goodale, co-owner
Sherwood House Vineyards
“We work with Lumber + Salt at Sherwood House Vineyards to curate the tasting room aesthetic, maintaining an ever-changing environment. This spring, as customers have shifted to prefer outdoor seating, we asked them to reimagine the courtyard space along the east side of the property to ensure that guests seated outdoors were delivered the same visual experience as those seated within the tasting room. The result was a custom serpentine bar that transitions into two greenhouse-inspired structures that create an intimate garden environment in which to enjoy our wines, rain or shine.”
— Ali Tuthill, general manager