Brenda Kubasta, owner of Winneconne, Wis.-based Oshkosh Designs, will never lose her way, at least not when she's at home. Appropriately for the owner of a wood flooring company known for its decorative floor inlays, her home's floor is an enormous wooden maritime compass pointing due west across the adjacent Wolf River. It measures 760 square feet and was built with CNC-cut American cherry, bloodwood, maple, padauk, sipo and wenge. It has been a wonderful sales driver for clients that Kubasta brings to the home. "If they see you can do that, they know you can do a 36-inch tile or a parquet floor," she says. But the compass is more than a conversation starter and aesthetic focal point—it's a reminder to always know your bearings, Kubasta says. "It's your compass in life, where you're going and what guides you."

 

Andrew Averill is the former associate editor at Wood Floor Business. A graduate of journalism at the University of Wisconsin, he had internships at newspapers across the country—San Francisco Chronicle, Christian Science Monitor, The Flint Journal—before a bad case of rug burn turned him into an advocate for floors of a harder disposition.