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Toula and Michael Roden’s love of French oak began in 2001 when they bought a coastal home in Aireys Inlet and began plans for renovations.
“We were looking for products that would bring individuality and warmth to our home,” Toula says.
The couple travelled to France to visit Toula’s brother in the country’s northern valleys, where they would discover a timber “unlike any other in the world”. They knew they had had found the perfect match for their Aireys Inlet home.
“It’s such a warm timber with enduring appeal,“ Toula says. “The patina and the grain structure are unique to French oak and the microclimate of that mountain region.
“When you’ve got a tree that’s been growing for 200 years it’s going to have a very intricate grain pattern.”
But soon the product inspired a business idea.
“We saw the opportunity of bringing it out to Australia and giving interior designers and home-builders access to a unique product,” Toula says.
“People want something different, something that’s going to make their building projects stand out, and that’s exactly what this does.”
Thus began the French Oak Trading Company.
Michael and Toula specialise in French oak flooring and timber products, for both contemporary and traditional tastes.
Being solid timber, this “timeless” product outlasts most other flooring options.
“This is something that will often outlive people’s tenancy in the house,” Toula says.
Their customers have used the versatile product in everything from wall cladding and joinery, to floors, stair cases and bench tops.
“It can be adapted to all sorts of design situations,” Toula says.
“We invite you to join us in bringing the beauty and warmth of this glorious timber to your architectural and interior projects today.”
While the couple primarily offer sustainably managed French mountain oak, they also stock a boutique range of antique, reclaimed French oak and a line of vintage French farmhouse pieces ranging from 50 to 150 years in age.