Creating Custom Furniture Pieces

Recently we’ve been dabbling more and more with custom furniture in our interior design projects.  There can be be many reasons to go custom, but mostly I love it for its unlimited options.  With the right artisans I can create a piece that is just the right size, just the right finish and just the right function for my clients.  I’m not limited by a manufacturer’s specifications, lead time or price.  I’ve been really happy with the results so far and look forward to creating more custom furniture in the future (and hopefully in my own home!)

Here are a few of my recent favorite pieces we have had built…

Custom Bench

custom ikat bench metal x legs design manifest

Earlier this summer we teamed up with Chairloom to create a custom bench for our clients’  upper hallway.  We wanted a piece to anchor a family photo wall.  We designed a double X-bench base  that was finished in a distressed gold.  The upholstered top is a gorgeous ikat by Jim Thompson.  This whole house is a study in mostly neutrals and its really stunning.  I can’t wait to photograph it properly and show it off!

Custom Sideboard

custom wood brass credenza

Christiana Cabinetry built  this custom credenza for a client’s family room.  This sits on a long wall that has a television and a “window’ into th kitchen.  We designed a long piece that could span the whole space and make a statement.  It serves as a TV stand, a storage unit and a display piece all in one.  The weathered wood is really chic, but my favorite elements are the brushed bronze legs and ring pulls.

Custom Etagere

gold and wood etagere glass shelves coldren design

Recently we teamed up with Coldren Design for the design and fabrication of an etagere for our Gentleman’s Bachelor Pad.  I had a specific vision for this piece and was able to work closely with furniture maker, George Coldren to see it transform into a reality.  I decided on a brushed gold frame to contrast against the solid wood back.  This bookshelf is going against a black wall (see floor plan here) so I really wanted it to pop.  The glass shelves and open sides help it feel light.  My hope is once it is styled, items will feel like they are floating on the piece.  In the image above the etagere is sitting in my living room, but for the One Room Challenge on Wednesday we will show how it looks in my client’s space.

And for those of you who are curious as to how a pile of this 1″ square steel tube stock…

pile of steel

Can turn into this fabulous etagere…

brushed gold wood etagere with glass shelves

Well you are in luck because here is a quickie progression:

etagere frame unfinished etagere pre finishing

First, 1″ tube stock is cut to length and welded into the etagere frame.

etagere first coat

The frame receives several coats of finish to achieve the brushed gold finish.

Here it is after the first coat.

wood with stain being applied

The solid maple back is glued, sanded and the staining process begins.

wood with finish stain

I love the way the stain takes to the wood.  The grain really pops in certain areas and looks just the right amount exotic.

brass etagere wood back glass shelves coldren design manifest

The glass is cut, the piece is assembled and just like that, a custom etagere is born!

(Thanks to George Coldren for sharing the progression pics.)

  1. Karen

    Hi. I recently found you and it was a happy dance moment. I love what you do how you work. I so wish I could hire you to pull two rooms together in my home. How long were the tubes you bought originally? What should we expect to pay per tube and for the welding? Just a general idea. It’s so foreign to me that I’d have no clue. Thanks for waking me up to so much. Btw, great buy on the Brasilla


  2. Crack-A-Lackin brilliant! I don’t want to learn how to do this, I want to find someone in my hood who can.

  3. Jessica

    you need to design more furniture because those are seriously amazing.

  4. Um… WHAT? Amazing. I actually do know how to weld. Maybe I should get cracking?

    Love all of it.

    • Naomi

      Why am I not surprised you know how to weld! Yea, lets make stuff. Not like either of us are busy or anything.

  5. Kim

    I love the progression shots. When I see pieces I love, my mind automatically goes to “how did they build that”.

    • Naomi

      Me too, Kim! I really want to learn how to weld, myself 🙂

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