The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

Updated Usonian by Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice asks $5M

In 2012 studioMDA founder Markus Dochantschi expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design

Originally built in 1950 by David Henken, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, this six-bedroom, six-bath home in Bronxville, New York, is an updated take on Usonian architecture. Henke worked with Wright on the Usonia development in Westchester County, where Wright designed three of its 47 homes and Henken—the primary coordinator—designed more than a quarter of the houses himself.

In Bronxville, this 5,500-square-foot home on .65 acres stands out in a sea of historic Tudors, Victorias, and Colonials. The house sits on a hill, with views onto nature from every room. In 2012, prominent architect Markus Dochantschi, founder of studioMDA and the former head of Zaha Hadid Architects in New York, expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design.

Dochantschi sought to show “how the language of Frank Lloyd Wright is....such a contemporary language but at the same time it has this warmth and character that Wright had in his buildings.” While the modesty of the traditional Usonian homes has been replaced with more space and luxury, much of the original inspiration remains; the house...


In 2012 studioMDA founder Markus Dochantschi expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design

Originally built in 1950 by David Henken, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, this six-bedroom, six-bath home in Bronxville, New York, is an updated take on Usonian architecture. Henke worked with Wright on the Usonia development in Westchester County, where Wright designed three of its 47 homes and Henken—the primary coordinator—designed more than a quarter of the houses himself.

In Bronxville, this 5,500-square-foot home on .65 acres stands out in a sea of historic Tudors, Victorias, and Colonials. The house sits on a hill, with views onto nature from every room. In 2012, prominent architect Markus Dochantschi, founder of studioMDA and the former head of Zaha Hadid Architects in New York, expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design.

Dochantschi sought to show “how the language of Frank Lloyd Wright is....such a contemporary language but at the same time it has this warmth and character that Wright had in his buildings.” While the modesty of the traditional Usonian homes has been replaced with more space and luxury, much of the original inspiration remains; the house boasts native materials, layers of flat and overhanging roofs, and an integration with nature and the built outdoor spaces.

Prioritizing the outdoors meant using flooring that runs from inside to out, windows with two large panels of butted glass without corner posts, and large decks off of many rooms. Most south-facing widows are floor-to-ceiling in order to maximize warmth during the shorter days of winter, then in summer the overhanging roof and trees reduce solar heat.

Inside, highlights include a sunken living room with wraparound deck, a rebuilt and enlarged kitchen, and a master bath with floor-to-ceiling windows.

If this Usonian turned contemporary beauty strikes your fancy, 1 Governors Road is on the market now for $4,995,000.

The home features layers of horizontal lines and outdoor patios set into the hill.
A sunken living room boasts high ceilings and a sleek fireplace.
There are treehouse-like views onto mature oaks, maple and elm trees, and specimen trees such as Japanese maples and magnolias.
One of the most significant areas of the remodel was the expanded and updated kitchen.
The master bedroom is inviting and open with a private patio.
An updated master bath includes floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto nature.

In 2012 studioMDA founder Markus Dochantschi expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design

Originally built in 1950 by David Henken, a Frank Lloyd Wright apprentice, this six-bedroom, six-bath home in Bronxville, New York, is an updated take on Usonian architecture. Henke worked with Wright on the Usonia development in Westchester County, where Wright designed three of its 47 homes and Henken—the primary coordinator—designed more than a quarter of the houses himself.

In Bronxville, this 5,500-square-foot home on .65 acres stands out in a sea of historic Tudors, Victorias, and Colonials. The house sits on a hill, with views onto nature from every room. In 2012, prominent architect Markus Dochantschi, founder of studioMDA and the former head of Zaha Hadid Architects in New York, expanded and modernized the traditional Usonian design.

Dochantschi sought to show “how the language of Frank Lloyd Wright is....such a contemporary language but at the same time it has this warmth and character that Wright had in his buildings.” While the modesty of the traditional Usonian homes has been replaced with more space and luxury, much of the original inspiration remains; the house boasts native materials, layers of flat and overhanging roofs, and an integration with nature and the built outdoor spaces.

Prioritizing the outdoors meant using flooring that runs from inside to out, windows with two large panels of butted glass without corner posts, and large decks off of many rooms. Most south-facing widows are floor-to-ceiling in order to maximize warmth during the shorter days of winter, then in summer the overhanging roof and trees reduce solar heat.

Inside, highlights include a sunken living room with wraparound deck, a rebuilt and enlarged kitchen, and a master bath with floor-to-ceiling windows.

If this Usonian turned contemporary beauty strikes your fancy, 1 Governors Road is on the market now for $4,995,000.

The home features layers of horizontal lines and outdoor patios set into the hill.
A sunken living room boasts high ceilings and a sleek fireplace.
There are treehouse-like views onto mature oaks, maple and elm trees, and specimen trees such as Japanese maples and magnolias.
One of the most significant areas of the remodel was the expanded and updated kitchen.
The master bedroom is inviting and open with a private patio.
An updated master bath includes floor-to-ceiling windows looking out onto nature.

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Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.