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.

Spice up your life: Paint and accent-color inspo for spring

Springtime color—and plant—inspiration, pulled from some of our favorite Curbed home tours

Even though it’s April (and shouldn’t it be warm already?), spring continues to engage in its annual stop-and-start routine, faking out everyone—and everything, flora included—with a few nice days before heading back into hiding.

But whether or not spring is ready to come out and play, we’re gleaning springtime color inspiration from a few of our favorite interiors from our weekly home tours column, House Calls.

Whether it’s the graphic punch of a bold table in Brooklyn, an interior landscape of soothing pastel in New Zealand, the groovy vibes of a ranch in Maine, or muted tile in a Los Angeles midcentury modern house, color perks us up after the droop of winter—and that’s something worth celebrating.

How a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad” became a family home

A door painted like a bold red lip, glimmering green in a kitchen designed by Emily Farnham, and a bright-pink throw blanket in the master bedroom contrast an earthy, neutral color palette at this hillside house in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, once described as a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad.”

With the help of five different architects...


Springtime color—and plant—inspiration, pulled from some of our favorite Curbed home tours

Even though it’s April (and shouldn’t it be warm already?), spring continues to engage in its annual stop-and-start routine, faking out everyone—and everything, flora included—with a few nice days before heading back into hiding.

But whether or not spring is ready to come out and play, we’re gleaning springtime color inspiration from a few of our favorite interiors from our weekly home tours column, House Calls.

Whether it’s the graphic punch of a bold table in Brooklyn, an interior landscape of soothing pastel in New Zealand, the groovy vibes of a ranch in Maine, or muted tile in a Los Angeles midcentury modern house, color perks us up after the droop of winter—and that’s something worth celebrating.

How a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad” became a family home

A door painted like a bold red lip, glimmering green in a kitchen designed by Emily Farnham, and a bright-pink throw blanket in the master bedroom contrast an earthy, neutral color palette at this hillside house in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, once described as a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad.”

With the help of five different architects and as many renovations over the years—plus a heap of Heath Ceramics tiles—the house has been transformed into a family home for five, twice the size of its original footprint.

A couple finds their midcentury dream home

Mint-green walls, a pastel-pink daybed, and buttery brown leather invite you to take a load off in the New Zealand home of Nick Walbridge and Tara Morton, a circa-1965 house with a California modernist sensibility and Japanese influence. Tucked away in one of the home’s three “wings” is a bedroom painted a deep, seductive green, complemented by William Morris wallpaper. And then, of course, there’s the pool in the back, where a bright-yellow diving board beckons; it’s surrounded by lush gardens dotted with Japanese maples, cherry trees, and magnolia trees.

“The apartment has grown around us”

Nozlee Samadzadeh and Jarrett Moran’s favorite piece of furniture in their 400-square-foot studio apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a bright blue-topped dining table. “I like that the first thing you see when you enter the apartment is this real statement piece,” says Samadzadeh. Originally a “weird studio with shiny brown floors, a blue toilet, and no walls anywhere,” their now natural-light-flooded apartment has wall-to-wall shelving, a sofa upholstered in fabric sporting an artichoke print, and a handmade quilt inspired by the work of Josef Albers and the now-closed Hopewell Workshop.

Inside Wary Meyers’s groovy live-work home carved from a classic Maine ranch

At John and Linda Meyers’s 1960 ranch-style home in Cumberland, Maine, the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s mix and mingle—with the help of lots of color. The furniture and accessory assemblage is eclectic and spans decades. A purple Pierre Paulin chair; colorful backgammon set by Albrizzi; and a bright-orange enameled sink by American Standard (“a joy of my life,” says Linda) are just some of the splashes of crayon color in the home, much of which has directly influenced their work as Wary Meyers (currently, Linda makes the soap and John makes the candles).

A renovation 47 years in the making—and a mother-son dream team

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Upper West Side apartment of celebrated cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. Color is woven thoughtfully throughout the space in a design and renovation overseen by her son Josh, of Studio 639, from the Bordeaux-hued Warren Platner chairs for Knoll and their accompanying cactuses to an exclamation point of a yellow—Farrow & Ball Babouche—covering the walls of their hallway. Sneaky sources of yellow find their way to other rooms, too: in artwork, or a Callimaco floor lamp by Ettore Sottsass for Artemide, or the trim of a blanket.

“Moving to LA rekindled my sense of inspiration”

Jessie Levison and Alex Trendleman’s sunny bungalow in LA County’s Glendale is infused with color in many ways, not least of all in the couple’s collection of objects—“knick knacks from our travels, flea markets, gifts to one another,” Levison explains—on dining room shelves built and installed by the former tenant. Their kitchen is painted teal and lime green; shelves are full of bright, patterned ceramics; and the backyard is a mish-mash of plants, the centerpiece of which is a fruiting lemon tree. (The most color might happen in Levison’s studio, where the printmaker runs her stationery company, Gold Teeth Brooklyn.)

In Bed-Stuy, making a home in a former chocolate factory

Indoor plants often bring much-needed color and life to home, and that was the case in Fia Alvarez and Adam Squires’s Brooklyn apartment in a former chocolate factory. Squires is the green thumb in the household, and tends to the various plants around the apartment, which heap upon tables, drape from the ceiling, nestle into corners, and hang among pots and pans on an apparatus the couple commissioned for the large support in the kitchen.

A couple walks into a bar

The vibrant, fire-engine-red of structural steel inside Bert Pieters and Yves Drieghe’s Ghent, Belgium, home—once a derelict former pub—might be the first thing to draw your eye, but it won’t be the only thing. Pink, royal blue, and bright orange all make appearances in this scruffy, post-industrial space. Irreverence is a theme in the house, which sports peekaboo walls of translucent polycarbonate, balustrades made of soccer netting (in homage to the space’s previous use), and a ground-floor “sleeping box” with an unprintable nickname that nods to other bedtime activities.

Springtime color—and plant—inspiration, pulled from some of our favorite Curbed home tours

Even though it’s April (and shouldn’t it be warm already?), spring continues to engage in its annual stop-and-start routine, faking out everyone—and everything, flora included—with a few nice days before heading back into hiding.

But whether or not spring is ready to come out and play, we’re gleaning springtime color inspiration from a few of our favorite interiors from our weekly home tours column, House Calls.

Whether it’s the graphic punch of a bold table in Brooklyn, an interior landscape of soothing pastel in New Zealand, the groovy vibes of a ranch in Maine, or muted tile in a Los Angeles midcentury modern house, color perks us up after the droop of winter—and that’s something worth celebrating.

How a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad” became a family home

A door painted like a bold red lip, glimmering green in a kitchen designed by Emily Farnham, and a bright-pink throw blanket in the master bedroom contrast an earthy, neutral color palette at this hillside house in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, once described as a “swinging ’60s bachelor pad.”

With the help of five different architects and as many renovations over the years—plus a heap of Heath Ceramics tiles—the house has been transformed into a family home for five, twice the size of its original footprint.

A couple finds their midcentury dream home

Mint-green walls, a pastel-pink daybed, and buttery brown leather invite you to take a load off in the New Zealand home of Nick Walbridge and Tara Morton, a circa-1965 house with a California modernist sensibility and Japanese influence. Tucked away in one of the home’s three “wings” is a bedroom painted a deep, seductive green, complemented by William Morris wallpaper. And then, of course, there’s the pool in the back, where a bright-yellow diving board beckons; it’s surrounded by lush gardens dotted with Japanese maples, cherry trees, and magnolia trees.

“The apartment has grown around us”

Nozlee Samadzadeh and Jarrett Moran’s favorite piece of furniture in their 400-square-foot studio apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is a bright blue-topped dining table. “I like that the first thing you see when you enter the apartment is this real statement piece,” says Samadzadeh. Originally a “weird studio with shiny brown floors, a blue toilet, and no walls anywhere,” their now natural-light-flooded apartment has wall-to-wall shelving, a sofa upholstered in fabric sporting an artichoke print, and a handmade quilt inspired by the work of Josef Albers and the now-closed Hopewell Workshop.

Inside Wary Meyers’s groovy live-work home carved from a classic Maine ranch

At John and Linda Meyers’s 1960 ranch-style home in Cumberland, Maine, the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s mix and mingle—with the help of lots of color. The furniture and accessory assemblage is eclectic and spans decades. A purple Pierre Paulin chair; colorful backgammon set by Albrizzi; and a bright-orange enameled sink by American Standard (“a joy of my life,” says Linda) are just some of the splashes of crayon color in the home, much of which has directly influenced their work as Wary Meyers (currently, Linda makes the soap and John makes the candles).

A renovation 47 years in the making—and a mother-son dream team

It’s hard not to fall in love with the Upper West Side apartment of celebrated cookbook author Dorie Greenspan. Color is woven thoughtfully throughout the space in a design and renovation overseen by her son Josh, of Studio 639, from the Bordeaux-hued Warren Platner chairs for Knoll and their accompanying cactuses to an exclamation point of a yellow—Farrow & Ball Babouche—covering the walls of their hallway. Sneaky sources of yellow find their way to other rooms, too: in artwork, or a Callimaco floor lamp by Ettore Sottsass for Artemide, or the trim of a blanket.

“Moving to LA rekindled my sense of inspiration”

Jessie Levison and Alex Trendleman’s sunny bungalow in LA County’s Glendale is infused with color in many ways, not least of all in the couple’s collection of objects—“knick knacks from our travels, flea markets, gifts to one another,” Levison explains—on dining room shelves built and installed by the former tenant. Their kitchen is painted teal and lime green; shelves are full of bright, patterned ceramics; and the backyard is a mish-mash of plants, the centerpiece of which is a fruiting lemon tree. (The most color might happen in Levison’s studio, where the printmaker runs her stationery company, Gold Teeth Brooklyn.)

In Bed-Stuy, making a home in a former chocolate factory

Indoor plants often bring much-needed color and life to home, and that was the case in Fia Alvarez and Adam Squires’s Brooklyn apartment in a former chocolate factory. Squires is the green thumb in the household, and tends to the various plants around the apartment, which heap upon tables, drape from the ceiling, nestle into corners, and hang among pots and pans on an apparatus the couple commissioned for the large support in the kitchen.

A couple walks into a bar

The vibrant, fire-engine-red of structural steel inside Bert Pieters and Yves Drieghe’s Ghent, Belgium, home—once a derelict former pub—might be the first thing to draw your eye, but it won’t be the only thing. Pink, royal blue, and bright orange all make appearances in this scruffy, post-industrial space. Irreverence is a theme in the house, which sports peekaboo walls of translucent polycarbonate, balustrades made of soccer netting (in homage to the space’s previous use), and a ground-floor “sleeping box” with an unprintable nickname that nods to other bedtime activities.


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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.