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.

Multigenerational home designed like a ‘mini apartment building’

A bright yellow stairwell connects the levels

Multigenerational living is all about creativity—how do you make a space that’s accommodating to the needs of different generations? Sometimes it’s a matter of clever design tweaks that make a small apartment bigger. Other times, it’s giving everyone enough space to claim as their own.

This three-story Amsterdam house from Dutch firm BETA does a bit of both. It houses three generations of a family—young children, parents, and grandparents—in what the architects call a “mini apartment building.”

 Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

The solid rectangle of a home is split into levels: The bottom floors house an office, patio, and bedrooms for the young family. The upper floor is its own apartment for the grandparents, designed with level floors and a roof deck that looks out onto the city.

Bookshelf in basementPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode
Room leading to roof deckPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode

The centerpiece of the home is a staircase flanked by bright yellow walls that cut through the house like a lightening bolt. The staircase reaches all the way to the top of the house, but naturally, there’s also an elevator for anyone who might need it.


A bright yellow stairwell connects the levels

Multigenerational living is all about creativity—how do you make a space that’s accommodating to the needs of different generations? Sometimes it’s a matter of clever design tweaks that make a small apartment bigger. Other times, it’s giving everyone enough space to claim as their own.

This three-story Amsterdam house from Dutch firm BETA does a bit of both. It houses three generations of a family—young children, parents, and grandparents—in what the architects call a “mini apartment building.”

 Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

The solid rectangle of a home is split into levels: The bottom floors house an office, patio, and bedrooms for the young family. The upper floor is its own apartment for the grandparents, designed with level floors and a roof deck that looks out onto the city.

Bookshelf in basementPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode
Room leading to roof deckPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode

The centerpiece of the home is a staircase flanked by bright yellow walls that cut through the house like a lightening bolt. The staircase reaches all the way to the top of the house, but naturally, there’s also an elevator for anyone who might need it.

A bright yellow stairwell connects the levels

Multigenerational living is all about creativity—how do you make a space that’s accommodating to the needs of different generations? Sometimes it’s a matter of clever design tweaks that make a small apartment bigger. Other times, it’s giving everyone enough space to claim as their own.

This three-story Amsterdam house from Dutch firm BETA does a bit of both. It houses three generations of a family—young children, parents, and grandparents—in what the architects call a “mini apartment building.”

 Photo: Ossip van Duivenbode

The solid rectangle of a home is split into levels: The bottom floors house an office, patio, and bedrooms for the young family. The upper floor is its own apartment for the grandparents, designed with level floors and a roof deck that looks out onto the city.

Bookshelf in basementPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode
Room leading to roof deckPhoto: Ossip van Duivenbode

The centerpiece of the home is a staircase flanked by bright yellow walls that cut through the house like a lightening bolt. The staircase reaches all the way to the top of the house, but naturally, there’s also an elevator for anyone who might need it.


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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.