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.

Stunning apartment building elevates concrete

Exterior of concrete apartment complex with rectangular windows. Joe Fletcher

Light, plants, and earth tones create a luxurious, cozy home

There’s something about a Mexican concrete house that does it for us every single time. This new apartment building in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighborhood is no exception. Designed by Tucson, Arizona, firm Studio Rick Joy and Mexico City studio FRB Arquitectos Asociados, the five-story building is built from cast-in-place concrete.

The structures houses two two-story apartments, both of which take on a soft, moody glow thanks to the warm light the pouring through the windows onto the stratified layers of concrete. To get the rough around the edges layered effect, builders imprinted a timber board into the wet concrete.

Bright living room with light gray walls and cream furniture. Joe Fletcher

The building facade features large rectangular cut-outs that let lots of light onto a covered timber terrace. Plenty of plants are nestled into nooks throughout, especially around the three light wells in the building, giving the space the lush and protected feel of a tropical hideaway.

Inside, the apartments embrace similar earth tones with oak wood floors, brass finishes, and a timber ceiling.

“The [project] uses a restrained material palette informed by local...


Exterior of concrete apartment complex with rectangular windows. Joe Fletcher

Light, plants, and earth tones create a luxurious, cozy home

There’s something about a Mexican concrete house that does it for us every single time. This new apartment building in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighborhood is no exception. Designed by Tucson, Arizona, firm Studio Rick Joy and Mexico City studio FRB Arquitectos Asociados, the five-story building is built from cast-in-place concrete.

The structures houses two two-story apartments, both of which take on a soft, moody glow thanks to the warm light the pouring through the windows onto the stratified layers of concrete. To get the rough around the edges layered effect, builders imprinted a timber board into the wet concrete.

Bright living room with light gray walls and cream furniture. Joe Fletcher

The building facade features large rectangular cut-outs that let lots of light onto a covered timber terrace. Plenty of plants are nestled into nooks throughout, especially around the three light wells in the building, giving the space the lush and protected feel of a tropical hideaway.

Inside, the apartments embrace similar earth tones with oak wood floors, brass finishes, and a timber ceiling.

“The [project] uses a restrained material palette informed by local building traditions to produce a sense of deep warmth and experiential softness,” the studio writes in a design statement. It’s a classy move—the apartments feel homey yet luxe, spacious yet cozy all at the same time.

Bedroom with a large gridded window, fireplace, and bed with gray sheets. Joe Fletcher
Dining area with light gray walls and a large wall of glass. Joe Fletcher
Bedroom with timber bed and large, steel-framed windowsJoe Fletcher
Covered timber deckJoe Fletcher
Interior courtyard of buildingJoe Fletcher
Exterior of concrete apartment complex with rectangular windows. Joe Fletcher

Light, plants, and earth tones create a luxurious, cozy home

There’s something about a Mexican concrete house that does it for us every single time. This new apartment building in Mexico City’s posh Polanco neighborhood is no exception. Designed by Tucson, Arizona, firm Studio Rick Joy and Mexico City studio FRB Arquitectos Asociados, the five-story building is built from cast-in-place concrete.

The structures houses two two-story apartments, both of which take on a soft, moody glow thanks to the warm light the pouring through the windows onto the stratified layers of concrete. To get the rough around the edges layered effect, builders imprinted a timber board into the wet concrete.

Bright living room with light gray walls and cream furniture. Joe Fletcher

The building facade features large rectangular cut-outs that let lots of light onto a covered timber terrace. Plenty of plants are nestled into nooks throughout, especially around the three light wells in the building, giving the space the lush and protected feel of a tropical hideaway.

Inside, the apartments embrace similar earth tones with oak wood floors, brass finishes, and a timber ceiling.

“The [project] uses a restrained material palette informed by local building traditions to produce a sense of deep warmth and experiential softness,” the studio writes in a design statement. It’s a classy move—the apartments feel homey yet luxe, spacious yet cozy all at the same time.

Bedroom with a large gridded window, fireplace, and bed with gray sheets. Joe Fletcher
Dining area with light gray walls and a large wall of glass. Joe Fletcher
Bedroom with timber bed and large, steel-framed windowsJoe Fletcher
Covered timber deckJoe Fletcher
Interior courtyard of buildingJoe Fletcher

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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.