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.

Eleanor Roosevelt’s childhood summer home in Germantown (now with a Viking stove) asks $960K

A two-story brick building sits behind an iron gate in a forested and green grass area. Photos courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

The Victorian brick building was once the guard house for a much larger Second Empire mansion

Before Eleanor Roosevelt made history as the longest-serving First Lady of United States, residing at the White House from 1933 through 1945, she spent summers at a sprawling 1872 estate in Germantown, New York.

Part of that estate is now for sale. The property was the home of Roosevelt’s maternal grandparents, Valentine G. Hall, Jr., and Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall, whom she lived with after the death of both of her parents by age nine. They spent summers at the home, called Oak Terrace, which had a modestly sized gate house that guarded a much larger Second Empire-style mansion.

The parcels have since been separated and much of the land sold off, but this listing is offering the smaller three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath gate house on 2.7 acres. While the 10-bedroom mansion is a masterpiece of balustrades and cornices, the two-story house built in 1872 features peaked gables and dormers with iron cresting on the roofline.

A kitchen has a large rustic looking island, shiny stainless steel appliances, and stained glass windows.
A bright, renovated kitchen features a large fridge, high-end stove, and stained glass windows.

Additions at the rear...


A two-story brick building sits behind an iron gate in a forested and green grass area. Photos courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

The Victorian brick building was once the guard house for a much larger Second Empire mansion

Before Eleanor Roosevelt made history as the longest-serving First Lady of United States, residing at the White House from 1933 through 1945, she spent summers at a sprawling 1872 estate in Germantown, New York.

Part of that estate is now for sale. The property was the home of Roosevelt’s maternal grandparents, Valentine G. Hall, Jr., and Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall, whom she lived with after the death of both of her parents by age nine. They spent summers at the home, called Oak Terrace, which had a modestly sized gate house that guarded a much larger Second Empire-style mansion.

The parcels have since been separated and much of the land sold off, but this listing is offering the smaller three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath gate house on 2.7 acres. While the 10-bedroom mansion is a masterpiece of balustrades and cornices, the two-story house built in 1872 features peaked gables and dormers with iron cresting on the roofline.

A kitchen has a large rustic looking island, shiny stainless steel appliances, and stained glass windows.
A bright, renovated kitchen features a large fridge, high-end stove, and stained glass windows.

Additions at the rear of the house expanded the home’s footprint, while inside some original details remain, like moldings, wood floors, and an original stairway. Meanwhile, a new, much larger kitchen—with skylights—features high-end appliances, a bake oven, stained glass windows, and an elaborately carved wood island.

The bedrooms upstairs are tucked into the dormers, and the master bathroom pays homage to the home’s 19th-century origins with a high tank toilet, clawfoot tub, and marble sink. The electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems come newly updated, and there’s also a fenced pool on the property. Interested? 794 Woods Road is on the market now for $960,000.

A four-person wood dining room table has a gothic looking chandelier above it.
Just off of the kitchen a compact dining room is bathed in light thanks to plenty of windows and a stained glass door.
A fireplace has a brick interior and is lined with hand carved wood detail.
A fireplace in the living room has hand-carved wood details and a brick frame.
A large wooden bed sits in an upstairs bedroom with a white comforter and windows.
The three bedrooms are located upstairs and feature wood floors.
A master bathroom with yellow clawfoot tub, wood floors, and a skylight.
The master bathroom has period appropriate elements, including a clawfoot tub and marble sink.
A patio in front of a brick building has four chairs and a wood table under a tree.
The 2.7 acre property also boasts a patio, porch, and outdoor pool.
A two-story brick building sits behind an iron gate in a forested and green grass area. Photos courtesy of Houlihan Lawrence

The Victorian brick building was once the guard house for a much larger Second Empire mansion

Before Eleanor Roosevelt made history as the longest-serving First Lady of United States, residing at the White House from 1933 through 1945, she spent summers at a sprawling 1872 estate in Germantown, New York.

Part of that estate is now for sale. The property was the home of Roosevelt’s maternal grandparents, Valentine G. Hall, Jr., and Mary Livingston Ludlow Hall, whom she lived with after the death of both of her parents by age nine. They spent summers at the home, called Oak Terrace, which had a modestly sized gate house that guarded a much larger Second Empire-style mansion.

The parcels have since been separated and much of the land sold off, but this listing is offering the smaller three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath gate house on 2.7 acres. While the 10-bedroom mansion is a masterpiece of balustrades and cornices, the two-story house built in 1872 features peaked gables and dormers with iron cresting on the roofline.

A kitchen has a large rustic looking island, shiny stainless steel appliances, and stained glass windows.
A bright, renovated kitchen features a large fridge, high-end stove, and stained glass windows.

Additions at the rear of the house expanded the home’s footprint, while inside some original details remain, like moldings, wood floors, and an original stairway. Meanwhile, a new, much larger kitchen—with skylights—features high-end appliances, a bake oven, stained glass windows, and an elaborately carved wood island.

The bedrooms upstairs are tucked into the dormers, and the master bathroom pays homage to the home’s 19th-century origins with a high tank toilet, clawfoot tub, and marble sink. The electric, plumbing, and HVAC systems come newly updated, and there’s also a fenced pool on the property. Interested? 794 Woods Road is on the market now for $960,000.

A four-person wood dining room table has a gothic looking chandelier above it.
Just off of the kitchen a compact dining room is bathed in light thanks to plenty of windows and a stained glass door.
A fireplace has a brick interior and is lined with hand carved wood detail.
A fireplace in the living room has hand-carved wood details and a brick frame.
A large wooden bed sits in an upstairs bedroom with a white comforter and windows.
The three bedrooms are located upstairs and feature wood floors.
A master bathroom with yellow clawfoot tub, wood floors, and a skylight.
The master bathroom has period appropriate elements, including a clawfoot tub and marble sink.
A patio in front of a brick building has four chairs and a wood table under a tree.
The 2.7 acre property also boasts a patio, porch, and outdoor pool.

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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.