The design process for a piece of furniture is critical in determining the proportions, the construction techniques, and the overall look of the piece. After discussing with a client the specifics of their wants and needs for a piece of furniture, I typically begin the design with preliminary sketches. This design process culminates in the drawing of full-size plans of the final piece. During the design process, different wood species and finishes are evaluated; color samples are made to determine which is best for the individual piece.
Design inspiration for a piece of furniture can evolve from pieces a client has seen or owns. Some ideas develop from many of the resource books that I collect. Most of my furniture designs come from three different sources. First, my formal training is in period reproductions. I reproduce custom period pieces that a client likes—without the expense of obtaining an original. Second, I design and build furniture to match pieces a client already owns, such as a dining room chair to match an existing set. Third, I custom design a unique piece of furniture to match a client’s style or need.