Furniture Tailored to Your Needs

There are people and places in our lives that merit special attention.

Commissioned furniture can preserve the sentiment of an anniversary or another notable life event for generations; hope chests, tables or pieces with applied ornament or custom graphics carved into the surface. Your home or vacation cabin may have a space that cannot be accommodated by commonly available furnishings; I can help you fill that space with a piece that is, in the words of Goldilocks “just right”.

Clients have been inspired by pieces they have seen in magazines or museums and desired a version made to suit their individual needs. I maintain an extensive library of furniture scholarship, architectural pattern books, auction and museum exhibit catalogs, and related publications and am able to design comfortably and authentically in a number of styles. If you have a piece of furniture that you would like to duplicate (like a chair missing from a set) or have a matching companion piece made for, I can help you with this.

At the beginning of a project, we discuss stylistic and material options to suit the specific requirements of your design. After our discussion, an initial proposal outlining the dimensions, materials, hardware, surface finish and estimated costs for your project is submitted for your review. Moving ahead, a design fee will be collected and plans are drawn up; a 2D model may be created at scale providing an opportunity to adjust the finished size to suit your space. Once the refinements are made you sign off on the final design plans. With your signature, a 50% deposit is collected (with the balance due upon completion) and I begin the realization of your piece.

Arcaded Continental Chest or Truhe on a Sockel
A “hope” or blanket chest with architectural features typical of our shop’s production. The elaborately fret-sawed base profile is typical of many continental chests.

Repair, Restoration & Conservation

If you have a piece of furniture that has become a little wobbly or treasured family heirloom that is begging to be restored, I can assist you here. The ‘fixing’ of furniture can be approached in three different ways: repair, restoration or conservation.


Repair is called for when the joinery of a piece or any attached elements have become loose or worn from normal use and the passage of time. Repair assumes that all of the original materials are there, and the piece can be re-assembled into functioning condition; think of the typical loose dining room chair.

Restoration is recommended when joined pieces or original elements are damaged or missing entirely.  Missing elements will be replaced with material and methods that can present as closely as possible an original appearance and function. Pieces damaged while being moved or estate sale purchases are often candidates for Restoration.

A rarely used option, Conservation is suggested when the condition of a significant object is threatened by deterioration, infestation or structural weakness.  Conservation assumes that no part of the object will be taken from or added to, only what is minimally required to preserve the object from further losses. Only the most physically gentle, least intrusive and completely reversible methods of stabilization will be used. A historical society or more likely a museum may request Conservation.

Sometimes you have a nice piece of furniture that no longer serves its original purpose, for example, a large drop-leaf dining table. A table like this could become two smaller side-tables (sofa tables?) and shared out to family members. A bookcase may become nightstands and so on.

Condition Reports:
Sometimes during a household move, weather event or other misadventure, furniture may become damaged. I can provide a detailed condition report and repair estimate for any piece should you require it. I am not an appraiser and cannot offer estimates of the market value of a piece. What I can do is place your piece in a historical context, providing comparisons of your piece to similar examples made in the same era.

Architectural Millwork and Design Consultation

I maintain a large collection of architectural manuals and catalogs covering the last few hundred years. If you are restoring a home or building new I can provide you with custom or period specific architectural elements such as newel posts, balusters, mantles, jamb linings, columns, capitals, friezes, and architraves. I can also restore existing or make matching replacements for any compromised elements such as wood turnings or wood carving.

You can retain me as a consultant where I can advise on the woodworking design aspects of any building project. For example, you may have existing woodwork and would like new work to match this stylistically, or you may be beginning a new project and would like the woodwork to be of consistent design quality throughout the house. I am happy to make the work, provide sources for materials and products or provide drawings if needed.

© 2018-2019 Joseph Hoover. All Rights Reserved.

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