In 1972, my father established The Heirloom Shop in New York City. Initially, it was a furniture stripping operation and antique retail store, but the little storefront business quickly grew to specialize in furniture repair, refinishing and custom furniture. It was in that environment that I learned about furniture construction and building techniques.

Captured by the beauty and character of wood, I became intrigued by the challenge of designing one-of-a kind pieces that highlight and integrate the figure, texture and color of natural wood. I came to appreciate the value of sound construction, attractive design and functionality, all tailored to the customer’s requirements and design preferences.

After 35 years designing and building custom furniture, my passion for the craft continues. The natural variations that occur in woods of all species, coupled with the specific requirements of clients, continue to inspire the design and construction of custom pieces that will satisfy your current needs and become treasured family heirlooms.

The Custom Design Process

Commissioning a custom piece of furniture gives you the opportunity to create the piece you imagine, with the exact dimensions, shape, type of wood, color and finish you want. This approach eliminates the frustration of not finding what you want in furniture showrooms.

The design process begins with a conversation about what it is you’re looking for. How do you want the piece to function; essentially, how will it be used? Where will this furniture live? What does that space look like? What is the lighting and what are the colors and textures present in that space? What other furniture is in the room? Additionally, dimensions, shape and specific design features will be discussed.

This information will influence how the piece is conceived and the kinds of wood, other materials and finish that will complement the design, both aesthetically and functionally.

Next, drawings will be generated representing one or more designs for your approval. Changes can be made at any time during this planning phase.

When a design has been approved, a proposal will be written. Once the proposal is signed, approximate start and delivery dates are scheduled. As the piece is nearing completion, another consultation will be scheduled to determine the exact color and finish that will be applied to your furniture.

Learn about Michael outside of the workshop