Custom-made Furniture

Parent Q&A

  • Custom Table Maker Recommendation

    (3 replies)

    We are looking for a person who would be able to build us a custom sized bar table for our kitchen. Ideally it would be a mix of wood and metal. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

    Ian Urban has done various small custom projects for us, incorporating wood and metal. He's skilled and has a nice sensibility (and is a nice person, too!). ‭(510) 551-3849‬

    Hi, we used Carolyn Richardson, a carpenter, and she does great work! Please feel to message me so I can share her contact. I only have her (I think personal!) email and phone number, and don't want to post online. She built a drop down desk for us and two cabinets. She's easy to work with and her work is lovely.

    You could contact the Crucible at The Their woodworking faculty are really good at making interesting furniture with wood and metal.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Someone to make a simple cherry table

March 2012

We're looking for someone to make a simple cherry table for an eating nook. We need it custom made because it is a non-standard size. Probably just a simple cherry top on a metal pedestal base. I had previously called people from the archives and the phone book and have been unsuccesful finding anyone interested- any recommendations? Alice

I highly recommend Berkley Hansen to make a table for you or any other custom wood furniture. He designed and built cabinets and counter tops for our kitchen. You can see some of his work at or call him at 415-430-7866. He is creative, meticulous and reliable. Alicia

I highly recommend Gomez Furniture and Cabinetry. Gomez can be reached at Gomez3d [at]

I can highly recommend Donaldo Osorio of Osorio Woodworks. He created a beautiful custom dining table for one of my interior design clients, and I have used him repeatedly for various furniture design projects. Donaldo is a very skilled woodcarver/sculptor, but is equally adept at making simple pieces. He is a pleasure to work with and very prompt and responsive, so there are no worries about an inferior product or that you won't have it done when you need it. Call him at 510-290-3620. Good luck with your project, Jeanne

I recommend The HandyChick for this. She recently built some beautiful Adirondack chairs -- gorgeous, functional, and just what the client wanted. Her number is 415-713-6974. Monique

Someone to build small custom tables

Feb 2011

Would love a recommendation for someone to build small custom tables. Looking for natural cherry wood in a Shaker style, but in custom sizes. Thanks!

Gary Twitchell made a custom cherry table with benches for our new kitchen, along with a custom island. Both included lovely inlays of Walnut. His work was beautiful and meticulous, and he was really patient and helpful to make sure we got exactly what we wanted. Here's his info: Gary Twitchell Rahn Woodworking & Design Tel: 510 862-6528 Email: garyr [at] anon

We had someone custom make a mirror, entry table and media cabinet for us, and we LOVE all the pieces. His price wasn't bad and he made us exactly what we asked for. He's out of Sacramento, but he delivered and installed for us. He does all sorts of styles and works with you on the design process, so I'm sure you'd be happy with his work! Jen

Custom built-in shelving/furniture

Jan 2011

Hi, I'm interested in finding someone who can create a custom, built-in shelving unit with doors and drawers in my front entryway. Because of its location I want it to be very high quality work and look like an original built-in. The referrals for cabinet and furniture makers are pretty old. Does anyone have a referral for this type of work? Allison

I highly recommend Jim Weltner -- a true craftsman/artist and really nice guy. 510-207-1793 cell SPM

ETP Construction, located in Berkeley, does excellent high end construction and cabinetry work, especially craftsman. 510 390-1227. etp.artisan [at] lynnh

Ralph Manak did a custom build-in for our bathroom that had to fit a very odd space--under some stairs. It is the most beautiful item in our house. It had to match a pre-existing mirror in both color and style, and needed outlets for appliances as well as lighting. Ralph nailed it. He is an absolute perfectionist--a real old-time craftsman. His web-site, which does not have enough samples of his work, is: I'm sure he has more to share if you ask him. Sarah C

2005 - 2009 Recommendations

Hiring someone to build built-in bookcases

June 2008

I would like to hire someone to design and build built-in bookcases in my hallway. I have some ideas of what I would like them to look like but I'm not too creative about these kinds of projects. Any suggestions on who could do this work? Teresa

We used Closet Innovations, part of the Innovative Design Group. They didn't do closets for us, they did all our kitchen cabinetry, a built in banquette with bookshelves, and a garage hall with bench, cubbies, and a built-in hutch. Their work is very good and their prices were comparable to the customizable premade stuff, such as KraftMaid (KraftMade?).

They have a showroom at the San Francisco Design Center, which is just about all closet and office configurations, so you could go over there to see what they do and talk to someone. Otherwise, you could call them and they'll come out with a portfolio to show you. They do some very high-end work (tech billionaires, baseball players, conference rooms for Cisco Systems, etc., but they also do the basic laundry room and cabinetry for regular folks like me, I am not a rich, will-pay-whatever-it-costs type). So, don't be scared off by the fact that they are at the Design Center or that they do high-end stuff. Their prices are pretty good and the service is good. Plus, they have great ideas and are good problem solvers. You can tell them Mary in Moraga referred you. Their number: IDG/Closet Innovations, 800-971-7900 Mary

Built-in Shelving Unit

April 2007

We are looking for a carpenter to construct a built-in shelving unit in our home. It will probably be painted to match the wood in our home but we may be open to another possibility. Does anyone know someone for a job like this? Thanks hb

Try East Bay Woodwork at (510) 529-1480. anon

Furniture builder for dining room table

Nov 2006

Does anyone know of a good furniture builder? I have a picture of a dining room table and leather dining chairs that I would like to have made. Thanks so much Anonymous

Thomas Harder is a skilled furniture maker here in Berkeley. His experience and artistic abilities are his trademark. You can reach him @ 849-0658. Lindsey

Custom-built Arts & Crafts table

Jan 2006

I am lusting after an Arts & Crafts table at Berkeley Mills. The price is too steep so I am looking for a craftsperson who could make a similiar table but who doesn't have the overhead costs that Berkeley Mills does and who could make it more inexpensively. The archives for furniture makers are 4 to 6 years old. Thanks.

For the person seeking an alternative to Berkeley Mills, try Steve Belsito. His number is 444-2619 and he makes beautiful arts and crafts style furniture and he is a nice guy. His shop is down on Heinz Avenue in Berkeley behind Magic Gardens. We talked to him about building a cabinet and then about refinishing our Stickley dining room table and he told us how to refinish the table ourselves and even came over and helped us put the final finish on. We are going to have him build the cabinet as soon as we can afford it. Vickie

2004 & Earlier

Woodwooker to build table from recycled wood

August 2002

I am looking for a good woodworker who could build a table out of some recycled wood that I have. I'm looking for someone who can give input into design and build my table with an eye for simplicity of form and high craftmanship. Does anyone know of someone who does this type of custom work? Thanks for any tips. Jonathan

For craftsmen who can also give design advice in order to build a table from recycled wood, I'd like to recommend Vaughn Johnson and Peter Brock. They are both architects and have a well-equipped wood working shop in Berkeley. Vaughn has studied and practiced Japanese woodworking for some time. They are both excellent designers and I think you would find either one of them fun to work with. You can reach them at 845-8806. Laura

To the fellow who wanted a table made out of salvaged wood: I'd track down John Trout in Berkeley. John builds for that furniture place near Ashby on 7th, the Wooden Duck, focusing on salvaged materials. And if he can't do it, he may well know who can. Very nice guy. Wendy

Carpenter to build bookcases


We're looking for a reliable contractor/carpenter who can build us bookcases for one wall in our dining room, hopefully for a decent price, after the holidays. We appreciate any recommendations. Thanks.

Skog (I think it is, a high-quality line of bookcases Gorman's sells) will make bookcases sized to order. We've had many built by them and then attached to the wall by our local handyman. Unless you're looking for one bookcase to cover an entire large wall, I recommend looking at them -Fran

Barrett Woodworking created beautiful bookcases for our house. His workshop is in Berkeley, and he should be in the book. Karen

Need a dining room table to fit a difficult space

October 1999

Does anyone know of and recommend a furniture maker. I am considering having a dining room table made to fit into a difficult space. I envision it being made out of wood, but am flexible regarding materials. Any recommendations would be appreciated Debbie

I would recommend that you talk to David Bartlett, John Mercer (845-8823), or Berkeley Mills. John Mercer might actually be a cabinet maker (I never saw his work--he was recommended to me) but I've seen tables done by the others. All three were highly recommended when we were looking for someone to make some furniture for us about 8 years ago, the first person by MacBeath Hardware, the other two by people we knew. In fact, you might want to call MacBeath and see if they can recommend anyone--the person we eventually hired was also recommended by them. (Unfortunately he's no longer in the business.) Fran

I recommend Philip Barlow (707) 847-3684. He lives in the Cazadero/Timbercove area but most of his clients are in the Bay Area and he comes down regularly. I saw a very fine dining room sideboard he made for a neighbor--the drawers were so sturdy that someone could stand in them when pulled out. He made an elegantly crafted redwood bench for my parents. He also does custom cabinet work. Xanthippe