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Workshop Blog

Monday, January 19th, 2015

We’ve just finalized our marketing plan for 2015.

When we flush out our marketing for the year, we also try to include discussions about new products, what we’ll be showing in the showroom, showroom events and other things that loosely fall into the marketing bucket.

Last week, Saer asked me to give him a short list of items I’d like to have built for the showroom this year, as well as new designs I’d like to see. Sometimes they hear from me that we really need to offer a such-n-such, or that I’ve had a lot of customer requests for a this-n-that lately. These are the kinds of things we focus on during these discussions. What should we be offering that we aren’t? How can we fill out some of our design “lines”? Are there customizations that we’re frequently making to our Signature Designs that should be incorporated into a new offering, or made as a permanent change to an existing design? And so on.

And then there’s this one: if we get a photo shoot organized to get some new lovely photography, which products do we want to photograph?

So here are my 2015 wishlists.

New pieces to build for the showroom:

New designs:

  • A new sideboard/buffet that would work with the Gates Tables.
  • A tall or ¾ height display cabinet or enclosed bookcase for the living area.
  • Karu Table. Finalize this as a Signature Design.
  • A bar cart. Aren’t they all the rage?

And we could use new photography of:

I know Bill and Saer have some lists of their own. We’ll see what we end up with as the year progresses. Keep your eyes peeled.

Monday, November 24th, 2014

It’s so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is at hand. We’ve had such a busy year and have built so many pieces of beautiful furniture.

We are very grateful for such a successful year; for our customers and friends, our talented furniture makers, and all those that help us do what we do so well.

As you prepare your own table at home for your day of Thanks, here is a sampling of the dining and kitchen tables we’ve built this year. May they all be beautifully dressed this holiday, and may they all contribute to a lovely day with family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Custom extension dining table by Huston and Company, handcrafted solid wood

Hand build custom hardwood dining table by Huston and Company Maine

Custom trestle dining table by Huston and Company, Kennebunkport, Maine

Custom studio dining table, handcrafted in Kennebunkport, Maine

Stunning solid walnut extension table hand built at Huston and Company in Maine

Gorgeous pedestal extension dining table, solid oak, by Huston and Company

Solid maple dining table built in Kennebunkport, Maine by Huston and Company

Elegant extension dining table with starburst inlay pattern Huston and Company

Gates Trestle Table designed and handcrafted by Huston and Company Maine

Impressive solid oak dinig table designed and handcrafted by Huston and Company

Monday, November 10th, 2014

12/8/14 - This lovely desk found a new home at Wellesley College.

It's only five years old. Built by Huston & Company in 2009, it has been gently used in a local, small, law office. This beautiful desk is now for sale by the owner.

Reception desk for sale. Built by Huston & Company, Kennebunkport.

Built of African Mahogany, with traditional raised panels and base molding, this reception desk includes two legal sized file drawers, three box drawers, a letter/paper organizer and even a built in tack board. There is wire management throughout, including a chase behind the file drawers.

Reception desk for sale. Built by Huston & Company, Kennebunkport.

The workspace is generous, as is the coutertop space with it's beautifully curved front. The overall measurements are 40"H x 92"L (front) x 86"D (left return).

Reception desk for sale. Built by Huston & Company, Kennebunkport.

The owner is downsizing her office. She is willing to let this desk go for $1,750, which I promise you is an absolute steal.  The desk is located in her office on Pearl Street in Portland, and can be partially dissassembled for easier transport (Huston & Company can help with that). If you have some serious interest in this desk, or know someone who might, give us a call at Huston & Company, 207-967-2345. We can answer questions about the desk and put you in touch with the owner. The desk will be available in December.

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Collin Huston, the youngest of Bill’s three sons, is off on his next big adventure. Having recently accepted a position with Apple Inc., he is currently packing for a move West. He will be working on developments of the IPad.

Collin graduated from the University of New Hampshire and is a rather brilliant engineer. He’s always enjoyed “making things work” and seemingly prefers to make his own stuff, rather than buying the usual.

Case in point. Collin recently visited the workshop for an afternoon, to build his own speakers. Below you’ll see images taken during the process, and then the final result as they sit in Collin’s apartment.

He found a pattern for these speaker cases online. He and Ethan set up the CNC to cut the parts, creating a “flat pack” if you will, of the speaker cases. Here Bill jumped in to work with Collin on the assembly.

In very short order, Collin had two brand new, well crafted, unique speakers.

We all wish Collin the best of luck “out West”. And now, every time you pick up and turn on your IPad, you can think of Collin. Perhaps the next great IPad innovation will have been of his design.

Ethan and Collin at Huston & Company Kennebunkport custom furniture

The CNC at Huston & Company, cutting speaker parts for Collin Huston

Collin Huston, Ethan Verner, Huston & Company custom furniture maine

Speaker Flat Pack - Huston & Company personal project Kennebunkport

Collin Huston assembling spearkers Huston & Company Maine

Bill Huston and son Collin, speaker assembly, Huston & Company

Handcrafted speaker case, Collin Huston, Huston & Company

Bill and Collin Huston assemble speaker cases, personal project, Huston & Company

Handcrafted speaker cases, Collin & Bill Huston, personal project, workshop

Assembled speaker case, glueing and drying, Husotn & Company

Completed speakers, Huston & Company personal project, Kennebunkport, Maine

Collin Huston handcrafted speaker, Huston & Company, furniture

Personal project, Huston & Company handcrafted custom furniture, Maine

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

A huge congratulations to our friend, Erin Gates! Her new book, Elements of Style: Designing a Home and a Life, has been released and Erin is currently gallivanting about the eastern seaboard meeting her fans and signing books, all in excellent style.

Elements of Style by Erin Gates, congratulations from Huston & Company

Erin Gates, first booktour stop, West Elm, Boston; Congrats by Huston & Company
Both of the above images are borrowed from Erin's Blog, ElementsofStyleBlog.com
You can follow Erin’s book tour here on her blog: ElementsofStyleBlog.

(Erin’s site has recently been beautified, and we urge you to click on “Shop” at the top of the page. We think you’ll like what you see. We certainly did.)

Most of you will remember that we met Erin a couple of years ago when she was visiting Kennebunkport, staying at the Inn at English Meadows. During the fall of 2012, she and Bill worked collaboratively on a dining table design for Erin’s newly renovated home in Massachusetts. The result of that collaboration is our very popular Gates Table. The Gates Table is a stand-out among our signature designs with its notable curved base and the heft of the standard white oak. It also has a unique finish, created just for this design.

The Gates Table by Huston & Company, Erin Gates, Bill Huston


In the spring of 2014, Bill and Erin collaborated again on a new desk design, which she gave to her father. Thus was born our Gates Desk. With harkenings to the ‘campaign furniture’ of the 18th and 19th centuries, the base of the Gates Desk is a modified version of the base of the Gates Table, carrying aloft three pencil drawers. It is timeless, yet trendy at the same time. Is that possible? Obviously so.

The Gates Desk, Huston & Company, Erin Gates, Bill Huston
Erin styled and photographed her father's new desk for us.


And following that, the Gates Trestle Table seemed a natural offspring, designed in April of 2014, and quickly becoming one of our favorites here at Huston & Company. Shown below in the signature white oak and Gates finish, it is also really gorgeous in cherry. We have one here in the showroom and I get to look at it every single day.

Gates Trestle Table by Huston & Company, Erin Gates, Bill Huston


Since we built the first Gates Table (Erin’s) in the spring of 2013, we have built 19 Gates tables and desks (actually, Ethan has built them all), and are in the process of building four more right now. They have been built in just about every custom version you can think of: extension tables, ovals, rectangles, console tables – you name it. Erin’s periodic blog posts about her table, her desk and our work have led almost all of our Gates Table clients to us.

And so, as Erin travels throughout the states, changing from one gorgeous, stylish ensemble to the next, meeting, greeting and signing, we thank her profusely for engaging us in these collaborations, and we send her the warmest congratulations on the completion, release and success of her first book.

You can order Erin’s book here: AMAZON

Or buy it at Barnes and Noble and other bookstores.

(We pre-ordered ours in April and are eagerly awaiting arrival next week!)

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

There are so many talented furniture makers in Maine. We are fortunate to know a lot of them personally and I’ve always marveled at the fact that they all get along, share resources and are genuine friends. Each has his own unique style and niche, fully respected by the others.

I thought it was time to give our furniture making friends a little shout-out so you can take a look at their websites and their work, and celebrate their talents with us. Of course there are others in the state, but these are the ones we know best here at Huston & Company.


Huston and Company shares work of furniture makers in Maine - Green Design
 Doug Green, Green Design Furniture


Huston and Company shares work of furniture making friends in Maine - Pete Spadone 
Pete Spadone, Spadone Design


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine - Thos. Moser 
Thomas Moser, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine - Peter Turner
 Peter Turner, Peter S. Turner Furnituremaker


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine - Christian Becksvoort
 Chris Becksvoort, C.H. Becksvoort Furniture Maker


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine- Dave Margonelli
 David Margonelli, Margonelli Fine Furniture


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine - Gregg Lipton
 Gregg Lipton, Gregg Lipton Furniture


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine- -Jeff Lind
 Jeff Lind, Jeff Lind Fine Woodworking


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine- -Steve Hanson
 Steve Hanson, Hanson Woodturning


Huston and Company shares the work of furniture making friends in Maine - McIntosh & Tuttle
 Todd McIntosh and  Jon Tuttle, McIntosh & Tuttle Cabinetmakers

Each image here was borrowed from the website of each individual company or business, with the exception of the image of Pete Spadone's work, which was borrowed from an archived blog post at Pritam & Eames.

Monday, August 25th, 2014

It’s like Christmas here this week. Our first order of table linens and pillows from Bonnie and Neal arrived and it’s been way too much fun to price, tag and display them.

Gorgeous table linens at Huston and Company fine custom furniture maine

They are gorgeous; bright colors and bold patterns hand screen printed on natural linen. We have pillows in various sizes, table runners, napkins and tea towels.

Pillows at Huston and Company fine custom furntiure kennebunkport maine

They add such color and pop to the showroom and look perfect with our furniture and our bright Sara Schneidman rugs. You must come by the showroom and check them out.

Table Runners, linen, at Huston and Company, Kennebunkport Maine

Huston and Company is carrying gorgeous table linens by Bonnie and Neal

Don’t say goodbye to summer just yet – these will brighten your kitchen and dining room and add sunshine to your living areas. They make lovely housewarming gifts, and it’s not too early to think about the holidays!

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Did you request yours yet?

We've been working on a new catalog update for several months now, adding new prodcuts, new pages, updating text and images. It's not our favorite thing to do, we'll admit, so we are very glad it's done. We do love to see it finished though, hot off the press. Even though we've been looking at the images, text and pages for weeks (okay, months) it all seems new when the printer delivers them to us.

New catalog by Huston and Company fine custom furniture maine

This time around we worked with talented graphic designer, AJ, to add new products and new pages to the existing catalog (originally created for us by Bill's sister, Jill). He stepped in as our art director on our photo shoot, designed the new pages for us (squeezing lots of new products into a little bit of new page space), updated and photo-corrected many of our older photos and proofed it all with the printer before it went to press. Our new photos were taken by Chris at CA Smith Photography. He always does a brilliant job for us and is so easy to work with. The catalog was printed by JS McCarthy. (We work with Bill at JS McCarthy, who also has a delicious side business, The New England Brisketeers, in case you're hungry) As is always the case, they were fast and efficient and the catalogs look beautiful.

AJ Mastrangelo, graphic designer; and Chris Smith, photographer; Huston catalog shoot
AJ and Chris creating our new images

A few of the new items you'll find in our catalog are the Colby Stools, the Arris Sofa and the new Gates Desk. There are several new dining tables, new occasional tables and a new bed too. We love the dramatic image of the Rivers Waterfall Console Table on the cover.

New catalog by Huston and Company, handmade furniture in Maine, Kennebunkport

Of course, along with the updated catalog comes an updated price list. Our new prices will be effective on August 11th. The prices on our website will be fully updated by then. If you have an order in mind, take advantage of the "old" prices this week. If you have any question regarding price, just give us a shout.

And don't forget to request your copy. We'll send it to you right away.

Click to request a new catalog!



Monday, July 14th, 2014

Save room for dessert, because you will want to spend as much time as you can at our new Gates Trestle Table.

I know we just introduced our new Gates Desk, but we can't help ourselves. The new designs just keep coming out of the workshop and they're so lovely we need to share them with you as quickly as we can.

We designed this table for a client in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and we immediately fell head-over-heels with the design. Based on the design of the Gates Table, this one is elongated and has a very practical trestle base. 

Huston and Company, Kennebunkport, Handmade solid oak trestle table

Before the table was even fully completed in the workshop, Bill declared it needed to become a standard design and be included in our upcoming, updated catalog. 

Handcrafted hardwood dining table, Maine, Gates Trestle, Huston

You may remember the Gates Trestle Table from the sneak peek we gave you in our earlier blog post. As soon as the table was finished in the workshop, we whisked it to a lovely home here in town for a quick photo shoot. Now we have these beautiful photographs to show off our new table.

Huston and Company, Kennebunkport, fine furniture, handcrafted, table

The new Gates Trestle Table is 30"H x 42"W x 84"L. Easily seat three on each side and one at each end for a total of eight. Shown here in white oak with our Gates Finish, it can also be built in any American hardwood and with a plethora of finishes. As always, we can customize the size to fit your space. We just recently took an order for a Gates Trestle Table in cherry. We are all excited to build this as we know this design is so perfectly suited for the smooth texture and rich color of cherry. Can't you just see it?

custom furniture, design your own, handcrafted, solid wood, dining table

The price of the Gates Trestle Table as shown is $3,850.

Coming soon - our newly updated catalog (and yes, that means an updated pricelist too), our new Karu Table, and an announcement regarding a new Designer Rewards program. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Shortly after we completed and delivered the original Gates Table to Erin Gates, we began discussions of a new design to complement the table. Erin envisioned a desk that would harken back to the campaign desks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with an updated aesthetic and more practical design for today’s use, and utilizing some of the design features of her dining table.

Bill and Erin went back and forth with sketches and ideas a few times before they landed on this: the new Gates Desk.

Huston and Company Gates Desk, Erin Gates, Elementsofstyleblog.com

Built of solid white oak, with a custom finish and antiqued brass pulls, the Gates Desk has three drawers and measures 30”H x 60”L x 30”D – plenty of surface area for all of your workday needs.

The Gates Desk, handcrafted by Huston and Company, solid oak Kennebunkport

Erin’s own desk has a custom finish and as we enter the Gates Desk as a signature design on our website and in our updated catalog (heading to the printer very soon!), the standard finish will be the Gates Finish we originally created for the Gates Table, a white wash on oak, as shown below. The new signature Gates Desk is priced at $4,275.

Solid hardwood desk, Gates Desk, handmade, Maine

Earlier this week, Erin posted on her blog, Elements of Style Blog, about the process of designing a custom piece of furniture with Huston & Company, and included shots of the desk as it was being built in our workshop. Click HERE to see Erin’s post.

Erin Gates designed Gates Desk by Huston & Company, Maine EOS blog

As with any of our signature designs, we’d be happy to customize the Gates Desk for you. We could change the number of drawers, modify the size, use a custom finish or a different wood species (wouldn’t this also be beautiful in cherry or walnut?). Just let us know how we can make this design work for you.

Custom desk, handcrafted in Maine, huston, Kennebunkport, Gates, EOS

As Erin mentions in her post, we have built a vast number of custom Gates Dining Tables since Erin’s original was delivered. Not only has the Gates Table design led us to the desk design, but we also have a new Gates Trestle Table to introduce to you soon. Stay tuned.

The New Gates Desk by Huston & Company designed by Erin Gates

The location shots for this post were staged and taken by Erin Gates at a private residence. The silouhettes were taken by CA Smith Photography in Kennebunk, Maine.