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Workshop Blog

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!

Enjoy!

 

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.

 

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

One morning this week we met Chris Smith of CA Smith Photography at a lovely home in Kennebunkport to photograph some of our newer pieces: the Arris Sofa and Ottoman and a new table which I believe we will be calling the Gates Trestle Table.

Brand new custom dining table by Huston & Company, Kennebunkport, Maine

Chris' wife, Cyndi, helped us locate a beautiful local home, the owners of which were willing to let us in, move all of their furniture around, and disrupt their home for a few hours. It was a last minute arrangement and we are very grateful for the opportunity.

Huston & Company and CA Smith photograph shooting fine handmade furniture

AJ Mastrangelo, the graphic designer who creates our print ads and is updating our catalog for us, was on site to help with art direction. It was very important that we walked away with images that are not only beautiful and show the furniture well, but that will also work in many different ad formats, on our website and in our catalog. AJ worked closely with Chris throughout the morning to be sure we were getting the shots we need.

Huston and Company work with gd-cmyk design and CASmith Photography

Because the shoot was organized so quickly and at the last minute, there wasn't time to explore styling and propping items. We relied completely on the good taste of the homeowners to provide us with rugs, light fixtures and accessories. Fate lent a hand and it happened that everything in this lovely home worked beautifully with our furniture and the aesthetic we were trying to capture in our images. We ordered the flowers even before we'd seen the house, with the help of our friends at Blooms & Heirlooms. Again, with luck, they were perfect.

Huston Gates Table in trestle style, brand new handcrafted dining table

Bill and Saer Huston were on hand and did most of the heavy lifting.

Arris Sofa and Ottoman by Huston and Company, handmade in Maine

You'll soon see the resulting images popping up on our website, in new ads in several magazines, on our Facebook page and in our updated catalog which will be out sometime next month. (And a reminder that our prices will be updated as well sometime next month)

Handcrafted solid wood furniture by Huston of Kennebunkport Maine, Arris Sofa

Please note, all of the above photos were taken with my own camera, which recently decided not to auto-focus anymore, just as my own eyes have decided to do the same. Chris' images will be far and away superior. And, because I know some of you will ask, the homeowners told us the gorgeous light fixture in the dining space came from Restoration Hardware.

Be on the lookout for these new images, and more information about this great new table.

Monday, June 9th, 2014

In the shop this week, we have two beautiful custom orders finishing up.

A custom handmade table at Huston & Company, Kennebunkport, Maine

A custom Gates Table by Huston and Company. Handmade of solid oak.

A custom version of our Gates Table, this trestle style table will soon be in its new home here in Maine. Handcrafted of solid white oak, it heads to our finishing shop this week for an application of our Gates Finish – a lightly distressed, whitewashed (or cerused) finish.

A stunning custom handcrafted solid oak table by Huston and Company, Maine

This table is a fast favorite here at Huston & Company. Look for it featured in our newly updated catalog, due out this summer.

A handcrafted solid walnut headboard by Huston and Company, Maine

The Rivers Bed, custom in walnut at Huston and Company in Kennebunkport.

The headboard pictured above is part of a custom Rivers Bed. This river, hand routed by Saer Huston, follows the active grain of the walnut boards chosen specifically for this piece.

The frame of this custom bed was designed with some eastern influences and will look quite different from our signature Rivers Bed design.

Custom handmade bed frame in Kennebunkport Maine

This bed also heads to finishing this week and will soon be at home in central New York State.

Our signature Rivers Bed will also be presented in our updated catalog. And, while we’re on the subject, we are also updating our pricelist (hasn’t been updated in three years). So, if you’re considering one of our signature designs, now’s the time.

Enjoy the beginning of summer, which has finally arrived here in Kennebunkport.

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

The Wilson Dining Table has always been one of our favorites here at Huston & Company. The simplicity of the lightly curved edges of the table and the lean, graceful legs combine for an elegant yet everyday table. It's practical and timeless.

Are you looking for such a dining table? Practical, elegant and timeless? You're in luck. One of our friends here in the Kennebunks is selling his custom Wilson Dining Table and six Sorrento Chairs. It's a lovely set, in beautiful condition. This is the sort of dining set you could use for many, many years and then pass along to a family member for future generations.

Handmade cherry table for sale Huston & Company Kennebunkport Maine

Solid cherry wood dining table and chairs for sale Kennebunkport Maine

The table measures 30"H x 66"L x 42"W. It has the standard curved apron, boat shaped sides and ends, and bulnose edges on the tabletop. It is solid cherry with a clear finish and has aged and been cared for beautifully. It was built in the fall of 2006.

For sale, Kennebunkport Maine, handcrafted solid cherry dining set Huston & Company

The chairs are our standard Sorrento Side Chairs, with ocean blue fabric, as shown. They are also in beautiful condition, including the upholstery. The set of six side chairs was also built in the fall of 2006.

Used solid cherry dining set, Huston & Company, Maine, handcrafted

Our friend is hoping to sell the set for approximately $3,800. (If built new today, this set of table and chairs would cost $6,035 plus the cost of upholstery.)

If you are interested in seeing these pieces, or would like to talk to the owner about a possible purchase, please give us a call or shoot us an email here at Huston & Company and we'll make the connection for you.

This is a beautiful set. It will last for generations. 

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

On May 16th, Jason Jackson and I went to a “color development” seminar held at Atlantic Plywood in Westbrook, Maine. Jason is our very talented finisher, and he’s already got the color development thing down. But in recent months we’ve had many requests for custom finishes; finishes different from those we’ve done in the past.

As I work directly with our customers, it falls to me to understand what the customer is asking for, and to then clearly pass that information along to Jason.  We have found that once in a while we run into language issues. We both speak English of course, but he speaks ‘the finishing dialect’ and I speak the ‘never-been-in-a-spraybooth-in-my-life dialect’.

Jason Jackson of Huston & Company, Kennebunkport Maine, finishing talent

By attending this class with Jason, I hoped to better understand the finishing processes, and to learn the lingo better. Jason hoped to experiment with some clever ways to get the looks our customers are now wanting.

Jason Jackson, finishing, Atlantic Plywood seminar, Huston & Company handcrafted furniture

Finished panels, finishing school, Huston & Company custom furniture

I would say it was a success. Jason was clearly one of the most knowledgeable finishers (if not the most knowledgeable) in the class which ranged from “old hat” to “just starting out”. It was a small group of 8 students, and as such our instructor, Matt Griffin, was able to cater the class to everyone’s needs. Jason was able to experiment, I was able to ask a million questions and try my hand at spraying finishes many times – sometimes with success, sometimes resulting in a bubbly sticky mess.

panels drying, finishing school, huston & company, kennebunkport, maine

I learned the difference between a toner, a stain and a topcoat. I learned about different types of topcoats, different ways to apply toners, ways to combine toners and stains to get the look you want.

I think Jason and I are better equipped now to speak ‘finish’ back and forth. And that’s a good thing - because I have a stack of wood chips on my desk that need to be made into finish samples and barely are two the same.

Monday, April 28th, 2014

If you've been following us recently, you know that we are in the midst of our Celebrating Libraries promotion for our residential clients: for every $1,000 you spend between now and the end of May, we'll send a $100 gift certificate to the library of your choice. Clients may choose any library: public, private, school, historical, law - you name it.

Clever, eh?

If you follow us, you also know that we do a lot of work for Princeton University and we're in the middle of building a large number of pieces for the Firestone Library there.

Well, our first client to take advantage of this promotion ordered a custom buffet table. When asked which library they'd like to choose for their promotional gift, we had to chuckle -  Princeton University's Firestone Library.

It seems our client and her husband are both proud Princeton grads and loved the idea of giving back to their alma mater. They had no idea we build furniture for Princeton, so they were equally surprised. We love that our residential and university clients are intermingled this way.

Small world.

So, what can we build for you? And which library will you choose?