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Great Home Design: Fine Furniture Makers

Looking for new cupboards and chairs? The Washington area is ripe with talented artisans.

 >> This article is an excerpt from Where Did You Get That?, a home design guide printed in the August 2010 edition of The Washingtonian.  To view 40 more places to get distinctive furnishings, click here

Architectural Built-Ins. 17 Carriage Walk Ct., Gaithersburg; 301-947-9385. Michael Bruner was still in college when his father, Charles, started involving him with his jobs on millwork, built-in cabinetry, and paneled rooms. From rustic reclaimed wood to polished lacquer surfaces, their craftsmanship is revered across the region.

Art Woodstone Studio. 13852 Park Center Rd., Herndon; 571-323-2248. Two brothers from Herndon plus a husband and wife from the country of Georgia own this studio; they say they’re primarily artists who also make and repair furniture. Notable projects include library and chess tables for three Starbucks locations in Maryland and one in Ohio.

Barninger & Couch. 202-674-8115. It’s an unlikely pair: Justin Couch has a background in industrial design, while Jeffrey Barninger is trained in 18th-century furniture design. They draw on both disciplines to design and build their furniture—when they aren’t at their day jobs teaching woodworking to at-risk youth in DC.

Caleb Woodard Furniture Co. 3436 Lee Hwy., Arlington; 202-243-8249. Caleb Woodard, the son of a woodworker, got his first carving knife at age six. Now 30, he’s an artisan in his own right and a connoisseur of fine wood varieties. Of note: his Desert cabinetry, which looks like woven wood.

Hardwood Artisans. Alexandria, 703-379-7299; Fairfax, 703-537-0600; Woodbridge, 703-643-1044; Rockville, 301-770-0337. Half of all Hardwood Artisans’ orders are custom, whether it’s changing the dimensions of an existing piece or making an original design, says Mark Gatterdam, one of the six woodworker/owners. They build everything from furniture to cabinetry and paneled rooms and have recently started designing whole kitchens.

Kala Studios. 540-222-1542; kala-studios.com. Kaleo Kala learned woodworking from his dad, who built all the cabinetry in the renovation of Union Station. Kala makes house calls to his clients to design contemporary chairs, tables, and chests using certified renewable woods, hand-rubbed oils, and nontoxic glue.

Samuel S. Case Cabinetmakers. 3730 Howard Ave., Kensington, 301-933-2770; 120 W. Main St., Purcellville, 540-338-2725. Samuel S. Case comes from generations of antiques dealers, and he’s got at least 1,000 books on antiques. That, plus years of watching and doing, is why his 18th-century, Mission, and Shaker furniture designs are so accurate.

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