by TJ AndersonFrom time to time, I can subscribe to the “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing” axiom. And apparently, so does the new Legendairy Milkshake Bar, opening in June at 171
Where To Find Unique Custom And Artisan Made Furniture In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
Nashville has plenty of furniture shops, vintage stores and home-goods outlets offering all kinds of familiar, classic-looking pieces. But if you want something a little more unusual — creative designs, materials with a story — we luckily also have a good crop of handmade/custom furniture companies that deliver tables and chairs you’ll never find in a catalog.
Through the years as a Nashville Realtor, I’ve had quite a few Nashville homebuyers ask me about where to find furniture made with reclaimed wood, live-edge slabs and the like, so I’ve kept tabs on a handful of furniture designers and makers that color outside the lines a little in a beautiful way.
Below, a few of my local favorites.
Custom/hand-crafted furniture, made in Nashville
I wrote about Good Wood last year as a place to find reclaimed wood in Nashville for wall and flooring projects, and the East Nashville company is absolutely a top place to go for those needs. What I didn’t focus on, then, is their custom/original furniture designs, which are just as worthy of praise.
As you might expect, they use a lot of reclaimed wood for their tables, beds, benches and so on, which brings texture and life to their clean lines. My favorite of Good Wood’s original furniture designs: the Cumberland dining table, pictured above, made from reclaimed oak timbers sourced from old barns/buildings from right here in Middle Tennessee. They run just shy of $2500, and I’d expect your grandchildren’s grandchildren could still be eating at this table, and enjoying its history, years from now.
Cruising down busy Main Street in East Nashville, it’s easy to miss the Room 62 shop. But if you’re into handcrafted furniture, I’d encourage you to make a point of stopping by. Owner/designer Ted Amell crafts his pieces with both new and re-purposed materials, often with a mix of wood and metal, which I think makes them work perfectly in Nashville lofts and other spaces with a little more of an industrial edge.
(942 Main St., in East Nashville; uniquecustomfurnitureroom62.com)
Kelly and Cathy Maxwell’s Littlebranch Farm studio leans toward rustic furniture design, with a particular focus on incorporating live-edge wood. One-of-a-kind slabs are fashioned into dining tables, desks, beds, even custom vanities and mirrors, all smoothed and polished but bearing the idiosyncrasies nature made. If I ever get around to buying and designing my Middle Tennessee lake-cabin getaway, I’d love to put a live-slab vanity like this one in place, set off by sleeker details.
(901 2nd Ave. S., downtown Nashville; littlebranchfarm.com)
Another Nashville outlet for reclaimed wood, Woodstock Vintage Lumber also takes repurposed timber and turns it into original furniture designs. Their style, somewhat unsurprisingly, has some similarities to Good Wood, but you’ll also find much more rustic pieces, like the Primitive Poplar Table pictured above.
When you’re drawn toward furniture pieces that are also art pieces, furniture with serious heft, furniture that brings a history and story with it, there’s no better place to turn in Nashville than Railyard Studios. Master designer/owner Robert Hendrick and his team use reclaimed railway pieces, from plates to rails, along with unlaid crossties, to create their furniture. So all Railyard’s designs are bold and industrial, heavy both visually and literally. Good example: the Double Track Inside Curve Coffee Table pictured above, made with four sticks of century-old steel rail, plus vintage spikes and plates. (An extra, really cool detail: Every one of their pieces also has an antique “date nail,” used from 1900-1960 to mark the year a track was manufactured.)
(57 Willow St., southeast of downtown; railyardstudios.com)
A longtime fixture on Nashville’s custom furniture landscape, Karmal-Skillington’s team of furniture fabricators work with reclaimed wood to create anything from countertops to beds, much of it with a classic feel (like the reclaimed hemlock Classic Urn Trestle table, above). A big benefit of working with them, even if you’re looking for something simple, design-wise: All the details can be up to you, from edges to stain to finish, so a traditional piece can be fine-tuned perfectly to your tastes.
(2019 8th Ave. S.; karmalskillington.com)
Nashville’s Kidd Epps is a one-stop for commercial/residential decor — they do interior design, fabricate custom steel/glass windows and doors, design and build furniture and lighting… And the folks who tap the team for that mix of talents (like Slim + Husky’s in the Buchanan Arts District) end up with a modern, sophisticated look that has an unmistakably artful edge. I’m particularly wowed by their lighting designs, but the shelf above (and the table/seating up top) gives a great encapsulation of Kidd Epps’ hand with furniture: subtle, and spectacularly stylish.
Hope some of these Nashville furniture talents give you a little bit of inspiration, and maybe help you outfit your Nashville home with pieces you'll love for years to come.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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