The Spaces We Make: Dorset Custom Furniture

We’re on the doorstep of another New England winter. Marked by blustering, bluebird days and beautiful but early sunsets, these may be the months in which we become most ‘at home’ with our interior landscapes. This week, inspired by the changing season, we’ve borrowed a few excerpts from Dan Mosheim’s Dorset Custom Furniture Blog on the topic of interiors.

Mosheim’s been making fine furniture in Vermont since 1980 and his commissions have been installed in living, working and destination spaces across the country. The collection of Dan’s thoughts and photographs that follow are as much a commentary on the design process as a testament to the value of custom furniture crafted by a studio maker.

Jan 12. 2013 ~ Dorset Custom Furniture

“We make furniture, one piece at a time, it’s true. But we also sometimes make spaces, often intimate and personal spaces that can have deep meaning for us and the clients we work with. I visited the space in the photo below yesterday to discuss some new work in an upstairs office; was struck by the peacefulness and beauty of it. The client was the designer and she has an impeccable eye. We applaud her taste in custom furniture. The two pieces we made in the photo, the large Kas tv cabinet in the background (back when big tvs were still big) and the custom pool table in the foreground, both look great over ten years later. Both were challenges on a lot of levels but looking at them now, I remember the challenges as fun and considerable.”

Custom Game Room

“This cherry and burl dining room set was a commission that created an intimate, interesting space in a home on Long Island.”

Custom Cherry Dining Room Set

One of the most rewarding things we get to do (as furniture makers) is to work with clients to produce their visions. And then visit those spaces later, after the fact, to see how they use and enjoy them.

Custom Office Furniture Made in Vermont

Custom Home Office, Danby VT

A look at a Custom Painted Hutch and Entry Way Bench, Manchester VT

Custom Painted Dining Room Hutch for Display and StorageHandcrafted Sideboard by Dorset Custom Furniture

At our house, it’s all about the sunshine, all the time. Morning sun comes into the bedroom and bathroom below on the right end. In the afternoon, light shines in the left end living room and opposite side of the house. Like the shop, which we built and lived in first, we designed this house to be—wherever possible—‘one room deep.’ Meaning you can look in the front window from outside in front, and out the back window on the other side. …a principle I think I picked up from a book I get at the library every so often, called ‘A Pattern Language’ by Christopher Alexander. One of my favorite quotes from that book goes like this:

                “At the core…is the idea that people should design for themselves their own houses, streets and communities. This idea… comes simply from the observation that most of the wonderful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people.”(front bookflap, A Pattern Language).

Custom Interior by a Fine Furniture Maker in Dorset VT

…By luck or a dogged persistence, we ended up with a house and shop that get very early morning sun and some of the last sun in town. A personal (but somehow worthy) obsession.

Are we interior designers? Not really. And certainly not all the time. But occasionally we get to start from nothing and create a warm and personal space for our clients with our designs. And that is a most rewarding experience.”

You can find Dan & Dorset Custom Furniture on our website, on Facebook and blogging from his office when he’s not in the workshop. He looks forward to hearing from you!


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