A Craftsman's Notes

The Marvelous Blog

Creating New Beauty with Reclaimed Wood

Decorating with reclaimed wood is a popular trend these days. The old wood look has a lot of value, and we see items such as live-edge tables and recycled wood doors in rustic style homes as well as modern ones. Marvelous Woodworking has created a number of pieces by repurposing wood our clients have brought us. Sometimes they find a pile of logs in a shed their dad had cut years ago, or they are tearing down an old barn but want to keep part of it for the memories. We have built everything from small frames to fireplace mantels to new furniture pieces from found wood.

A Rare Find

Typically, houses are built with common woods like pine and poplar, used in baseboards, door casings and shelving. However, every once in a while you’ll find richer woods like oak, cherry, walnut, and even mahogany. We were on a remodel project when our client found her home had hidden stashes of mahogany in the door casings as well as big wooden planks serving as closet shelves. Mahogany is a lovely material, and our client wanted to use it for something more prominent than stacking her towels on. We replaced the mahogany with pine, and built a bathroom vanity and a matching bench from the richer material.

custom built furniture | Reclaimed WoodThis is a rare find—the home was built in the 50s or 60s, and at the time expensive woods like mahogany were incorporated into houses that were considered upscale. Sometimes these woods have been painted over and remain hidden treasures, until the homeowner starts to pull things apart.

Reclaimed Barn Door

As housing development expands, and the Indiana fields are turned into neighborhoods, many old barns are coming down and becoming reclaimed wood resources. A client was tearing down a horse barn where she had grown up, and she salvaged one half of a door. We mounted it on a sliding hardware hanger for her and turned it into a decorative piece that holds many great childhood memories.

Barn Door | Custom Woodworking | Reclaimed WoodIf you have found some raw wood that has sentimental or family value, Marvelous Woodworking can turn it into a beautiful piece, either small memorabilia items like a coat rack, or sometimes even heirloom-quality furniture. Contact us, or call 317-679-5890.

Add Decorative Details to Your Home Through Custom Woodworking

When creating custom woodworking projects for our clients, whether it is a cabinet or staircase, we don’t just make it sturdy and functional—we also make it beautiful. Wood can be a naturally gorgeous material on its own, but with a craftsman’s eye for detail, little decorative nods, accents, and shapely additions can transform any project from plain to unique and lovely.

Decorative details also help a custom piece match its surroundings. This is especially important for historic restoration projects. For example, we reconstructed the windows and moldings of this alcove for the conservatory in the Parry Mansion, an early 1900s period Indianapolis home.

Parry Mansion finished room | Custom Woodworkingcustom woodworking Crown molding by Doug Marvel, Marvelous WoodworkingTheir style had to be true to the era, and look like they had always been there. Through research and noting existing design elements, we recreated molding for the area that would fit seamlessly into a home that had been built a hundred years ago.

Many of our projects involve adding subtle decorative details—trim work, inlays, curving lines—that echo the architectural details of the home and other furniture. We always try to mirror through details the overall look of the house in new pieces, making them look like they belong. In creating a new fireplace mantel, our design used corbels to hold up the mantel. These architectural supports go way back in architectural history and were originally used as decorations under the eaves of a house. Fitted in the right places, corbels look modern and high style.

custom fireplace mantel_whitebrickcorbelIn a staircase update, we added little diamond inlays to the top of the newel posts. Though small, this accent shows the handmade quality of the staircase—you can’t find this look in a store.

staircase_diamond detailSometimes our decorative detailing work comes from special requests. Custom woodworking means the sky is the limit, and when clients can’t find what they are looking for in stores, they come to us to make what they’re envisioning.

Personalized custom curio cabinet by Doug Marvel, Marvelous WoodworkingFor example, this medicine cabinet was made for a client for whom the design had personal meaning. Custom detailing allows you to bring your own history and touch to a piece, something we love to do!

Custom woodworking bed frame by Doug Marvel, Marvelous WoodworkingThis bed frame has movement and interest in the decorative details of the knobs and trim edges, and in the textures of the wood we chose for the paneled head and foot boards.

We love finding ways to include surprising, beautiful details to our woodworking projects. A little thoughtful craftsmanship goes a long way, and often we find a piece just needs a few small touches to bring the design to the next level. Email us or call 317-679-5890 to discuss a custom woodworking project you would love to see in your home.

Custom Storage for Mudroom Organization

Mudrooms, entryways, and backdoor areas tend to become the family catch-all after work and school. The ensuing clutter becomes an eyesore, and makes it harder to find what you need to get out the door. Thankfully, there is a way to solve organization issues—custom storage. A family in Zionsville sought us out to help them design a custom piece that would address their messy back room, which had become a disheveled gathering spot for totes, shoes, boots, hats and gloves. Everything always wound up scattered on the floor! Though they tried using some of their existing furniture, those items weren’t able to function as needed. They came to Marvelous Woodworking to create their perfectly functional mudroom organizer that would hold all their items.

For the design, our clients had found ideas and pictures on Houzz and Pinterest to communicate what features and look they wanted. With a custom design, all options are open; we mixed several ideas together to create the perfect storage piece they needed, and made it stylistically look like it belonged to their home.

mud room custom storageThey needed a unit that could hold everything quickly—backpacks, coats, hats, gloves, shoes, etc. Open shelving allows for simple, easy storage, and the individual compartments keep each family member’s items separate so they are findable.

custom storage_feetWe took every opportunity to tie in their existing interior design to the custom piece, mirroring the room’s base molding on the foot, putting crown molding around the top that echoed the door and window styles, and using matching white paint. The bead board back also reflected the contemporary style of the house.

custom storage_top crownThe homeowner’s touch came in with the baskets and hooks; she had already chosen them before we created the design, so we were able to use them to determine the overall dimensions of the project.custom storage_basketscustom storage_hooksThe homeowners wanted a painted look and it was a wise choice for durability and upkeep. A well-used item like this is going to see some abuse during its time. Paint is easily cleanable, and all it needs to look new again is a fresh coat.

Each household will have different needs when it comes to creating custom storage. The first important questions to ask yourself is what needs to be stored, and how hidden does it need to be? For some homes, it will be all about creating spaces for baggage and clothes. For others, hiding sports equipment will be a big priority, requiring closed doors. A custom storage piece can cater to all of your needs, providing a place for everything so nothing has to lie around on the floor anymore.

We at Marvelous Woodworking love designing custom solutions for our clients. Send us an email or call  317-679-5890.

Custom Woodworking: Your Personality in Your Home

Spreading your personality throughout your home can be challenging when store-bought options don’t give you the character and style you are looking for. Many homeowners and interior designers alike have come to Marvelous Woodworking for a custom woodworking solution to their design, storage, and style issues—fireplace mantels, staircases, cabinets, architectural details or furniture can all be hand-made and thus tailored to fit needs and stylistic choices exactly.

 Creating Character in New Homes

Though new houses are often updated with the latest technology and capabilities, they may not always have those beautiful details which make a home distinct. The upside to having a new house with a mostly blank slate means you can craft a look of your own, whether that includes crown molding, wainscoting, or cabinetry that suits your storage needs and style.

Adding Wainscoting | HallwayMore store-bought options are available for new homes, but the problem our clients often find with pre-made materials is that they don’t quite match the style of their home décor or other existing architecture. We created the tall wainscoting above for one of our clients to better suit their home’s high ceilings, and match their existing door and trim details.

Whether it is a new or old home, every homeowner has different storage needs than the previous inhabitant. This pair of custom cabinets were created to match the custom fireplace mantel, as well as hold what our client needed to store. We make sure our custom woodworking projects sit perfectly in their given space, a feat difficult to achieve with two pre-made pieces constructed independently of each other. In the picture below, we were easily able to create the mantel and cabinets so that they fit neatly together.

custom woodworking_mantel and cabinet5_12_17

Preserving Personality in Old Homes

Older homes tend to have rich character due to the aesthetics of the past. Homeowners often want to preserve these originally-created aspects; however, because everything was hand-made to begin with, there are no replacement parts or matching options available in catalogues or stores. Finding cabinetry, trim, or even furniture that suits the home’s look becomes very challenging. As a restoration specialist, Marvelous Woodworking has had the pleasure of working in many older homes to both repair architectural details as well as create new pieces that appear original to the space.

Adding new details to an old home is an intricate and creative process that requires a careful study of the home’s surrounding details. This bookcase was specifically requested by an interior designer who wanted a very particular style to be recreated anew, matching the colors of other furniture and reflecting the old-world look of the entire home.

Custom Bookcase | Custom WoodworkingAs houses age, their original structures become somewhat warped, and few rooms remain square or perfectly aligned. Thus, store-bought trim and crown molding end up looking askew when wall-to-ceiling heights vary within the same room. Custom trim and molding can be crafted to hide the differences in wall heights, matching your home’s style while also making it look better than before.

Historic Home | Custom Crown MoldingWhen you work in very old homes, such as the historic Parry Mansion built circa 1900, studying the home’s existing architecture, examining past pictures, and consulting with history experts is crucial to accurate and proper restoration. In the Parry Mansion, we recreated several parts of the house, including French doors, trim, and these arched windows which required a special process to form the top curves.

Window arches at Parry Mansion | Historic homesWe at Marvelous Woodworking have been able to provide custom solutions for homeowners looking for the right design to complement their style perfectly. If you would like to discuss a project with us, send us an email or give us a call at 317.679.5890 to set an appointment.