Fine furniture making is an art form that creates items of beauty to adorn homes and other spaces. In a state known for its fine artisans and craftmanship, Maine furniture makers put a passion for their work into each of their creations. Greater Portland hosts the showrooms of several design companies that all make their furniture right here in Maine; make sure to add them to your itinerary of inspiring sights.
Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers
Influenced by the simple aesthetics of the American Shaker period, Thos. Moser Cabinetmakers
has grown over the past 30 years from a one-man operation to nearly 100 cabinetmakers today. Their mission statement, "To build furniture that celebrates the natural beauty of wood, is of simple, unadorned, graceful line and is crafted for a long useful life,” embodies the philosophy that has earned the company decades of accolades.
Tom Moser tooled his woodworking hobby into a successful business and, these many years later, continues to conceive and design new products with his youngest son, David. In fact, three of Moser's four sons are now actively involved in the business. David's designs have added a modern sensibility to the Moser line and he has started incorporating other enduring materials, such as bronze and leather, into his pieces.
Another exciting innovation, the "Customer in Residence” program, allows participants to work side-by-side with a master cabinetmaker in a week-long intensive internship. Conceived to offer lasting service and beauty, Thos. Moser furniture comes with a guarantee for the lifetime of the original owner. Their showroom in Freeport covers two full floors of a restored 19th century home, and guided tours of the company's workshop in Auburn can be arranged through the showroom. For a unique stay, spend the night in the Thos. Moser Suite at nearby Harrasseket Inn
, decorated using a combination of traditional and contemporary Moser pieces.
Green Design Furniture
Douglas Green, founder of Green Design Furniture, believes that "honorable design must have an intelligent premise and superior craftsmanship, while leaving a minimal environmental footprint.” His company's furniture, handcrafted using sustainably harvested American black cherry in their Portland workshop, well meets this criteria. Green Design began in the early 1990s as an outgrowth of a patent Green received for his unique joinery system that allows parts to slide and lock into each other and virtually eliminates the use of screws, nuts, bolts, and other fasteners. Green's designs use the inherent strength of the wood itself to hold the furniture together while its natural beauty illuminates each piece.
Use of designer Green's name is as apt as it is fortuitous since being "green” is one of the core values that has sustained the company since its inception. In a new, less costly line of furniture made from Maine grown ash and other locally sourced woods, Green Design is experimenting with colored tints to create beautiful effects. Visit the company's only showroom, located in a historic brick building in downtown Portland, to see first-hand how contemporary green furniture can be.