In the late 1800’s furniture was heavily influenced by the Victorian period. Details and curves created intricate looks and patterns. Much of the furniture was being mass produced in new furniture factories. William Morris, Gustav Stickley, the Shakers, and others began a movement to return to the craftsmanship of a simple clean design they called Mission, Craftsman, Arts and Craft, and Prarie styles.

Today furniture is engineered with compressed woods and vaneers, cut by computer operated equipment, leaving out the role of the craftsman. We find ourselves where William Morris and other found themselves a century ago. Coleman Moore has chosen to return as they did to the craftsman and to a simple and clean design. We are building lives through building furniture.


Not sure who wrote this, but we modified it to fit us.

“When buying from a craftsman, you are buying more than just a piece of furniture… You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experimentations… You’re buying days, weeks and months of frustration, and moments of pure joy. — You aren’t buying a thing to place in a room. — You’re buying a piece of a heart, part of a soul, a moment in someone’s life. More important you are buying the craftsman more time to do something they are passionate about.”

We are finding people who have three strikes against them and lending them a hand to learn a craft, become an artist, and bring joy into your life as you look at their craftsmanship. The furniture they build will not be perfect for they are not perfect. Be reminded of their humanity as you see a crack. Be reminded of their need for a savior as you see a nail hole, be reminded of their past as you touch a rough edge. Please be reminded that we to try to hide such things, but we are too human to wholly succeed. We are building lives through building furniture.


The Custom Cottage is the Lord’s. He is the CEO, CFO, COO, and BFF. We do nothing without soaking it in prayer and patiently waiting and listening to His response. He is in charge of marketing and sales, and so if you think you found us on Craigslist or a friend told you about us, or your google search identified us, then think again. He was way out ahead of you. That is how God works. We are building lives through building furniture.


The wood we use grows in northern midwest, is milled in the northern midwest, kiln dried to 6-8% humidity, and then we design, build and sell in Milwaukee, WI and Grand Rapids, MI. We use solid wood in almost everything we build. There are a few exceptions when larger pieces are needed and the best practice is to use plywood. We do this only as a last resort, and we always use quality plywood.

We can build in a wide variety of woods, but we stock and build the vast majority of our furniture out of soft wormy maple. This is a wonderful hardwood that has both character and beauty. Any of our designs can be built in Hickory, Cherry, Walnut, Oak, or any other wood that you would like.


One of the benefits of custom furniture is having your choice of the ultimate color, finish, and texture. This comes from the choice of wood, metal, or even concrete, to finishes – were we can do almost anything. From an industrial distressed maple work table, to a rustic reclaimed wood dining table, to a worn and peeled paint dresser. Or if it is just a beautiful stained bedroom set, or a special color of paint that fits your palate for your newborn nursery, we want to make your furniture look the way you want.

Many paints and finishes today have less than desirable side affects. Lacquers, urethanes and oil paints have fumes that can be harmful to the finisher. Water base latex paints are soft and may never fully harden. We too are concerned about VOCs. All of our finishes meet or exceed national VOC guidelines.

We have found two solutions.

  • Sherwin-Williams Industrial Acrylic – This is a very fast drying spray paint that is used primarily in industrial applications, but performs wonderfully on wood where it may come under some “abuse”. The sheen or luster choice comes in a semi-flat and semi-gloss.
  • Special formulated water based stains from Rollie Williams – We have a large number standard stains that are sprayed on and provide a very consistent color. This also allow su to offer any number of custom stain colors allowing our customers to match existing furniture.

Our beds are designed to disassemble and reassemble for the easiest of moves. In fact a bunk bed fits easily into my Pontiac Vibe. One of our model bunk beds was assembled and disassembled over 30 times and remained as sturdy as when it was built. The key to the strength of our beds is the interlocking/tightening system which connects the side rails with the headboard/footboard. The assembly requires a rubber mallet and phillips head screwdriver. We provide and require inserting a safety screw at each corner of a bed.

We try to design every table with a removable base. There are some designs, however, where the base is permanently attached. Almost all other furniture is fully assembled.

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