Beautiful Woodworking Solutions for 4 Common Design Problems

IDC welcomes guest blogger Doug Marvel of Marvelous Woodworking to the blog.  See how Doug and his team solve common design dilemmas when the devil is in the details.

Whether new or old, every home presents design problems. At Marvelous Woodworking, we are often called upon by interior designers and homeowners alike to address these challenges from a craftsman’s point of view. In many cases, store-bought options cannot remedy the situation, as there are many details and components in homes that manufacturers don’t make anymore, especially for older houses. Our custom approach allows us to focus on the details and allows the homeowners to bring their own personality and style to their space. From architectural details and trims, to an updated fireplace mantel or custom cabinetry, our custom woodworkers can give you the look and functionality you are trying to achieve in your home.

1. Custom Fireplace Mantels

When you purchase an existing home, you are getting the previous owners’ design choices. We get many calls from homeowners who are unhappy with their fireplace, but are daunted by the complicated remodeling task. Particularly with fireplace mantels, off-the-floor designs often do not fit the style they are looking for, or the functionality they need is simply not available. Custom-made fireplace mantels open all the options to homeowners, in construction, style, and even special storage. Unique wood pieces, trim combinations, and lengths and widths can be created when you incorporate a custom mantel into your fireplace design.


Custom fireplace mantle from the design portfolio of Marvelous Woodworking.

A current popular trend in homes is turning the fireplace area into an entertainment center, mounting the TV just above the mantel. This arrangement presents a challenge as you have to find somewhere to place a mass of ugly cords, wires and components. We approach this issue with both the aesthetic and functionality in mind, creating mantels that conveniently store components out of sight. The result is a mantel that looks gorgeous while also doing something useful.

Hidden wires incorporated behind trim work creates a clean and seemless look.

Hidden wires incorporated behind custom trim creates a clean and seamless look.

2. Staircase Updates

Staircases also come with their homes and have many similar issues. They too cannot be replaced easily because of how delicately they were constructed—it is no small task to take apart a staircase, make changes to it, and put it back together. However, updating a staircase dramatically impacts the look and style of a home’s interior. How you customize a staircase is highly variable: you can replace balusters, newel posts, handrails, treads and other details in different combinations to suit your style and budget.

The staircase is often the focal point upon entering one's home. Make it a work of art reflecting your style.

The staircase is often the focal point upon entering a home. Make it a work of art reflecting your individual style.

 3. Custom Furniture

We build custom furniture for many different reasons, but we are always solving the same problem— finding the perfect piece. There is nothing like coming across an item that is exactly what it needs to be, fits where it is meant to go, and matches a home’s style and décor. Sometimes our clients see furniture they absolutely love in a catalog, only to find the item is no longer in production. Fortunately, all they need to do to solve this problem is bring the picture to us! As custom woodworkers, we can recreate the piece and even add design elements or functionalities the original did not have.

You don't have to settle for the repetitive choices available at your local furniture retailer. Go custom!

You don’t have to settle for the wrong furniture piece because you can’t find what you need at a local or online retailer. Go custom and get the size, color, and exact style you desire.

Another common issue we run across is clients wanting to add to the furniture they already have but the style is no longer available. We can create new pieces to match or compliment their existing set. In other cases, we are creating a distinctive piece for a particular situation, like a reproduction of an old-fashioned medicine cabinet. Regardless of the reason for its creation, the quality of hand-crafted furniture cannot be matched. Our goal is to construct heirloom-quality pieces that will last through generations.

4. Custom Cabinetry

For many storage needs, a store-bought cabinet is just not going to do the job. Homes have their own quirks and funky corners where standard cabinetry will not fit, and it can be tough to find the style or functionality you require. Building a custom cabinet avoids all of those issues, and gives you something you truly want and need. We custom fit the design to your space, and can include doors, shelves, drawers, open spaces, and storage created for specific items. As for the look of your cabinets, the sky is the limit: paint, finishes, veneer wood surfaces and stains are all possible. However, it is our goal to create a piece that complements your home. When we create a custom cabinet, we take cues from the architectural details of your house, such as fluted moldings, crown moldings, angles, or raised panels. The other cabinetry in your space will also influence our design. The result is a cabinet that gives you the functionality you need while adding to your home’s style.


Custom built-ins from the design portfolio of Marvelous Woodworking.

You Have a Partner

Through face-to-face meetings, we gain an understanding of your needs and tease out the details that are most important to you. We also take a look at the rest of your home, noting the architecture and style. From this information we create exactly what you desire. When we build a project, our goal is to make it look like it was original to the house. Giving attention to detail throughout, we end up with a final product you will love. So, don’t fret about those design issues plaguing your home. The custom woodworkers at Marvelous Woodworking are here to help! Visit our website to learn more about our projects.

Guest Blogger and Owner:






Doug Marvel
Marvelous Woodworking
5275 S. 175 W.
Lebanon, Indiana 46205

(p) 317-679-5890
[email protected]


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Doug Marvel, owner of Marvelous Woodworking, has been providing his clients with beautiful hand-crafted custom woodworking since 2009. Doug is a third-generation specialty woodworker who puts persistence and ingenuity into every project he tackles. “No problem is too complicated that it can’t be solved with good design, some smart engineering, and perseverance,” Doug says. “My philosophy is to be a craftsman, not a contractor. To me, that means I love what I do, and I take pride in quality work. With that mindset, I am able to give my clients just what they are looking for.”

Marvelous Woodworking provides top-quality craftsmanship for home architectural remodeling projects, custom furniture and cabinetry, and unique woodworking solutions.

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