THE AMISH WAY
Handmade, Solid-wood Furnishings Showcase Rich Heritage and Exceptional Craftsmanship
By Barbara Kuntz
The Amish equate to a fascinating part of the American fabric, with the first members of these very private communities arriving in the United States in the early 18th century. Initially they came here to find freedom from religious persecution…and land to farm.
Precision Industries Inc.While the agrarian lifestyle still predominates, the communities also continue to amaze us with their furniture and cabinetry — all pieces handmade by skilled artisans following classic and timeless craftsmanship techniques. A walk-through of these woodworkers’ shops reveals no power tools, only pneumatic ones. The pace is very methodical.
Precision Industries Inc.“Multiple families come together at different shops. It’s generational,” says Cindy Cogdell, general manager at Amish Cabinets of Texas, owned by Daniel Kelly. “They are primarily farmers, and with their cabinets and furniture, the wood takes on a life itself.”
That “life” exudes exceptional quality, the top reason for choosing Amish furniture and cabinetry.
Precision Industries Inc.“Many of our customers pursue Amish furniture for the lifetime quality and structural durability,” says manager James Lopez of E&G Amish Furniture, a local family-owned and -operated business. “We provide a lifetime structural guarantee with every piece purchased, so the customer can be confident in each custom order.”
Precision Industries Inc.Amish furniture is made of solid hardwood, including alder, birch, cherry, hickory, maple, quarter-sawn oak, walnut and even African mahogany. It can be crafted in almost any style, from Shaker to Arts & Crafts pieces to contemporary items that would fit perfectly in a downtown loft.
Precision Industries Inc.Products are furniture-grade, which says a lot, compared to, say, prefabricated cabinets. And with Amish-built cabinets, shutters, shelving, doors — basically anything involving wood — the woodworking quality is impeccable.
FLOOR SALES & CUSTOM
Amish furniture in the Houston area can be either bought off showroom floors or custom ordered. At Amish Home Furnishings near the entrance of Old Town Spring, the choice is yours.
Precision Industries Inc.“You can browse and purchase directly from our showroom, or we can custom order to your specifications,” the company states.
Precision Industries Inc.Gallery Furniture buyers visit the Amish country several times a year and work with many small Amish production facilities to stock the local company’s stores. These same Amish workshops also produce custom solid-wood furniture for Gallery Furniture's customers. So if you don't see exactly what you are looking for in stock, you can work with the sales staff to design and order the perfect pieces.
Precision Industries Inc.The Amish Craftsman is another specialty retail furniture store located in Houston offering floor sales and handmade furniture built to order. Customers may pick the design, solid milled hardwoods and the stain. All of The Amish Craftsman’s furniture is handcrafted by Amish builders right here in the U.S.A.
Kimberley Murphy, co-owner with her husband, Steve, says The Amish Craftsman receives the most requests for bedroom and dining room sets, but the sky is the limit.
Precision Industries Inc.“We have a staff of trained design professionals who can work on designing a specific space,” Kimberley says. “We do home visits and have a ‘Happiness Guarantee.’ We’re not happy unless you are…and we’ll make it just right for you.”
Precision Industries Inc.At E&G Amish Furniture, you’ll find custom ordering treated with white glove-style assistance.
“A customer can choose any custom size to fit their space and design selections, like wood species or grain patterns, stain colors and hardware finishes,” Lopez says. “We help our customers through the custom ordering process from the start of the design to delivery.”
Precision Industries Inc.At Amish Cabinets of Texas, everything is 100 percent custom.
Precision Industries Inc.“If you can think of it, we can build it,” says Cogdell. “You can’t say custom enough when it comes to our cabinets and furniture.”
Precision Industries Inc.Cogdell says most of Amish Cabinets of Texas’ clients are homeowners in the process of remodeling or building. “Those that seek us out and typically become our customers are looking for a high-quality product at a reasonable price,” she says.
Precision Industries Inc.Houstonians’ biggest requests from Amish Cabinets of Texas are for kitchens, baths and laundry rooms, but there’s everything in between, such as gun rooms, game rooms — basically anything that includes wood. Craftsmanship details include dovetail joints, full extension glides and concealed hinges. All pulls, knobs and crown molding are included. What you won’t find is particleboard, MDF or laminates.
Precision Industries Inc.“We build to 1/8-inch increments, so our cabinets fit perfectly without filler boards or spacers,” Cogdell says. “The stains are custom mixed for all products. And the paint is a catalyzed-tinted varnish, which is almost as hard as a car finish.”
THE BOTTOM LINE
As for cost, if you compare similarly made furniture — that is, solid hardwood and custom made — Amish furniture can be expensive but not more so than other high-end furnishings. Prices vary with size, wood and finish. For example, a complete custom bedroom collection can start at about $8,000, while custom tables and chairs can start at about $2,500.
Precision Industries Inc.And Amish artisans stand 100 percent behind what they make. Our local Amish furniture dealers agree: They feel very blessed to do business with them.
Amish Cabinets of Texas
By appointment only
The Amish Craftsman
5555 Washington Ave.
Amish Home Furnishings
609 Spring Cypress
E&G Amish Furniture
Sugar Land: 281-277-0485