DIY Furniture Design

If you can't find the exact furniture that you want, get creative and design your own. Creating your own furniture designs can be creatively fulfilling, and if you find that you are good at it, can lead to a new career. Some furniture designers are also builders, while others hire cabinetmakers to do the actual construction. Designing the furniture for your home assures that you will be getting your own vision of your home interior, rather than someone else's.

Find Inspiration

Pay close attention to furniture wherever you see it. Cruise the furniture stores and look at home design magazines. Carry a digital camera with you and photograph things you like, including details. Don't be shy about pulling out a tape and measuring things.

Put together a scrapbook of images that you find beautiful and inspiring. Consult this book when you are doing your sketching.

Go to the library and find books on the history of furniture. Look at the dimensions, composition and feel of furniture pieces from different periods in history. Take notes on what you like, and photocopy pictures of pieces that have the feel you're looking for.

Sketch Your Ideas

Sketch whatever ideas come to mind on scrap paper with a pencil. At this point, don't worry about practicality or details, just get down whatever images are running through your head.

Draw several different versions of each piece of furniture that you are thinking about creating. Experiment with different heights, lengths and widths. For cabinets and case goods, draw different combinations of drawers and doors and decide which composition speaks to you most compellingly.

Fill in some of your sketches using colored pencils to get an idea of what sort of materials you may want to use. Wood tones and textures, upholstery colors, and laminate styles can all give a piece of furniture a radically different feel.

Make Completed Drawings

Transform your sketches and ideas into finished drawings. Do this using a sharp pencil, ruler and graph paper, or get technical and use a computer aided design (CAD) program on your computer.

Include dimensions for all aspects of the furniture to aid in construction. Draw the piece to scale and write the dimensions on the drawing, including the height, width and depth of the work and the dimensions of all drawers, doors and shelves. Take the thickness of all materials into account.

Make completed drawings of both front and side views of your proposed piece of furniture in order to help you visualize it completely. This will make you aware of any potential problems in the design before you start actually building.

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