We are the makers of your fine furniture. Stephen C. Barlow originated Shaker Style in 1989; he is a third-generation New England woodworker who takes pride in carrying on the tradition of excellence passed down to him by his grandfather and great-grandfather.
In response to steady growth Stephen’s wife, Cheryl, joined him in 1997; she has worked in sales all her life and now puts her talents to work here focusing on customer service and interior design. Stephen and Cheryl are proud members of The League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and Monadnock Art.
“The choice of grain patterns in the wood, and the flow it creates with the lines of the piece, form the foundations of my work. My pieces start with a study of Shaker originals, then evolve into furniture that is all my own. The body of their work and the way it stemmed directly from the needs of their daily lives forms a bottomless well of inspiration for my craft.”
- Stephen C. Barlow
Extensive hand work goes into the preparation of all our furniture prior to finish. This provides exceptional clarity and releases the full character of the solid cherry and other American hardwoods we use.
All our furniture is not only highly crafted, but thoughtfully designed for functionality as well as a graceful appearance.
Stephen achieves the final rich, lustrous look and feel of his finish in all his handcrafted pieces in three steps.
First is his careful preparation. Each piece is thoroughly sanded to a very fine grit not only for smooth feel but for clarity. While it takes extra time and an extra step completing with a very fine sandpaper grit the results are worth it. This leaves the surface of the American hardwood clear allowing the depth of grain character to be on full display with a superior chatoyance to his furniture.
Second is applying hand-rubbed oil. Oil finish is applied, and the furniture piece is allowed time to drink it up. The handcrafted furniture is then wet sanded to a polish, filing the pores. Excess oil is hand-wiped then the piece is allowed to rest and the oil to cure. This is repeated for multiple coats.
The third and final step is buffing and waxing. The furniture piece is smoothed waxed with a blend including carnauba. Then buffed to a pleasing low-sheen and lustrous, natural look and feel.
Stephen C. Barlow’s modern formulation of oil and wax finish is highly resistant, durable, and easily repairable. The result is a finish that brings out every bit of depth, character, and shimmer – every nuance of the natural wonder that is wood.
When you buy directly from the tradesmen at Shaker Style Handcrafted Furniture you support an American small business and buy directly from a craftsman working in his chosen trade. Here is what customers have to say about Stephen’s work:
"The first piece that came in the door today was the blanket chest & I was speechless. Every piece is perfect in every way & I can tell the wood was hand selected piece by piece. Thank you so very much for a truly positive experience. Stephen you are a superior craftsman! I hope you continue to make furniture for many years to come, because this is certainly not our last purchase."
-- Debra & Scott Lindell
"I am enjoying my new furniture very much. My husband was sitting in the porch swing looking through the living room window and he said that it looks so comfortable and beautiful that it just invites you to come in and relax. My son, the future furniture maker, got down on the floor and inspected every inch of it. He repeated that he was to get any furniture that came from you when I die!"
-- D. Pattillo
Investing in quality American handmade furniture is a sustainable choice. Own for your life and theirs; we believe furniture should last your lifetime and for generations to come not clutter a landfill.
You want your furniture to be as affordable as possible, while always making quality your first priority. Investing in lasting quality and ageless style is an affordable, sustainable choice. Steve’s furniture is hand crafted with solid American hardwoods and traditional artisan joinery using matched wide boards, dovetails & pegged mortise and tenon joinery.
We want to make purchasing your Tables by Trade furniture as pleasant and informative an experience as possible. We welcome questions.
White glove blanket wrapped delivery service is available; we will gladly quote delivery charges for any of our dining tables, accent tables, chairs, stools, benches, beds, chests, servers or hutches.