Author: Nicole Karr

White built-in cabinetry

white wall to wall custom cabinets

In our latest finished work, two wall-to-wall cabinets create some classy storage with Carrara marble counters. Seven drawers and seven doors flank the carved mantel in this beautiful home in center city Philadelphia. The inset doors feature a raised panel with historic style and brass knobs. The paint is semi-gloss waterborne lacquer tinted to match Benjamin Moore Mascarpone, a creamy white. This project was a collaboration with Shophouse Design.

The left side is intended for bar usage and the right side to store children’s items. No matter what they chose to use it for, it adds style to this interior!

custom Philadelphia woodworking

Below are a few progress shots of this piece as it was made in the woodshop as well as the original sketch, which underwent some changes before being built to adjust the size and number of doors and drawers.

white in progress
custom paint in progress
shop made cabinet doors
Raised panel doors with historic molding
 PA custom cabinetry
built-in bar cabinetry in the shop
shop drawing for built-ins

American Made

The following text was our entry into this year’s American Made competition (different images accompanied).  From the About page: “Martha Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living are spotlighting the next generation of great American makers: entrepreneurs, artisans, and small-business owners who are creating beautiful, inspiring, useful products; pioneering new industries; improving local communities; and changing the way we eat, shop, work, and live.” As nominees, it was a thrill to be in the company of such a wide group of makers from across the country. There are three days remaining to cast your vote for the Audience Choice award. The contest culminates with a summit in NYC in November.


Adam studied Geology in college, but when his employer asked where he saw himself in five years, his reply was “building furniture”. When he left that job he did just that, working first at an established shop; then setting out on his own. Naturally, an extra set of hands came in handy, so Nicole soon joined him, helping out in the woodshop, at installs, and running the other aspects of the business.

A 1999
learning the trade, 1999

In fifteen years, the business has evolved from a sole proprietor to a partnership, and now to a S-corporation this year. We’ve had a handful of employees over the years, but at our core it’s two people working together, and one very experienced set of hands. Much of our work is custom- we receive input from the client, and we listen carefully to their desires, refine the design and select the most appropriate materials and finishes. Adam thrives on making new original furniture, allowing the wood to speak for itself and creating a piece that is functional, beautiful, and durable.

nyc credenza


Our woodshop

We started our business in a neglected 18th century springhouse on a horse farm where we lived in our early twenties. Currently, the woodshop operates from a much roomier 4,000 square foot former sawmill building with a separate finishing room, making for superior end products. We’re utilizing a one room schoolhouse as our furniture showroom. The company office is located in a decomissioned timber-framed Methodist church, which is now our home, and only a short walk away from the woodshop. As a family business, this is optimal, since our kids can take a quick stroll over and play at the shop, watch Papa build, and make little wood sculptures by his side. The larger shop space allows for storage of a large inventory of locally sawn and dried lumber and slab wood to draw from for any project without having to go hunting through the stacks at the sawmill or lumberyard.

D helping

The finishing bay
lumber inventory


As an isolated craftsman working alone in a rural setting, Adam is inspired by the community of woodworkers on Instagram. Being involved in a conversation about the work, and receiving feedback from such a wide range of individuals is great, as is seeing all the amazing craftsmanship out there by other makers. We’re lucky to live in a sylvan paradise where there are four beautiful seasons and the most incredible forests. As woodworkers, this is fortunate; and as outdoor people it is extraordinarily fulfilling to have hiking, foraging, paddling, and more – just minutes from our doorstep.



Springhouse Shop and Studio combines time honored joinery skills with the highest quality workmanship and materials. We offer original design and fabrication of nearly anything built of wood, serving clients from the mountains to the cities of New York, Philadelphia and beyond.

vanity doors


Go with what you’re passionate about. Be authentic. Look for your niche. Ask for help from those who are more experienced. Learn as much as you can. Feed your inner fires.

wood fired pizza
Scrap wood feeds the pizza oven


Buying American made products supports real sustainability. Choosing American made work is a vote for the long picture over the quick bottom line. American made craftsmanship might cost a little more than the imports, but that choice nourishes American families, and American jobs. When you buy products made with local materials, by local labor, you are demonstrating your wholehearted belief in your community and making a choice you can feel good about.

D and A


Extreme Shaker Kitchen, Ash Vanity

extremeshakerisland low extremeshaker fridge

This week and last, Adam returned to New Hope, Pennsylvania in Bucks County to install  a large modern vanity and some closet built-ins in a dramatic overhaul of an old stone farmhouse. The kitchen, described by the homeowner as “Extreme Shaker” style, also features white countertops and Miele appliances including an induction stovetop, oven, and steam oven in the island. For another look at the cabinetry, with a variety of views of the pantry pullouts and drawers in action, see this previous post. Shaker Knobs by Nice Knobs and Farrow + Ball Paint in Stony Ground.

extremeshaker island  extremeshaker sinkwall Ash vanity ash vanity1

The clean-lined 10 foot long vanity was designed by the homeowner and is deceptively simple-looking. It boasts a cantilevered Ash countertop, hand towel cutouts- and a very neat finish. First the lumber was bleached using a two part wood bleach, then three coats of soap finish were applied (nota bene – soap finish process and product described here). The soap finish is not yellowing or shiny at all and is frequently used on floors and furniture in Scandanavia. For another look at the construction of this vanity, see this  previous post.

ash vanity soap finish
soap finish on wood
ashvanity front
Grain flows across the vanity front

ashvanity frontash vanity underneath

ash vanity installed
bottom drawers extend to the wall with no outer face frame

ashvanity frontAfter a full day’s work installing custom closet rods and shelving ( painted Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray), our work at this remarkable house has been wrapped up- for now.

ashvanity closet

Black and Cherry Kitchen revisited

Unique Kitchen Island doubles as dining table and wetbar

It is always a joy to go back to one of the kitchens we have created and see the totally finished space in use. The front door to this home needed some Cherry interior trim installed, and a couple custom thresholds put in (all handmade and finished in the shop). The window trim in the kitchen that blends seamlessly with the custom Cherry upper cabinets was also made by us. This entire home is a stunner and filled with antique wood furniture that looks great in the new timberframe and SIPS space.

Beacuase this homeowner couldn’t get the look and quality she was seeking from a stock cabinetry salesman, they chose to go the handbuilt route, with lovely results. The lightly distressed black lower cabinet frames and the island are highly unique. The finish on all cabinetry is durable dull sheen waterborne lacquer. Both the round sink in the island and the larger single basin main sink are hammered copper. All hardware is black iron. Large expanses of oiled Cherry slab in the island top invite a lingering caress and draw the eye. All cherry was provided by the client who happened to have dried and aged lumber in storage ready to be utilized.

This post gives a look back at the drawings for this kitchen as well as the progress photos in the woodshop, while this one shows the gorgeous custom bathroom vanities built for this home outside of Benton, Pennsylvania.

cherry kitchen pantry cherry kitchen hutch

cherrykitchen counter2

cherrykitchen counter 

Custom PA Kitchen
Cherry topped Table with black legs
bloomsburg cabinetmaker
Cherry custom kitchen


Campaign Credenza

blue  credenza

This campaign style crednza in Benjamin Moore’s Champion Cobalt was ordered by a New Jersey based interior designer for a client in Manhattan. It features two soft close inset doors (each with two shelves inside) and three dovetailed drawers. The brass legs, campaign trim, and solid brass handles look sharp against the deep glossy blue.

The dovetailed case, drawers, and inset doors are constructed of sold Pennsylvania-grown Poplar. Doors and drawers are impossible to slam, thanks to the soft close hinges and slides- they glide gently and automatically shut when pushed. We’ve fielded repeat requests for credenzas like this one, and think the client will be pleased- it’s beautiful!

blue credenza bluecredenza drawers above bluecredenza open 2

blue credenza open


Works In Progress


mirror vanity
custom Maple vanity with curved mullions
Bleached and natural Ash samples
dovetail joint detail
shop made sheet goods
Ash bathroom vanity
Custom campaign credenza dry fit
Hand cut 2″ hard Maple dovetail


Dovetailed Ash drawer

In the shop currently we have several projects currently underway. There is a custom vanity with curved mullions getting mirrored panels, some custom trim for a timber framed home nearby, a campaign style credenza,  a 10′ daybed of reclaimed Dolglas Fir, and an Ash bathroom vanity for New Hope, PA.

These progress photos are from the Adam’s Instagram feed but we also have a newer secondary IG feed for a second look into our work, you can follow along with both.

Nominations recently closed for the American Made competition, surf over and visit our profile there to read more about how we got started, our work spaces, and see many of the fine other craftsman and makers of all kinds.



Manhattan Wallbed

Walnut wallbed detail

Awaiting installation in Manhattan, this beautiful Queen size custom Walnut Wallbed features a handcrafted over-sized handle, elegant paneled sides and front, and matching crown molding.

The clients, a musician and an urban garden designer, came first to visit the Schoolhouse studio to see our Ash Murphy bed in person. After reviewing the tones of wood nearby in the room, all parties agreed that the rich deep hues of Black Walnut would be perfect for their new bed.

Murphy beds are ideal in the city; especially in rooms that serve multiple purposes, like the combination bedroom and music room where this piece will reside.

custom murphy bed for new york city
Manhattan wallbed
walnut murphy bed base
detail of custom wallbed
walnut wallbed detail
opening the murphy bed

handle detail


walnut wallbed

Reclaimed Barn Beam Walnut Desk

Handcrafted Desk with reclaimed chestnut barn beam leg
Carved by nature – one of a kind desktop

In between the custom jobs that have long been our bread and butter (where many of the details are dictated by client desires), it is always gratifying to mix in a piece that comes straight out of the craftsman’s imagination and the quirks of the materials at hand.

When a nearby barn underwent some refurbishing, Adam was able to acquire some reclaimed chestnut beam sections. One of these hand hewn antique beams has been utilized as a leg in this unique and asymmetrical desk. The other end features a waterfall edge fabricated from walnut.

The desk top slab has been carved by nature- the tunnels of insects long gone from the kiln dried wood are fascinating and of course, one of a kind. In the center there is a single drawer. The top will be protected with a piece of glass with polished edges. This piece would also make a great hall table or console.

Full Size Philadelphia Murphy Bed

philadelphia wallbed
Maple Murphy Bed with Side Cabinets

Late last week this gorgeous Maple number was installed in a private residence in Philadelphia. Stretching wall to wall in the guest room, the full size vertical Murphy bed with side cabinets features pullout surfaces and custom handmade pulls as well as an integral ventilation grate. The finish here is satin waterborne lacquer. The foot design has evolved a bit from the previous version of our Murphy bed. On site, the trim was coped to fit seamlessly into the existing baseboard in the room.

Interested in adding a wallbed to your home? We can customize to fit your space and style, let us know what you’re looking for!

philadelphia custom wallbed

detail of dovetailed drawer and pullout nighstand surface
Open Murphy Bed showing adjustable shelves
Piece under the handle flips up to become the foot for the bed