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Jake is an ex-Pom designer and maker, crafting contemporary heirloom furniture by hand. After a decade in software Jake discovered a creative voice entirely by accident, when his wife demanded a bookcase.. “In retrospect a creative streak had been trying to find its way out for years, but when I found woodworking it finally burst through”.

Growing up in a household “without so much as a screwdriver”, Jake is entirely self-taught. In his small workshop he combines old world craftmanship and traditional techniques, pulling artistic inspiration from decades throughout the twentieth century, to create contemporary furniture that will last for generations.

Red Gum Hall Table Top

“I’m doing what I love, and this is reflected in every surface, every joint, every nook and every cranny. Each piece exudes the enjoyment, satisfaction, and meticulous attention to detail of its maker.”

Jake Lunniss, Custom Furniture Maker

Furniture is special. It’s precious. It’s passed down from generation to generation, long outliving its first owner. It’s furniture that sets our environment, making a building into a home. It ages with us and bears the marks of our own hand, those of our parents, and those of our children.

One of my strongest childhood memories is my Grandfather nodding off while watching the cricket, in his chair. Perfectly moulded to his body after years of use, he would sit to watch the cricket and almost immediately doze. Until one of us changed the channel and he would leap up, declare “I was watching that!”, put the cricket back on thank you very much, and fall straight back to sleep.

Every time I see an even vaguely similar looking chair a rush of memories come flooding back. That’s the power furniture can hold. It becomes a part of our life’s stories.

Whether purchasing a made to order item or commissioning a totally bespoke piece from a designer/maker, you’re investing in something that becomes a part of the fabric of your life. Each piece is of the highest quality possible. There has been no compromise in its construction. No shortcuts taken. You’re investing in something that bears the fingerprints of its maker, not the bite marks of a robot.

It’s a certain kind of person who goes through the trouble of commissioning this kind of functional art. A kind of person who respects the environment they create for themselves and their families. A kind of person for whom good enough is not good enough; one who seeks a level of satisfaction that cannot be met by machine made items.

The difference between hand crafted furniture and even the highest quality mass-produced item cannot be overstated. Handmade has a feel. As a great philosopher once said, it’s the vibe of the thing. A culmination of tiny details, tiny differences and tiny decisions of an expert hand that come together to form a unique whole. This is why handmade furniture just feels better. This is why handmade furniture has a gravity that pulls you in.

Jarrah Lounge Chair Mid Century Modern Hand Made
Red Gum Hall Table Top Coffee

I suppose that really depends on your perspective and values. Furniture that lasts for multiple generations could be called extremely cheap. It will certainly be cheap for your great-grandkids!

The cost of my custom furniture is broken down into three parts:

Materials, Design & Manufacture.

Materials make up 15-25% of the total cost, which often surprises people.

The time it take to design and make the thing takes up the rest. And making custom furniture takes one thing: time.

But the true value of a commissioned piece of furniture extends far beyond materials and time. Here’s what you can expect when you commission custom furniture (from me, at least):

  • A close, personal service throughout and after the commission
  • A limited-edition or one-off design
  • A beautifully crafted piece of furniture tailored to your requirements
  • The opportunity to meet and get to know your craftsman
  • The chance to support a tiny local maker and his ever growing family, and be a patron of a dying art
  • Expert advice during and after the commission
  • Access to a high-quality aftercare service for years to come
  • A future collectable heirloom, that generations will enjoy


But we should not pretend that custom furniture handmade by a solo craftsman does not cost a lot more than going to Ikea.

The dollar cost of custom furniture varies depending on the type of product (chair vs side table), size (6 seater vs 12 seater) and materials used (Victorian Ash vs Gaboon Ebony) but also the design complexity and hours required to make it.

It is this time we dedicate to developing and prototyping that sets a custom piece apart from a made-to-order one of similar specification. Commissioning a bespoke product will always cost more than buying ‘off the shelf’, but you get a great deal more for your money.

Some people don’t see themselves as “off the shelf”.

When commissioning a piece or pieces you will always be given the option: are you OK with me making a limited-run of these for other people, or do you want it to be exclusive to you?

Pricing is quoted with the limited-run in mind.

My first chair took 120 hours over 3 months to prototype. I’m currently working on a very fancy coat rack that has taken, so far, 80 hours*.

By making a limited run it spreads the cost of developing the design and production methods across multiple pieces, making your quote lower.

If you’d like the piece to be truly your own, just for you and you alone, then I will sign a contract with you promising to never make another one. However, this increases the cost to you.

*P.S. This is a speculative piece. Very few commissions take this long!

I understand that budget is a sensitive part of commissioning custom furniture for everyone.

I’m experienced at working to your budget, creating a solution that meets your needs for design as well as cost.

There are no nasty surprises. Once a fixed quotation with the final design is given, it’s just that: fixed. Unless the design changes, the price will never change.


Establishing a budget early on helps set realistic expectations for you and me about what we can achieve with the resources we have available to us. I can provide budget guidance for your piece as we’re working through the process.

An accurate price of a custom piece of furniture is unknown until we have a design with which to accurately cost. The design will be accompanied by a fixed price quote so you are fully aware of the costs before proceeding with manufacturing, and you can be confident that they won’t increase unless the design changes.

I design and make custom furniture in simple, elegant styles all the way to extravagant parquetry and creative veneering. The following is not exhaustive, but gives an idea of the starting point:

  • Beds: from $1400
  • Blanket Chests or Linen Chests: from $4,000
  • Chairs (Dining or Lounge): from $2,000
  • Chests of Drawers: from $6,000
  • Coffee Tables: from $3,500
  • Desks: from $5,000
  • Dining Tables Non-extending: from $4,500
  • Dining Tables Extending: from $7,500
  • TV/Media Cabinets: from $4,000
  • Side and Hall/Console Tables: from $2,000
  • Sideboards: from $5,500