5 Furniture Making Pro-Tips | by Henley Kibler

Henley Kibler, Owner of Furloughniture, Offers His Insight For Treating Various Wood Grains, Using the Shou Sugi Ban Technique, Furniture Styling, and More

One of our favorite aspects about the work that we do at H&F Redefined, telling the stories of furloughed and laid-off professionals, is learning about the diversity of skills that all of the Innovators acquire. It's often that we interview fellow hospitality folks that have taken an entirely different path, turning existing talents and passions into their new livelihood.

The best part is realizing we all might have worked alongside these individuals as colleagues, day after day, without ever knowing they had a hidden enthusiasm for something outside the industry.

How dare they!? Just kidding

Henley Kibler is the co-owner of Furloughniture Custom Creations out of Tennessee and is a perfect example of someone who not only has a passion and hobby but has a talented gift for custom furniture building. This skill has allowed him an opportunity to rise above the adversity he was served in 2020 after being furloughed from his role managing tours, artists, and corporate events.

After seeing his beautiful custom creations, and his specialty pieces that have multi-purpose functionality, we knew we had to pick his brain and capture a few Pro-Tips from the furniture maker himself. Just how does he do this!?

Here's what Henley had to say, as he provides his insight for treating various wood grains, using the Shou Sugi Ban wood-burning technique and styling.

5 Furniture Making Pro-Tips, by Henley Kibler

1. Wood grains matter

Not only do you have to consider the weight of a board, understanding the texture, density, and specific differences between softwood, hardwood, and engineered wood will help elevate your craft.

2. Shou Sugi Ban

Using the Shou Sugi Ban Japanese wood-burning technique helps to weatherproof your projects as well as highlight the natural character of the wood. Shou Sugi Ban is an ancient wood preservation method of burning wood to protect it from the natural elements, though today this process is primarily used for its aesthetic. As we love the natural look of wood, we favor pine most frequently as it is an inexpensive softwood that weathers well over time.

3. Style

Your wife’s furniture style advice is better than anything you’ll ever imagine.

Sam can never have a piece in her house that doesn’t have a dual function: it has to look nice and have a purpose. She couldn’t stand the way a dog crate was only used as... well a dog crate! -Henley

4. Treatment

Not all wood is treated the same: whether it’s an outdoor table or indoor butcherblock, how wood is treated (meaning the specific chemicals used to protect it from decay) will affect how it is used, what paints you can choose, and how it will weather.

5. Moving Forward

When life leaves you furloughed – start a company. What else are you going to do all day?

Follow Henley and Sam at www.Furloughniture.com, on Facebook Furloughniture, and on Instagram @furloughniture. Don't forget to also check out their full interview and brand story from H&F Redefined in our Light Bulb Moments category.


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For our inspiring Innovator stories by H&F Redefined, visit our blog, and learn how furloughed and laid-off professionals from around the world are redefining themselves. We also offer Lifestyle content, Seasonal Solutions, and Industry Insights.