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Leslie Patterson by Leslie Patterson

A home is created with personal touches. Take a look back to homes built before there were manufacturers spilling out dozens of materials by the second, back when everything was custom built. There was an added character to the home. A charm that is sometimes lost in today’s new homes. With custom woodwork, you can instill that spirit into your brand new home.

Home Office with Wood Furniture

When building from scratch, you get to decide every last detail of your home, from the exterior materials to interior color schemes. One of the most important details is choosing the woodwork throughout your home. This is one detail that endures for generations. From the trim and molding to the kitchen cabinets, no detail is too small. The intricate carvings and attention to detail remind guests of the alluring custom homes built a hundred years ago.

“The main goal in designing with custom woods is to achieve a functional and timeless design,” says Mary Haberer, Division Manager for Wicks Custom Woods in Highland, Illinois.

Grand wood fireplace

Wicks, located near St. Louis, Missouri has designed custom pieces for almost every room in the house. Using all solid wood, Wicks is able to construct one-of-a-kind pieces that last for your family’s lifetime and beyond. From grand fireplaces with flanking shelves to the smallest apothecary drawers, Wicks can turn any space into a functional design. Crafting masterpieces is their gift.

“A design can be like an intricate jigsaw puzzle, in finding just the right space for everything,” Haberer says. Space that normally goes wasted, custom woodwork can bring to life. Wicks can build locker spaces in a laundry room, keeping everything organized. They design pull out cabinets into the side of an entertainment center that can hold many CDs or DVDs. The most popular room choices for using custom woods, Haberer says, are kitchens and master baths, probably because of the amount of time spent in these spaces.

For new construction, Wicks likes to work alongside the general contractor, looking at the blueprints to see where custom woodwork can be used. “By the fact that everything is custom made, pieces can be designed to fit unusual or awkward spaces,” Haberer says. “Also, if a customer knows what he or she wants, but can’t find it in the store, we can be the alternative to a long search process.”

Wicks’ designs range from Traditional to Contemporary. They incorporate old style with new amenities, including full extension drawers with soft close slides so they will not slam. A trick they like to use in their kitchens is to hide appliances behind custom wood panels to eliminate the distraction of another material finish and instantly take the room from standard to seamless. They also work with several stock lines of wood that they can incorporate with custom designs for those on a limited budget.

Some of Wicks’ past projects include fireplace surrounds, built-in bookcases, home theaters, wine cellars, armoires, china cabinets, buffets, tables and wet bars. They also offer interior doors, trim and molding, appliances and countertops.

Contracting with a custom cabinet and design company can represent a clear investment. But, Haberer believes it is a worthy investment to obtain a design professional when building a new home. “A design professional can help you find ways to achieve the best look, direct you to the freshest ideas, and yet by using alternative materials and layout ideas, help keep things within budget. They can work to your advantage no matter what the size of the home.”

Kitchen with cherry wood furniture

In all designs, regardless of the home, Haberer always goes back to the main goal, “Build a timeless and functional design.” The end result is a dramatic custom home that reflects your personality which you can treasure for many years.

Photos courtesy of Wick's Custom Woods Highland, Illinois. For more information, visit

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