I offer a furniture design course (class) that breaks the design process down into bite-sized pieces. Although furniture design appears intimidating, separate the process into individual steps and it becomes feasible. Furniture can range from a standalone cabinet to a chair. It all begins with a sketch of a furniture design or furniture concept you have in mind. The sketch evolves into a series of drawings and ultimately into a piece of furniture.
By letting your creative juices flow and simply putting pencil to paper, designs begin to take shape. Furniture design is an iterative process with one design evolving into another. The term "fleshing out" is just that, it describes the process of refining a design.
The sketching process is a means to rapidly get ideas on to paper without considering technical details. The technical aspects of a design, dimensions and components come later after the final design is arrived at. Move outside your comfort zone and experiment with new, radical designs that challenge you. Staying in your comfort zone can keep you from developing new skills and knowledge.
Once a design is finalized, the next logical step is to create a maquette or scale model of the design. Creating a maquette is an enjoyable, stress-free process that provides you a better idea of the proportions and how individual components of the furniture are scaled to one another. In the end, the design of the furniture should be in harmony and balanced although not necessarily symmetric in form. With the price of wood nowadays, it becomes increasingly important to get furniture designs right!