Wood Work

Husband and wife team design and craft furniture in Detroit.
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For more than a dozen years, Andre Sandifer and Abir Ali have created 500 furniture pieces, including dining room tables, coffee tables, bookcases, credenzas, and chairs. “We call our design clean and minimalistic,” says Ali, co-owner and creative director of Ali Sandifer. “We offer six different furniture pieces, along with doing custom work.”

Clients include the Kresge Foundation, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Co., and Next Energy, along with dozens of office and residential customers. Most recently, Sandifer and Ali partnered with Shinola to produce a line of cabinets, each with room for a turntable, two speakers, and records.

The couple’s woodworking shop, located at Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center, is where Sandifer says “The story is created. People today have more appreciation for handmade furniture, and they like learning about joinery, hardwoods, grains, and design.”

Sandifer and Ali, who hold master’s degrees in architecture, say it’s rewarding to work in their chosen field. “We’re both designers, and I focus on the creative side while Andre crafts the furniture,” Ali says.

Prices range from $2,000 to $10,000. “People research us, and then we sit down and show them our collection, or we work on designing and crafting custom furniture,” Sandifer says. “The pieces are meant to be passed from (one) generation to the next.”

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