TOQUERVILLE — Step into the enchanting world of puzzle furniture crafted within the ancient walls of a castle-like woodshop, where each piece tells a story. With every twist, turn, and lock, these mystical creations promise not just functionality, but an adventure in decor.

David Lundell is the owner of Lucky Rooster, Co., where he makes one-of-a-kind puzzle furniture, Toquerville, Utah, Feb 6, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Imagine pulling a hidden wand out of a desk and touching a spot that suddenly unlocks a secret drawer. That drawer leads to another secret compartment that unlocks another drawer and the cleverly concealed mysteries continue to unveil. This isn’t something out of the movie Secret Treasure, it’s a real-life desk made by Toquerville resident David Lundell.

“It’s basically interactive furniture,” Lundell, owner of Lucky Rooster Co. said. “I like to put hidden compartments, things that aren’t expected. When you pull out a wand and you touch something and it pops open, that’s exciting for people.”

Lundell had never made anything with wood in his life before he began piecing together how to create puzzle furniture. And his hand-made creations have taken the internet by storm.

Described as “accidentally falling” into carpentry, Lundell said it all began with a conversation with his brothers while sitting around a coffee table with their feet propped up. His brothers, who are also artists, began talking about what it would take to become a famous artist in today’s world. Determining it was nearly impossible to find a new art niche — it sparked an idea.

Puzzle furniture by David Lundell features hidden drawers and compartments, Toquerville, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of David Lundell, St. George News

“I was like, I’ll bet I can make a coffee table that will be considered art,” he said. “I know that sounds dumb, but I was determined to do it. And I did. And it worked.”

His first coffee table had one hidden compartment and captured the attention of anyone who saw it. The third coffee table he built had a Harry Potter wizard theme. When that table hit the internet, it went viral.

Working for a real estate company at the time, he knew it wasn’t the career path he wanted long-term. He decided to take a handyman job on the side while pursuing his furniture business and officially launched Lucky Rooster, Co. in 2021. He’s dedicated all his time and energy to the business ever since.

Last year, Lundell built 17 hidden-compartment Philosopher Desks. A majority of his sales continue to come from social media and his work has been shipped all over the country. So far, only two Utah residents have purchased a table.

While going viral on multiple channels has created a great business opportunity, Lundell said scammers on TikTok have created many fake accounts with his content in an attempt to achieve financial gain from others. Even with the use of a lawyer, the platform makes it hard to get fake accounts shut down. That’s steering him away from TikTok and pulling his focus on other platforms such as Instagram and YouTube.

His furniture designs have since expanded to colored epoxy designs, something he said is requested often. He also personally carves a variety of designs such as animals and crests with a Dremel tool, adding to the uniqueness of each piece.

Puzzle furniture by David Lundell features hidden drawers and compartments, Toquerville, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of David Lundell, St. George News

Lundell plans to soon implement Marquetry, a decorative technique where wood veneers are sawn into a pattern and assembled like a jigsaw, creating a stained glass-like appearance with wood.

Continuing with the extraordinary, Lundell’s woodworking shop is anything but average. He’s turned the white walls of the original shop into the appearance of an old castle. 

It all began with a bathroom remodel. The walls of the restroom feature old mirrors hanging from gray cement brick. A flickering candle-like light dances on the faux stained glass window. Behind the stained glass is a hidden compartment that pops open with the turn of what appears to be a candlestick on the wall.

“From the weird bathroom, I decided to do everything,” he said about the castle-like shop. “Everyone started bringing me old portrait paintings. My sisters started this thing where they wanted to find me the creepiest picture and that has just continued. Some of them are pretty scary.”

The old portraits hang from a cement wall lining the back of the shop. To the left, a wall filled with old bedframes and headboards from the Red Rock Canyon School – a psychiatric youth treatment facility in St. George that closed down – has been turned into shelves. The shelves are lined with strange candlesticks and other antique collectibles, adding to the fortress-like atmosphere.

David Lundell’s workshop has an old castle feel with old portraits, Toquerville, Utah, Feb 6, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Lundell said the entire shop backdrop from every angle not only helps set the tone for his social media videos but also serves as inspiration for new projects.

But that’s not all. The shop is also home to a tortoise named Scooter and a tank full of button quail that reaches full growth at just 4-9 inches. In a neighboring incubator room, button quail eggs and hatchlings can be seen.

“I have this weird hobby where I like hatching birds,” Lundell said, laughing. “I know that sounds weird, but I’ve hatched about a thousand birds in just the last month.”

For more information on Lundell and Lucky Rooster, Co., follow them on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok.

Photo Gallery

A tortoise named Scooter lives inside David Lundell’s workshop in Toquerville, Utah, Feb 6, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

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