At Home with Houseworks

If you saw the September issue of Active Life Magazine, you may have recognized the familiar face behind Houseworks. Our very own Ed Cheikh was the cover story. Here it is below incase you missed it: 

Active Life Magazine Cover Story - Houseworks

These days, a mention of Gary, Indiana, usually brings to mind one of three things: the birthplace of the Jackson Five, urban blight and racial tension, or a bygone hub of steel manufacturing. (It also brings to mind a much-to-catchy song from The Music Man.) But for Ed Cheikh, owner of Houseworks (4905 E. 82nd St., Indianapolis), childhood memories of Gary during the 1950s and 1960s paint a positively different picture. It was a time when the city was buzzing with prosperous steel mills and a diversity of population that worked together to keep the mills and the community humming. “Growing up, I was introduced to so many diverse ideas, languages and foods, all right on my street,” he says. “On my block alone, the smells from the Greeks cooking, and the Serbians and the Polish food— It was a nice upbringing.”

He recalls having his hair cut by an Italian barber and buying food from an abutting Jewish grocer. “It was a time when people sat on their porches,” he goes on. “Mills were paying well, and the families stuck together.” And yes, Ed worked at the steel mills for a time as young man. But he assures me, as much of a romantic picture as it would frame, that he did not grow up thinking he would own a furniture store. Instead, the story of Houseworks is one of a successful business venture begun by two international businessmen who just happened to appreciate quality, modern designs— and which Ed had the navy to develop into the thriving, customer-centered furniture business that Houseworks is today.


Upon graduation from college, Ed Cheikh wasted no time in building his international career, founding a company that did business in the Middle East. “That first business didn’t end up doing too well,” Ed tells me. Around that same time, however, the United States government initiated a program to connect business people with overseas sales experience with American manufacturers doing international trade. As a Senior Trade Director of Indiana Export, a non-profit founded as part of his initiative, Ed worked successfully with a number of Indiana manufacturers in there international business efforts. After federal funding ran out, however, Ed explains that he and his supervisor, John Babbitt, decided to strike out on their own. “We became partners and picked up the companies we’d been working with” Ed says.

Meanwhile, on the home front, Ed married his wife, Cindy— and here’s where the Houseworks tory starts to take shape. What’s one of the first things on a  couple’s list once vows are exchanged and there’s a roof over two newly wedded heads? Furniture, of course. “I moved to Indianapolis from Chicago, and we were looking for futnirue in a more cosmopolitan style,” Ed says. “There was very little in terms of modern-style furniture back here in 1982.”

After making some purchases up in Chicago and hauling them back home, Ed and his business partner John, who was from the East Coast, had the thought to open a modern furniture store right here in Indianapolis. “There seemed to be a void,” Ed says, “and we thought people would line up, like to water in a desert.” Boy, were they wrong. “Back then, most people walked in and said, ‘What is this stuff?’ It’s like we’d dropped from Mars.” Indianapolis in the early 1980s just wasn’t ready for the modern furniture scene. Not surprisingly, Houseworks, which began in 1985 as a side business to the manufacturing consulting business Ed and John still had, didn’t start off well. Ed explains that on its own, Houseworks would have bankrupted itself—it was the other company keeping it afloat.

A decision had to be made, and when his wife became pregnant, Ed figured that the extensive travel that came with his international business needed to come to an end—for his family’s sake. That’s when Ed decided to sell off his portion of the consulting business to his partner and give everything he had to the Houseworks enterprise.

Active Life Magazine | Cover Story: Houseworks | September 2017

Active Life Magazine | Cover Story: Houseworks | September 2017


With a baby on the way, Ed dedicated the lion’s share of his time and energy to the furniture store’s success. “Little by little, with the help of my team, we figured it all out,” he says. “When you’re on the ground and you want it to succeed, you listen to your customers, and you figure out what’s possible and what’s not. You correct problems immediately. It’s no longer an absentee ownership scenario.”

Houseworks made a series of moves that carried them to successfully larger showrooms. In those early years, they operated out of a small Broad Ripple space. “The trucks would unload sofas on College Ave. and take them down to our basement warehouse,” Ed recalls.
From Broad Ripple, Houseworks moved to the Clearwater Shoppes on 82nd Street, followed later by a move to their longtime location at 82nd and Allisonville. This spring, Houseworks settled into an even larger space, more suitable to the store’s lush,modern showrooms, and offering friendlier parking for Houseworks’ clients, just a little farther west at 4905 E 82nd. To stay competitive in this fastpaced world of convenience and online everything, Ed and his staff strive to bring perennially fresh, innovative offerings to customers.

“You can never completely relax when you’re concerned with bringing people through the door,” he says. At the same time, the staff works hard to ensure that everything coming in those doors fits with the store’s current looks. I asked Ed if he had any thoughts on a certain highly successful, international modern furniture store opening in Fishers this fall. “If anything, having them in town will introduce more of Indianapolis to the beauty and versatility of the modern look,” Ed tells me. “What we offer at Houseworks is a personalization and service that we give based on customer relationships. Our employees have been with us a long time—some as long as 25 years— and they know our customers well.” With a staff of only 11 employees, Ed says the company operates like a family—something that’s unusual for a retail business, he adds.


Even after 32 years, Ed says there’s still never a typical day on the job. “As CFO, I do the marketing,” he explains, “but if no one else is around and there’s a truck to unload, I run over to the warehouse and start unloading… it’s just not an 8 to 5 endeavor.” So if that’s the case, where does life balance enter into the picture for Ed? Once again, it’s his devotion to family that saves the day. Well, his devotion to family—and food. “My wife and daughter and I can all cook, so when we get together, it’s really centered around that,” he says. “We’re definitely foodies.” I learned the hungry way—get Ed to talking about his family’s culinary adventures, and your taste buds will hold you hostage to keep listening. “Last week my daughter and her fiancé came over for dinner,” he starts. “I took heirloom tomatoes, infused sweet corn with garlic and lemon, and in the same water infused the salmon… added some arugula and red onion, along with zaatar—a Middle Eastern spice— and served that up for dinner.” Mouth. Watering.

In this high-velocity world of instant gratification we’re living in, the importance that Ed places on spending time around the dinner table with family shines some light on his philosophy of happiness. He tells me of his 82-year old cousin who does spin classes and climbs mountains—and skis. “He’s the epitome of a body in motion stays in motion,” Ed says, incredulously. And while he hasn’t had much time to go sailing these days—a pastime he picked up in his previous life of international business—he still makes time each morning for 20 minutes of meditation. “When I’m having a happy day, nothing’s happened,” he says. “I can stop and smell the roses. That’s happiness.”

So the next time you find yourself in the neighborhood, stop in to see Ed and the staff at Houseworks. Take your time to smell the proverbial roses. And don’t hesitate to hit up Ed for some kitchen advice—or thoughts on this great merry-go-round we call life.

Room Exchange

A few months back. HOUSEWORKS was asked to take part in a feature by Kit Magazine. Kit used one of our mid-century modern sofas as the common denominator, and had three area designers change up the space by putting their personal touch to it. Naturally, Houseworks’ own, Dustin Polster, brought a magnificent modern touch to the table.

The great thing about our staple pieces: They last. They will outlast the trends that circle around, and the clean-lines will always be in style. Financially (and fashionably) it just makes sense to purchase a piece that will be with you for the long haul, and change up the accessories to add different pops of color and tastes for your difference seasons of life.

Houseworks |

Houseworks |

Houseworks |

PILLOW TALK  |  Start with a neutral palette of browns and grays in your anchor pieces and brighten them up with colorful accessories. The patterned pillow brings texture and movement to the unembellished couch, while the bright, solid pillow carries the pop of color.

JUST-RIGHT HEIGHT  |  Bear in mind these theories to furniture heights: The end tables should be lower than the arms of your couch, and your chair back should be as high or higher than your sofa back.

TOES IN THE SAND |  The Ronaldo rug in “sand” is a best seller at Houseworks. The shag-loomed makeup treats feet to a whole new level of softness. It’s a welcome contrast to hard-edged wood and glass.

INSTANT ENERGY  |  Floral arrangements, such as these calla lilies from McNamara Florist, give your space freshness and energy. To make blooms a part of your regular living room decor, think staying power. Ask your favorite florist for a recommendation on which flowers last longer.


Dustin started at Houseworks as a stock boy while going to school at IUPUI. Years later, he has worked his way up to design consultant and assistant manager for the modern furniture store. With two kids under 3, his home stays stripped down and childproofed, so here, he designed a living room that he’d love to have once his kids grow a little older.

Houseworks 2016 Gift Guide

’Tis the season for gift giving… and you may be drawing some blanks. It’s so hard to come up with different gifts year after year. Don’t fret. 

Most people are aware that Houseworks is packed full of modern, quality furniture; but did you know we have a plethora of accessories ranging from decor to cooking items and many things between? Houseworks is a great place to shop for gifts. Many of our items are unique, and it shows someone you took extra effort to to make their gift special.

Here are 12 items that we think you’ll love gifting just as much as they love receiving:

HOUSEWORKS 2016 Gift Guide

  1. FRAMES IN FRONT the off-centered photo opening make these an interesting neutral piece that will surely be front and center on some decorated shelving. Various shapes come in bronze, gold and silver; $28
  2. SETTING THE BAR This contemporary lamp design is so flexible and innovative. The minimalist design traded the shade and bulky bulbs for a slim row of TINY LEDs you can turn to illuminate any direction. Available in various sizes. The Z-Bar Mini starts at $239
  3. PRO LIGHTING This light changes colors from warm to cool and an intuitive built-in touch strip allows for continuous dimming. Always needing a charger? This comes standard with a USB port, or add an optional wireless charging base to bring your smartphone back to life. Mosso Pro is available in various sizes, starting at $315
  4. COOK AT NEW HEIGHTS The Elevate Steel Carousel comes with six essential kitchen tools and the stand to store them. Each utensil features a tool rest for mess-free cooking. $100
  5. SLICE AND DICE Six knives on a rotating carousel stand will keep your countertop clutter-free and your perfect knife right at your fingertips. Each knife has a tool rest for mess-free cooking. $100
  6. SLIM FIT This cutting board set comes nested in a stainless steel case. Easy tabs indicate which type of food should be prepared on them to reduce cross-contaminations. Slide these in a slim space to keep the clutter at bay. $90
  7. POPS OF BLACK AND WHITE These items go with so many decor choices. The resin dotted black and white pear, apple and owl are the perfect fun accent to shelves, tables and countertops. Starting at $22
  8. NEWTON KNOWS BEST Have a little endless fun with the laws of physics. This one makes a good gift for the office. Newton’s Cradle, $32
  9. WOBBLE FOR THE WIN Add a little wobble motion to an otherwise still game. Concave landscape stabilizes freely quivering chest pieces, creating a lively (and beautiful) classic game. $250
  10. WINTER WONDERLAND These items will  be brought out yearly and are absolutely adorable and affordable. Made of Alpine wood, these winter wonderland critters come in a variety of colors and sizes. Prices range from $5 – $45
  11. RED DELICIOUS Cradle your favorite fruit inside this minimal, modern and colorful fruit bowl. People will love this not-so-standard design on a standard kitchen item. $42
  12. LOOP TOGETHER We love these loop items. Such an innovative way to create a stunning centerpiece. Each loops is made from one piece of wire. Use them individually or interlink them with more than one in a line. T-Loop, $28; Chrome/Copper Loop, $32
Table Talk

It’s nearly immediate. November hits and people suddenly go into Holiday Planning Mode. This time of year, it’s so vital to slow down, relax and really enjoy the people around you. At Houseworks, we believe gathering around the table is such a huge way to give and receive a little joy. Eat a delicious meal. Play a few games. Put together a 1,000+ piece puzzle. Have late night chats and big belly laughs.
No matter what you decide to do around your table, we hope it brings you great joy this season. We rounded up three of our favorite tables that expand to let more of those you love gather around. They’re all sleek, modern and built with great quality. They’re multifunctional and will hopefully enable you to experience great times with good people making lasting memories.

1. Houseworks Tessa Table

  • Polished stainless steel frame
  • White glass top
  • Accommodates 4-6 people
  • Extension leaf accommodates 6 people
  • Dimensions: 57 diam. x 29.92H inches, 57.09L x 34.65W x 29.92H inches

Why we love it: This table is so sleek and fits well into many different color schemes. To add more people, you simply just give it a twist the table expands to add more people and the circular shape promotes great conversation.

HOUSEWORKS | Tessa Table | Modern Furniture |


2. Omnia Ceramic Table

Stylish and functional, the Omnia Laminated Ceramic Glass Dining Table allows you to seat unexpected guests comfortably thanks to its patented opening mechanism. The extension system involves pulling out the frame and twisting the concealed extension leaf into place in just a few simple steps. The table top is raised 10mm above the legs to create an effect that is both striking and attractive. The surface features exceptional performances in terms of deep abrasion, stain, thermal shock and chemical resistance. It‘s easy to clean and very hygienic because it does not absorb liquids and does not release harmful substances. Price varies according to specifications. Made in Italy.
Why we love it: This is currently our bestselling table for obvious reasons. It is a simple design with a big impact and is very easy to extend to accommodate more guests. Add in easy cleanup and care, and we’re sold!

HOUSEWORKS | Tessa Table | Modern Furniture |


3. Table #32

This one is especially unique. Unextended, it seats 6 people; however, with very little effort you can easily pull out the 3 leaves stored in the base, and this one accommodates 9 people. Once extended, the shape itself is just as unique. We are sure you and your guests will love it.

  • Seats: 6-9
  • Dimensions: Width: 47-57”  Height: 29”

Why we love it: This table is innovative and modern. It expands with light pressure from its base. It’s basically table-origami at its finest.

HOUSEWORKS | Tessa Table | Modern Furniture |

Wishing you a joyful season around your table, from our family to yours!

-Houseworks Team

Mother’s Day

There is no getting around it. We love our moms. They give advice, recipes, nuggets of wisdom…and not to mention they gave us our lives too. It’s that special time of year when we say “Thanks, Mom. You really are the best.” If you need a little help in the gift department, we broke it down for you into three mom-lovin’ categories that will surely make your mama smile. And don’t forget, Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8. 



HOUSEWORKS | Mothers Day Gifts

  1. This outlined vase by MoMa kind of makes it easy on you when you’re filling it. Great for one beautiful stem. $68
  2. We love this handle vase by Torre & Tagus. The simple design with a unique spin on the standard vase really makes it special. And please. Fill it up with some pretty things before you give it to your mother. This comes in three sizes, starting at $28
  3. There is something about a black and white family photo in a black and white frame that soothes the soul. And you know mama loves looking at her favorites. All shapes and sizes are great for any room in the house, and even the office.
  4. Geometric shapes are all the rage these days. This Polygon Iron Frame by Torre & Tagus is an easy way to add  simple and modern flavor to a shelf. $38
  5. Brighten up mom’s space with this square mantel clock from Wolf. $56
  6. These pillows don’t need much of an explanation because they say so much already. They are fun and will surely make mom laugh. We carry other options from Alexandra Ferguson’s collection, so be sure to check them out.
  7. These loop candles are the perfect gift. They are affordable, classic and classy. You can purchase multiple ones and intertwine them together to make a long and lovely centerpiece. $46
  8. Spike it up with these fun little pieces. You can lay them down flat on a shelf or table, or easily hang them on a wall with a built-in mount. Small, $14; Medium, $24; Large, $30

HOUSEWORKS | Mothers Day Gifts

  1. Organization is key. This design by Umbra is a must-have. It’s curved top allows for mail and notes to be stored, while the base of it is magnetic to stick keys or whatever else on it. $15
  2. We love these cube alarm clocks from Newgate. They’re sleek and small. The bright orange cheers up any office space, and we also have other color options. $42
  3. If you don’t have “x” rubber bands from MoMa, you’re doing it wrong. $7
  4. Letter “M” magazine rack by Torre & Tagus is an obvious choice to put your favorite publications. $49
  5. The sweet eucalyptus, white floral and a touch of rosemary scent of this candle is fresh and invigorating. So perfect for the office, it has “office” right on the packaging. Soy and paraffin blended, created with natural essential oil-based fragrances and has 90 hours of burn time. $59
  6. Stick it tape dispensers are so sleek and the many colors are a little burst of happy. A fun and functional desk definitely lies in the small details. $19
  7. Stay organized and charged with these pieces from Jonathan Adler. The schedule list pad ($18) will keep you on task, the sticky note set ($10) will keep your memory in tact and the On-the-go charger ($27) is just a no-brainer piece of equipment to toss in mom’s handbag. Adorable necessitates are our favorite.
  8. The Bink table by BDI is a must-have for everyone. Mom included. They are perfect for indoor or outdoor. So whether you’re on the computer at the sofa, lounging poolside or snacking at the TV, these tables are convenient and smart. AND it comes in a wide range of colors, so there is one to fit the decor in every room (or pool). $250

HOUSEWORKS | Mothers Day Gifts

  1. We love how Torre & Tagus found a new design for the standard bowl. Perfect for the mom who is anything but ordinary. The circular piece of art is $44. We even have the pretty life-like apples for $4 a piece.
  2. Black and white is always a timeless choice. The fun geometric patterns on these mugs are a refreshing addition for your morning cup of joe… or sleepy-time tea. $26 for set of 4
  3. The chances are high that your mom loves a nice glass of white or red at the end of the day. The Umbra wine rack at $32 is a chic and affordable option.
  4. This ribbon bottle opener from Mint has a nice sophisticated look to it. Perfect addition to mom’s bar cart.
  5. If mom got her cooking utensils as a wedding gift…chances are she’s in the market for some new ones. These Joseph Joseph Elevate utensils are so smart. When you set them down, they rest on their built-in stand. No more food on the counter while cooking makes mama happy!
  6. Joseph Joseph does it again. The Nest 9 Plus set has 5 measuring cups, 2 mixing bowls, 1 mesh sieve and  1 colander, all nested together in convenient package. $50
  7. Prefer a stainless steel version? This comes with 5 measuring cups, 2 mixing bowls, 1 mesh sieve and 1 colander, in a more decor-neutral option. $110
Standing Ovation

Us grownups spend a lot of time at our desks. Did you know that about 95% of your working day is spent sitting down? But, the popularity of standing desk solutions is on the rise (pun intended).

So what’s the big deal about standing vs. sitting? Sitting down for extended periods of time (like for 95% of your work day) can cause lower back pain, low blood circulation and less oxygen to your muscles which causes soreness, fatigue and cramping. Oh my. Did you know that standing for just 2 hours of your day can burn up to 340 calories? Sign me up! (Incase you were doing the math, a Snickers bar only has 250 calories…) Standing desks also increase productivity because you don’t have to halt working to walk around to get the blood flowing. You just stand up and continue the task(s) at hand.

At Houseworks, we genuinely search out the best products for our customers. We like a nice quality piece that is easy on the eyes. We rejoiced when we started carrying this particular brand.

Are you sitting down? Meet the Float Desk by Humanscale. Let me touch on some key points for you to sum up the reason we carry this particular desk:

  • One squeeze of a lever easily raises and lowers this desk. It glides like butter and locks into place (AKA, you won’t spill your coffee raising it up). No electric required. Just good ol’ physics and a simple design.
  • It’s here for the long haul. Because this baby is made mostly of recycled steel, it’s very durable.
  • It comes in adjustable widths and depths
  • Available in a variety of different base and top colors to match any office decor
  • The simple design has only legs on the sides…. which means you’re free to kick your legs out and get cozy while you kick your To Do List’s butt.

HOUSEWORKS | Standing Desk

HOUSEWORKS | Standing Desk

We also have another standing desk option if you’re in the market for a different style. This Sequel Wall Desk from BDI is a bit more permanent since it is fixed to the wall by a simple mounting bracket. You can pick the height you want it but no moving it around unless you’re really speedy at patching drywall. With this beauty, if you wanted to sit down at your stand-up desk, you’d just get a counter-height chair. Lucky for you we have a nice selection of those too! And it easily stores your mess-of-cords behind the wall panel that easily pops off for quick access.

HOUSEWORKS | Standing Desk

HOUSEWORKS | Standing Desk
Our office furniture is on our second level. Pop in to the store and take a peek.

Tick Tock!

It’s that special time in Indiana when there seems to be a little more sunlight in our days and we are wearing our winter coats less and less. Hoping that each time we do bundle up, that it is the season’s last. This also means that Daylight Saving Time is upon us. This Sunday actually.

I know. I know. That one precious hour really does seem to make a difference…especially if you have young children that didn’t get the memo. Melatonin anyone?

This does get us thinking though. A clock can be a great focal point to any room. Some are quirky, classic, colorful and some are just perfect for a kitchen. So if you don’t have one or if you’re needing to fill that space on the wall, we think it’s high time (pun intended) you grab yourselves the missing piece to your wall decor.

Here is a nice little sample assortment for you. We do have more at the store, so stop in and take peruse until you find one that meets your fancy.

Wall Clocks at HOUSEWORKS  Indy

  1. Miniforms Wall Clock, Clock | This one literally spells it out for you. It’s a clock, and it’s a bright little convo starter. $359
  2. Newgate “The Putney” | So we have a thing for red. And army time. $169
  3. Newgate “The Cookhouse” | Some clocks are just destined to be a fixture in the kitchen. This one comes in multiple colors so it will definitely fit your current scheme. $104
  4. BAI “Designer” | Big. Bold. Classic. It really is just lovely, isn’t it? $44
  5. Umbra “Elapse” | We love the simplicity of this one. It’s black and extra glossy. $84
  6. Miniforms “Box Wall Clock” | We have this one in yellow. It’s perfectly square with a little bit of something extra for that quirky little flare. $308
  7. Miniforms “Bull” | The jokes around this one pretty much write themselves. Perfect for man-caves, kitchens, your mother-in-law… $198
  8. BAI “Numeric Two” | If counting isn’t your forte, this one might be the one for you. Don’t default to digital. You too can learn to tell time without checking your mobile. $44

Don’t forget to spring forward this Sunday! 

Favorite Things: Kitchen Helpers

Happy Friday, folks!

As you know, we sell some beautiful and sleek furniture pieces… but we have a pretty beefed up assortment of kitchen gadgets too. So today, we bring to you just a small taste of a few of our favorite things. And we’re all about decluttering the counters, saving space and showing you function that still looks good. Pretty tools = pretty food. Right? Either way, enjoy!


HOUSEWORKS + Kitchen Gadgets + Indianapolis

  1. Magnetic Attraction. This utensil set has some real sex appeal. The handles are magnetic and stick together with the help of its sleek little stand. Definitely a space saver that won’t have you fumbling for a spoon in the heat of the moment!  Nest Utensils Plus by Joseph Joseph, $28
  2. The Spice of Life. We’ve seen them. Fancy spice carousels with 100 spices, and you only use 6% of them. Put your most used and beloved spices where they’re easy to grab. No spinning necessary.  Cylindra Spice Rack by Umbra, $15
  3. Style Mashup. A good portion of us probably use our tablets more than our Grandma’s Cookbook. Well, now there is a solution to those buttery smudges on the screen. A stylus and a spoon in one? Doesn’t get much more convenient than that!  iSpoon Kitchen Stylus by Umbra, $7
  4. Office Kitchen Files. Yes. It really does look like file storage; however, it’s just a really compact way to keep your cutting boards separate and for their intended purpose. No germy crossovers in our kitchens!  Index Chopping Boards by Joseph Joseph, $68
  5. Home Slice. Meet Pizza Night’s best friend, Scoot. This functional cutter eliminated the space-wasting handle for a more functional handheld device. It really is quite nice! Scoot Pizza Cutter by Joseph Joseph, $18
  6. Beauty Baggin’ It. We’re a little over the moon for these convenient boxes. They keep the wet and dry items separate and on different levels. When finished, it conveniently nests inside each other to toss back into your workbag. It’s great for adults, kids and your lunch budget. We also carry other on-the-go boxes for soups, salads and more if that’s more your thing!  Go Eat Space Saving Lunch Box by Joseph Joseph, $18
  7. Measure up. I don’t know about you, but I am so over those rings of measuring spoons and cups. They’re not convenient and they’re clunky. We’re thankful for these babies right here. The most common measurements at your chic little fingertips. Measuring Cup Set, $10.50 and Dash 4-in-1 Measuring Spoon, $8.40 by Umbra
  8. Tick Tock. We love these classic 55 minute timers. They’re magnetic and they come in multiple colors. Use them for cooking or to time time-outs for your sassy 5-year-old. Either way… it sure is pretty and convenient.  Magnetic Timer by Kikkerland, $16
Houseworks “Designer” Wall: “Dash of Mad Men” by Pat Yacobozzi


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Designer Wall: “Green Living” by Adam Gibson