Starting from 21st century BC, China has had strong but isolated philosophies for making things, which dominated the style and spirit of Chinese design. With globalization, however, contemporary Chinese design fell under the influence of Western design including design practice, design theory, and education. Today, by improving capacity for independent innovation, and creating its own brand, China may be able to change its current practices of production that are defined by high consumption of resources, high pollution and low value-add. The search for high-quality Chinese design, which is both original and innovative with unique and identifiable features, has become a vital challenge for the Chinese government, organizations, and companies. Promoting original Chinese design with adding cultural values, in the past decade, has become prominent in various design fields because of the growing need to support economic development, upgrade industrial infrastructure, and promote national identity. In this context, many small-medium, creative and design-focused companies have been established with the goal of pursuing original Chinese design all the while concentrating on Chinese culture and users. In order to understand the present scenarios of original Chinese design, this research examines furniture design in select SMEs in China by studying relevantly critical issues: the motivation of designers for pursuing original Chinese design; the design ideas, practices and business strategies of these SMEs to build original and influential design brand; the challenges and opportunities in the furniture design industry while promoting original Chinese design; and the emerging picture of future Chinese design. This research applies the methodological framework of grounded theory with qualitative research methods including semi-structured interview and in-depth case studies. As a result, regarding interaction among Chinese culture, original design, and entrepreneurship, the research reveals three key findings regarding the interaction among Chinese culture, original design and entrepreneurship. First, “reflect Chinese culture”, particularly essential traditional Chinese culture, is a common ground of original Chinese furniture design, which has been shown both from design ideas and practices of the select SMEs. Second, insufficient entrepreneurship influences the promotion of original design brands both in domestic and international market. Third, innovative design among contemporary furniture designers is constrained by a morass of Chinese culture impediments, such as lacking critical thinking and overemphasizing on inheritance of traditions. Moreover, the research presents a theoretical framework with key implications for developing and promoting Chinese design that is original, innovative and socially impactful. The insights gained from the research also provide a foundation and possible direction for future studies on design, culture, entrepreneurship, and other creative industries both for China and other nations.