Bespoke furniture pieces can provide both aesthetic and functional benefits for the homeowner, maximising the available space and on the other side, giving you the ultimate freedom in choosing the right style, colour, and material according to your available budget.
However, ordering custom furniture can be an intimidating process with all the different processes, and the stigma that bespoke always equals expensive.
Here we will share some important tips in commissioning your own bespoke furniture pieces, so you can get the most of your money.
Start With Why: Benefits of Getting Bespoke Furniture
Why should you consider custom-tailored, bespoke furniture in the first place? Commissioning your own bespoke furniture pieces can require a significant investment of your money and time, and finding the right furniture maker, designer, and installer can be quite difficult.
However, there are also many benefits to custom-tailored furniture such as:
- You are involved throughout the whole process from the initial design right through until the furniture’s production and installation. Meaning, you have more control and flexibility in getting what you actually want.
- Bespoke furniture is generally handmade by skilled experts—craftsmen and women—, so it’s a good way to support your local artists. Your furniture will also be unique with a personal historic value
- Bespoke furniture pieces can last decades, making it a great long-term investment that can even be passed down to your children and grandchildren
Tips In Getting Bespoke Furniture
1. Know Your Goals
Before you reach out to a bespoke furniture designer like London Bespoke Interiors, make up your mind about what you will expect from the process.
Here are some common goals in getting bespoke furniture:
Addressing a specific design issue, for example, utilising an awkward corner space where standard furniture won’t really fit
- Functional issues, for example, addressing a lack of storage spaces
- Aesthetics, you want a unique piece not available on the market
Knowing exactly what you want will help you in choosing the right designer according to your needs, and increasing the chance of the project’s success. This will also help you save time and avoid mistakes during the design and production processes.
2. Figure Out The Functional Details
The next step is to figure out all the practical details related to the bespoke furniture piece.
First, measure up the available space in detail. This is how you can decide how large or small the furniture piece should be, and whether you’ll need a fitted or movable piece.
Next, figure out how should the item be constructed depending on the needs, and also plan the details surrounding storage needs (whether you’ll need shelves, etc.).
If you can, sketch out a design, or at least a rough drawing. The idea here is so that you can communicate your vision to the designer.
Remember that the more complex the furniture piece is (the bigger the size, more expensive materials required, more intricate details, etc.), the more expensive it will be. Plan the item according to your budget and available time.
3. The Aesthetics Aspects
In most cases, commissioning your bespoke furniture is the case of functional vs aesthetics. Unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll have to sacrifice one aspect to make room for the other.
So, spend some time thinking about the design aspect, style, material choices and overall appearance of the furniture piece(s). The clearer your idea about these aesthetic elements, the fewer mistakes and revisions during the actual production, and so the quicker and cheaper the process will be.
This is the aspect where the furniture maker or designer can provide useful insights, so you don’t really need to cover all the details. However, having a clearer idea of your own will help, so the designer can use your vision as the foundation. This will also help in a smoother discussion regarding budget.
Sometimes, however, we might not have a clear vision of what we actually want. In this case, we can collect furniture images from Pinterest, Instagram, or other platforms that we actually like and share it with the designer. The designer can use these as their reference point.
4. Considerations About Your Designers
It’s important to note that generally, the furniture designer is a different person from the furniture maker. If, however, you decide to work with a bespoke furniture company, they often come in a package, so it will simplify the process of finding a separate designer and furniture maker.
A skilled furniture designer should be able to produce detailed design sketches, and then can translate your vision into a clear technical specification for the furniture maker. If necessary, the designer might want to visit your house to take their measurements and photos.
Nowadays, there are plenty of online platforms where you can find your designers, where you can also check for online reviews and photos of their previous projects. Recommendations from friends and family, however, tend to be most useful.
Again, if you already have a clear picture of your idea, you’ll have an easier time to choose between different designers. The main things are to find someone you can work together with and can fit your budget while also accommodating your vision.
5. Finding Furniture Maker
In most cases, your designer will recommend craftsmen or women they often work with, or, if you decide to work with a bespoke furniture company, they will have their own craftsmen.
However, there might be cases where you’ll need to find a separate furniture maker, for example when the designer don’t know someone who can fulfil your specifications.
In general, the process should be similar to how you find your furniture designer, with several additional concerns:
- The craftsmen/women might want to discuss your physical and lifestyle habits, for example, whether you are left or right-handed or whether you’ll need a child-safe design approach
- The maker should be able to explain all the technical aspects of the design. For example, how the hinges will work
- The maker should help you in making your material choices, especially regarding functionality
The furniture maker should be willing to answer all of your questions, and should be able to work comfortably with your designer.
6. Pay Extra Attention To Payment Arrangements
Now that you’ve settled on a furniture designer and craftsman/woman, it’s time to figure out all the financial details to avoid any future issues.
Everything surrounding costs and timescales of the project should be clear and discussed upfront. Make sure you have an agreement of how long it will take to design and manufacture the piece (make sure the details are written in the contract).
Understand every detail related to costs, for example, whether the delivery cost is covered, and when should payment be made (including different installments/stages).
Generally, with bespoke furniture, we can’t expect any refunds or returns.
Although commissioning your own bespoke furniture pieces can be a lengthy process, the result will be worth it as you can own an entirely unique piece that can also be a long-term investment for the years to come.
Finding the right furniture designer and maker, or a bespoke furniture company that can fit your budget and needs, is the most important factor determining the success of your project.