A lot of furniture makers, especially independent ones and home accessory outfits, are temporary shops on annual design festivals. They bring the work that they sell; it can also serve as an inspiration for people who wants to consider starting a career as a custom furniture maker.
Commissioning custom furniture is like having a three-piece suite, custom made versus buying a suite off the rack. The suit you buy off the shelf may fit just fine, but you can’t compare the finish, fit, and feel of something that is made especially for you. Commissioning your special furniture can be challenging for first-timers, that is why we ask some dealers, designers, and artisans to simplify the process.
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The price should be right
Custom furniture is not necessarily more expensive than ready-made furniture from chain stores or showrooms. Sometimes, it can be cheaper than mass-produced pieces. A prominent furniture manufacturer has many invisible factors involved in their pricing structure.
They pay designers, a flat rate, and sometimes a percentage of the sale of their design. They also pay the factory where their merchandise is made. There are also shipping fee, taxes, overhead cost for retail outlets like rent, air conditioning, and insurance, as well as the advertising cost. All of these costs are added to the final market price.
Is time on your side?
Designing custom-made furniture will take a while to finish, so it is essential to establish an achievable time frame. Once the designer has defined and designed the furniture, most custom furniture manufacturers like iirn Tree will tell their clients that it will take five to eight weeks to finish the piece, give or take.
It is not unusual to go on a few revisions before finding the right materials, forms, and size. If you want good furniture, you need to be adaptable. Manufacturers will get the projects done, but the schedule will rule out elements like hand-carved molds, cast metals (involves patterns), setting and pouring as well as machining and polishing.
The size of the project matters
An experienced furniture maker can make excellent custom-made furniture, with the right size and the right quality. Size matters in making furniture, but if the craftsman has experience, they can finish it regardless of how small or big the clients want it to.
For example, a designer was tasked to make a dining room with a table and four custom-made chairs for a family who were dramatically different in size. The father is a big guy, and the mother, as well as the two children, is much smaller. The designer should make one chair higher to compliment the father’s size. The designer should also make sure that the back of the chairs will have the same height to make it uniform.
Say no to knockoffs
If you like something similar to the one you found in furniture shops, magazines or in an episode of “Real Housewives,” you have to buy it in department stores or furniture showrooms. Do not expect a master artisan to make a discounted doppelgänger of your favorite furniture, straight from the magazine, showrooms, or television.
All designers specialize in custom-made pieces and have a signature look at their designs. They also use specialized materials that suit their designs. These designers do not want to be ripped off or borrow ideas from other designers.
That is not to say that you should not feel free to collect a lot of inspirational pictures and share them with the people making your furniture, especially for your designer. Showing these pictures of the design team that will handle your furniture, is an excellent way to share your idea and visual experience.
All clients see the world differently than the designers, and they do not have words to express it. Designers need to get an idea on what their clients want in their furniture, and showing pictures is an excellent way to do it.
Want to know how to choose eco-friendly furniture? Click here for more information.
Custom-made furniture will give you a way to control what materials your piece is made of. There are designers today that solely uses recycled and sustainable materials in their furniture. Most of these designers upcycle trees that have been torn down by construction companies, storms or axed because of disease or age, making them into beautiful countertops, stools, and conference tables.