More people are turning to custom-made furniture not only for the unique experience of having a piece of furniture made exactly to their specifications, but also to escape the cycle of fast furniture, and to experience the joy of local craftsmanship.
But before you go out and blow your savings on a new living or dining room, here are four questions you should ask to ensure you get this purchase exactly right:
1. DO YOU KNOW WHY YOU WANT CUSTOM-MADE FURNITURE?
It’s not wise to invest money you’ve worked hard for into custom-made furniture without knowing why you want it in the first place. No reasons are necessarily better than others, but just make sure you know why custom-made furniture is right for you.
Here are some of the most common reasons we hear:
- You miss the days of locally made furniture, keeping local people employed in a trade of their passion.
- You’re aware of the environmental impacts of home decoration and are looking for a way to consume more sustainably—e.g., through reclaimed Australian hardwood.
- You’re a perfectionist and you won’t settle for anything less than exactly what you want. (I can relate to this…)
- You’ve won lotto and looking for something to spend your money on. (Seriously!)
- Or you simply appreciate skilled craftsmanship.
2. ARE YOU WILLING TO PUT IN THE TIME AND EFFORT TO GET THE INFO YOU NEED BEFORE YOU BUY?
Most people don’t have an empty house to start with when they’re investing in custom-made furniture. Whether you’re replacing your sofas and need to work with your existing furniture, or you’re limited by the space of the room itself, you need to be willing and able to find out all the info you need before you head in-store for a consultation. (And don’t worry—if you’re not sure if you’ve got all the info, just ring your local store in advance and they’ll be happy to help!)
Here are some of the key questions you’ll need to answer:
- What are you going to use the furniture for? Will it be indoors or outdoors? Everyday or occasional? In the living room or the dining room?
- What are the measurements of the furniture you need? No point getting furniture made for you if you don’t know how big you need it to be!
- What furniture style do you want? This will affect your choices in all sorts of ways, be it the colour and texture of your upholstery or the stain on your timber furniture.
- How quickly do you need it? If you’ve just moved out of home and are currently dining on a cardboard box, you may not be in a position to wait weeks for furniture to be made for you.
3. EVEN IF YOU'VE THOUGHT OF A RANGE OF OPTIONS, ARE YOU OPEN TO CHANGING YOUR MIND?
There’s a difference between being prepared and being narrow-minded. Being prepared means you’ve thought about everything above and you’ve got one or more ideas about what you want in your sofa or timber furniture. Being narrow-minded takes it one step further: you refuse to consider any other ideas. If you head in-store and it turns out what you want isn’t possible (or costs more than what you're willing to pay), you want to be flexible enough to seriously consider other options for your new purchase.
4. DO YOU LOOK AFTER THINGS YOU BUY?
Custom-made furniture is expensive. If you tend to trash the things you buy, or you’re not usually the sort of person who makes the time to oil your timber furniture, clean your upholstery, etc., then you may want to reconsider buying custom-made furniture. After all, you’ll only make the most of them if they’re looked after. Look after them, and they’ll look after you for many years to come.
With all these questions answered, you’re now ready to head in-store and make one of the most special interior design purchases of your life. Enjoy!