Behind the Scenes | Custom Furniture
Behind the Scenes | Custom Furniture
For K&L Interiors, making each space personal to the client is immensely important to our design process, which is why it’s not surprising that we stand behind the concept of custom furniture. If you can imagine your interior space like an outfit, wearing a perfectly tailored jacket can instantly take you from disheveled to bespoke. Similarly, adding a custom-made element to your interior will heighten the level of design. We know the word “custom” can be intimidating, but there are many ways to incorporate custom into your space, and it’s not as scary as it sounds.
When to go Custom
When considering the design of a space, a big part of it is where to spend and where to save. Many times the room will guide us in making these decisions. For example, we worked on project where the client found a photo of a beautiful u-shaped sectional and we designed the room using that as a starting point. The challenge was to find a piece that would work with the linear footprint of the room. We were not able to find a ready-made sectional in the correct size but luckily enough, we found a company who makes a sofa style similar to the photo and could customize it to be tailored to our clients’ space.
We can spend hours, days even, hunting online and from shop to shop for that perfect-sized piece for your space. Instead of having us spend crazy amounts of time doing the run around for that needle-in-a-haystack, which might not exist, you can allocate it towards having something made just for you. It will be exactly what you want and as a bonus, only you will have it!
The Cost Behind Custom
With the recent boom of less expensive furniture and interior décor shops flooding the internet, the cost of custom furniture can be a big deterrent. Here’s the scoop behind the cost of a custom piece of furniture. If you invest in a one-of-a-kind piece, it’s made just for you. No one else will have it and it is tailored to your specific space. It’s not mass produced over-seas and its hand made by either a skilled local craftsman or by one of the US-based companies we purchase through. It is also made with high quality products, solid hard wood, non-toxic materials, and built to last. Mass produced pieces typically end up on the curb after a few years while custom pieces are refinished, reupholstered and passed down to the next generation. So even though you will spend more on the one-off piece, we believe it is money well spent.
Which Pieces are Best for Custom
This isn’t to say that you can’t make everything in your home custom – by all means, if you have the budget, do it! However, when it comes down to it, pieces that we place high on the list of things to customize are sofas and sectionals. Upholstery pieces are typically the center of the room and by far the most used pieces of furniture. Custom furniture is well made so it can take the wear and tear of everyday use. It also can be tailored with the seat and back cushion fill that is most comfortable to you. To top it off, it will be a stylish, personalized piece that not only fits the room perfectly but also makes a design statement.
We consider any change to a furniture piece which does not alter the frame of a standard piece to be semi-custom. Most of our trade sources allow us to select the cushion fill, upholster using a COM (any fabric that we select and then ship to the company for upholstery), add nail heads or a trim detail to the frame or cushions, and select a wood or metal finish for anything exposed parts of the frame. These small changes typically will only incur minimal fees, so you can have something semi-custom at a reasonable price.
Getting the Custom Piece of Your Dreams
With all of this talk about the reasons to use custom furniture, let’s say you’ve decided to go the custom route. Now what happens? We work with you and the manufacturer to create a piece that exactly fits your wants and needs. After deciding on the style, we create drawings of the piece, including the customizations needed, and submit it to the manufacturer. They review our submission and let us know if they have any suggestions or tweaks to the design that are needed in order to make it reality.
Playing the Waiting Game
The hardest part about custom furniture is waiting for it. Lead times can be rough for custom furniture, and can range anywhere from 4-16 weeks depending on the type of piece it is. This may sound like a long time, but keep in mind that artisans are making your piece by hand. Imagine crafting an 8’x10’ rug with 100+ knots per square inch! Yep, that’s why it takes them up to 16 weeks to make (and sometimes longer if it’s really special). Good things come to those who wait, so sit back and relax. The lead times are typically not negotiable, but do range slightly from company to company, and can depend on current workloads.
We know that whether or not you are considering custom furniture for your next project, it’s a big decision. Let’s talk through your options and find what the right avenue will be. We pride ourselves on creating an enjoyable experience for our clients. Contact us for an initial consultation to discuss your project and how we can be of service to you!