We need new furniture. Can I afford custom furniture?
HomeBudgetWe need new furniture. Can I afford custom furniture?
We need new furniture. Can I afford custom furniture?
June 27, 2020
When most people hear the word ‘custom’ they cringe as most times, it seems to equate to pricey. So let’s take a look at what custom furniture really means, and what you’re getting by purchasing a custom piece.
I believe there are 4 pros for choosing custom furniture:
the opportunity to get exactly the size you need,
the choice of style you love and goes with your home,
the fabric (colour, pattern, etc.) that goes with your home and most importantly,
the quality of product going into your furniture is the best.
Size of Furniture
Typically, when you shop for furniture, you may go to a big box store and you have a choice of one or two sizes: a sofa or a love seat. For sectionals, there may be a few choices of length and that’s it.
When you have the opportunity to shop for custom furniture, you truly can get the right size you need for your space.
In each space, we needed a certain size. My clients, who are a young family, also know that their family life will change as the kids get older. As such, we decided to make the chaise lounge have a removable lower section.
Custom Sectional with removable chaise bottom on the right side.
Custom Sectional with removable chaise bottom on the left side.
Style of Furniture
When you choose custom furniture, there are many styles of furniture you will most likely never find in a box store.
I source my custom furniture from a Trade Only Design Center. To be able to view the furniture pieces, you need to be working with a designer to gain access. Whittaker Designs is a showroom for Interior Designers. Whittaker Designs is where we source Birchwood Furniture.
For my clients, I was sourcing furniture for the main floor as well as the bonus room (see above). Both spaces were needing something different.
The style (not the fabric) for the main floor family room.
The side view of the main floor sofa.
The straight lines of this sofa are just divine.
For the bonus room, we choose something more casual.
The style for the bonus room. We chose no buttons for the back cushion and a different fabric. This is the sectional that has the removable end chaise that can go on the right or the left side.
When it comes to sourcing custom furniture for clients, I love bringing them into Whittaker Designs to show just how many choices we have.
Do you see the fabrics in the back of the showroom? The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing fabric for custom furniture.
This, by far, trumps everything for me! Everything that I source from Whittaker Designs/Birchwood Furniture is made in Calgary.
One of the best parts of custom furniture is that Birchwood Furniture/Whittaker Designs cuts their wood using an overhead router. There is minimal waste, and you can make curves without having to join three or four pieces together (like others may do).
The Computer Numerical Control (CNC) overhead router.
This curved piece is one piece of wood, made possible from the overhead router.
This round piece is made with 2 curved pieces attached together.
When it comes to sofas, love seats, and sectionals, the springs are very important to give you a comfortable sit.
There is always a set of double springs by each arm. This prevents sinking or caving in the corners (where most people will want to sit).
Are you able to see 2 guidewires? The long wire that runs the length of this sofa (from the top to the bottom)? Typically, only 1 is installed. With custom furniture, Birchwood installs 2 to provide you with uniformed seating on the entire piece.
When it comes to foam or feather down, most people will choose foam as it is more budget friendly. The best thing about the foam that Birchwood Furniture uses is that it is:
all of the cut-offs are sent back to the foam company to be up-cycled.
The cut-offs that are sent back to be up-cycled.
When the wood, foam and fabric are all cut out, it needs to be put together. When ordering custom furniture from Birchwood, you will have one skilled upholsterer work on your pieces from start to finish. Have you ordered two chairs? The same upholsterer will create both chairs.
A sofa that is being put together by one of Birchwood’s skilled upholsterer.
When it comes to sewing, there is never any amount of technology that can take place of a personal touch. Birchwood Furniture has an amazing sewing department.
The sewing room.
Custom Furniture – Bringing it all Together
When you take all of the elements of a custom furniture piece, this is what you get.
How Much Does it Cost?
This is always the big question of the day. There are a few options that can increase, or decrease, a custom furniture piece:
Foam or down cushions or backs. Feather down will be more money.
Fabric or leather. There are many grades of fabric and leather.
8 way hand tied seating.
Contrast fabric or leather piping.
Customizations such as adding nail heads, piping, buttons, etc (if they are not standard on the piece you have selected).
This sectional is from a big box store. There are 6 colour choices, 2 configurations (left or right), the frame is made of solid wood and plywood, the seating backs have fibre-fill. The retail cost listed is $1649.98 CDN
The sectional that we selected for our clients, with everything I discussed above including choosing a custom fabric to go with their renovation is less than $400 CDN difference.
Custom Furniture: My Advice
My advice is the same with every client. I would like to see my clients invest in the larger pieces. When you purchase a low grade sofa, it is not going to last. What happens to that piece of furniture? Does it go to the landfill?
By investing in custom furniture, you are investing in pieces that will last a very long time. All of the other furniture can also be custom if your budget allows. If your budget does not allow for that, the smaller pieces can be sourced from budget-friendly sources.
For custom furniture, the beauty is that it can be shipped anywhere!
Chairs that are ready to be shipped.
I hope this has helped you learn more about custom furniture and how wonderful the pieces are.
Looking to refresh your space with some new furniture pieces? Contact metoday to discuss having your custom pieces made for you and your home.