Before we get into the ins and outs of bespoke furniture vs. off-the-shelf furniture, it might be useful to answer two questions first:
What is bespoke furniture?
Bespoke furniture is designed, commissioned and manufactured on an individual, one-off basis with a specific use in mind for the person that has commissioned it.
What is off-the-shelf furniture?
Off-the-shelf furniture is furniture that is produced in high numbers and that is bought and used without customisation from a high street retailer or an online furniture store.
So why choose bespoke furniture from a furniture maker like us at Origins Design over an off-the-shelf alternative from the high street? Whether you are a design professional or an individual buying for your own home, why would you consider bespoke?
Ease and experience
Though you have to wait for your custom-made piece of furniture to be made, a furniture maker can have much shorter lead times than you would expect. Because they have a certain amount of raw materials ready and waiting for their next commission, a furniture maker can turn things around fairly quickly and often quicker than high street retailers who can have lead times of up to 12 weeks as they are typically importing their furniture from abroad. Buying from a local business such as a British furniture maker keeps delivery times shorter and easier to arrange too. The convenience and immediacy of the high street is also easily outstripped by the ease with which an experienced bespoke furniture maker will understand immediately what you are looking for and how to design and manufacture it.
Working with a furniture maker follows a typical process:
- Design brief received, lead times and budget discussions
- Presentation of design concept and estimate
- Firm estimate and 3D model provided
- Deposit paid
- Furniture manufactured
- Delivery / installation
All this is done for you and you are consulted at every stage. In addition, you get to tap into the valuable and extensive experience of your furniture maker ensuring quality of build.
A custom-made piece of furniture will be made to your exacting instructions and made well. Unlike off-the-shelf alternatives that have obsolescence built-in, your piece of bespoke furniture is built to last.
The craftspeople that manufacture your piece of furniture may not use the easiest methods to make your chair, storage or cabinet, but they will be creating a piece that will hold its value and last longer. The idea that bespoke furniture is more expensive is easily balanced out by its long lifespan compared to a high street alternative and the many benefits of having something made specifically for you and your (or your clients’) home. And bespoke furniture is not always as expensive as you may expect; furniture makers like us don’t have a costly retail store or shop front to maintain which allows us to keep margins down.
Not only is a bespoke piece of furniture made to your exacting instructions, it is also made to fit your style and your lifestyle.
The options will be near limitless and though this may feel like too much choice, your bespoke furniture maker will be able to advise and assist you on style, shape, size, colour, materials, finishes and any personal touches you may want (or they suggest!) to reflect your personality (or the personality of your client) in the piece.
Bespoke furniture makers are, by definition, providing a personal service that the high street or off-the-shelf manufacturers just cannot offer. From beginning to end they will guide, advise, help and inspire you in the aim of creating a piece of furniture that will do exactly what you need it to do, for as long as you need it to and look good whilst doing it.
When your piece is ready, your furniture maker will deliver and install it in your home. Aftercare and follow up services will all be personalised to your piece of furniture to ensure it remains in the best condition long term.
Hopefully we’ve inspired you to think bespoke before ordering your next piece of furniture. If you want to discuss your or your customer’s vision for a bespoke piece of furniture, our technical design team and craftspeople are ready to discuss your project. Please get in contact or have a look at our Instagram feed to see the timeless bespoke furniture we have made for our clients.