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Crafting your Vision

Embarking on the journey of crafting custom furniture is an exciting adventure that begins with a vision. To ensure your custom piece aligns with your expectations, it's crucial to have a clear understanding of its function, design, timeline, and budget. In this blog post, we delve into essential tips for each factor, guiding you through the process of refining your initial vision.

 

Function

Functionality is the backbone of any well-designed piece. It’s the furniture piece’s purpose and practicality. In this section, we explore key considerations to ensure your piece not only looks stunning but also serves its intended purpose seamlessly.


Tip: Consider the piece’s purpose and usage

The basic question at the heart of this is, “How do you plan on using the piece?” This can really be broken down into purpose (“Is the piece a storage solution, a statement piece, or a multi-functional item?”) and usage (“Is the piece designed for heavy daily use, occasional gatherings, or primarily as an artistic element?”). If there are any specific features you’d like your furniture to have regarding its usability, make a note of these too. Having a solid idea of your furniture’s purpose and usage will help inform the techniques and materials the artisan will use to build your piece. 


Tip: Get out your measuring tape

The size of your piece, and the surrounding space, is one of the most important factors for your custom piece. You should think about size in terms of usage (for example, number of seats at a dining table) and actual dimensions. Remember that the piece will (likely) not be the only item in the space. It will need to fit the available space and fit in / harmonize with other pieces already in the space. 

 

Design

Design is the visual language that expresses your personality and transforms a piece from ordinary to extraordinary. This section provides tips on how to establish your unique personal style and ensure your custom furniture resonates with your design preferences.


Tip: Learn about popular design styles

Before reflecting on your personal style, it can be helpful to have a sense of what’s out there. Do you prefer modern, midcentury, rustic, or a blend of styles? By no means do you need to become an expert, but just having an idea of popular designs can help you refine and articulate your design vision. If you’re looking for a good starting point, be sure to check out our blog post where we’ve put together a blog overviewing some of the most popular design styles in furniture.


Tip: Find sources of inspiration

Inspiration is all around us. Use it! Pinterest and design magazines are popular places to start for inspiration, but sources of inspiration can come from anywhere. Are you drawn to a furniture piece at a friend’s house? How about something in nature? A picture is worth a thousand words, so start gathering a visual library of design elements you find appealing. This will serve as a good starting point for a conversation about aesthetics with an artisan. 

 

Timeline

Setting a realistic timeline is a critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of your custom furniture vision. In this section, we discuss the importance of aligning your expectations with practical timeframes, ensuring a smooth and timely completion of your bespoke piece.


Tip: Be realistic

Once you’ve envisioned your perfect piece, we know it’s hard to not get excited and want it right away. However, remember that commissioning custom furniture is a journey. The build of a dining table, for example, usually takes between 6 to 12 weeks. And that’s just the build! Be realistic about your timelines, including any upcoming events and be prepared to add in a bit of buffer, just to be safe. 


Tip: Communicate openly

We know we’re getting a bit ahead of ourselves here, but when the time comes to speak with an artisan about your piece, be sure to bring up your timeline expectations sooner rather than later. Artisans can provide you with a rough estimate based on your vision for the piece. Of course this can change as you refine your piece, but having an idea of whether the artisan will be able to meet your timeline, or whether your current timeline is too tight for custom work, can save a lot of time for you and the artisan in the long-run.

 

Budget

Balancing quality and cost is a delicate yet crucial aspect when crafting custom furniture. This section explores the dynamics of setting a budget that aligns with your financial comfort while ensuring a high-quality, enduring piece.


Tip: Establish a budget range

The word “range” is key here. The price of custom furniture varies greatly depending on the level of craftsmanship, materials, design elements, and other factors. Changing any of these factors can have a large impact on the price. Establishing a range will provide you with flexibility to play around with these factors to find the right balance that works for your budget. 


Tip: Custom is an investment

As discussed in the “Choosing Between Custom, Customizable, and Mass-Produced Furniture” blog post, custom is generally more expensive than mass-produced furniture. As discussed in the post, it comes with additional benefits, one of which is quality pieces meant to last. This means that, over the lifetime of a custom piece, you may end up going through several pieces of mass-produced furniture. If you’re ready to settle down with a piece, custom could end up saving you money in the long-run!


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