While customised furniture is nothing new in the industry, the level of customisation services currently offered by furniture retailers is a lot more intricate and will get you closer to the best results. This service is also becoming increasingly accessible and affordable, and definitely constitutes as a viable option for furnishing your space. However, custom orders often have a no-return policy so it is important to get it right from the start. Before going ahead, get acquainted with these helpful pointers and pitfalls
The process is not as complicated as you think
While the material and colour possibilities can be baffling, the retailers and even your interior designer would probably streamline your choices to a few main colours according to your home’s style. That said, colour shouldn’t be the first of your concerns, it should be size.
The price is comparable to ready stock
Provided you don’t go for genuine leather which can push prices up by 40 to 50 per cent, the cost to customise a basic three-seater is around the mid-range price category. Chief product designer Lawrence Yong from furniture retailer Blåfink says: “It can’t go as low as a mass produced IKEA set but neither will it go as high as a B&B Italia piece. It’s less about the material used rather than the method and process we use to custom make a sofa.” Their average three-seater is $1,890.
Ordering a custom-desugned piece online is quick and easy
The world of online shopping is upon us and yes, you can order a custom-made piece from the comfort of your sofa. For online furniture retailer Castlery, they are expanding their online customisation services to include length and legs for sofas. “Customers can do it either online or go down to our showroom,” says Declan Ee, Co-founder of Castlery. “When browsing online, our customers might be unsure on how the fabric will look in real life, which is why they can request for up to three fabric swatches which will be sent to them for free.
However, comfort is something you can’t assess from just looking at the screen. Castlery encourages interested buyers to book an appointment for a viewing with their consultants. In terms of sofa firmness, they offer three levels: soft, medium and firm.
Beds can be customised too and there’s more to it than colour selection
Headboards are perceived more as an aesthetic part of the bedroom while the bedframe provides function, in terms of hidden storage within the base. As such, Naazli Somjee the sales manager from WTP The Furniture Company states: “Headboards do not get a lot of usage, so you can use thinner materials or even delicate fabrics like pure silk or pure linen. We see the trend leaning towards linens in softer tones like greys and pale blues as they render a calm and cool touch.”
Besides colour scheme and fabric selection for headboards, both WTP and Blåfink allow customers to add on embellishments such as buttons, special seaming and quilting. Lawrence from Blåfink adds: “We get a lot of requests for the diamond grid tufting features. The wingback feature is also very popular.”
Prepare to wait for your custom piece
As long as you don’t order during peak periods like Chinese New Year, the soonest you can lounge on your sofa is six weeks – a conservative arrival date estimated by Castlery. Blåfink’s expected waiting period is around eight weeks. For WTP, a custom made dining chair will need two to six weeks while their bedframes and headboards take around two to four weeks for completion.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Disa Tan published in the September 2016 issue of SquareRooms.