Custom-Made vs Store-Bought Furniture: Which Is A Better Buy?


The biggest decision you have to make as a homeowner is how to furnish your home. There are countless brands and furniture shops out there, many of them local and sustainable. However, there is another option as well: you can have your furniture custom-made. To find out what suits your own, personal needs, let’s dive into the pros and cons of custom-made vs store-bought furniture.

There’s no denying that custom-made furniture is more expensive than store-bought pieces. After all, you have to factor in all of the personalisation that goes into custom furniture design, as well as the attentive customer service you will receive. This can all add up to quite a decent sum, making store-bought furniture significantly cheaper.

Winner: Store-bought furniture.

If you opt for an experienced designer, you are sure to hit the jackpot when you go the custom-made route. This is because the designer will take your every idea into consideration, including your personal choice of material and finish. While many furniture designers craft high-quality pieces that you can find in stores, you will get to pick out your favourite wood for your custom-made furniture, ensuring a hardy and long-lasting item. Additionally, the process of making furniture from scratch allows you to keep an eye on the origins of the materials to make the production as sustainable as possible.

However, you will have to trust that your designer of choice has the knowledge and experience to craft something that lives up to your expectations. While store-bought items come with rigorous product testing and appropriate warranties, custom-made pieces have to speak for themselves. If you pick a designer who goes along with a bad idea or makes inexperienced suggestions, you might end up splurging on a short-lived piece. To ensure a high-quality result, check your designer’s portfolio thoroughly before booking a custom design.

Winner: Custom-made furniture.


Image courtesy of Triple Eyelid Studio

Not only can you choose from thousands of materials when you have your furniture custom-made, you can also follow the process from beginning to end. Good designers will take your needs into consideration when suggesting design options, looking at the size of the room you wish to furnish, its humidity and conditions and the overall aesthetic of your home. This results in a piece of furniture that is the perfect size and colour for your house and proves resistant to a particular kind of wear and tear. Many designers of store-bought furniture will take your needs into consideration when recommending pieces for your home, and numerous stores have personal shopping services for customers, but they won’t be able to change the furniture itself.

Winner: Custom-made furniture.

Due to the personalisation inherent in custom-made furniture, it takes a much longer time to make than store-bought pieces, which are usually in stock on any given day. Even when purchasing furniture from local artisans, their signature designs will be much faster to produce than custom-made ones, as they don’t require lengthy customisation. Online shopping, which is usually only possible with store-bought furniture, is also generally less time-consuming than making your way to a shop, allowing you to pick your favourite piece with the click of a button and have it delivered within the week. If you are in a hurry to receive your furniture, store-bought items will certainly be the fastest.

Winner: Store-bought furniture.


Image courtesy of Roger&Sons

Getting in touch with furniture retailers can be difficult, as they tend to receive a large number of emails and phone calls, leaving less time for personalised interactions. Custom-furniture designers, on the other hand, are easier to reach and may even provide personal phone numbers for ease of contact. However, the latter usually work alone or in small teams, which results in fewer staff being available to serve you on a busy day. On the other hand, retailers usually have multiple help desks and staff at the ready to guide you in your shopping. Thus, establishing the initial contact with designers for custom-made furniture is faster, but the communication during the shopping process itself tends to be smoother when choosing store-bought pieces for your home.

Winner: Draw.

Store-bought and custom-made furniture items both have their advantages. While store-bought furniture is more apt for those seeking affordability, speed and convenience, custom-made furniture offers the benefits of personalisation, long-lasting quality and sustainability. Now that you are armed with all of the information you need, it’s ultimately up to you to choose which option fulfils your personal needs.

Featured image courtesy of Arche Interior Design