Just like all other things you buy, items of quality design and manufacturing cost more. Why is a custom-made sofa more comfortable than the one you buy off the floor at a mall-based store? Because it has been designed for your needs, not those of the masses. The idea behind crafting the piece comes from a different set of expectations. Custom furniture is created to fit your body, your family, and your space. In other words, it is built to last since a piece that is not comfortable both in functionality and style will not last long in your home.
Why is custom furniture more comfortable and durable? In a nutshell, it is designed for both. The comfort of a sofa is about the pitch (a seat’s slight drop to the back), the spring up beneath the cushion, and the quality of the cushion itself. So much of what makes a piece of furniture comfortable is invisible within the finished product. It is the quality of the material and the construction, along with the particularities requested for the custom design that make it a joy to use.
Custom furniture also has style elements that are hard to find in ready-made pieces. 4-way matching fabric installation allows it to look beautiful from all sides, not just the front and back. This detail brings more versatility to the piece so it can flex if your furniture arrangement changes. Speaking of details, it is the attention paid to them that also makes custom furniture stand the test of time. Seams, trimmings, buttons, etc. are all done with quality in mind so the piece appears cohesive. Custom furniture is also crafted with classic lines, regardless of the style. Modern, traditional, baroque—the craftsman’s interpretation is classically done with balance evident to the eye. That lasting beauty is part of the quality. Finally, custom furniture is designed for the space in which it is intended. Not too large or too small, too heavy or too diminutive – it is created to scale perfectly into the room. Just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, it’s just right.
There are places in your home where the compromise that comes with purchasing off-the-floor makes sense. Not planning to use a piece of furniture for functionality? You do not have to worry as much about quality. A guest bedroom chair and ottoman sat in 12 times per year does not need to stand up to the use of a sofa in a hearth room. When it comes to purchasing for necessary functionality, we have never seen anyone regret investing in good quality furniture, where we have seen many regrets on the other side.
Mall-based stores design their furniture for everybody, with volume and profit as the main goal behind the construction. The pieces are meant to fit the average-sized person who does not buy furniture often enough to be armed with the depth of information they need to purchase pieces that truly suit their needs. That consumer buys off the floor because it seems to fit, but 5 years later the poor durability and integrity rear their ugly heads: the cushions are flat, the piece is no longer comfortable and the fabric has not held up. Time to buy a new sofa! Quality furniture is meant to last throughout your lifetime, and lends itself to change through reupholstering every 10-15 years rather than throwing it out. In the end, custom furniture is the better investment because you are not replacing it every few years.
So how do you go about bringing custom furniture into your interior design scheme? We, of course, suggest using a skilled interior designer! They live in that world and have the eye, the talent, the training and the access to the trade-only pieces to help you design the perfect piece for your body and your home. Quality interior designers spend time and money traveling around the country to keep themselves informed about the products they sell. They see the pieces in person and get to know the manufacturers. Keeping abreast of the latest industry information is time-consuming and expensive, but is in the best interest of their clients. Interior designers should serve as a knowledgeable guide to ensure their clients invest wisely, choosing the appropriate products by being aware of all the options and the vagaries within each furniture line.
In a recent blog post, Millennial Interior Design Trends, we noted that many consumers are moving toward buying fewer things at a higher quality. Custom furniture is naturally suited to this movement. It is almost impossible to find off-the-floor furniture with the perfect mix of comfort, scale, style, price and look. You will have to compromise on one, and with furniture that you use every day, close enough is not good enough if you are looking to have your furniture last.