Purchasing custom furniture for your home comes down to one idea – complexity. There are a lot of decisions to be made, from the look and functionality of each piece to how the collection works together to support the overall design scheme. At Hoskins Interior Design, we approach these decisions objectively, setting the design criteria for each piece. Size, scale, fabric, quality, comfort, finish – there are many objectives that furniture must meet in a design plan. As experienced interior designers, we have tried and true relationships with custom furniture manufacturers that will create pieces to meet all of our needs. Shopping from catalogs or showroom floors means your furniture will most likely fulfill only one or two of your criteria. Why settle for less when custom furniture will give you exactly what you desire within your design budget?
Tips on Buying Custom Furniture:
1) Begin with a generic furniture plan – Designing your pieces to complete your design concept is the first step in understanding how your furniture will need to look and function in the space. Keeping the whole picture in mind ensures you will make choices based around how each piece relates to and balances each other as well as the other design elements in the space, such as architectural details. There are a lot of moving parts in a full design scheme, and making a change to one aspect will affect the rest of the space. Coming into your furniture choices with a full understanding of what you need will help you make better decisions.
2) Choose fabric first – Once the furniture plan is set, it is time to hunt for fabric as it can be the most difficult element to find. With the many choices in the material, color, pattern, texture and finish available, the options seem endless! You will need to sift through all of those decisions to find fabrics that fulfill all of the needs of the design concept. Furniture stores and catalogs are limited in their choices. Fortunately, for our clients, our custom furniture manufacturers allow us to go outside of their fabric options to create a custom look.
3) Consider form – Understanding the role of each piece of furniture is key to choosing the correct form. Each piece serves a different function in the design scheme – some are meant to be comfortable because of how they will be used, while others are meant to be visually impactful over anything else. Knowing why that piece is in the space helps narrow your options. Shape, size, silhouette, upholstered, etc. are all elements of form that will need to be considered.
4) Choose the appropriate scale – The scale of furniture refers to its size relative to the space it will occupy, as well as how it relates to the other pieces in the room. Achieving appropriate scale is one of the most challenging aspects of interior design. Our expertise allows us to see beyond the look of the furniture to strike a balance between all of the elements and principles of design in the overall space. The big picture is always in mind, and requires us to analyze each piece, juxtaposing varying sizes, lines and heft to achieve the intended look.
5) Quality is Key – In furniture, quality goes beyond construction. It is the attention to details, the tailoring, that makes a quality piece stand out in a space. Not only is custom furniture made well and comfortable, it is also beautiful. The cushions do not flatten out quickly, and the fabric lines blend perfectly. It is the level of quality our clients receive that serves as a testament to the tried and true relationships we have with our suppliers.
6) Make sure it’s comfortable – There is little point to buying furniture you plan to use that is uncomfortable! Although a piece may look great on the showroom floor, it may be completely wrong for the people who will be sitting in it. Going custom allows you to create furniture with its intended use and users in mind. For example, if a sofa is meant for family TV time, you will want a high back and three cushions so no one gets stuck in the middle crack. Shorter people need shallow seat depths so their feet can touch the floor when they sit. Occasional chairs set for short conversations can be designed more for visual interest than long-term seating. Apply ergonomics to your design, ensuring the pieces will function well for their intended use. Custom furniture also provides the opportunity to choose the material used to fill cushions to avoid allergies, as well as the amount used to ensure desired comfort.
Custom furniture allows you to achieve both aesthetics and functionality without compromising on the criteria each piece is meant to fulfill in a design scheme. Your choices are not about liking a piece of furniture in a vacuum. Each piece has to relate to the big picture for the space. Homeowners do not have access to the resources available to interior designers, so we encourage you to engage a professional to assist you with your furniture plan. Check out our blog post, Yes Virginia, You Can Buy Furniture Without Sitting In It First, for more information on how to approach buying custom furniture. We are always available to answer questions or offer advice. Send us an email, or give us a call at 317.253.8986.