Bespoke, it’s a funny term isn’t it? Most when hearing it would think of expensive Savile Row tailors or the time-served makers of hand-crafted shoes. While that’s true it’s also a general term that when applied to any product or service should assure the buyer of quality, exclusivity, luxury and uniqueness. You can certainly expect these benefits when commissioning bespoke furniture for your home.
The term bespoke furniture (known as custom furniture in the US), can refer to a variety of types of customisation. It could be something as simple as a minimalist floating shelf, made to fit an alcove in your home. At the more complex end of the spectrum, for those who want something genuinely unique, then creating a one-of piece of bespoke furniture can be an involved and enjoyable affair. The design may be created especially with the client in mind to ensure the product meets their every aspiration. Time will be spent tweaking the design and could even involve a prototype being made. And those willing to invest the time and funds into the process are guaranteed to get a piece of art furniture that is utterly inimitable.
Given that the term will be used in a variety of ways to reflect different elements that can be tailored, with varying degrees of complexity, this blog series aims to give you a little insider knowledge to give you a clearer picture of what might be involved. By understanding the different elements and processes better, my aim is to give you more confidence to explore your bespoke furniture ambitions.
Bespoke? It’s Complicated
When chatting to potential clients at exhibitions about their bespoke furniture aspirations, occasionally there’s a hesitancy on their part to ask whether they can tailor one of my designs. Are they concerned they’ll offend me I wonder? After years of buying “off the shelf” from high street stores the notion of asking if they can make any design changes suddenly seems awkward. But if they want something that will wow their friends and family, that process starts with a wish list and ongoing dialogue with the artisan provider.
Some providers offer no customisation whatsoever, as their business model is based on economies of scale and replicable manufacture. For others, like me, it’s their main selling point. It is therefore useful to have a sense of where your provider sits in this continuum before asking whether you can have sprinkles on top.
It’s vital to appreciate that at its core bespoke furniture is as much about design and aesthetics as it is function. The most sublime examples of handmade furniture are often considered works of art. How far the client wants to explore these ideas is entirely related to level of funding, the clients wishes, the input of commissioning agents like architects or interior designers, the feasibility of the design and the skills of the craftsperson.
Assuming none of these criteria compromise the client’s aspirations for their commission then the result will always be an astonishing piece of fully customised bespoke furniture.
And even with some limits the possibilities for excellence remain.
To discuss your unique piece of bespoke furniture contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0161 928 5647. From there, we can discuss your bespoke furniture goals and start to create antiques of the future.