The Pros and Cons of Ordering Bespoke Furniture for Your Home

The Pros and Cons of Ordering Bespoke Furniture for Your Home

Credit: Ivan SamkovVia: Pexels

Have you been searching high and low for that perfect-sized piece of furniture for a unique space in your home? You may have a vision for a new coffee table or dresser, but you’re yet to see something online or in person that fits the bill. If this scenario rings true for you, you’ve no doubt considered ordering a piece of custom furniture.

Custom furniture — otherwise known as bespoke furniture —offers many benefits to homeowners searching for that perfect piece. Like most things in life, however, there’s a flip side — custom furniture does have some complications. If you’ve been considering seeking a woodworker to bring your furniture vision to life, here are a few pros and cons to consider first.

Con: It’s Expensive

It’s undeniable: custom furniture can be more costly than the furniture you’ll see at big box stores. It makes sense; unlike mass-produced furniture that’s fashioned every second using cheap materials, custom furniture is crafted using superior materials, by hand, over an extended period.

Pro: It’s Unique

A massive boon to custom furniture is that you get something that’s uniquely yours, whether you want a specific size, finish, or type of wood used in its fabrication.

For example, many people today are leaning towards furniture that represents their native surroundings. So, for example, those looking to buy custom furniture in Ottawa may opt to have their bespoke piece made by a Canadian fabricator using a tree native to Ottawa, like Canadian Maple.

Custom furniture has character and personality, offering buyers a talking point for many years to come.

Con: It Takes Time

Custom furniture can take time, so if you need that bedside table or sideboard, there might be better paths than the custom route for you.

That said, it’s rare to experience a furniture emergency, so if you can wait, this con is easy to get past. This is especially true if you partner with a quality company that communicates with you throughout the stages of the design process, so you’re always in the loop about timeframes.

Pro: You’re Supporting a Small Business

In most cases, when you order a custom piece of furniture, you’re directly supporting a small business instead of a mass furniture chain. This benefits the local maker and the community in which they operate, too.

Con: You Might Not Get What You Expected

This is always a risk, regardless of whether you’ve bought a piece of prefab furniture online from a major retailer or you’ve ordered a custom piece from a handmade company. Of course, the risks seem higher when the price point is elevated.

One way to bypass this con is to find a woodworker who will send you samples and photos during the process, talk with you via video call to show you their progress, and one who will commit to answering emails and calls whenever you have queries.

Pro: It’s More Environmentally and Ethically Sound

Mass-produced furniture is quickly becoming a rival of fast fashion, which carries a major production strain on the environment — after all, with such low costs comes a sense of disposability. A survey by the Environmental Protection Agency found that in 2018, Americans threw away more than 12 million tons of furniture and furnishings; 80% of this wound up in landfill.

In addition to the environmental ramifications, fast furniture is regularly made in countries where employees are paid a poor wage, and the work is dangerous.

The Takeaway

While, yes, custom furniture does have some cons, these are relatively easy to get past when you keep in mind that you’re ordering a handmade piece that’s made from superior materials and that it takes time to fabricate — so the piece will logically cost more money.

If you’re still hoping to track down that perfect armoire, coffee table or sideboard, investing in a beautiful bespoke piece that’s made to last and made special for you might be the ideal solution.

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