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furniture design

Ready-Made Vs Custom Furniture: Which One is Right for You?

Furniture shopping at a traditional furniture store is fun, but sometimes it can be extremely aggravating. Seeing all the different design setups makes your mind race with the possibilities, but you have to deal with pushy salespeople breathing down your neck telling you how a specific piece comes in many colors. There are advantages to shopping in stores like this, but sometimes the benefits don’t outweigh the frustration. There is another option that many will find more appealing, and that is ordering custom furniture. To better understand if custom furniture is right for you, it helps compare custom and ready-made side by side. 

What’s the Difference?

Ready-made furniture is mass-produced, and you can go to a show floor and buy on the spot. Custom-made furniture is designed from scratch with specific space, function, and taste in mind. Traditional furniture stores like Crate and Barrel or West Elm sell ready-made furniture which may look nice but isn’t exclusive to you. 

Pros of Ready-Made

Ready-made furniture is tangible; you can feel the texture, sit in it, and visualize exactly how it will fit into your existing space. In some cases, the shop already has it in stock so that you can take it home the same day. If that is not the case, furniture is usually delivered to your front door in a few short weeks, so there is little time spent waiting to pull your room together.  Given that these items are mass-produced in a factory, ready-made is often more budget-friendly than custom pieces. 

Pros of Custom

By far, the best thing about custom furniture is that it is exactly what the buyer wants for the space. No compromises are made, and owners can ask for features that one would never find in traditional ready-made pieces. Having custom-made furniture creates an air of luxury that will impress guests or clients. Custom-made furniture will almost always last for generations and possibly become an heirloom. 

Cons of Ready Made

Apart from being chased around a store like you are being hunted, there are a few other reasons that ready-made furniture isn’t right for everyone. If you are trying to create a stand-out look in your home, it is hard to do with the same couch that everyone else on your block has. There are great examples out there of ready-made furniture that is quality built, but sometimes this mass-produced furniture isn’t the highest quality, and you will find yourself looking for another replacement in less than a year, which drives the cost of ownership up. They don’t always come in the colors, shapes, or fabrics that you envision for your space. 

Cons of Custom

The cons of customer furniture are truly short-term problems for a long-term piece of furniture. They may cost a little extra upfront and take significantly longer to deliver, but it will be worth it in the end. It’s rare, but one other downside to custom furniture is commissioning a custom piece only to find out you don’t love it as much as you thought.

Which One is Right for You?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both routes, and it really comes down to the balance of aesthetics, budget, and timeline. If you need a place to sit in front of the television as soon as possible, a ready-made piece may be the economical choice, especially if you don’t think you live in a forever home. If you are in a position where you want something that will last a lifetime and give off a look of sophistication, custom-made furniture will be worth the wait. If you would like to see examples of how fantastic custom-made furniture can look or want to get started with a custom piece of your own, please contact us today for more information. 

Picking Designer Furniture at Affordable Prices

With any business or company, it’s important to be able to attract and impress clients right as they enter your doors. Designer furniture is one way to do that: the right furniture pieces can present your work (and workplace) as a professional setting. But buying attractive, designer furniture can be daunting, especially for a business trying to keep costs low.

Here are our tips to buying furniture at affordable prices, without cutting out taste and beauty.

1. Pick quality and comfort for lasting function.

A tasteful office, collaborative work zone, or sitting area, is all about marrying function with design. When picking furniture, whether it’s a work table or counter with stools, or couches matched with an elegant coffee table, aim for reliable items with sturdiness and quality workmanship. Some designer pieces, such as moulded plastic seat bar stools, might be trendy yet uncomfortable for employees working long hours at a counter, and might not last long from continuous use. Picking quality pieces–especially for high-traffic areas–will help with reducing upkeep or replacement, keeping furniture costs low overall.

2. Aim for one eye-catching piece, then smartly budget the rest.

One way to help design your office space or waiting area is to pick one luxury piece that stands out in design or value, and have other (cheaper) pieces match or blend into the background. For example, an outstanding antique desk made from walnut paired with simple bookcases and comfortable seats can create a consistent, elegant look without breaking the bank. In addition, focusing on one or a few well-designed pieces can reduce the need for quantity. For example, in larger work spaces, picking quality items that serve more people–such as larger wooden tables with soft seats or upholstered benches–helps reduce the need to buy more furniture pieces.

3. Shop through outlet stores.

When you’re looking for quality furniture pieces in bulk, turn towards furniture outlet stores. When manufacturers offer their own lines to be sold directly to the public in outlet stores, they effectively remove the need for a distributor and retailer. By cutting out the middlemen, the end price you pay is smaller than what you’ll find at a retailer. The outlet store Decor8, for example, offers a great catalog for well-designed, high-quality pieces at a budget-friendly cost. In addition, a few outlet stores (including Decor8) will offer designer furniture as rentals for short-term use, which can be convenient for offices.

No matter what you choose, it’s important to pick your furniture that matches and presents your company’s style, while remaining comfortable and functional for employee and client use. For more advice on office design, contact us.