Custom Furniture

Posted by on Mar 25, 2015 in Furnishings |

Originally published in Suburban Woman Northwest Suburbs

Originally published in Suburban Woman Northwest Suburbs

All kinds of furniture can be custom-designed. From beds, to case pieces (dressers, nightstands, hutches, bookcases), to seating (sofas, chairs, ottomans), any product can be designed to meet your particular needs and wants. Here are two examples:

John & Mary Smith* had a sleigh bed in their Master Bedroom. They wanted nightstands to coordinate with it. Mary searched unsuccessfully for 10 years, looking for just the right pieces. She tried furniture retailers all over Chicagoland, but couldn’t find what she was looking for. Her sister referred her to me.

I took Mary to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. We found lovely (and costly) pieces in various showrooms, but they didn’t meet our size, color and use requirements. Many were too tall. Nobody would guarantee a match for the stain color that was already on their bed. Few of the pieces had enough storage space. (The Smiths read in bed, and they need lots of room for books, as well as the usual nightstand items–lamp, clock, tissue box, etc.)

The Smiths were willing to spend the money, but didn’t want to compromise on the product. So, I designed two different nightstands, incorporating the features we liked from the ones we saw at the Mart. One piece had a bookcase-like area, with one drawer under it. The other piece had three drawers. The top surfaces were large enough to hold books, a lamp, etc., and still not overwhelm the bed. The overall heights were appropriate. Each nightstand had a pull-out shelf, near the top, to give the Smiths more surface area on which to pile their books. Each piece was a combination of the brown stain from the bed and a distressed, sage green paint finish that Mary liked. The cabinetmaker built the pieces to my specifications, and custom-matched the stain and paint colors. We added rust-finished drawer pulls to coordinate with the stain. The Smiths were very pleased.

Bill and Cindy Jones* had different nightstand “issues.” Many ready-made pieces were the right size and height for their four-poster bed, and the Joneses did not have specific storage needs. What they DID have, were architectural and color issues. Their Master Bedroom, at ground level, had only one wall on which the bed could be located. Any nightstands would back up to windows, which were low enough to the floor that the backs of the nightstands could be seen from the outside! And, with a distressed-black bureau and bed, and a yellow pine TV armoire, I suggested that the nightstands incorporate both colors.

Once again, I designed two different nightstands that coordinated with each other, and with the other furniture in the room. Each piece had both wood colors in it. Bill wanted mostly shelves, and Cindy wanted drawers with a pull-out shelf. The backs of the nightstands were fully finished, so if they showed through the windows, they wouldn’t be unsightly. Happily, I had another set of satisfied customers!

These are just two examples of how custom furniture can solve a problem. I look forward to tackling more of these issues, and I would be happy to create beautiful, functional solutions to your furniture “situations.”

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*Not their real names!