Bespoke Handmade Furniture PT1
Bespoke and Handmade Furniture
I thought it would be fun to look at the process we use to design and then build our unique bespoke furniture and in the next few posts we will go into some detail on how the journey unfolds from an idea to a finished piece.
Although we started out by sourcing Swedish Gustavian, Biedermeier and Art Deco antiques and antique mora clocks over 8 years ago, we soon set up a specialist bespoke workshop to cater for client requests for Bespoke Handmade furniture. We found that many people are looking for an antique style piece that doesn’t exist. For example a 3m armoire or a superking Gustavian bed, a 4m dining table or an extra wide dresser.
So drawing on our experience and love for the Swedish genre we started designing bespoke and handmade furniture pieces for our clients to incorporate the dimensions that they wanted. At the same time it allowed us to tweak the original recipes to add in special details for clients in their bespoke furniture build so we have made Gustavian beds with built in lighting, pop up TV’s underbed storage, ipad/ipod docks, built in speakers etc all subtley designed into the antique theme.
We also have more unusual requests to cater for which is always fun – childrens beds shaped like an italian riva boat with a pull out underbed and real working salem or a bed shaped like a speed sleigh.
On another occasion we created a 3.2m x 2.8m armoire for a Belgravia client for their new home to house all their wonderful clothes or a 10 drawer chest of drawers to deliver ample storage in a confined space.
Whatever we are asked to make, we approach each build with the same attention and love of detail – it can be any style and a particular favourite of ours is to draw on details from different eras and design styles to create a new and unique hybrid that includes all the clients favourite features.
The bespoke furniture process starts with an initial consultation where we find out everything that the client likes in design terms and where the piece is going to stand. Once we understand the design context (and help the client interpret their inner desires), we then list all the special requirements the piece needs to include for storage, usage or specialist practicality.
That might include extra long hanging space, mirrors inside doors, inclusive technology of varying types, special shoe racks, hidden drawers, inscriptions or engravings, soft closing door mechanisms, self opening doors or whatever else you can imagine.
Next comes the discussion about choice of woods which is both artistic and practical – in centrally heated environments wood will move, so its good to use inert woods for things like panels to prevent spiltting. The choice of wood also impacts the choice of finish – if you want a lime wash, you will want to see wood grain beneath whereas a fully painted finish requires a flatter lo grain wood that will provide the perfect painting surface.
In our next post, we will look at how we formulate a specification and draw up our clients perfect piece of furniture