The Bespoke Sofa…
If your budget will hold it, custom furniture is a wonderful option
and still the best way to go.
You can customize dimensions and finishes and you can have any suitable fabric you want. However, this wonderfulness will cost you a lot more than buying a stock item and will take months, not weeks to deliver.
A very good deal is the semi-custom route, which is offered in stores like Crate & Barrel and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. The furniture is reliably well made and stylish. Select a stock frame design and then choose from a wide variety of fabrics at various price points. You can also order “COM”, which means “customer’s own material” and supply the fabric from your own source. The delivery time runs in the 8-10 week range.
You probably didn’t know (and why would you?)
that it only takes about 10 hours to fully construct and upholster a sofa from scratch.
So, why the long delivery times? Not surprisingly, it has to do with the economics of the furniture manufacturing business. Most furniture factories produce their orders by assembly line. This means your order could wait until a number of other orders with similar frames are in the cue with yours, so they can all be produced at the same time. Another slow-down can occur if your frame, or any other needed construction material, runs out of stock and must be re-ordered before construction can proceed. This alone could slow your delivery down by weeks. However, thanks to the Internet, we now have high expectations of immediate delivery, which in turn, is forcing furniture makers to speed it up. Another factor is that China has entered the game too, serving up stiff competition by filling orders for low cost sofas with little turn around time. In response, some of the largest furniture makers have switched to producing upholstered goods by hand in teams, from start to finish, replacing the assembly line that worked on countless specified parts.
Take this caveat with you when shopping for upholstered furniture:
always buy the best quality you can afford.
A well-made piece of furniture will hold up for many years,
vs. kicked to the curb and replaced within five.
Don’t forget to check clearance dimensions for getting new furniture into the building, into the elevator, and through the doorway. It’s an Urban Legend that hoisting the sofa up the side of the building and through the window is an easy alternate solution.
Photo – Jack Lindholm – Decoding Decor Portfolio
This is one of several articles I wrote for publication on Hamptons.com. It’s presented here as a foundation for further topic discussion, updates and commentaries…
Questions? Write To: Cindy@DecodingDecor.com