Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guide to Buying Custom Upholstered Furniture

Purchasing furniture can be a bit difficult, purchasing custom furniture can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.  You just need to be “in the know” on a couple things and it will be smooth sailing.
  1. Shop at Boutique furniture stores.  Big Box furniture stores like Ashley or R.C. Willey do not have the options for customizing a piece like a boutique store would.  They may actually have a couple different color options, but they won’t have near the variety you may want.
  2. After heading to your furniture store, spin around the floor and see what they have to offer.  Sit on the many options and determine what you really want.  If you’ve fallen in love with a piece, say a chair, you have just selected the frame, the start to your customizing process. 
  3. Now you need to pick a fabric for your frame, here’s where life gets a little overwhelming.  There are vast amounts of fabrics you can choose from, but one main thing you need to know is that the grade you select determines your price.  Yep that’s right, the price you see on the chair during step 2 may not be the price you’re going to pay for your chair.  If you’re not comfortable going over the sticker price have your designer help you select fabrics with a grade the same or lower. *Honestly grade pricing doesn’t differ that much from say F to G to H, but if you went from D to W there may be some sticker shock.  Just keep it in mind.
  4.  So now you’ve selected a frame and looked at fabrics but you’re not finding one you love, well if you’re willing to spend a bit more money you can order COM which stands for Customer Own Material.  You find out the specific amount of yardage needed for the frame you selected and you can pretty much put whatever fabric you want on the chair.  Now there is a bit of an added cost to this because you do have to spend separate money on the fabric and still buy the chair, but if it means getting what you want it’s going be worth it.
  5. Make sure you are also able to select the finish of the wood if there is any.  You don’t want to be stuck with a pine finish when the rest of your room has dark espresso. 
  6. The last thing you need to know about custom upholstered furniture is that it takes anywhere from 6-8 weeks typically to receive after ordering.  If you’re thinking about new furniture before Christmas, start thinking about it in August/September vs. November, this will ensure you have it in time for your big event.
There are endless ways you can customize furniture, you can even go as far to seek out someone to create a unique piece start to finish.  This is just a basic shopping guide and a few rules of thumb to follow when looking for new furniture and when in doubt, bring along your Interior Designer.  Even if you hire them just to help you pick the right piece of furniture, it's money well spent for something that will last you quite some time.

This is a great example of a custom upholstered piece of furniture.  It was COM to find the perfect fabric for the client.  She's absolutely in LOVE with these chairs.  Stay tuned to see them in the finished room.  Exciting!!

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