Dare to Go Custom - The Insider Scoop
Here is a little not so secret trade secret of mine, I like to go custom when possible with furnishings. It may seem intimidating to go that route and commit to a piece being made for you that you can't return if you are unhappy with it; versus seeing something in a showroom first. Or it may sound really expensive.
For me, its actually my preference for a few reasons:
- I have found time and time again that going custom tends to be about the same price as big box brands and actually a fraction of the cost of designer brands.
- Instead of spending hours scouring for that sofa that fits just right in a client's room and falling short, its actually easier to design it exactly to my specifications.
- It makes my designs original. Its harder for people to copy me if they can't buy the exact sofa I used in a project. It makes me feel like I give a more personalized and special end product for my clients.
I have been using Clad Home exclusively for my custom designs because I trust the oversight. Rosa Beltran, who owns Clad Home, is a fellow interior designer. She already has a collection of her own designs to pick from if you are scared to design something on your own. Many times I have taken her items and modified the depth or length, or changed a sectional to a sofa. If its my own idea, I trust she will double check my dimensions and ask the critical questions so that something ugly isn't fabricated.
Usually I see a sofa or bed that I like but isn't quite right in terms of size, proportions, or fabric options and ask her if she can make something like it. Or my clients see something they love that is well beyond their budget and we modify the concept to make it theirs. I get a rough estimate and match it to my budget.
If its a win, I pick the fabrics to use on the pieces in her LA showroom. She has a wide selection of yummy fabrics. The shop itself offers a tempting array of decor and home goods to pick up while you choose your fabric. Once the fabric is selected and the sizing and style determined, a final quote is generated. When payment is made, she creates detailed hand sketches to approve. That way everyone is on the same page about exactly what is going to be made so there are no questions or issues later on.
4-6 weeks later the custom item is delivered. Its a top notch looking item which is why I have used her again and again. But when for whatever reason it is not, she jumps in to correct the flaw until its perfect.
For all these reasons, I pounce at the chance to do custom furniture. The process is pretty safe guarded so mistakes don't happen. Everyone ends up happy. My clients get beautiful tailor made furniture pieces they adore, I get original designs in my portfolio of work, and her small business thrives. Clad Home has been an awesome fit for me and my needs,. They make all of their items locally in LA but can deliver anywhere. I know there are dozens more of small custom shops in each city who would be happy for the chance to make you a nice custom piece. Check local yelp reviews, follow their Instagram and Facebook feeds to be sure they can handle your design sensibility, and visit their warehouse/shop to see finished pieces before you make the leap.