Posted on January 28, 2013
Some custom furniture dealers are not in the habit of posting prices on their websites, or even on the pieces in their showrooms. This is generally because every piece of furniture that is custom-built travels on a unique path, gathering different materials, different sets of woodworkers, and different personalities. In theory, there are no two alike, so it is too difficult to pin a price tag on an item when nothing quite like it has been made before or since.
Unfortunately, in a budget-driven economy this poses some inconvenience, and perhaps even awkwardness, for buyers. On the one hand, not knowing the prices will lead you to a piece of furniture that is truly “you.” On the other, learning the price later on could leave you with a sense of disappointment, or worse, a big hole in your wallet.
If you want to be sure you get the best bang for your buck, or that you can trust the furniture dealer with your custom project, there are some things you can be aware of while perusing the store. First of all, do not be afraid to test the pieces out. Chairs and sofas, especially, should be given at least 15 minutes of your time.
One well-known furniture maker offers some tactile tips. If you pick a piece up and it feels light to you, don’t buy it. Make sure the furniture has dowels, and never glue. Avoid chairs with staples and gauze. Check to ensure that all seams on upholstered pieces are straight, and well-executed. Sofa cushions should have some “give.” This means they are made with webbing, which will increase life. Solid foam will settle over time. And finally, run your hand over anything wood to make sure it is smooth.
Remember, the pieces in a custom furniture showroom are examples of the best efforts on the part of the makers. They should serve as a testament to true craftsmanship. If anything looks or feels amiss to you, keep shopping. When you find pieces that are solidly built and executed impeccably, it will be obvious. Whatever price tag that furniture bears will be well worth it.