Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

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Custom Wood Furniture: Top 10 Ways to get What You Want – Continued

October 10th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh

Continued from yesterday.

  • Select the furniture maker who has crafted pieces most similar to
    what you're looking for.  This is critical.  It's much easier and more
    affordable for them to customize something they've already designed and
    built than to start from scratch.
  • Ask the furniture maker about customizing existing pieces with your
    choice of wood, finish, hardware, dimensions, molding, leg style and so
    on.  Note: there is a big difference between commissioning an original, unique custom work of art and customizing an existing piece of furniture.
  • Discuss wood choices and characteristics with your furniture
    maker.  Are you trying to match this new piece with existing pieces in
    the same room?  If so, you may want to bring in that furniture or
    photos of those pieces to the workshop.
  • Discuss furniture finish with your furniture maker.  Do you want a
    natural oil finish or one that provides more protection against
    moisture and perhaps small hand-prints and such.  Or something in between.  There are many choices to consider.
  • Spend the time upfront to discuss the details of your furniture
    order up-front with your furniture maker.  Remember the old saying,
    "measure twice, cut once".  You don't want to have any surprises when it's time to install your furniture.
  • Have fun and enjoy the process.  Get to know your furniture maker. 
    His or her personality will be a significant part of the meaning of
    your new heirloom!

Custom Wood Furniture: Top 10 Ways to Get Exactly What You Want

October 9th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh


Furnishing your home is an investment.  High quality wooden furniture that's built to last a lifetime is bound to give you a better return than any instrument you can find on Wall Street. 

The idea that custom furniture is too expensive for you is a myth, but if you're going to take the plunge and invest your hard-earned dollars, be sure you do it wisely and get exactly what you want.

Here are some suggestions for success:

  • Avoid big box stores and any furniture store that focuses on selling cheap, imported furniture, aka: curbside furniture (you know where this will be in 5 years).
  • Visit with local furniture makers in their shops.  Examine their work.  Touch it, sit in it and page through their portfolios with them.  You'll be surprised at the quality and diversity of their work!
  • Check references.  Most furniture makers will be happy to connect you with others who have purchased their furniture.  Don't be surprised if those customers invite you come to their homes and see their furniture.  It happens often!
  • Ask the furniture makers where their wood comes from.  Usually it will be local, sustainably harvested wood.  If you're looking for mahogany or another wood that cannot be obtained locally, make sure the wood is green certified by a legitimate organization like the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
  • More suggestions tomorrow!  In the meantime, visit Vermont Woods Studios for custom furniture ideas.