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What goes into making a bespoke piece of Furniture?

Updated: Feb 10, 2021

Have you ever considered what goes into making a custom or bespoke piece of furniture?

Your unique office fit-out will require elements of custom designed and custom-made furniture pieces to practically serve your teams' needs. At Next. Workspace Interiors we have access to top-notch, carefully selected furniture factories. This affords us a wide selection of skills to choose from and gives us pricing and quality control for your project. We can successfully create anything you need from meeting tables and office furniture to built-in cabinetry, booths and pods. There are no limits to creativity.

The craft of making bespoke furniture really is an art that takes skill, time and a careful and thorough process.

Let’s have a look at what goes into the making of a special piece of furniture for your office:

Let’s take a reception counter as an example. There is a lot to be said about an office reception, but that is a separate blog. You have probably seen hundreds of reception counters in your life… this is what it takes to make them:

The Design Process

The ‘drawing board’… this is where it starts. It requires a knowledgeable designer who understands materials and their application, the various design elements as well as ergonomics in order to create a piece of furniture that not only looks the part but is functional, stable, robust and durable.

From initial sketch to final CAD drawings with detailing, the design process is highly technical and involved and cannot be rushed.

There is always a lot of consultation between designer and manufacturer to ensure integrity of design. The manufacturer will advise the best fit for budget materials, correct fixing for the application and any other specific details that need to be researched before the design can be finalised.

Design and costs are always presented to you, the client, for final approval and sign off before any factory workmanship can commence. Sketches, 3D renderings, technical drawings and samples; these are all the elements that are created in the creative process, used for communication with the factory and used for final client approval.

Manufacturing your masterpiece.

The carpenter or factory or shopfitter (all terms for the same thing) will take our technical drawings and make up his own ‘shop drawings’ which his factory team will use to make the furniture item.

There are many steps involved in this incredible craft; materials are purchased and boards are cut, sometimes laminated, glued, chamfered, nailed, pinned, turned, sprayed, baked, honed, polished, mitred… and the list goes on.

Our responsibility as a fit-out team is to inspect the bespoke furniture item regularly during this process to ensure that the approved design is being built accordingly. We never allow an item of customised furniture to eb installed on site without a proper pre-inspection first. Mistakes do happen, occasionally, and this is our way making sure they’re corrected before installation. It’s all about good project management.

One of my favourite things is the scent of freshly planed timber in the factory. I love the ‘earthiness’ of it.

The site installation is a big deal when it comes to custom made things.

There is so much to consider, such as site access, security on site (so that items are not damaged or vandalised), site readiness, floor levels, fixing, power on site, light on site… and much more. The list is long. And again, this is all about good, solid, project management.

The moment of the grand reveal is always an exciting one for all designers and fit-out teams. The moment we all stand back and regard the finished product, knowing all of the time and creative intent that has been invested in creating a special, bespoke piece of furniture. There is only one thing that tops that feeling… the moment it is shown to our client and seeing the satisfaction on their faces!

This is why we do what we do.

So the next time you regard a customised piece of furniture, whether it’s a counter, a bar, a boardroom table or even a fitted kitchen, take a moment to consider the energy, time, creativity and commitment that went into creating that one thing.

Occasionally we are asked if we have our own carpentry factory. We don’t and then the next question is why not? The answer is simple:

We have the choice of many factories. Over the many years of doing this we have selected and worked with a handful of prime factories who understand our standards and expectations and are committed to delivery what we want. Having a variety of factories to collaborate with affords us a selection of skills that we would not get form just one factory because every manufacturer specialises in some application, style or skill. Also, we get to price check our factories and ensure that they are cost competitive and market related.

The Next time you’re looking for a custom made piece of furniture for your office, give us a call and let us share some of our creative thoughts with you.

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