Off the Shelf VS Bespoke

Decorating your home is a minefield. There is just so much to consider, and right at the top of that list is furniture. New furniture can completely transform a room so it is important to really consider your purchase and choose the very best that you can afford.

Some of the things that will be racing through your head when picking new pieces will be size, style, materials, whether it suits other pieces you have, versatility, budget……. what you might not think about is whether you are going to go off the shelf, or bespoke.

Often people assume they will purchase a  pre-piece, without consideration as to whether a bespoke option would suit their needs. Here we will look at the pros and cons of both, to help you decide how you should purchase your next statement piece.

Off the shelf

An off the shelf piece is furniture is available for immediate purchase, from a store or online. There are several benefits to this form of furniture. You can usually take it home immediately. You can view the piece before you purchase it, feel the quality and get a good understanding of how it will fit in your home.

Now a days the choice of furniture is vast and you can have your pick from a number of designs to suit your tastes. That said, your piece can never be unique or personal to you.

The mass production of furniture started in the nineteenth century, but didn’t come into its own until 1950, when IKEA designed flat-packed furniture which could be easily transported for sale on the mass market. This furniture can be fabulous and I know my home certainly has plenty of these pieces – my ten year old daughter’s IKEA  homework desk works a treat!

Ikea Desk

That said, I strongly believe that when you need a key piece of furniture, bespoke is the only way to go. I daresay I am biased; however, I just don’t believe that factory built furniture can come close to comparing with a handmade piece.

A Bespoke Piece

The craft of furniture building dates back to the year 782, and the skill to bring something together really is a beauty to behold – even in the workshop before completion. You also get something that is completely unique to your style. You can make something to fit an award space in your home - choosing the exact size, colours and material of your furniture. It will be something that is truly yours and completely unique. Due to the level of craftsmanship it will also likely last longer than a factory-made piece.

Of course, there are some negatives to a bespoke piece, it can take much longer to produce – for instance looking at our painting process we put 3-4 coats of paint on a piece with a day’s break for the paint to dry in between each coat . It is also, of course more expensive. Thetime taken to design it to your specifications and the level of skill and time to produce it are much longer for a handmade piece of work.

So what to go for? My firm belief is that a combination of both off the shelf and bespoke is the best option. Splash out on a few pieces of furniture that you truly love and perfectly fit the look and feel you want in your house, and you will never look back.