As promised in my formal living room update post, I’m giving you a peek into the custom furniture ordering process. I’ve talked about custom furniture here on the blog many times before (here is a recent resource list, if you missed it), but I’ve never elaborated on what that process looks like as a consumer. I figured it would be helpful to share the process from the initial order to the furniture’s arrival, so you know exactly what to expect when ordering custom. I’m sharing my recent experience with Maiden Home. Click through to learn about how I made my selections, how the furniture is constructed, and what the delivery process looks like.
*While this post is not sponsored, some items were gifted to me. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!
Before we dive in, you can also catch a really fun interview I did with Maiden Home– they shared it on their blog over the weekend, which was a happy surprise. I answered lots of amazing design related questions, if you’re interested to read! Ready to dig into the custom furniture process? Of course this is all based on my personal aesthetic, preferences, furniture needs, and overall experience.
Swatches & Selection
I stumbled upon Maiden Home’s site a couple years ago and actually saved the Carmine Sofa to a wishlist Pinterest board back in the day (it was one of the first pieces they introduced). It wasn’t until we were shuffling furniture last fall, that I had a need for another sofa. That Pinterest board led me right back to the Carmine and I knew the shape and size would fit our floor plan and aesthetic perfectly. Once I had that component figured out, I had to choose new swivel chairs. I usually start with the size and shape, then narrow it down from there. It’s always best to ensure a piece fits your space, and that immediately helps to narrow things down. I try not to waste my time looking at options that work work (size, budget, etc).
I obviously landed on the Dune Swivel Chairs because the nice modern shape beautifully contrasted the sofa, but most of all- because I knew they would be super comfortable. Once I have my selections figured out, I usually go through the details with a fine tooth comb, checking the material list, the construction, the fabric options, and double checking the dimensions. After I’m positive the frame is right for a room, then it’s onto the fun part of the selection process: ordering swatches.
Having used to work for a design firm, I miss the days of having a fabric library at my fingertips. It’s always fun to play designer again and order swatches to look at in my space. When it comes to custom furniture, I always order a swatch before committing. I actually ordered quite a few swatches from Maiden Home, all of them being performance fabrics of some type… because obviously we have dogs that also use our furniture.
Once the swatches arrived, I took them into our living room to see how they interacted with the light, how they felt in my hand, and I double checked their specs (like the rub count). FYI- if you want to know more about making fabric selections, check out this post! Eventually I landed on the Slate Blue Mohair for the sofa and a linen-looking Performance Chenille (in color Alabaster) for the swivels. You can check out all of their swatches here, if you want to know what other options I had. They have a handy guide that tells which fabrics are cleanable, liquid resistant, fade resistant, etc.
Ordering & Leadtime
I had my ducks in a row, I was excited about the design & fabrics, and I pressed the order button! The lead-time was 8-10 weeks when I placed my order, and I immediately received a confirmation email. Now the hard part… waiting. Despite lots of furniture companies having crazy lead times right now, I was pretty impressed with how quickly my furniture arrived. I ordered last November and it got to me in mid January.
It’s important to understand that custom furniture is made specifically for you with your preferences- it can take awhile. Your selections can also influence the lead time. I think lead-time throws a lot of people for a loop. Since I used to work in the industry, I’m ok with it and I know it’s worth the wait… but if you’re not familiar with the custom furniture process, it can feel annoying to wait SO long. Just know that it’s normal! Furniture makers are working as quickly as they can while maintaining their quality and standards. That’s something I’m willing to wait for.
Having worked with many high-end furniture makers and showrooms during my days as a designer, I’ve done the factory & workshop tours, I know what goes into making furniture, and I really love seeing skilled artisans & tradespeople representing their timeless craft. That’s why I was thrilled to receive construction update emails from Maiden Home. It was the happiest surprise! When ordering custom in the past, I’ve never had a company do that. It’s usually just an order confirmation and a shipping confirmation… unless you’re working with a designer and they can call for updates.
From framing, springing, cutting & sewing, to upholstery, Maiden Home sent construction updates (and delivery timing updates) as my furniture was being built. I was impressed! It was nice to see who was building my furniture and understand what stage in the process everything was at. Many of the craftsmen & craftswomen have 30-40+ years experience! It honestly made those eight weeks go much faster knowing things were actively happening behind-the-scenes in the workroom.
Shipping & White Glove Delivery
Once everything is finished, it’s carefully wrapped and ready to ship. Custom furniture is usually sent via white glove delivery. I got a call from my local freight company asking me to schedule the delivery. When the furniture arrived, the delivery people unboxed it for me, and even positioned it in our living room (asking me where I wanted it)- they were also respectful of our home (wearing shoe covers, and of course masks). It was a good experience and Emmett & I didn’t have to deal with recycling, trash, or heavy lifting.
Obviously once the furniture was in place, the fun began- styling, enjoying it, lounging in our new comfy swivels. Custom furniture does have a higher price tag, but I’ve come to find it’s a worthy investment. I was especially impressed ordering from Maiden Home this first time because of their quality and pricing. Their entire business model is based on cutting out the middle sources (showrooms, wholesalers, designers, etc), bringing furniture from the workroom to your home (as a regular, non trade consumer). You can read more about their process and concept here, if you’re interested.
I got to chat on the phone with Nidhi, the Maiden Home Founder, and our conversation was so inspiring! She talked about why she wanted to start this business in the first place- how she noticed a gap in the custom furniture market that was accessible & affordable to consumers (without having to work through a designer or shop). She’s really an impressive female entrepreneur who cares, and has created many US jobs for skilled furniture makers. I thoroughly enjoyed our chat and will definitely be ordering from them again in the future.
Do you have any custom furniture questions for me? It can be about design, ordering from Maiden Home, furniture in general, whatever you want. I’ll do my best to help! I hope covering my design thoughts of making selections and the custom furniture process was helpful. Have a wonderful Tuesday, my friends!