Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers)

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comThis post was another reader request, I thought would make for an interesting topic and resource guide! I’ve chatted about custom furniture a little bit here on the blog and we definitely own some custom pieces that can be seen throughout our home: a few sofas, chairs, our bed, etc. These days you don’t have to work with a designer to get a custom piece of furniture. There are lots of brands that offer high-quality, custom pieces that can be ordered online by the average (non trade) consumer. Click through for a quick list I compiled! 

First, what exactly classifies as custom furniture? Custom means you’re able to select your preferred fabric, sometimes the size of a piece, the leg style, color, etc. You’re able to make a few customizations to the product, so it best fits your space and aesthetic. You can catch a sneak peek of our new mohair custom sofa from Maiden Home below…

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comBeing an interior designer who used to do this for a living, if you’re working with a designer– it’s best etiquette to order furniture through your designer. That is how designers make a living and they work hard to put together design plans and furniture options for their clients. They also “buy into” their preferred furniture manufacturers, which gives them the ability to sell custom furniture and provide their clients with an entire library of options. Therefore, designers usually have more customization options than most retailers- if you’re looking for additional options. You can learn more about what it’s like to work with a designer in this post, but even though consumers have access to custom and designer pieces these days… be a thoughtful client if you’re working with a professional.

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comThis post is mostly for those who are designing their own home, taking the DIY approach, and want to add in some designer pieces or custom furniture on their own. Hopefully it provides you with a good online resource list for future use, whenever that time may come! Be sure to pin it for later.

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comSome of these are higher-end custom furniture retailers, and some are lower-end… you should be able to find a variety of price points for furniture customization with that list!

Here’s a trade secret for you… many of the higher-end retailers on that list, use the same designer manufacturers- just in different styles. If it’s coming out of North Carolina- the custom furniture mecca , it’s probably really well made. You’ll find designer showrooms with heirloom quality furniture there, like: Hickory Chair, CR Laine, Lee Industries, Bernhardt, Ralph Lauren Home, Hooker Furniture, Vanguard, etc.

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comI also have a few tips for you, if you’re planning to order custom furniture online (because it’s usually an investment piece):

  • Request swatches. I always look at swatches in person, in the space prior to committing to a fabric.
  • Measure, then measure again. Make sure the piece is the appropriate scale… I like to tape it out, too. That’s a great strategy if you’re a visual person.
  • Analyze the materials used and construction. Double check the materials, determine what is best for you (performance fabric, etc), and see how the piece is constructed- dovetail joints, down wrapped cushions, etc.
  • Consider the lead time. Custom furniture always has a longer lead-time than products that are stocked. They can range anywhere from 4-16 weeks, so make sure it fits your timeline and don’t expect an instance delivery.
  • Understand the return policy. Most custom furniture is not legible for a return… just something to keep in mind! It’s all made to order.

Custom Furniture Resources (For Non Designers) - roomfortuesday.comI hope that was helpful! Let me know if you have any custom furniture or interior questions in the comment section below. We’re headed to a cute Airbnb cabin in Jackson Hole for a weekend of skiing, but I’ll be back here on Monday with a new post. What is everyone up to this weekend? I hope it’s a good one! I’m excited for a change of scenery, time off work, and rest.

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  1. Custom furniture seems way too serious a commitment for this girl, but boy do I enjoy collecting swatches! I love the idea of having something just the way I want it though. Your tips made me wonder if any custom furniture sources offered services similar to your drapery experience? Specifically, I was curious if a vendor would help with measurement and scale if they were local. (Honestly, I’d like to outsource all my measuring.🤣) That might be where a designer would be required. Hello, that blue mohair looks yummy! I really can’t wait to see the whole room.
    Have a safe and rejuvenating trip! We were just talking at bookclub last night about “pandemic fatigue.” The stress and being cooped up (even in homes we love!) is taking a toll. Maybe I’ll go ogle some online custom furniture to perk me up!💜

    1. I’m sure there are some companies out there who would come measure for you! Most of the time, they just have 3-4 different options or configurations to choose from… so I usually tape it out on the floor and see what fits best. Designers definitely would come measure and take care of everything from planning, measuring, ordering, installing, etc. I am VERY pleased with the mohair sofa and can’t wait to show you. That room is looking its best right now and I’m happy with our old furniture in other areas of our house & office, too. It all worked out for the best :) Bookclub sounds really fun! Pandemic fatigue is real. This little weekend road trip will be much needed- even if we’re hunkered down in a different house and aren’t going out (only to ski), it will be a welcomed change of scenery. Here’s to hoping we’re on the other side of this soon. I miss flying, traveling, hugs, being social, and all the things. I hope you have a relaxing weekend! Have you been baking cakes or anything delicious lately?! Cheers to pizza friday tomorrow. xox

  2. Custom furniture for the win. It really is so much more available and affordable than one may realize. I’ve found small, local furniture stores (not the big chains) to be a tremendous resource. They usually have a designer on staff and access to all the good stuff from North Carolina.

    Have fun in Jackson Hole. One of my favorite places on the planet!

    1. Definitely! I totally agree, Paige. Wonderful point on checking local furniture stores and designer shops first. They usually have a fabric library and lots of custom options! I’m very excited for a change of scenery and for a weekend of skiing. Jackson Hole is always magical! We’re lucky it’s just a short drive for us. I hope you have an awesome weekend, too! xo

  3. Custom furniture is a splurge and definitely worth it for so many reasons. Well speaking from my own experience that is. When we downsized our dining area of course is much smaller than our other house and unfortunately our dining table and chairs did not fit. I realized after much searching I was not going to find one that I liked that was appropriate for the space so I had one made by a local shop in our area. I dealt with them in the past for our last home and knew I would find the perfect table and they made it just right for our space. It was a wait but so worth it 😍 They also have an interior design service too for anyone who might require space planning or furniture selection. I had wood options, color and size so it was a bit stressful as it was custom and not returnable if I didn’t like it but I borrowed wood swatches and taped an out line on the floor to ensure I got the size perfectly. It all worked out wonderfully and I love it. My dining table is unique and I got exactly what I wanted. Yay! It was a more costly route but I knew I wouldn’t be happy otherwise. Settling on a table too large or one I didn’t like just wasn’t an option so I went the custom route and I am so happy I did 🥰
    Have a wonderful weekend Sarah, I’m a little envious but you guys deserve it ☺️ Our province has been in lockdown since December 26th (everything is closed) and we haven’t gone anywhere but the supermarket. So enjoy! Have a super terrific weekend!

    1. I’ve loved all of our custom furniture too, Colleen! It has felt like a worthy investment. Your dining set sounds stunning, and it’s always fun to bring your exact vision to life- even better if you can do it locally. This will be our first time venturing out in a long time. I’m really looking forward to it- even if we’re hunkered down in an airbnb and only get out to ski… I’m just thankful for a change of scenery. Hopefully we’ll be on the other side of this soon! :) Have a wonderful weekend! xo

  4. Good to know!! I’ll be pinning this for sure! I’ve run into several companies whose Carlton products I love, but aren’t available to the everyday person. I’m sure down the road we’ll have to customize a sofa or chairs for the room off our entry…or at least it would be nice to, lol. Jackson Hole sounds amazing-I’ve loved all of my visits there! I hope you have a fun filled weekend with some R&R. Not much we can do to get out these days, so I may just end up taking walks with the kiddos.

    1. I know!! It always takes some saving up to make our custom furniture dreams happen, but it’s always a happy day when we get to enjoy it in our home :) Thanks Lauren! We’re excited for a change of scenery. I hope you have a relaxing weekend and have good weather to go on those walks and are able to enjoy some awesome family time :) xox

  5. Thank you for this article and round-up, Sarah! A few of the resources you listed are new to me so it will be fun to browse and collect my swatches as I try to decide on the new sofa. For me the selection/decision is the longest part of the process :)
    Unrelated question: have you done a post on how you created and installed the upholstered wall panels in your basement? I couldn’t find it if you did. And how on earth did you get the fabric to match so perfectly the paint color? (ok, this last one is not a real question, just a comment :) )

    1. I’m so happy to hear that, Izabela! I’m in agreement about the decision and selection process taking the longest. It’s a big decision and these pieces are usually pretty pricey, so I always weigh all of my options :) The wall panel DIY is saved to an IG highlight. I wish I would’ve thought to photograph a DIY for a blog post, but we were in a time crunch. I’m sorry! I dyed the fabric to match the paint color. I’m kind of shocked it turned out so well. Haha!

  6. Wonderful info, Sarah! I didn’t realize that a couple of those brands you mentioned, offered custom so definitely will be saving your list. We purchased our custom couch from Interior Define and absolutely adore it. I loved that I was able to choose so many options, even down to the chaise length AND that they have a generous return policy, which came in handy when we hated the fabric on the first one. Definitely get swatches, but it’s important to try and envision how the fabric on that tiny swatch is going to look x 100,000, too! The original fabric looked great on the swatch, but when applied to the whole couch, was just shockingly wrong. It was crazy-never had that happen before.
    Enjoy JH!! We leave Sedona this weekend and I’m pretty sad about it, but so, so grateful to have gotten to get away. It’s made ALL the difference in the world.

    1. Hopefully it will come in helpful! I’ve actually never purchased anything from Interior Define, but have heard rave reviews about all of their furniture and customization options. That’s awesome to know! Great tip on visualizing the swatch in a larger scale. Occasionally the swatch and the piece of furniture will look different if they’re from different dye lots. I wonder if that was a possibility for your sofa? I’m really glad you were able to get away to Sedona and spend some time outside (even if it was snowy there for a minute). I’m already counting down the days until I can get back there. It’s such a magical place. It really does make a difference to have a change of scenery, and that house, landscape, and wildlife can’t be beat! Glad you had an awesome time. xox

      1. It’s funny you mentioned dye lots being different. I had actually gotten swatches from them a couple of years ago, but choose a different company at that time for our sofa (which we sold w/ our last home). When the time came for a new sofa for our new place, I ordered (free) swatches again because they had added some fabrics and gotten rid of others. Well, one of the velvet fabrics we loved was actually a slightly different color because of the different dye lot. It was enough of a difference to make a difference in what we though of it so we went w/ our second choice.
        Once we received the sofa, it wasn’t that the color was off, it was more like the texture/pattern was off-putting once the sofa was entirely made of it! It was really subtle pattern, almost houndstooth, but not. The swatch magnified by 1000k made it have a completely different feel-I felt it was too “business like”. Hard to explain, but definitely hated it so thankfully we were able to go back to our first choice in velvet and decided looking at the swatch on it’s own (without comparing it to the first swatch) we still really liked it.
        It was painful waiting for it and having to cover some of the return (their policy is a bit complicated, but certainly fair), but we’re soooo much happier with this one – with the color (almost a peacock blue, but not so bright that it doesn’t register as more of a “neutral”) and with the velvet texture, sooo soft. Callie thinks so, too apparently with the amount of hair I’m lint brushing off each week.😂
        Anyway, good reminder to get updated swatches if it’s been a while and perhaps go with your gut. We were trying to play it safe and it definitely. did. not. work.

        1. It really can be a big difference, in terms of the dye lot… or old swatches being inaccurate. I’m so happy you ended up with a sofa you love!! You know I’m team blue sofa, anyway ;) Our dogs have taken a liking to our new furniture too, so I can definitely envision Callie perched up there enjoying “her” new sofa. Ha!

  7. Anne Marie says:

    I absolutely love your mohair sofa! Beautiful Blue. You have blogged about your leather bed a few times. What custom manufacturer did you work with when you ordered the bed?
    Thank you! Enjoy your time away!

    1. Thank you so much, Anne Marie! I can’t wait to share the full room update. I ordered our leather bed from Lee Industries when I worked for a design firm. I designed the bed and they manufactured it for me.

      1. Anne Marie says:

        Thank you for the reply Sarah! I’ll be looking for the full room reveal post!

  8. Wonderful post. Do you have any good sources for custom bench/window seat cushions?

  9. Jennifer Laura says:

    Love these resources! I used to design custom furniture for clients all the time, but have never designed a piece for myself, I would love to!

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Same… when I first designed a piece for our own home (our bed), it was really special. It’s a piece we still have and love. You’ll have to treat yourself to a custom piece sometime. I do find it’s more difficult than destining client pieces though, because I can be indecisive. Haha! xo

  10. The title overwhelmed me , custom! *Cry emoji* But this was helpful and I appreciated the list of vendors , some I recognize. I’m excited to get to researching !!

    1. Haha! I know, I know. Hopefully the list will come in helpful :)