- Do you have an idea for an item of furniture and don’t have a clue where to begin?
- Have you seen a piece of furniture you like, but want to customise it?
- Always dreamt of a unique project, but need help to realise it?
The process of turning ideas into a bespoke piece of furniture isn’t as daunting as you might think…and it is the part of my job for Makers Bespoke Furniture that I absolutely love. I don’t often get to meet our clients in person, so spending time with them and taking them though the process of turning their project ideas into reality, is a joy.
Doodles, Sketches and Ideas
We often start with something as simple as a doodle or sketch. No matter how simple, drawings just make it easy to see what customers are thinking. We’ll ask a lot of questions to help us get a sense of how the piece will be used….where will it go? What will go in it? How much space do you need around it? What is access like? How many people will it accommodate? The list is endless, but the answers to these questions all help to inform the end design.
Once we all have a picture of what is required, we’ll then get down to some pricing and send you a quotation. Our quotation will include materials, time, finishes and delivery. Materials are fairly straightforward to quantify but time is always the biggest factor to consider, and sometimes if a project is completely unique, it is a little unknown. But we will always base it on our experience of making similar things. The price we give you will be final so there will be no unexpected surprises further down the line. When everyone is happy with the pricing, we will usually ask for a 50% deposit, with the remainder due on or near delivery. Your payment confirms that you wish to go ahead with your order.
When your order is confirmed – we’ll then start putting pencil to paper and begin to draw out your project to scale. It is at this stage, where we can begin to see how everything we have already talked about will come together, how your project will be constructed and how the design works in reality. Sometimes we will pass several drawings to and fro until we reach agreement between us. But it is only when everyone is absolutely clear about every detail, that we go will ahead and start making.
From the drawings we have made, we will then work out various sizes of timber we will need for each project, and make up a cutting list to give to our local wood yard that supplies us with all the fantastic oak that we use. Our wood yard may take a couple of weeks to prepare any order, depending on the size and availability of the timber.
The making process
We will have agreed a time-scale for completion of your piece of bespoke furniture at the quotation stage. Sometimes we work on a few projects concurrently, and sometimes on one project alone. A lead time can be from as little as 6 weeks to as long as 6 months, depending on the amount of work we may have on at any one time, or the complexity of the project. Many of our clients work to building deadlines, so a degree of patience and flexibility is also required. After spending a lot of time communicating with our clients up until this point, I always need to point out that things will go a little quiet at this end whilst we are busy making in the Makers workshop. In the midst of our concentration, we will always try and take pictures of progress and pass them on to clients and post some on social media. Clients can keep up to date with exactly what we are doing in real time. It is a really important part of my job to make clients feel part of the process and feel confident in what we are doing for them.
Where we can, we like to personally deliver orders in France and the UK. For those addresses, beyond our reach, we use a fantastic courier who we have trusted with our furniture for years now – nobody does a better job. Delivery dates will be arranged 2 or 3 weeks in advance and timing will be arranged nearer the day. There will usually be two people at delivery and all our clients will need to do is show the way.
We will always be in touch on the day of delivery itself to make sure everything has gone according to plan and that our clients are super happy with everything. We will always ask for feedback and we are often completely bowled over by the lovely things peoples say…it is often the care and attention to detail throughout the whole process that they really appreciate most. It is honestly one of the best feelings that I just want to keep repeating….utterly satisfying.
So if you have any doodles, sketches or ideas for something you would like to have made just for you, let the process begin!
MAKERS BESPOKE FURNITURE