Custom-made vs ready-made

Custom-made vs ready-made

Ready-made furniture may have its advantages. But Vikas Nair is all for custom-made furniture, as it makes for a veritable smart choice, perfectly fulfilling the unique requirements of your abode. And you know exactly what you are paying for.

The debate about customised furniture versus ready-made furniture isn’t new in the Indian context. We have always had the option of getting ourfurniture tailor-made by the local carpenter.

Unfortunately, that option has hitherto been straddled with many inconveniences. However, the entire process of getting your furniture tailor-made has undergone a
major evolution. With the advent of e-commerce and online portals, shopping virtually has become a default behaviour and the desire for customisation is the next step in this natural evolutionary process.

Today, one can get one’s dream items designed from the comfort of their home and have them delivered within a pre-determined timeline. If you are still unsure whether you should buy a mass produced ready-made piece or have it customised, take a look at some reasons that make custom-made furniture a veritable smart choice.

l Style it your way: Any piece of furniture is going to be a permanent fixture in your home and, therefore, your life. Hence, it is imperative that the product is in perfect synchrony with your individual taste and style preferences. Customisation lets you create a product designed exactly like something you have had your eye on for a while. It helps you appoint your home exactly as you have always imagined it.

l Size does matter: Bespoke products are designed only for your home and for the particular area that you assign them. Therefore, there isn’t a chance that the piece will finally be an inch extra in any corner. While you may not realise it, a few centimetres here and there can make a ready-made piece of furnishing look outlandish in your home and can also make the room look cramped.

l Cost advantage: With customised furniture, you can have what you have been yearning for in your exact price bracket. After you have chosen the design, you can make several alterations to the material, fabric and finish to balance out your style preferences with the cost. Ready-made furniture can hardly ever offer such flexibility.

l Quality assurance: When you are customising your furniture, you know exactly what you are paying for. You can pick from a wide range of material options with the assurance that you have chosen the best in your price bracket. Customisation not only gives you the
satisfaction of owning an item that looks great, but also the guarantee that the much-cherished product is durable and will last you long.

l Fabric & finish: With customisation portals, you can create a product that fulfils the unique requirements of your abode. For instance, if you have kids or pets in the house, it’s best to avoid very delicate upholstery. You need materials that can be dusted off easily and are resistant to scratch marks and claw holes. Similarly, in case you stay in an area susceptible to high humidity, you can avoid fabrics that are prone to catching mildew. You can also get a finish in line with the rest of your decor with plenty of options such as veneer, laminate, natural wood, paint, glass and metal to choose from.


How to customise right

Here are some pointers to help you get your customisation right:
l Design: While customisation offers you oodles of freedom, there are still some parameters to consider before designing your own sofa, table or bookshelf. The furnishing must complement the rest of your home decor. You may have loved a minimalist centre table in your favourite TV show, but it will only look incongruous if the ambiance of your environs is otherwise vintage.

l Size: A few inches off and your bespoke shelf can make your whole room look smaller. Be careful with the dimensions of your customised furniture. If you are not sure about your ability to measure accurately, you can ask for the help of an expert carpenter or decorator to examine the space and advise you in what will look and fit best.

l Material matters: For those living in areas with high humidity, leatherettes that resist mildew effectively are great options. Those who have pets or children should avoid easily destroyed fabrics such as velvet, silk, chenille, tweed, wool and linen. Better to choose leather, crypton and other synthetic fibres.

l Be realistic: Customisation is a nice way to unleash your creative spirit and build something that is exceptional.

However, one also has to be realistic in one’s expectations. You must bear in mind that products of superlative quality come at a price and in the search for something exceptional, you may have to stretch your budget a little.

l Be patient: Customised furniture will not give you the instant gratification that ready-made items do. But it will give you a product that will yield long-lasting delight. Styling something to the letter, sourcing the accurate colours and fabrics and
rendering that perfect finish takes time. But the fruit of patience is always sweeter!

(The author is co-founder & COO, Stitchwood.com)

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