Why is Custom Designed Furniture So Expensive?

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Custom-designed furniture may seem extravagantly priced, but a deeper understanding of the craftsmanship and intricacies behind each piece reveals their true value. Let’s explore why custom-designed furniture is worth every penny.

Unique Artistry: Custom-designed furniture stands apart from mass-produced alternatives due to its exclusive design. The lines, forms, and proportions are meticulously crafted to perfection, creating a functional piece of art that fits seamlessly into your space. The uniqueness of these designs ensures that your furniture is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece, making it more than simply a table, or a cabinet; it’s an expression of your individuality.

Premium Materials: The selection of materials is a critical factor in its cost. Artisans have the freedom to source the finest materials, whether it’s a common steel piece expertly engraved and burnished, or a rare, responsibly harvested hardwood from Central America. They have the freedom to mix materials in unique ways, such as metal and wood in a table, or rattan and acrylic in a chair. The wood, for example, is carefully kiln-dried, ensuring it is free from defects and ready for the crafting process. Custom-designed furniture most often uses materials of the highest quality, contributing to its overall expense.

Textiles: Both fabrics and rugs may be hand-woven and hand-knotted. Imagine a 100-knot rug: a skilled craftsperson is creating 100 knots per inch of quality wool, silk, linen or other materials, in the creation of your custom area carpet. Fabrics may be hand-screen printed, or hand-dyed.

Skilled Craftsmanship: The construction process is labor-intensive and time-consuming. Skilled artisans’ knowledge and expertise have been passed down through generations.
Each piece is meticulously hand-carved, often requiring days or even months of work. Precision and attention to detail are paramount, and engineers are consulted to ensure comfort and safety.

Handcrafted Excellence: Unlike mass-produced furniture, which is often assembled on factory lines, custom-designed pieces are created “at the bench.” This hands-on approach involves cutting, gluing, doweling, and incising materials with precision and care. Each step in the construction process is carried out with an unwavering commitment to quality, ensuring the furniture’s durability and longevity.

Artisanal Finish: Custom-designed furniture is elevated by its exceptional finish work. Custom stains, waxes, and varnishes are meticulously created, tested, refined, and then applied in dust-free environments. This process is carried out entirely by hand, preserving the age-old traditions of craftsmanship that have been perfected over centuries. The result is not just a piece of furniture but a true work of art.

Hours of Dedication: A labor of love, these furnishings require the skills of accomplished sculptors, carvers, woodworkers, metal smiths, finishers, and various other specialists. These experts invest countless hours in perfecting your piece to meet your exacting specifications. Their dedication is evident in every detail, creating for you a symbol of both luxury and unparalleled craftsmanship.

The cost of custom-designed furniture reflects the artistry, premium materials, skilled craftsmanship, handcrafted excellence, and artisanal finishes that go into creating each piece. The result is an investment in a unique masterpiece that brings beauty and functionality to your home. An experience of luxury and artistry that will last for generations.

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards.  Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results. 

Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition.  Service areas include but are not limited to Marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights.