If the thought of ordering custom furniture gives you a headache, you might want to reconsider. A few simple strategies can make the process stress-free, and in the end, you're likely to have a piece of furniture that truly reflects your style and works well with the layout of your home.
We checked in with Rob Royer, CEO of , a custom furniture startup that offers affordable pieces ranging from modern sofas to dining sets, for his top pointers on choosing the best piece of furniture for you and your space.
Before you even begin shopping for custom furniture, it's crucial to spend time thinking about the layout of your space. Once you have a design scheme in mind, share your plan with your retailer of choice. "There are a lot of options in terms of profile and aesthetic and it can be difficult to find what works best in your space," Royer says. "But when you are shopping at the right brand, there should be a resource to help with decisions like how to effectively understand how a piece of furniture will fit in your space and look in your home."
For instance, Interior Define has an augmented reality app that allows customers to view furniture in their home. Shoppers can experiment with an array of furniture styles, colors, finishes, and fabrics, which makes it easier to pinpoint the best option for your needs.
Know What's Worth Customizing
Always consider placing custom furniture in spaces like bedrooms and dining areas that are used frequently. "Key rooms are where you will have a piece of furniture for a longer period of time," Royer says. "You'll feel more confident with your furniture choice because you had the opportunity to personalize it."
Whenever there's a chance to order samples of an item of interest, do so. There's nothing quite like seeing and touching a piece of fabric in person. "It is important to see samples, particularly of fabric, in your space," says Royer. He encourages customers to understand how they will live with the fabric in their home, especially if pets and children are in the picture. Seeing how a fabric responds to light and holds up to pets or even a wine spill can help you determine whether it's suitable for your lifestyle.
Along with fabric swatches, wood samples can be helpful, too. "Wood tones can vary from brand to brand quite a bit," Royer warns. "A white oak can be a true white oak for some brands and more yellowish for another brand."
Understand the Return Policy
Eliminate any disappointment by being aware of a brand's return policy and level of customer service. "The reality is things happen," Royer says. "You might get an item and it's not to your liking or it doesn't fit through the door that you thought you measured perfectly." Having the option to a return an unwanted piece of furniture is a major convenience. Just keep in mind that most companies will charge a restocking fee for the returned item.