Comet decorative floating shelf

Bespoke Furniture – Exclusive Luxury (Part 3)

Sizing It All Up

In the previous blogs in this bespoke furniture series I looked at the ramifications of customising materials and the finish when commissioning bespoke furniture. In this article I will touch on how the size and the location of the piece may affect the process and this in turn will provide you with more confidence when discussing your needs.


A change of dimensions

If you would like to customise an existing design, the way the piece is made will have a knock on effect in terms of changing dimensions. For example, it is straight forward to lengthen or widen my design Comet (pictured) as it is carved out of one solid piece of timber. Genie can be made between 900 and 1200mm in length, however the thickness or overall form cannot be changed without having to undergo the time consuming process of making a new two part mould. Furniture makers often use templates and jigs (a custom made tool which aids the making process)  to produce their work.  With my design Onda,  even ordering a shelf which is only one cm longer will require a new set of templates to be made.

Onda sculptural floating shelf in Walnut

Onda sculptural floating shelf in Walnut


You may be offered customisation in terms of the dimensions and if the furniture involves fabricated board materials such as plywood, then customising the dimensions will often affect how efficiently the material is used. The most common form of boards is 8 foot by 4 foot and whilst other sizes are sometimes available, not all table saws can accommodate bigger boards. Therefore if your proposed project  involves a large volume of oversize boards,  cutting each board with a hand held power saw will add more time. Generally speaking, the maker’s time is much more expensive than the materials and whilst a green approach to material waste is an important factor to consider it may simply not be worth the company’s time.


Free-standing or fitted

Fitted or built in furniture is probably the most commonly found form of bespoke furniture. You may be  looking for a desk to fit in an alcove which measures 1300 mm across and if the nearest ready-made size available is 1000mm in length, you will need to have something tailor made. It is worth asking yourself  if it really needs to be scribed to fit the three walls that surround it and whether it can be designed so that the legs will clear any obstacles such as skirting boards. The more of a project that the craftsperson can undertake In their workshop, the quicker the job will be. Having to set up temporary work stations and move components up and down stairs to trim in the garden is therefore a slower and more costly process. Providing your wall is relatively flat, a free- standing piece made to 1280mm in length may be the perfect fit and should you move house it can still come with you.

Don’t be afraid to ask which parts of the design can be modified and what knock on effect that will have in terms of cost. To discuss your unique piece of handmade furniture contact me at or call 0161 928 5647.