blueprintsThere are homes here and there that are perfect for the people who live there – perfect for the way they live, the way they work, for the whole family and all their different activities. But the vast majority of us are making do. We adapt our lives, our habits, even our interests and hobbies, to the space we’ve got, especially in situations where structural alterations aren’t an option. So the bed will never really fit the bedroom without blocking the closet, or the kitchen storage is too high, or we install ready-made shelves to partition a great room, but nothing seems anchored or looks like it belongs there. It seems inevitable. Not necessarily: custom made furniture can make all the difference!

The thing about custom made furniture is that it is designed for a specific place and need. Remember, “custom made” need not mean something crafted from the finest virgin materials by master cabinetmakers, the furniture equivalent of the Mona Lisa! It can be as straightforward and everyday as a shelving unit that is made to measure, both for the space it occupies and for the things it’s going to store. It might be a custom made sofa that will fit into an unusual corner, or be just the right length and height to define a living area in a wide-open loft. It might be a platform bed with exactly the kind of hidden yet handy storage built in that you’ve always wished for.

It helps to think of custom furnishing as a tool for “sculpting” or managing your space. Many people find themselves frustrated by issues of space: it’s confined, or it’s inconveniently shaped, or it’s so open-plan that things seem to rattle around in a disorganized way. With a small space you need furniture that’s the right scale, and it often helps if it’s multi-purpose. A kitchen cabinet designed to fit a wall exactly, with a front panel that drops down to make a dinette table, is an example. You could discover that just one custom piece of this kind solves a whole cluster of problems. Or you’re the happy owner of a loft space, but you do want a private bedroom area. A good carpenter can help you come up with well-thought-out shelf-partitioning, possibly modular, that provides privacy and improves the flow of the whole home, and includes storage for your electronics, or work supplies, or collectibles.

Custom made furniture doesn’t have to be done from scratch. Say you want to reupholster a couch that not only needs new covering, but is the wrong size. It’s quite a simple matter to have your furniture repair person disassemble and re-construct the couch to the right size before putting on the new upholstery. You can also customize in the course of furniture restoration. A cabinet or dining table, for instance, that requires refinishing or repair can be altered to fit the unique needs of your home. In fact, “fitting your unique need” is what customization is all about.