15
May

Custom Vs Standard…what the difference anyway!

In terms of design and fit, what’s better custom or standard? One costs more but do you get a better result?

Big corporations and businesses tell us… standard is the way to go.  Their marketing spend and product R&D will try to make us believe that they know what we want and lots of low cost, easy to replace, mass produced stuff is better than a few quality items that last us a life time.

But, of course, it’s not always that black and white… there’s a lot of grey in the middle.  So here are some tips on how to make the standardise, modular and customised equation a little easier.

Firstly, your space should dictate your approach.  Whilst this sounds obvious, you’d be surprised how many people overlook this.  As a rule, the more angles, returns, bulk heads, rounded corners, uneven surfaces etc. you have; the more customisation you’ll need.  Older properties with original character, art deco and small space properties are often the most challenging.

This outdoor setting was custom made through MamaGreen due to the length required for this space. We would never have found anything standard long enough. 

Based on the space you have; the next critical factor will be how much budget you have.  But small budgets with high customisation needs, don’t have to be a deal-breaker.  Once you have a design plan in place, stick to it, and if needs be draw the timeframe out giving you more time to find the funds.  I know everyone wants everything yesterday, but good things come to those who wait.

Taking a modular approach to design can work!  If you have talented trades in place, using a modular approach can be a good halfway house.  It’s a bit like buying something off the rack and taking it to the best tailor you can afford to give you the best fit.  There are also some problems to overcome here, as when you change things up you can also void warranties etc. so proceed with caution and know there are no guarantees. Also remember that no matter how talented the trades they can only do so much.

Customise existing pieces to create a new look – upholstery is the easiest way to achieve this.

Use customised pieces to bring designs together: fabrics, colour, textures etc. This can be cushions, soft furnishing, paint, doors, handles, bedheads etc.  The devil can be in the detail so absolutely sweat the small stuff here.

I always custom make scatter cushions. With the right fabric choice these don’t cost the earth and will complement your interiors scheme.

Whilst budget sensitive, craftsmanship is a big piece of the design puzzle.  Trust me you’ll always find someone who can do it cheaper, but cheaper isn’t always better!   In some instances, it’s better to have a fewer high quality items then lots of items you regularly need to replace / update.

Challenge preconceptions and roadblocks, for example, people often assume custom furniture is too costly. But the reality is, with the right supplier and if you use a designer, it doesn’t need to be.  So, be open to considering all the options.

This sofa was customised through fabric choice, inserts and size to fit with the clients requirements, and cost no more than a standard piece.

In summary, the more customised the design is in your home is, the more individual, quality driven and flexible the space can be.  If your struggling with your home, contact SmartSpace and we can work together to figure out what’ll work best for you.