How many times have you seen the same piece of furniture in a number of your friends’ houses or condos? Been there! Just when you think you’ve snared something unique, that only you know about, boom – there it is, showing up in the new-mum-you’ve-just-met-at-school’s house, too. Sigh.
Customised furniture is a safer bet to making sure that you, and you alone, have that coveted piece that no one else can get their mitts on. Plus, if you’ve downsized, or moved to a bigger house recently, these guys can whip you up some lovely pieces to fit into difficult nooks and crannies, ensuring you’re maximising your space.
We asked some of Singapore’s popular furniture stores, how they go about crafting something unique for a customer?
For those seeking top quality genuine leather
‘We are the only outfit in Singapore which allows customers to customise the type of leather finishing on their sofa, armchairs, storage trunks, director’s chair, desk, coffee table, side table etc. We only use full grain leather from the cowhide and depending on the tannery process, we are able to spin off to various types of leather, from vintage to wax oil, hand rub to pull-up, and distressed leather.
While most leather sofas available in the market are upholstered in corrected grain leather, they always look the same and it can be difficult to tell the difference between genuine leather, and PVC! At Locus Habitat, we offer full grain genuine leather: full grain leather holds the history of the animal gathered through its lifetime, from birthmarks to healed scars and vein marks, no two hide are ever the same. This adds to the timeless character of the furniture, simply getting better with age.
Other than the traditional classic leather finishing, we also cater to industrial and modern home themes. We offer not only leather trunks, but also aluminum and steel finishing to our voyage trunk selection.’
Malachi Harris, Locus Habitat – Home For Luxury
Midview City, 18 Sin Ming Lane, #01-06
+65 6684 1685 | firstname.lastname@example.org | locushabitat.com
Customised furniture rental too!
‘We generally like the client to come into the showroom as sometimes, even though they have an idea in mind for their customised piece, an element from something in the showroom catches their eye, that they may end up liking better. We also try to understand their lifestyle, family dynamics , colour choices, fabric sense etc, so that we are creating a piece that becomes part of the family not something that sticks out like a sore thumb.’
Naazli Somjee, Sales Manager
Happy Client alert! ‘I was also pleasantly surprised that the rental furniture is custom made which was unexpected. This is what makes your service so memorable.’ – Nicole
Mark works in an office rather than at home, but wanted his space to reflect a rustic charm – something more homey than the usual corporate glass and metal.
“We were setting up our new office and had a particular vision regarding the feel we wanted it to impart. An impression of quality, permanence and history is conveyed by these particular pieces.
“We purchased a custom-made office desk which consisted of a magnificent antique Indian door, built into a wooden frame and protected by glass. A similar piece made of wrought iron and timber sits in our office reception area. The final statement piece is the boardroom table, which was cut from a single piece of Indonesian trembesi timber.” – Mark Haynes Daniell, UK
Did someone say ‘bespoke’?
‘Arete Culture customises furniture for clients by considering a number of factors. We first look at what what fits best in the room, taking into account the size, style, and function of the space. We believe furniture should be made to last, so we only work with high quality, durable materials in our studio. We have a selection of wood to help clients visualise and decide what best suits their home. We also have tile, marble, and stainless steel samples for clients to mix and match materials in their piece. Some of the more popular combinations we have worked with clients on include teak and stainless steel, oak and brass.
Clients tend to get overwhelmed with choices and may not understand the pros and cons of particular materials. We work closely with them to create that piece, that doesn’t compromise on style or function, by advising them on material use. For instance, we always recommend using tiles over marble on tables as tiles are more durable, they don’t stain as easily, and are cheaper. Certain types of wood are also better suited to different styles, spaces, and even finishes; so if a client wants a specific type of style the material they may have looked at might not be the best, to carry that style through.’
Eric Geyler, Chief Operating Officer, Arete Culture
#06-01, 315 Outram Rd, Tan Boon Liat Building
9640 3829 | areteculture.com | areteculture.com/the-bespoke-boutique-collection
Looking for modern or Chinese pieces?
‘We can customise a piece of furniture according to the size, design and colour that the customer wants, even down to the type of hardware that they prefer. A certain level of customisation is also possible if the customer wants to include painting or carvings.
Most furniture pieces are do-able if they are simple modern or traditional Chinese designs.
After understanding what the customer requires, we provide a quotation at no obligation at all. If the quotation is accepted and order confirmed, we will prepare a sketch with the various specifications for the customer’s comments/approval and see if any further changes need to be made.
The piece is unique because the customer partakes in the design and creation of this piece of furniture.
Once the design is confirmed, we send the drawing to our factory in China for production.
The lead time for a customised piece is about two to four months. This depends on the type of wood used, the complexity of the design, the volume of the order and whether it is close to the Chinese holiday periods. On average it takes two to two and a half months.’
Danielle Lee, Just Anthony
379 Upper Paya Lebar Rd
6283 4782 | justanthony.com
Let’s talk made-to-measure…
‘Our clients usually come with a need, a dream or a design and we listen. Then a designer from our team will provide expert advice on the material and method, as well as guide our clients the whole way from initial sketches to construction to delivery.
Custom building services rendered under this category include loose furniture custom-designed to suit your lifestyle. Working hand and hand with our factory in Indonesia allows us to custom-build pieces especially for you. So if your heart is set on a particular design or concept, working with our in-house designers will turn your dream into a reality.
Here’s a nifty step-by-step guide to our custom-built process:
Step 1. Know Your Needs: Preliminary discussion with our designers to establish an understanding of your preferred style – spectacular or subtle, contemporary or rustic – and requirements.
Step 2. Concept Proposal: Presentation of detailed drawings (elevations and perspectives) and price quotation for your approval. Your sign-off is required to proceed to the Step 3.
Step 3. Ordering: Following the approval of Step 2 and a minimum deposit of 50% on order confirmation, your custom-built piece will be delivered to your home within 10 – 12 weeks. Plus, while you wait, a loaner piece can be sent to your home – at no extra charge.’
Felicia Koh, Principal Designer, Gallery 278
278 River Valley Rd S238319
Customisation with a conscience
‘Established at Dempsey Hill since 2000, Woody Antique House had been offering customisation of furniture items from recycled Elm and Teak to our customers, allowing them to create unique pieces and turning their dream furniture into reality.
There are a couple of ways which we can help our customers with their customisation. They may come with their own specifications and basic design, which they can then discuss with our designer to fine-tune it according to the manufacturing feasibility to achieve the final design they want.
Alternatively, they can refer to the existing furniture we have in the showroom and make adjustments to the design like colour, size or interior layout.
The third approach is from customers who bring in pictures of a particular piece of furniture they have seen somewhere, be it at their friend’s place or at a venue of some sort, and request us to make a reproduction of it.
Our chief designer is Ms Ang Wei Chin who has more than 16 years of experience in drafting customised furniture designs for our customers.’
Chris Ang, General Manager, Woody Antique House
Happy customer, Angel Salti, the proud owner of the piece in the image above explains: ‘I was having difficulties finding a dressing table that was big enough to store my toiletries yet stylish. I found a really nice cabinet that might do the job but was far too large and would not fit the space in my bedroom. The friendly staff gave me the option to custom make it. Not only did I get it the perfect fit, they also customised the mirror to sit on top of the dresser.’
Want more home inspiration? See our home decor section!