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Bespoke Furniture

Do your research

Choosing the right craftsman is probably the most important decision you will make during the project. The best way to find a reputable cabinet-maker is by word of mouth. Regardless of whether they come by recommendation or through an advertisement, you should always ask to see some of their past commissions – they will probably have a portfolio to show you, but visiting past customers and looking at finished products will give you a better idea of the service and quality of work.

Check for hidden costs

A good cabinet-maker will pay a visit to you at home in order to see where the furniture is to go and to discuss how you will be using it and what specific ideas you have. They will then draw up a design for you and give you an initial quote, but be aware that you may be charged separately for the design itself before any work is started. This is simply to deter time-wasters, but make sure you establish whether the initial quote you are given includes this.

Measure up

It may seem obvious, but once your cabinet-maker has supplied you with your design, do check that the measurements are accurate in terms of how the piece will be used. For instance, if you are having a dining table made to match a set of chairs, make sure that the chairs will comfortably fit underneath the finished product. If it is a corner unit, the exact angle of the corner should be checked to ensure the unit will fit snug to the wall.

Well placed

You should also take into account the position of the furniture. Will it be in direct sunlight? In this case you will need to choose a light-fast stain for the wood. Will it be near a radiator? This could warp the wood, so it might be an idea to move the radiator along the wall.

Timely finish

If the furniture is for a gift or a special occasion, such as Christmas, it is sensible to agree a finish-date a few weeks before you actually need it, in case there are any problems and the project goes on for longer than expected. Once you have the final piece, have a good look at it to make sure it is perfect. Don’t be afraid to complain about a poor finish or request a slight alteration on the design – you want this piece to last for years to come and you should be nothing less than 100 per cent happy with it.