Trades Secrets | Custom Furniture

Mentors Beth Dotolo and Carolina V Gentry, Principals of Pulp Design Studios, share the pros and cons to custom furniture!

Custom furniture is a great way to add a personal touch to any space. I always hate when you can walk into a well-designed room and point out where every piece came from. At times, there should be an air of mystery in design and you should have something that’s just yours and no one else’s. That’s where custom furniture comes in. Custom furniture can be a re-designed piece or it can be a piece that is designed from scratch.

Custom Chaise by Pulp Design Studios

Custom Headboard by Pulp Design Studios


Benefits of Custom Furniture:

  1. You can achieve the exact look and size you want. Sometimes that ‘just right’ piece simply doesn’t exist.
  2. Many times when designed properly, custom furniture can be less expensive than pre-made pieces.
  3. Often when designing custom, you work with local workrooms. You are not only supporting the local economy, but you’re also being kind to the environment by consuming less fuel. That also means less freight charges!

Custom Reupholstered Chair by Pulp Design Studios


The Downside To Custom:

  1. Custom work can require quite a bit of hand holding. You must detail out your design intentions in a documented format & make trips to monitor the progress of your items.
  2. Custom takes longer! Typically custom work can take 12-14 weeks depending on your fabric selections and workload of the workroom.
  3. You can’t sit in it first. You must rely on your workroom, if not specified, to determine the comfort of your piece. There is not a lot of room for trial and error without paying additional fees to fix something that wasn’t to your liking.

Custom Bed by Pulp Design Studios


If you’re considering custom furniture, it’s important to employ a designer to assist. Interior Designers who have worked with custom furniture before know what to look for in a workroom, and many times have several at their disposal. Designers also have fundamental knowledge on furniture and can help specify things that the general public would not have thought of. For instance: the pitch of a seat back for comfort, the density of a seat cushion, stitching details, the running direction of a fabric, or what species of wood would be better for different applications. And, the list goes on…

After careful consideration, if you feel custom is the right thing for you, work with a designer to determine the best pieces suited for your needs. Because, custom is a luxury that is more affordable than you might think.

Want to know more about custom furniture or working with Beth and Carolina? Pulp Design Studios is a full service interior design firm.



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3 Responses to “Trades Secrets | Custom Furniture”

  1. leAnne Bunnell Says:

    Love the use of the ‘table lamps’ in the first bedroom! So creative and clever!

    Your designs are gorgeous!


  2. jacqueline corea Says:

    These are truely beautiful, one-of-a-kind pieces. I love the detail of the last bedroom, where the mediallion pattern of the footboard fits perfectly into the bedframe. It’s this kind of attention to detail that sets custom furniture apart from the rest.


  3. Nyla Says:

    Gorgeous! and important facts and information about custom furniture. I will say that the upholsterer I use offers a ‘sit test’ at about 75% of the way along the process which really helps with client confidence when purchasing. One less ‘downside’ to the process :)


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