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How to commission customised or bespoke furniture

Commissioning a piece of bespoke furniture can be a remarkably satisfying process. You’re asking a company such as us to produce a piece of furniture in exactly the design you want to exactly fit the space you have in mind in exactly the colour you want and exactly the wood, with exactly the handles you want on the front of it. It will be unique to your home.

A bespoke walnut circular table. The design was worked out with our client

What we can do

While our interior designer clients are used to commissioning furniture, we thought we’d do a quick how-to for clients less used to the process. About 50 per cent of the furniture we make here at Titchmarsh & Goodwin is custom-made. Some pieces involve small alterations to dimensions, while with other pieces we modify the design, often simplifying it. We also design plenty of pieces from scratch. Sometimes a client will have drawn something they want and other times they’ve seen a photograph of a piece somewhere and want the same.  Sometimes a client will just have a very vague idea of what they might want and we’ll take it from there, establishing a style that they like and helping them to get a piece of furniture that they didn’t necessarily know that they wanted (and are usually delighted with). Either way, it ends up being a pleasurable experience which we’re very used to. We also love a challenge, so don’t be put off if you think something is too complicated. We’re also very happy to come and visit your home if you want us to design your furniture with a space in mind. Wefrequently design furniture to fit your floorplan

A beautiful bespoke oak bed. Inspiration came from a mahogany bed, which was redesigned in oak.
A close-up of the acorn finial on the bed

Commissioning a piece of furniture in 8 easy steps

  1. We’d love you to pick up the phone (01473 252158) and have a quick chat or email to discuss what you want. We should be able to advise whether it’s going to be possible (there are very few pieces that we have to say no to) and we’re very approachable.
  2. We’ll then liaise with our design office and workshops to get a ballpark price, which we’ll base on an existing piece of furniture that has a similar amount of work involved.
  3. If you want to take it further, we’ll go ahead and our design team will draw something up. This is still done the old-fashioned way (by pencil). Sometimes we’ll produce exactly what our clients want first time, other times we’ll produce a drawing and have to alter it the old-fashioned way (by using a rubber) and go back and forth until we’re all happy with it.
  4. Our workshops will then be able to give us an accurate price and we can take it from there.
  5. When you order you’ll sign off a drawing, choose your colour and finish.
  6. If you want us to email you updates and pictures of your piece being made, we’re very happy to do that.
  7. We’ll get in touch when it’s ready to arrange delivery.
  8. If you’d like to keep the drawing of the piece, again we’re very happy for you to have a copy.
Oak side table
An oak console table which was commissioned by an interior designer

The bulk of the cost of our furniture is in the number of hours it takes to make, so if a piece has been painstakingly hand-carved, then it’s going to be more expensive. But we are really flexible. If you have a budget in mind, we can quickly let you know whether we’ll be able to give you the piece of furniture you want.

We worked with a client on this piece. Although he liked our standard carved table, he wasn't that keen on the price, so we removed the carving from the apron, make it in a slightly smaller size, and simplified a couple of other details which brought the price down from £7,425 to £3,000
The full Elizabethan! This is the original table that the table above is based on

If you want a tour of our workshops at any time to meet our talented team or to pick finishes, it’s a reassuringly friendly process. Call us on 01473 252158, we’re here Monday – Friday 9am-5pm and are very happy to come in on a Saturday to show you around.