I am an independent cabinet maker working within the Devon,…
It’s so easy when shopping for the home to be drawn in when visiting furniture showrooms, making purchases that you probably regret in the long term. Do we settle for what we’re ultimately not happy with I wonder?
So were does the ‘bespoke’ route take us, why should we endeavour to get our furniture hand-made when mass-produced will serve the same function? Well, firstly I’d say that bespoke furniture is nowhere near as expensive as you’d think, I know of many makers that can produce, for instance, a dining room table for a similar price to buying a decent mass produced one. Amazing really, but I suppose there’s no chain, so no middle-men, no wholesaler, no retailer so all the money goes to the person making your item. This for me is great, particularly as much furniture is made overseas. Can’t we support our local manufacturing rather than just dispatching monies to foreign parts where it’s lost to our local economy forever.
There really is nothing quite like having an item of furniture made specifically for yourself, and this opens up new avenues in terms of being able to be more specific in your home design requirements, allowing you to factor many details into your design such as the space available, finish, timber variety and in terms of the design itself, the world’s your oyster so-to-speak. This is refreshing and actually quite liberating, why don’t more of us take this route?
For those of you that have a ‘green’ conscience it’s important to say that those oak furniture showrooms forever advertising on the TV augur very badly on many levels. Firstly, oak is a slow growing species of tree and should be more greatly valued than pine, the forests and habitats are being rapidly denuded in particular by the Chinese manufacturers. Some of the last big oak forests in France are selling off much of their stock to the Chinese at alarming rates, who use their buying power to secure quantities that will ultimately cause the supply to dry-up, meaning the price will spiral upwards for small manufacturers. In terms of fuel miles, sending raw oak half way round the world, then bringing the finished product back will never make any sense on a green basis. Oak really shouldn’t be treated and retailed at pine prices, there aren’t enough forests, nor is there enough time to treat this as a cheap renewable material.
The final aspect I haven’t touched on is that bespoke cabinetry allows you to have true heirloom furniture that you can pass on to children, friends and family. It’s a nice touch that means your investment in a piece of furniture and memories of time spent with the family on something such as a dining table, can be passed on and treasured, and of course, being hand made, you know it will stand the test of time!
Devon Furniture Makers is an association of independent designer-makers based in Devon and and it’s a good place to start in terms of finding a maker to fulfil your requirements.
You are able to visit the Devon Furniture Makers website to view products and makers.