Today’s furniture market is more demanding than ever. Consumers are looking for greater choice, flexibility, and the opportunity for their own design input when it comes to buying furniture. Purchasing custom-made furniture was once seen as the ultimate luxury – however, in the modern furniture market the option of bespoke furniture is becoming much more accessible, and, crucially, budget-friendly for consumers, explains Tony Clark …
In the fast-paced furniture industry, change is a constant. Whether that change comes in the shape of furniture crafted from new, less traditional woods from the far reaches of the world, or indeed new interior design trends taking the UK interior decor scene by storm, furniture manufacturers can no longer afford to stand still in an increasingly competitive market.
Trends continue to evolve, and whilst some have remained popular for many years, such as the popularity of solid wood furniture, many, like the increasing demand for tailor-made furniture, are still very much in an embryonic stage.
In fact, the global market for luxury furniture is expected to grow at over +4% between 2015–2019, according to Marketresearch.com, with Europe expected to be the largest market for high-end furniture.
And with consumer confidence growing, with more customers now ready to splash out on big-ticket items such as furniture, according to new consumer confidence data from GfK's Major Purchase Index, there are plentiful opportunities for furniture manufacturers willing to embrace the concept of bespoke-designed furniture to thrive.
The key to success in today’s furniture market, therefore, is staying on top of the latest trends and delivering a more diverse choice for customers. Gone are the days when consumers would simply be satisfied with off-the-shelf mass-produced furniture – modern customers are now seeking something more unique and personal to their own tastes and style.
In the UK in particular, there is now a real consumer appetite for personalisation of products, with many furniture businesses starting to realise the value of letting consumers create their own unique pieces.
Bespoke furniture vs mass-produced
Choosing custom-made furniture offers great appeal for consumers and means they can enjoy a personalised experience from initial design through to final delivery, closely supported by knowledgable professionals at every step of the journey.
Customisation has evolved from a simple alteration to size or finish, to retailers developing truly custom-made furniture tailored to the exact requirements of customers. Whether it is a fully tailored luxurious dining set, a made-to-measure bed or a customised TV unit, every aspect of the design is considered with the customer’s vision in mind.
The good news for today’s buyers is that what was once an extremely expensive and time-consuming task is now becoming more accessible. In fact, many leading furniture retailers, both new and established, are now offering increasingly cost-effective customisation services that enable bespoke-designed furniture on a budget.
The introduction of state-of-the-art CAD technology has fundamentally changed the approach to furniture design, reducing the amount of time required to produce bespoke designs and opening up a world of possibilities for more unique pieces of furniture – all with a greater level of precision and accuracy than ever before.
For homeowners, it can often prove extremely challenging and often very time-consuming to find furniture items that will fit into a specific space of their homes – whether that’s in a new build property or traditional home.
By opting for bespoke furniture, developed using innovative CAD technology, furniture can be accurately crafted to exact dimensions to maximise every bit of available space, in turn delivering a stunning home interior that doesn’t feel cramped or overcrowded.
What’s more, customers can see a visual representation of what their furniture will look like before it is manufactured, with the use of photorealistic 3D furniture modelling and renderings.
A custom solution
Whilst furniture trends continue to evolve constantly, one thing that hasn’t changed over the past few decades is the desire for a great looking home, with an impactful interior. For today’s homeowner choosing bespoke furniture is about more than simply making a statement, it is about investing for the future.
Faced with a fiercely competitive market, more and more furniture brands are starting to acknowledge this changing consumer demand by incorporating bespoke design services into their businesses and reaping the rewards to seize their share of the market.
Tony Clark is the owner of the Trade Furniture Company, a UK-based importer of mango and sheesham furniture with over 20 years’ experience of designing solid wood furniture to fit bespoke customer requirements.