The Pros and Cons of Artisan-Made Furniture

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Artisan-made furniture lets your home story shine. Here are its advantages and disadvantages and some tips on finding the best offers in the market.

Your house is more than just a functional shelter. It doesn't just protect you from the heat and the storm. It's not merely a place to unwind and rest.

It's where you nurture the sacred bond of family. It's where you welcome those you want to pull into that sacred orbit. As such, your home must be true to who you are, as an individual and as a family.

Your home tells a story—specifically, your story. Its sturdy foundation, robust walls, and durable roofing speak of your commitment to safety. In turn, that attests to how much you hold dear the people that you shelter.

Meanwhile, all the furniture you choose accounts for your history or the tastes and preferences you've cultivated throughout the years. Now, you want that story to shine. And there's no better way to do that than opting for artisan-made furniture.

Here, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of artisan-made furniture and valuable tips on finding the best offers in the market.

 

The Pros

In the middle ages, the word "artisan" referred to those who performed skilled trade. Among the top services artisans provided was making furniture pieces. That meaning pretty much stuck over the years.

Now, when you hear the term artisan-made furniture, you imagine a craftsperson doing beautiful things with their hands alone. Artisan-made is the exact opposite of machine-made, which is typically mass-produced.

Here are the advantages of going artisan for your furniture needs.

 

A sense of class and exclusivity

More often than not, artisan-made furniture is one of a kind. You can consider it a craftsperson's unique artwork, one you cannot easily replicate. Whether a modern furniture design or a more classic ornamental piece, artisan-made furniture serves an unmistakable sense of class and exclusivity.

If you invite someone with the same refined taste as you do into your home, they'll easily recognise artisan-made furniture for what it is—the work of not just a craftsperson but an artist.  

 

Unrivaled quality

As bonafide artists themselves, artisan furniture makers share the same attention to detail you'd expect from someone like Van Gogh or Gauguin. From materials used to design specifications, they leave no stone unturned in terms of delivering the quality they can be proud of. After all, their names are attached to the furniture pieces they sell. 

 

Customisation

Do you need to design space-saving furniture that your limited space can accommodate? That's something an artisan furniture maker can pull off. Or perhaps you're partial to specific materials or finishes. That, too, is possible if you work with an honest-to-goodness craftsperson. You just need to be precise with your expectations, and the furniture pieces of your dream will come to life. 

 

Personalisation

Is your house styled with the aesthetics of a Japanese interior, and do you need furniture pieces that will complement your chosen design sensibility? Then you can't go wrong with artisan-made furniture. You'll find craftspersons who focus on specific design trends; hence, you can rest assured they have the mastery to do the job. 

 

Sustainability

You've probably heard about the environmental impact of fast fashion. The same logic applies to fast furniture. That's why artisan-made furniture has been steadily gaining traction, especially among environmentally-conscious homeowners. It's the greener option, thanks to a manufacturing process that results in less carbon footprint. 

 

Support for local crafts

Choosing artisan-made furniture allows you to support the local crafts industry. You take home a comfy and stylish bed and can sleep soundly on it, too, knowing you've done something good for your community. 

 

The Cons

While artisan-made furniture has unquestionable merits, it has some downsides as well. Here are some of them. 

 

Price

Artisan-made furniture boasts unrivaled quality. It typically uses top-notch materials with precise attention to detail. On top of those, these furniture pieces are collector's items, not run-of-the-mill design pieces whose value depreciates over the years.

These characteristics necessitate a heftier price tag compared to, let's say, furniture pieces you'd buy from regular shops. The best way to look at it is you're making a valuable investment. Or else, it might not be easy to reconcile why you'd have to pay a year's worth of mortgage for a single piece of furniture. 

 

Made to order

You cannot rush quality. You don't go to a shop and buy artisan-made furniture straight off the rack, as that defeats the purpose of going artisan. You need patience because you'll likely have to wait for your made-to-order piece.

The craftsperson you'll work with will probably have to source your preferred materials. They will have to thoroughly plan the execution of your unique design before they can get into the actual work. This process could extend longer than what you're comfortable with. However, the finished product can be well worth the wait.  

 

Unmet expectations

When you approach a craftsperson to create a unique furniture piece for you, you either present them with a peg a la Pinterest or simply communicate your vision as accurately as possible.

Either way, there's no guarantee that you'll get exactly what you had in mind. Some things could get lost in translation, after all. But that's just a minor risk you should be willing to face when going artisan. To minimise such risk, work with a craftsperson whose street cred you trust through and through.

 

No return or refund

When you buy furniture from a mall and see that it doesn't fit your space, literally or figuratively, you can take the piece back and request a refund or an exchange. That might not be applicable if you're working with a craftsperson—unless maybe you sign a contract that specifically privileges you with the option to refund in case of unmet or mismatched expectations.

Obviously, artisans will not likely agree to such a contract that financially puts them at a disadvantage. Again, the best precaution is to work with an artisan you can fully trust, one that will not necessitate a refund request.

 

Tips on How to Purchase Artisan-Made Furniture

Once you're ready to invest in artisan-made furniture, follow these shopping tips. 

 

1. Research

The first thing you need to research is the names or brands offering the service you're looking for. Remember that while some artisans can pull off all sorts of furniture design temperaments, from rustic to futuristic and everything in between, it's best to find a craftsperson with a specialisation.

Think of it this way: you don't go to a general medical practitioner if you're going through specific symptoms that point to the possibility of diabetes. In short, if your house has a modern design sensibility, choose an artisan whose work aligns with that aesthetic movement. 

 

2. Look for pegs

Sure, you want to have something created uniquely for you. That doesn't mean you have to eschew references. Those references will help your artisan better visualise what you have in mind.

Just make sure to communicate that what you're showing them are mere pegs, not meant to be copied. Showing pegs can also add value during brainstorming sessions that might result in you and your chosen craftsperson discovering design details you would not have considered otherwise. 

 

3 Get precise

Be as vocal as you need to be. Thoroughly discuss all your preferences and expectations. There's a way to be clear and straightforward with your intentions without disrespecting the person you're working with, so try to strike that healthy balance.

For instance, if you have a change of mind in terms of preferred materials, don't hesitate to tell your artisan about it. That's typical of the creative process, and they'll understand so long as you're not unreasonable with your requests.

However, you're being unreasonable if, for example, you request a change of materials a day after your artisan has already purchased the original materials you picked. 

 

4. Communicate well

Throughout the project, communicate with your craftsperson. Monitor the design team's progress without succumbing to micromanagement.

Remember that you're working with an artist whose creative process might differ from yours. You do not want to rub them the wrong way. If you do, the worst that can happen is they abandon the project halfway through. So, do not overstep the fine line between collaboration and intrusion. 

 

Wrapping It Up

As cliche as it may sound, home is where the heart is. And you want that heart to appear authentic and beautiful. One way to do that is by choosing artisan-made furniture that distinctly embodies who you are and what your values are.

However, before spending good money on artisan-made furniture, you need to weigh its pros and cons, as mentioned above. Once you decide that the upsides outweigh the downsides, by all means, explore the artisan furniture market for pieces that will look and feel at home in your space.

Follow the shopping tips above to ensure that you land the best in style and functionality the market offers. Doing so might spell the difference between taking home a furniture piece you'll cherish for years and buying something on a whim only to be returned and refunded later.

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