How tailored-to-you furniture is trumping readymade.

Specially-made may cost more than off-the-rack, but Vancouver interior designer Hong Duong of i3 Design says there are important design considerations that make custom furniture worth every penny.1. Guaranteed to fit you and your needs. “If you’re tall, you’ll want a deeper sofa, tailored to you,” says Duong. The interior designer explains it can also be frustrating when you fall for the perfect sofa at the store, only to discover it’s a condo-sized sofa that won’t work in your home. “You’re just getting something to fit your space, with exactly the right texture, the right finish,” says Duong.2. Function first. “If you don’t have the proper furniture to fit, it’s not going to be functional for you,” she says. “If you have a sofa that’s too large for your space, it’s going to eat into your space that could be used for other things. It’s not efficient.”3. Shop Local. If you’re commissioning the piece, Duong says you have more opportunities to source local goods and control the finished product, instead of taking your chances with a factory import. In addition to determining the finishes, you get to choose the products and the resources it’s made out of, and ensure you’re getting high-quality materials and fabrics with low VOCs.4. Creative design solutions for odd spaces. “There are some places you’ve got an odd nook—what are you to do?” Customized furniture is perfect for those more unique spaces where something readymade won’t fit, explains the designer.5. Inspired design at your fingertips. “There’s often a look of something that people want, but they want to tweak it to fit their space,” says Duong. A fabricator or custom furniture maker can adapt your inspiration to your room’s colour palette and style.6. Give new life to old furniture. Instead of outing the old, it’s becoming increasingly popular to update upholstery or repaint to change things up for a different look. “That is definitely cost saving, versus doing something brand new—you’re only paying for the fabric and the labour.”

Modern and Made to Order

Have it your way with these customizable furniture picks.joybird_soto_chairsJoybird Furniture: Brand new to Canada is Joybird Furniture—carried exclusively by Vancouver’s Fluff design studio—which features handmade mid-century modern furniture that’s customizable in scads of different fabrics, frames, finishes, sizes and more than 100 colours. You can even send them a colour sample if they don’t have the one you’re looking for. We like the built-in storage featured on the newly released Emerson Sofa and the colour options on the boldly-elbowed Soto stylegarageStylegarage: This furniture retailer based in Vancouver and Toronto may be best known for carrying Gus* Modern, but Stylegarage also designs and builds custom, made-to-order furniture, sourcing sustainable materials whenever possible. The Modular Sideboard shown above comes in a variety of woods and stains and can be built to fit whatever home accessories need storing. stylegarage.comIMG_20151104_184400IZM: Producing “modern minimalist” furniture that’s handcrafted in Canada, Edmonton’s IZM opts for solid wood in its pieces because it’s durable and ages gracefully. The Darwinizm Coffee Table is IZM’s earliest design and features the brand’s signature storage slots. The audio/visual cabinet Visualizm can be made with two or three doors, including a roomy media drawer. A smoked glass door keeps concealed electronics within remote range. Both pieces are available in solid American black walnut or white oak, with customizable finishes and heights. izm.caMuse-BarcelonaDes-wb-2015Creative Home Furnishings: The company’s latest retail addition in Vancouver’s Armoury District, Boutique, has a capsule collection of its own designs featuring contemporary, BC-made, customizable furniture, and all of its wood furniture is locally made and built to order. We like the fully customizable Barcelona Writing Desk and the Live Edge table. The Live Edge table has a welded steel base that comes in multiple low VOC powder coatings and the tabletop itself is made in Vancouver. You can also pick alternative materials like maple, oak, pine, glass or mirror.