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How to Design and Create Custom made furniture

A How To article written by interior architect Abigail BARNES for Maison Bretagne

We were recently approached by a client who was on the hunt for a custom made library unit to complement her revamped salon area. Despite having scoured various retailers, she could not find anything that fit the bill. Seeking our expertise in this area, she enlisted us to design and construct a bespoke library unit. We were thrilled at the opportunity to take on such a unique and exciting project!

When it comes to crafting custom made furniture, our first step in the design process is always to gather image references from our clients. This helps us get a clear picture of their desired style, colour palette, and finish for the piece. We encourage all clients to provide us with visual references or photographs of elements they admire. These can range from a bouquet boasting a specific colour they’d like on a wall to a photograph of a style of bath tap. By doing this, we are able to grasp a better understanding of their home design aspirations and create bespoke furniture that exceeds their expectations.

Useful tip:

Discover top-notch image inspiration sources, such as Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz or Adobe Stock Photos. Facebook’s business pages of professional interior designers can also be a good resource. Get inspired from displays at Leroy Merlin or holiday snaps showcasing stylish hotel bedrooms brimming with colour and design ideas.

Have a look at our Pinterest page for ideas:

Also check out our HOUZZ page here:

The custom design process

Rosie and I visited the client’s property to gather precise measurements for the custom made library unit. During our visit, we carefully noted any electrical sockets or light switches that could pose a problem. With a clear understanding of the wall area, we strategised the ideal height, width, and depth to maximise the space while keeping in mind the client’s specific requirements. This included accommodating cupboards with doors that extend slightly forward in the bottom third of the unit.

After deciding upon the measurements, I eagerly began the design process for our custom made furniture. To accomplish detailed designs, we utilised the software suite ‘SketchUp’. We have access to three products: SketchUp Pro, a versatile 3D modelling program, Layout, and Style Builder. Using Layout allowed us to display measurements directly on the plan, improving design clarity. We relied on SketchUp Pro and Layout to develop this unit, resulting in a streamlined and efficient process.

To create custom made furniture in SketchUP Pro, we started by utilising measurement guides and a 3D model of the home section. Using this, we created a realistic 3D model of the bookshelf to visualise its full scale within the room. To enhance its realism, we then ran it through V-Ray software which rendered it almost photo-realistic.

After completing the rendering process, I proceeded to transfer the model to the Layout software ensuring that all measurements were clearly shown. This was crucial in providing a clear vision for the carpenter who would build the custom made furniture unit based on my renders.

The installation process

This project is still ongoing and we will update you soon as to how the library unit turned out. In the meantime you can see our other projects by clicking on this link:

From RosieEllis in INTERIORS

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