Designing Furniture, 6 Things To Consider

Designing Furniture – Material And 6 Things To Consider

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Designing furniture is perhaps one of the most complicated things, as it can require particular skills and knowledge. We have been creating, developing, and manufacturing furniture for many years, so here are some of our top tips for designing furniture pieces.

To design a piece of furniture, you need to consider the ability of the person or manufacturer producing the furniture for you, particularly their quality and skillsets. You also need to consider the materials available to be used, the overall construction of the furniture piece, if it will be a K/D or non-K/D piece of furniture, and the finish and hardware of the furniture. All of these are essential elements that must be considered when designing any piece of furniture.

Table of Contents

Designing Furniture And The Manufacturer’s Ability

When designing a piece of furniture, especially if you are not going to make it yourself, you need to fully understand and be aware of the manufacturer’s abilities. These abilities would include things as:


If you want extremely high quality, the manufacturer is doing low to medium-quality production. In my opinion, it will be challenging to get them at a higher level for your products and designs. They may not have the skills and can do the kind of work you need.


Also, if you want to do very high-end quality and are doing a lower quality if you want to give them an order for production, they will probably not be happy as most high-end orders are of a lower quantity than the low to medium-end orders.

Skill Set

Another thing you need to understand is the skill sets of the factory. If the factory does not have the skill set you are looking for or the ability to obtain it, it won’t be easy to manufacture the furniture piece you are designing.

Designing Furniture Materials

The next step is understanding the materials you want to design the furniture. If you want to make a piece of furniture in solid wood but you do not understand solid wood or have anyone who can manufacture it, there will probably be a learning curve with solid wood. The same is true for almost any kind of furniture, as there are specific technical skills for each kind of furniture.

This is why you usually find a factory that does one kind of furniture for a reason in my opinion. They can get their economy-of-scale down for one kind of production. As there is a lot of technology involved in the materials for furniture production, here are a few things to look at:

The materials should be durable and able to last a long time.
  • Durability – A durable material is one of the first things you want to use. Furniture is a high-priced ticket item, and if things fall apart after a few months, the people buying your furniture will not be happy.
Man picking a good quality of hardwood for making furniture.
  • Quality – It is essential to know and understand the quality of materials used in production. This will also reflect back to the overall price point of the furniture item.
Make sure the materials are solid, strong, and thick.
  • Sturdiness – Furniture needs to be sturdy and be able to hold up for a long time. People sit on furniture or put things in furniture, so the materials used must be sturdy enough to be used for furniture production.

Designing Furniture and Construction

Furniture construction can be an entire degree or course for a college education. This is because the construction of the furniture is significant.

Here are a few basic things to look at for furniture construction:

Joint Construction

Almost all the furniture has some joints to it. The only items I think may not have a joint made from a mold, like a fiberglass table.

The rule is that the joints of the furniture must be strong. If you are making a chair, it must be strong enough to hold a person’s weight for the chair. If a table, it must be strong enough for the table to be used.

If the joints on the furniture are weak, the entire furniture piece will also be weak or will crack and fall apart. This is why the joints of a piece of furniture are essential.


A well-made furniture piece must be sturdy and not wobbly or creak. It should not tip over, so you have to get something to keep it steady or from falling over. A good piece of furniture should be steady on the ground.

Marks, Cracks, or Disfigured

If you see a piece of furniture with a large crack in, and that crack is not supposed to be there, then the chances are that it will continue to crack even more.

Choosing To Design Furniture K/D or Non K/D

There are two main kinds of furniture construction: K/D and non-K/D. The term K/D means Knock Down. So, a K/D piece of furniture would be a piece of furniture that would need to have some assembly for you to use.

IKEA’s furniture is usually K/D, as are other USA-based retailers such as Rooms to Go. Many of their items would also be K/D furniture that you would need to do some assembly once you bring them home.

A K/D piece of furniture is not necessarily a nasty quality piece. Many high manufacturers will K/D some of their furniture, like dining tables. The reason is that it helps ensure the piece arrives at the destination without damage. A well-made K/D item can be solid and stable.

Designing Finishes For Your Furniture Designs

In finishing furniture, it requires a lot of skill.

For furniture design, the finish on the furniture piece is significant. Not all manufacturers can do all finishes. It can require a lot of skill for some finishes, and for others, the manufacturer may not have the proper technical knowledge, skill, or equipment.

When you are looking to manufacture furniture items, you need to understand those who are manufacturing the furniture items for you. This may seem like common sense, but many people may forget or underestimate the importance.

Using Hardware On Your Furniture Designs

Hardware is another one of those things that can be difficult to get, especially during the development or sample phase. This is especially true if you need to have or want to have a specific hardware piece designed.

Sometimes, the mold costs of these newly designed furniture hardware pieces can cost more than the entire item you purchase. This is because most hardware is metal and will require a mold.

In our experience, many hardware factories do not want to make a few pieces of hardware. They usually require that you purchase a minimum quantity. This reason is that development costs are very high for this item.

Though designing a piece of furniture is not easy, if you look at it, consider these things as the manufacturer’s ability, the furniture construction, and the materials you are using. It will help ensure that your furniture piece will be of good quality and design.

Find out more about how Mondoro can help you create, develop, and manufacture excellent home decor and furniture products – don’t hesitate to contact me, Anita. Check out my email by clicking here or become a part of our community and join our newsletter by clicking here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when selecting materials for furniture design?

Consider durability, aesthetics, sustainability, and cost when choosing materials. Ensure they align with the intended function and design aesthetic of the furniture.

How important is the manufacturer’s capability in furniture design?

The manufacturer’s skills and capabilities are crucial. Assess their expertise to ensure they can effectively bring your design to life and meet quality standards.

What is the difference between Knock-Down (K/D) and Non-K/D furniture design?

Knock-Down (K/D) furniture is designed for easy assembly, often for shipping convenience. Non-K/D furniture comes pre-assembled. The choice depends on factors like shipping considerations and assembly methods.

How do I ensure the structural integrity of my furniture design?

Define the overall construction, including the frame, joints, and support systems. Adhere to sound engineering principles to ensure stability and durability.

What considerations are important for finish and hardware selection?

Choose finishes that complement the design and protect the material. Pay attention to hardware quality, such as handles and hinges, to enhance functionality and longevity.

Why is functionality and user experience important in furniture design?

Prioritizing functionality ensures the furniture serves its intended purpose effectively. Consider ergonomics, comfort, and ease of use to enhance the overall user experience.

How can I balance design expectations with budget constraints?

Evaluate the overall cost of materials, labor, and production. Seek a balance between quality and cost-effectiveness to ensure the final product aligns with both design expectations and budget limitations.

What role does sustainability play in furniture material selection?

Sustainable material choices are increasingly important. Consider materials with eco-friendly properties to align with environmental consciousness and industry trends.

Can I customize furniture designs to meet specific needs?

Yes, customization is common in furniture design. Work closely with manufacturers to tailor designs to specific requirements, ensuring the end product meets both functional and aesthetic needs.

How can I stay updated on the latest trends and techniques in furniture design?

Stay engaged with industry publications, attend design exhibitions, and collaborate with professionals. Networking and continuous learning help you stay informed about emerging trends and techniques in furniture design.

What Are Some Things to Look At When Considering A Solid Wood Furniture Manufacturer?

One of the things we look at when we go into a new solid wood furniture manufacturer is in-house kiln wood drying. We would also like to know if they understand how to join the wood correctly and have the equipment to do it. Also, if the manufacturer is in a hot and tropical climate, they have a dry room to help control the wood moisture levels. We like to work with factories that will cut and shape all the wood themselves and have in-house finishing facilities.

You can learn more by reading our blog on 5 Questions To Ask When Considering A Solid Wood Furniture Manufacturer by clicking here.

What About Recycled or Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

Reclaimed and recycled wood may seem the same, but they are not precisely the same. Recycled wood is wood that would have otherwise been discarded or not used. Wood is a naturally sustainable material as it can be regrown and replaced. There are a variety of furniture shapes and styles that can be used to make recycled pine furniture.

You can learn more by reading our blog on Recycled Pine Furniture, What You Need to Know by clicking here.

Anita Hummel
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