Designing furniture is perhaps one of the most complicated things to design as it can require some very specific 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 that is producing the furniture for you, and in particular their quality and skillsets. You also need to consider the materials that are 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, the finish, and hardware of the furniture.
All of these are important elements that need to be considered when you are designing any piece of furniture.
Whenever you are designing a piece of furniture, especially if you are not going to make it yourself, then 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 but the manufacture is doing low to medium quality production it will be, in my opinion, very difficult to get them at a higher level for your products and designs. They may not have the skills and be set up to do the kind of work you need.
Also if you want to do very high-end quality and they 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.
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 will be difficult to manufacture the furniture piece you are designing.
Knowing and understanding the materials that you want to design the furniture with is really the next step. If you want to do 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 for almost any kind of furniture as there are specific technical skills for each kind of furniture.
This is why in my option you usually find a factory that does one kind of furniture for a reason. 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:
- Durability – One of the first things is that you want to use is a material that has durability. 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.
- Quality – It is important to know and understand what quality of materials are being used in the production. This will also reflect back to the overall price point of the furniture item.
- 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.
Talking about furniture construction can be an entire degree or courses for a college education. This is because the construction of the furniture is very important. Here are a few basic things to look at for furniture construction:
Almost all the furniture has some joints to it. The only items I think may not have a joint something that 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. So this is why the joints of a piece of furniture are very important.
A well-made furniture piece needs to be sturdy and should not be wobbly or creak. It should not tip over so that 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 that has a large crack in, and that crack is not supposed to be there then chances are that will just continue to crack even more.
K/D or Non K/D
There are two main kinds of furniture construction as 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 it. IKEA’s furniture is usually K/D. As are other USA based retailers 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 is furniture is not necessarily a bad quality piece of furniture. In fact, many high manufacturers will K/D some of their furniture as dining tables. The reason is that it helps to ensure the piece will arrive at the destination without damage. A well-made K/D item can be very strong and stable.
For furniture design, the finish on the furniture piece is very important. Not all manufacturers can do all finishes. It can require a lot of skill for some finishes to be done and for other finishes, the manufacture may not have the proper technical knowledge, skill, or equipment.
This is why when you are looking to manufacture furniture items you need to understand the ability of those who are manufacturing the furniture items for you. This may seem like common sense, but many people may forget or underestimate the importance of this.
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 are purchasing. This is because most hardware is metal and will require a mold.
In our experience many of the hardware factories do not want to just make a few pieces of hardware, they will usually require that you purchase a minimum quantity. This reason is that development costs are very high for this kind of item.
Though designing a piece of furniture is not easy, if you look and consider these things as the manufacturer’s ability, the furniture construction, and the materials you are using, it will help to ensure that your piece of furniture will be of the right quality and design.
What Are Somethings to Look At When Considering A Solid Wood Furniture Manufacturer?
Some of the things we look at when we go into a new solid wood furniture manufacture is if they have in-house kiln wood drying. We also like to know if they understand how to properly join the wood and if they have the equipment to do it. Also if the manufacturer is in a hot and tropical climate, if 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 also have in-house finishing facilities.
You can find out 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 to be the same thing but they are not exactly the same. Recycled wood is wood that would have otherwise been discarded or not used. Wood is a naturally sustainable as 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.