Have you ever thought about commissioning a piece of custom made furniture? Some people are surprised to find commissioning bespoke furniture is an option. Not only are there skilled furniture makers out there creating affordable custom furniture, but buying custom made has a number of other benefits over mass produced alternatives.
Good custom made furniture will perfectly suit the space it occupies. When you work together with an artisan to create a unique piece of furniture, you can make it exactly to your taste, tailored to your needs. Plus, you are supporting the makers from concept to delivery. Precisely crafted, durable and structurally logical furniture will far exceed any other furniture options. Technically you can achieve anything, especially if you're using a versatile material like plywood.
The focus of custom made furniture is quality. Making a one-off item involves a level of care and focus that will never be matched by mass-produced goods. At Happy Sunday for example, our furniture makers are motivated by the opportunity to treat each piece of plywood furniture like a work of art.
When you buy handcrafted bespoke furniture you are living more sustainably. Tonnes of furniture is thrown away each year. At furniture makers like Happy Sunday, not only are we producing quality furniture made to last, but because we specialise in plywood furniture, it's a sustainable choice.
Of course, client relations are crucial. There are different approaches to commissioning a piece of furniture. The degree of client-maker collaboration will define the creative boundaries. You can be collaborative, working closely with the furniture maker, you can completely specify the design you want, or you can trust the maker and leave it in their hands. Either way, it's lots of fun which means you'll enjoy your new one-off piece of furniture even more.
If you feel like you're seeing plywood everywhere at the moment, you probably are. We have come to recognise the beauty in this affordable building material and its use is taking off in everything from home furniture to office fit outs throughout NZ.
There are plenty of materials and finishes that have had fashionable moments but they tend to come and go. Plywood seems destined to become a classic as its popularity in the furniture industry keeps spreading.
There is a trend for materials at the moment that have strong authentic characteristics and extreme tactility. That might be about us wanting to feel more connected with nature. Natural timber for example, has an integrity or honesty about it that we trust. It's simple, straightforward and familiar.
We also appreciate modern innovative materials because they are new and exciting, luxurious and versatile. In a way, plywood has the advantage of being both these things - traditional and modified. Plywood is actually made up of many layers of real wood and because it is cut in sheets, the authentic wood grain is particularly prominent.
However these multiple super thin layers are glued together to form a material that is not natural wood, but a new material - plywood. Being a manufactured product, plywood is great value which is good for the design world because it encourages creativity and the exploration of new ideas. It is exceptionally strong and surprisingly flexible - ply can be used everywhere and on everything.
If you really want to bring out the best in plywood furniture however, it takes an expert. Like any timber craft, to make the most of plywood furniture takes time, skill, attention to detail and a good understanding of your material - then it's possible to transform a room into something really special.
Kiwis are falling for the wonders of ply. Home owners and businesses are turning to plywood over more traditional timber in increasing numbers. Here are a few of the advantages and benefits of plywood that explain why the popularity of plywood furniture is flourishing.
It may be engineered, but plywood is stil real wood and it's a sustainable product. In spite of the processing it requires plywood is the most efficient use of fast-growing, renewable softwoods. The inner layers are made with very thin sheets of wood from logs that generally wouldn’t make good solid timber, ensuring there is very little waste.
Strong and flexible
There's a lot of creative scope with ply. It's lightweight, flexible, user friendly and lends itself to many furniture designs that solid wood does not. Plywood is also an incredibly strong material. To make it, one layer is laid over the other at right angles, glued and compressed. That also means plywood is really reliable. Whereas wood streches and warps and can behave unpredictably, plywood's cross grains mean it moves very little.
Plywood furniture has a simple, functional beauty, well represented by the Scandinavian aesthetic. Iconic examples of modern furniture design such as Eames’ LCW chair and Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool also demonstrate just how innovative and striking plywood furniture can be. The outer veneers can be silky, gorgeous woods like cherry, birch and maple. When it's well designed, plywood’s even layering of dark and light wood makes an attractive detail on modern furniture.
Plywood is proof that great furniture needn't be made from expensive materials. The outer layer may be a veneer of quality hardwood but the layers inside are made with lesser quality material which is where you can enjoy the savings. You get a large sheet of clean, usable material, making the value of plywood hard to deny.