Welcome to the second in a mini series of ‘Ask Me About’ topics. Today I am going to focus on answering questions I often get asked about bespoke sofa design and manufacturing for contract furniture by those looking to refurbish a restaurant or hotel.
I have picked 5 questions based on some of the most frequently asked. Often questions are very venue or design specific, so I have selected a few general ones in the hope they can help the majority of people out there. However, if you have any specific questions on contract furniture design, that you would like to ask me, please contact me on the details at the bottom of this blog.
1. What is better – custom made or ready made for a restaurant sofa design?
First of all, let's talk about the ‘lingo’ and the difference between contract furniture design and manufacturing.
When it comes to manufacturing, commercial furniture isn’t ‘ready made’ because each design is made specifically for an order. There isn’t a warehouse full of ready made furniture in all the fabric choices. There are ready made designs that a factory will know how to build and have been built before, so they are tried and tested. When you ask for a bespoke design, you will be part of the design process designing an essential part of your custom piece that is handmade by one of our manufacturer partners.
2. What are the benefits of a bespoke restaurant sofa design?
Understanding your needs and how you want a piece of furniture to be used is vital to deciding if you want to use a ready made design or if you need a bespoke design. Often the answer lies in the space of the venue and how that space is to be used.
Whilst costs are always a factor, the costs of a bespoke sofa can rival that of a ready-made design, depending on fabric choices and sofa type. The timescales can rival and sometimes beat that of a ready made design sofa, because of the set up with our workshop partners.
If your space is a very large open plan space, you might want to use a bespoke dining sofa to separate the space and still keep an informal feel. The other option could be to use banquette seating but this would usually be more of a permanent fixture in the room and be less flexible in the way it can be easily moved for different functions.
3. What is the difference between a commercial grade bespoke sofa and a residential grade?
Commercial grade furniture has key differences over furniture that is made for residential use. This is especially true with sofas which generally get a lot of use and can be prone to wear and tear over a long period of time.
The first 3 things which comes to mind is:
- Meets commercial hospitality regulations (i.e crib 5 safety)
4. What is the difference to consider between an indoor and outdoor bespoke restaurant sofa
This comes to thinking about the difference between how you use indoor and outdoor furniture. A hospitality sofa designed for outside use needs to be water resistant in its materials. For example, marine plywood and galvanized steel. We would also need for this sofa to be movable but also heavy enough that it doesn’t blow over in the wind.
5. Is it worth refurbishing a restaurant bespoke sofa that is 5 years old or purchase a new one?
I would always recommend purchasing commercial furniture with end of life and recycling in mind. However, an older bespoke restaurant sofa can be given a new lease of life with new upholstery and foam.
If you have any questions regarding contract furniture design for your venue, please contact me on +44 (0)208 305 3130 or email [email protected]
Inside Out Contracts
Building 16, 42 Creek Road, London SE8 3FN
Sales: +44(0)20 8305 3130
Production: +44(0)20 8305 3136
Design: +44(0)20 8305 3139
Company No. 02841010
VAT No. 752 0164 61