For our return customers it's always obvious that your purchase of Amish furniture might include a change here or there. For new customers it is less obvious. Sometimes we increase the height of a dining table to accommodate a wheelchair, and other times it might be the opposite, to lower the height from the standard 30 inches to better fit some antique chairs whose seat height is lower than the standard 18 inches. Although these would be considered custom changes, they add little cost to the final product, if any, and might simply be termed "modifications."
More recently a customer asked if they might change the curve to the leg of a three legged plant stand. This is truly considered a custom order as we draw off the profile of the leg, make the necessary "slenderizing" adjustment and "voila" we have a new look. If we're lucky other customers will like the change too and we will sell more plant stands. This custom change might only increase the final price by $20 but will give the customer a unique "one-of-a-kind,' or maybe "first-of-its-kind" accessory.
This project also reminded me that we need a good square plant stand--one sturdy enough to hold a heavy plant or tree, and thus we have ordered 18, 24, 30, 36 and 2 inch plant stands in our most popular end table series, the Ann Arbor.
Storage cabinets or "cupboards" (somehow that word sounds a bit archaic) are perhaps one of the most often modified items we sell. Whether for the sun porch to store outdoor utensils, the bathroom to store towels and soaps, or the kitchen for food stuffs, appliances or spices, door cupboards come in 1, 2, 3 and 4 door styles, with drawers and without drawers, with tin or raised panel doors, in oak, maple, cherry or hickory, not to mention quartersawn oak or character cherry, and can have as many or few shelves inside as desired. The height might be determined by the window sill above it, the width by the chimney or counter and the depth by the necessary walkway. In any case, the final price will deviate little from the original.
A customer recently asked if they could get our top-selling Shaker Server in a smaller size. Here the price goes down. She wanted one door and three drawers to the side, but retained the "Hoosier Style" pullout on top to fashion her perfect microwave stand. But the price did go up when she decided this was the perfect place to add a two door bookcase for her cookbooks. Now there a multi-service piece.
Alas, sometimes "custom" gets more detailed. Recently a customer wondered aloud if she might be able to custom upholster her new expensive dog bed to fit under a sort of three sided, desk-computer stand-entertainment center combo. Two months later, after numerous emails, with pauses in-between to figure our sizes and shapes, the order was placed and once the three-tiered center arrives, Simon in our upholstery department will refit the dog's bed. The Amish builders were intrigued by the project and look forward to completing a truly one-of-a-kind creation.
Custom designs take House of Oak & Sofas in many directions but in the end provide our customers with solutions that make their homes more enjoyable. If you have a quote request stop in today and give us the opportunity to provide a satisfactory solution.
Ask Merle is a monthly column where Merle talks about furniture and the fun part of decorating.
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