Custom Furniture: Create Unique Heirlooms for Your Houston Home

Interior Design, Lifestyle

At Laura U Design Collective, we pride ourselves on creating spaces that embody our two mantras: “livable luxury” and “for the love of home.” Produced through a partnership between our clients, interior designers and makers, custom-made furniture perfectly reflects those two philosophies. With bespoke fabrics and hand-molded frames, custom-designed furniture is the epitome of “livable luxury.” Designed with your family’s unique makeup, aesthetic vision and lifestyle in mind, custom furniture is truly crafted “for the love of home.” In this post, we look back on our favorite collaborations with Houston furniture makers House + Town while underscoring the value of a custom piece. After reading, head over to our YouTube channel to catch a two-part interview series between LUDC’s Shannon Smith and House + Town’s Fabian Segura.


Working with House + Town on Custom Furniture



Through a highly collaborative process, our clients create timeless heirlooms. These pieces enhance their homes, serve their families and travel with them from place to place. When working with House + Town on custom-designed furniture, we start in the studio with discovery and inspiration phases.

Together, the designer and client pore over mood boards, magazine photos, social media and other images that might spark inspiration. We interview the client about his or her lifestyle, so we understand exactly what they need from each piece of custom-designed furniture.

After the discovery process, our team sends an order over to House + Town, so they can enter the engineering and production phases. House + Town develops the piece according to our specs and their expertise.

Mid-way through, our team visits House + Town to “test-sit” each piece. We collaborate with the artisans at House + Town to select upholstery fabric, stains and other elements that make a custom design so special. Finally, we furnish the client’s home with these bespoke pieces.


10 Benefits of Bespoke Furniture



#1 Designed to Fit Awkward Spaces


Historic homes often feature incredible architectural elements the owners wish to retain. However, some of these elements can be difficult to design around.

One of the key benefits of custom-designed furniture is that it is made to fit those awkward spaces. This allows you to honor the history of your home without sacrificing flow or functionality.


#2 Suits the Scale of Your Home


as our braeswood place project shows, custom furniture suits the scale of your home


When choosing furniture for your home, be sure to consider the scale. As we note in our post about timeless design, furniture that is either too large or too small can throw off the balance entirely.

In Texas, both interior and exterior living spaces tend to be quite large. This can be an adjustment for homeowners moving in from out of state.

Working with a designer and a furniture maker ensures each piece in your home makes sense in the space. Each piece relates appropriately to the next.

For example, our team worked with El Dorado Woodworks and House + Town to create furniture that fits the living spaces at Braeswood Place. A custom El Dorado Wood live-edge table with brass ModShop base serves as the defining feature of the dining room pictured above.

House + Town created the custom rift sawn oak framed dining chairs pictured above. Together, we selected a channel tufted Theo performance leather in Smoke by Allan Knight to ensure the chairs can handle everyday use.


#3 More Sustainable Than Mass-Produced Pieces


custom designed furniture pieces are More Sustainable Than Mass-Produced Pieces


In many cases, custom-made furniture is more sustainable than the mass-produced pieces found in big box stores. Careful attention is paid to the materials and construction of each custom-made piece.

Unlike fast furniture, handmade furniture is made to last. Designed to suit a family’s personal style and individual needs, custom furniture is more timeless than trendy.


#4 Molds to Your Body’s Unique Proportions


As noted above, custom furniture is tailored to meet the needs of the person who commissions it. Cushions are firmed or softened, and backrests are elongated or shortened so that each piece molds to your body’s unique proportions.


#5 Serves Your Entire Family


bespoke furniture serves the needs of everyone in your family


What good is a standard sectional if members of your household outnumber the sofa’s seats? Custom-made furniture serves your entire family — including pets!

For our Braeswood Place clients, we worked with House + Town to create several custom pieces. LUDC designer Shannon Smith met weekly with these clients for nearly three years!

While some of their children live at home and others have moved away, our clients wanted a space that seamlessly hosts their entire family. For this family of six, we selected large-scale seating arrangements in the family room, living room and other shared spaces.

Pictured above on the left are two custom House + Town channel-tufted, recessed base ottomans with a classic gray wood base stain. We chose a sapphire blue fabric from Wolf Gordon, the color of which is called “Huron.”


#6 Resists Damage Without Sacrificing Style


On the right is a stunning House + Town headboard and custom bench. The bench features lucite and brass legs.

On the right is a stunning House + Town headboard and custom bench. The bench features lucite and brass legs and is upholstered with Villa Nova Isola Ink fabric.


With custom-designed furniture, there is no need to sacrifice style in favor of durability. House + Town often upholsters ottomans, benches and other pieces with hard-wearing performance fabrics that last while looking beautiful.

House + Town customized much of the furniture in the pool house of our Braeswood Place project. In the living room pictured above on the left, we chose a custom House + Town sofa upholstered in Pindler and Pindler fabric. House + Town also reupholstered the client’s armchair in a Geronimo collection Zinc Santa Fe rainbow fabric.

Between the entertainment console and sofa is a House + Town storage ottoman with hinged top. The leatherette with which House + Town upholstered the ottoman is similar to that which was used in the main house living room. However, the leatherette is more durable and pool-friendly.


#7 Results in a Bespoke Piece that Doesn’t Exist Anywhere Else


handmade furniture Results in a Bespoke that Doesn't Exist Anywhere Else


Because custom furniture is crafted to reflect your individual needs, your personal style and the history of your home, it is truly bespoke. Together, LUDC designers and House + Town artisans review every last detail of a client’s home to ensure the furniture flows.

As Fabian Segura notes in his interview with Shannon, “most manufacturers offer a standard finish” that looks just fine in many homes. Segura and his team take a different approach. They “nail down the exact finish based on the flooring of the home, the colors of the wall, etc” for a perfect match.


#8 Creates an Instant Heirloom


Beyond adding aesthetic value and functionality to your home, custom-made furniture also creates an instant heirloom. When working with artisans and designers, homeowners receive an expertly crafted piece that lasts decades with proper care.

Designed specifically for your family, custom furniture can easily be passed down to future generations. Unlike custom millwork and built-ins, bespoke furniture can move with you and your family wherever you may go.


#9 Allows You to Restore and Reimagine Inherited Pieces


choosing custom furniture Allows You to Restore and Reimagine Inherited Pieces


In conversation with Shannon Smith, CEO of House + Town Fabian Segura comments on the value of repurposing and refinishing existing furniture. Segura notes that custom furniture allows you to create something new “from an already unique piece with such history and richness for the family.”

Update heirloom pieces to be functional and fit your style, so they don’t sit unused in the garage gathering dust. Instead, furniture you have inherited transforms into a piece that is both special and well-suited to your space.

This process not only allows you to restore vintage or antique furniture to their former glory. It can also help you bring new life to damaged or outdated pieces. Whether replacing upholstery fabric, adding more cushion or enlarging the piece, working with a designer ensures your old furniture fits your new home.


#10 Can Be Augmented With Smart Elements


Last but not least, custom furniture can be augmented with smart elements that enhance its functionality. For example, we often add integrated lighting, outlets and other details to headboards, vanities, nightstands, and sofas.


Creating a Custom Home with Laura U Design Collective


Creating a Custom Home with Laura U Design Collective


Created to match the scale of each room and the personal style of its inhabitants, handmade furniture celebrates your home and family. However, bespoke furniture is not the only way to meet your needs, express your aesthetic vision and honor the history of your home.

Custom millwork, bespoke built-ins, vintage doors, and even hand-plastered range hoods all tie a space together. Get in touch with the team at LUDC to learn more about creating a custom interior that exceeds your every expectation.