A bespoke finished Chinese cabinet.
A bespoke finished Chinese cabinet. iStock

Cost-effective tricks for beautiful bespoke furniture

I have long loved the word bespoke - and, I like to think, long before the word became as frequently used as it is today. Originally used to describe the handmade suits from London's Saville Row tailors, bespoke is now used to define unique designs across the board, including furniture and homewares.

Bespoke describes one-off pieces or, at the very least, designs that have been individually embellished or finished, with an appreciation for individuality, originality and quality.

There's the obvious finishes that we can apply, such as painting or sanding a piece of furniture to enhance the appearance of it. But over the years I've learnt there are a few other tricks.

For instance, few of us consider the impact of knobs or handles on doors, cupboards and cabinets. But these tiny (and practical) details can make a world of difference with little effort.

For instance, I recently acquired a beautiful mirrored chest of drawers. I loved it, but I did not find the small, cheap looking silver knobs remotely attractive. I hunted down some exquisitely handmade distressed mirrored and brass knobs from the other side of the globe online - and voila! For less than $50, the mirrored chest of drawers is vastly improved.

Another simple change to a piece of furniture was made by possible by re-spraying a dull, silver metal drum coffee table. For less than $20 and with an easy 20 minutes of effort, this item was transformed into a one-off, bespoke antique gold metal coffee table. The same goes for adding antique brass upholstery tacks to an otherwise plain bedhead. It too transformed for around $20, plus an hour of gentle hammering.



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