The New Custom: Companies that Let You Take the Design Reins

The New Custom: Companies that Let You Take the Design Reins

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Julia Brenner
Oct 27, 2016

There's a new custom game in town and it's built on the idea that bespoke doesn't need to mean elite, unattainable or exorbitantly priced. Companies are finding creative ways (often selling directly to consumers via the Internet) to offer custom-made products at accessible prices. The world of made-for-you sofas, mattresses, wallpaper and beyond (even tiny homes!) is opening up to a larger consumer base and that's pretty exciting. Check out these 10 brands changing the playing field.

(Image credit: Mintwood Home)

Custom-Designed Textiles & Wallpaper

Spoonflower (whose Yabane wallpaper is seen in this post's lead image) gives customers the chance to create custom textiles, wallpaper and wrapping paper using their own designs. The process is very straightforward: simply upload your design, preview, apply design to the medium of your choice, and print to order (there is no minimum quantity required). Spoonflower uses eco-friendly printing practices, water-based inks, and the site offers in-depth tips, tutorials, and opportunities for designers to exchange ideas and sell their designs on the site.

The Detroit Wallpaper Company will work with clients to either create (or re-create) a specific pattern that may not be available or will use a client's sketches to design a custom pattern. The process involves sending in an image or spec and Detroit Wallpaper Company takes it over from there. They are also available to create custom painted murals and photographic wall murals.

Mintwood Home gives you the opportunity to build your own pillow (like the pretty lumbar version above) from the stuffing up, starting with the size and type of pillow (bed, sofa, chair), to the fabric style and pattern, to preferred edging. Pricing varies depending on pillow size and fabric choice, but swatches are free to inspect IRL before committing.

Custom Sofas

Interior Define offers consumers made-to-order, high-quality custom sofas at a variety of price points, which is an exciting alternative to settling for a big-box sofa or feeling locked out of high-end custom models due to affordability. At Interior Define, customers start by choosing a base sofa model—they have a variety of their own designs as well collaborative designs, including a sofa line by our very own Maxwell. Each model can be customized in regard to length, fabric and leg style "without significantly altering the price."

(Image credit: Helix Sleep)

Custom Mattresses

Helix Sleep asks customers to begin their mattress buying process by completing a confidential Sleep Quiz that covers everything from age of sleeper(s), height and weight, body shape, sleeping preference, any sleep-related medical conditions, mattress preference, and a few other specifics. According to Helix, this information is used to create a customized mattress that "measures four distinct mattress performance characteristics: feel, support, temperature regulation, and point elasticity" in order to provide consumers with optimal individual comfort. Every mattress is hand-assembled in Illinois using 100-percent USA-made materials (go Team USA manufacturing!) and is offered with a 100-night sleep trial. A queen mattress starts at $900.

Customized serving trays available from Mark & Graham
(Image credit: Mark & Graham)

Custom Home Decor

Because sometimes, customizing means adding something a little extra personal, Mark & Graham offers a wide range of customized personalization options for home decor. Customers can add elegant monogrammed initials, words, or sayings to home goods ranging from cozy blankets to gorgeous copper office supplies.

Art Factory prides itself on working with clients to help them "create their dream project," whether it's lighting, furniture or hardware. Designers based at their Scottsdale, Arizona, headquarters work closely with each customer with each item being ordered, which is then built on site and shipped directly to the buyer.

A versatile commuter bike model from Brilliant.
(Image credit: Brilliant)

Custom Bicycles

Brilliant Bicycles builds and ships customized bicycles beginning at $299. While there are two basic models to choose from, customers can customize their model in terms of color, size, and number of speeds. Each bike is delivered directly to the consumer from the manufacturing floor, and Brilliant prides itself on offering a quality custom-made product at a reasonable price.

Heritage Bicycles are built and customized in their Chicago bike shop then shipped directly to the consumer. Heritage offers a selection of base models, and because they build every bike from the ground up, they are able to add customized details like painted fenders and custom rims.

Custom home built by Tiny Heirloom
(Image credit: Tiny Heirloom)

Custom Tiny Homes (what the heck, right?)

You may have caught the Portland-based company, Tiny Heirloom, on HGTV or the DIY Network, as the tiny home lifestyle has become a real thing over the last few years. According to their website, Tiny Heirloom is the only tiny home builder in the game that can "truly claim to build a pure custom tiny home." Each home begins with the folks at Tiny Heirloom working with each client to create a one-of-a-kind model beginning with exterior construction and extending to individualized layouts, fixtures and interior design. Their base model begins at $89,000 but "the sky's the limit" in regard to customization. The Tiny Heirloom photo gallery showcases an inspiring display of customization possibilities.

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