Custom Furniture: A Sustainable Option

Home storage: Messmate Timber bookcase, 240cm tall x 90cm wide

Flat pack furniture might be a good solution in the short term, but custom-made furniture is an investment you’ll enjoy for years to come. Flat packs are  like “fast fashion”. They may respond to a seasonal trend, or the needs for a low-cost solution. Yet the consideration of environmental impact ranks lower on the priority list.

Consumers may purchase flat pack with a reduced level of value, and an understanding that the item isn’t made to last a long time as it was (relatively) easy to put together and cheaper to purchase. At Kist Displays we are focused on producing timeless pieces that you want to live with and pass on to someone you care about when you no longer need it.

Choose your own timber! Display tables featured on the Kist website.
Tall table in Tasmanian Blackwood 120cmH, shorter table in Victorian Ash 100cmH.

Sustainable Furniture

So, what makes a piece of furniture sustainable?

Sustainable furniture has considered the materials, method and energy consumption used to make the piece. Using materials that are recycled, salvaged from waste or are easily renewable like Bamboo which grows quickly, increase the sustainability score.

Another factor that furniture designers can consider is any chemicals used to make the piece of furniture. Firstly there is the materials selection, using natural products such as natural Carnauba wax or non-toxic oil-wax. Secondly to reduce the negative environmental impact in production, (such as toxic fumes in the air). Lastly is the consideration of what returns to the land when they biodegrade.

As furniture designers we also talk about the longevity of a piece. The “Fast Fashion” flat pack furniture is built to be current and on-trend for the season and then its owners can move on to the next big thing. It is less common on hard rubbish pick up days to see handcrafted oak dining table sets or solid timber coffee tables being thrown out. This is because the designer has constructed them with the intention that they will survive and become a special family heirloom that can be lovingly passed down.

Custom made table for client’s home kitchen, made from Casuarina.

What is Eco Friendly Furniture

Is eco-friendly furniture the same as sustainable furniture? They are different yet linked and as important as the other.

Eco friendly furniture considers all of the above but primarily focuses on the source, i.e., material and how it travels to the customer. At Kist Displays we create pieces from locally sourced materials. A piece of salvaged wood could form a beautiful piece of furniture. Or as part of our recent project to create a Bunjil Nest for City of Melbourne NAIDOC Week event at Federation Square, we used salvaged branches from local trees and after the event the nest was gifted to a local day care as part of their Indigenous Garden for the children to learn from.

Event prop: Bunjil nest repurposed for Indigenous garden at childcare centre.

Custom Made Furniture – What’s the process?

The first step is to gather your ideas, reference pictures or sketches etc. and share them with us. We are experienced artisans and can bring your design needs to life.

Together we will talk through your concept, inspiration, the space where the finished custom piece will sit and any finishes that you have in mind. If you are a visual person, we can create a digital sketch of the finished product. Once you are happy with the design, we will move on to a quote to approve the final design, issue an invoice and then we commence the manufacturing.

When your custom designed piece of furniture is finished you can pick it up from the studio in Melbourne or we can organise delivery. The final step is easy. Sit back and enjoy your custom piece of furniture and also be safe in the knowledge that by choosing to support a local artisan you are contributing to a more sustainable, eco-friendly planet.

Kist Displays specialises in display plinths, custom exhibit displays, mirror frames and timber side tables which are hand crafted in Melbourne, Australia. We ship worldwide and have helped many clients with custom designed projects that cater for many different events. To enquire or to share you idea with us, please contact Kist using our contact page.