Miranda Salmon - Furniture Designer & Maker

Miranda Salmon - Furniture Designer & Maker

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Commission Process

Creating YOUR Piece of Furniture

So you would like a piece of furniture just for you but are perhaps a little unsure of the process?

If you’ve not commissioned a piece before – this is a good place to start. I’ve a few questions for you at the bootom of this page that might help you think through your ideas about what you want and to understand how the process works. Don’t worry if you are not sure about any of them – feel free to give me a ring to talk it through – at this stage there is no charge and I’ll be happy to help you with anything you are not sure of.

Most people come to me – and other makers – because they either can’t find what they want elsewhere or are looking for something special – perhaps to celebrate an anniversary or birthday.

So how does the commission process work?

Once you have begun to think through your ideas you can email me or give me a ring and we can arrange to meet.

I work with a 5 stage process:

1) Verbal Discussion of Your Requirements

We can either talk on the phone or arrange to meet and discuss what you are looking for. The questions in the box on this page may help you to think this through before we speak. At this point we can look at some ideas and I will be able to give you a general idea of the cost.

2) Design Brief

Once we feel that we are on the right sort of track we can arrange to sit down together to talk through your requirements in more detail. We’ll tease out more specific details and ideas from our initial discussion and draft out some initial designs. At this point it will be useful to have basic measurements to hand. We can discuss your particular needs, any functional aspects of the piece and the kind of timber, decoration and finish that you require. Either at this meeting or over the next 2-3 weeks I will create an initial design and a clearer idea of the cost.

3) Design Stage

If it feels as if we are going in the right direction then at this point I will ask for a ‘drawing fee’ - proportional to the likely end cost – to cover the time required to draw up more detail plans & costing. I will then draft out detailed designs and sketches and a final price. I will also work out likely timings – start and delivery date. This stage usually takes 4-8 weeks. As well as the actual time taken in producing drawings it is important to me to allow time to reflect on our discussions and distil some of the important ideas we have considered. Often it is in this reflective time that the individuality of a piece is born.

4) Agreement to Proceed

Having discussed the final drawings and costing I will draw up an agreement with the details and will take a first deposit payment. This is usually 1/3rd of the full cost and covers the cost of the materials. The 2nd 30% will be paid part way through the process and the final payment is made on delivery. If you would prefer I can also arrange to take payments in smaller regular instalments to spread the cost.

5) Production & Delivery

Once I have received the deposit I will proceed with selecting and ordering timber and other materials and will plan your project into my schedule. I will keep you informed of progress and will let you know when we are nearing completion in order to arrange a collection or delivery date.
As you can see – anything individually designed and handmade takes a little longer than its mass produced equivalent, but will have greater value, longevity and beauty – as well as being designed for your specific needs as you will have been involved in the process.

Have a think through the following questions – (if you prefer to make notes download the attached document and fill it in – you can then send it back to me if that would help.)

Questions for Commissions (PDF)

Questions for Commissions

  • What excites you about the idea of getting a piece made especially for you?
  • What are you looking for – table, sideboard, bench, etc
  • What is it that you want it to be able to do that you haven’t been able to find elsewhere e.g. does it need to fit a particular space or store a specific item?
  • What images do you have in your mind about it – shape, colour, tone, design etc?
  • Do you have a preference for a particular wood – oak, ash etc?
  • Have you an idea about the size – height, width, depth?