THE O'KELLEY'S DIFFERENCE
We offer this synopsis of the market to help explain the difference that O’Kelley’s can mean as you seek to make one of the most important purchases of your life; the furniture for your home. The last decade has brought about exceptional consolidation and change in the upholstered furniture industry. These changes can be confusing, but the current structure can be identified in a three-tiered marketing approach. These current trends greatly affect the quality of the product and where the consumer can look to find value.
Base Market (Tier 1) – The base market for upholstered furnishings is floor-planned and financed furniture where multiple pieces are sold and financed at one time. This furniture is characterized by plywood construction or pressed wood pulp frames, basic cushion construction and inexpensive upholstery fabrics. This furniture will not last long. That’s the idea! This market is largely about floor planning and purchase financing at high interest rates.
Middle Market (Tier 2) – This market is now represented by large, name brand firms who have the frames, cushions and upholstery made in China and elsewhere. Catalog and online marketing give this approach an appeal to the younger set but the overall quality and a lasting return on investment is just not there. This is largely due to short cuts in the manufacturing process and cheaper materials used in seating. It is not uncommon to find frames made from plywood and the use “no sag springs” instead of “eight way hand tied springs”. A great deal of the cost in this market passed on to the consumer is in the form of advertising, catalog presentation and transportation. One company has as a marketing plan to build large showrooms that show how the upholstered furniture will look in a very elaborate and accessorized setting. This company is priced above the middle market and suggests in its presentation an association with the high-end market. The look of the rooms created by the expensive accessories also suggests you can take the room home with you. The psychology appeals to the instant gratification approach and seems to avoid designer fees since a built in consultant is offered as part of the price. The furniture is of good basic construction but falls short of enduring comfort due to poor cushion design and construction. This is still middle market furniture with a higher price tag. Keep in mind that somebody has to pay for the showrooms! A major point to be made here is that there is no substitute for a good designer to help you lay-out and decorate an entire home or just a room.
High-End Market (Tier 3) – This part of the market has seen great consolidation. Many of the well known brands of upholstered furniture have kept their familiar names but are a part of a larger capital formation. Some of these well known names are made elsewhere and some are still made in the USA. There is one common change in the high-end upholstered furniture market in that as the consolidation has taken place the cushion construction has now been sub-contracted to a different cushion manufacturer. It is rare to find any of these sub-contractors using true “natural down” blended with feathers even in this higher price area. It is also impossible to customize or vary construction of a cushion for your individual comfort. This is a case of “one size fits all”! After you have purchased your upholstered furniture it will be impossible for you to make changes to your seating. For more information on cushion construction see our Upholstery Cushion page. One marketing technique used in this area is to develop a furniture line around a furniture designer’s name. This "Branding" is meant to connote top-quality upholstered furniture construction and not just a stated esthetic design. This is done at considerable expense to the consumer since no “named designer” of upholstered furniture can truly affect the quality of the product. In some cases using this approach, can in fact, mask a poorly made product that has been manufactured by the low cost provider and has nothing to do with the creative side of upholstered furniture design. For the most part upholstered furniture in this category is made with a hardwood frame, double doweled at the joints and eight way hand tied springs. This will be the basic construction in a $10,000 sofa or $4,000 sofa. The $6,000 difference here will be “branded” name recognition of the designer or the upholstered furniture line. A disproportionate amount of the price to the consumer will be the cost to bring the product to market as in research development, advertising and transportation as compared to labor and materials.
We trust the above narrative will help you understand what we believe are four distinct advantages that O’Kelley’s offers in our custom upholstery and why our work is a high-end market value.
1) Upholstery Construction – Hardwood frame and 8-way, hand-tied springs and double doweled/glued joints as you expect to find in any high-end frame construction. We use ash which is a kin to oak and maple wood for finishing legs and trim. There is no substitute for this construction and when used this approached can not be exceeded by any manufacturer at any price.
2) Custom Upholstery Details – Custom Upholstery Details – O’Kelley’s furniture can be made to your room measurements and tailored to your personal physical comfort. Most high-end furniture will not offer this type of personalization or customization. This will mean your own selection of seat height, interior seat depth, arm height and back pitch. Our custom upholstered furniture can be literally fitted to your body as the entire process unfolds. If you live in another city we can guide you through the process by discussing with you what you have in your current upholstered furniture and what you want in and on your new upholstered furniture. We invite you to read all the pages of our website to familiarize yourself with the O’Kelley’s approach to our work and to view the quality.
3) Upholstery Cushion Construction – For your custom made piece of upholstered furniture this is the most important element and the construction can be personalized for support and softness as you like. Please read the indoor upholstery cushions page of our website.
4) Custom Hand Finishes – We can help you get the finish on legs or an entire wood base. You can select from our samples or give us one you want to match for style and color finish.
O’Kelley’s Custom REUpholsterY & FURNITURE DESIGN
In summary; an O’Kelley’s Custom Upholstery customer will find that the total cost for our fine work is not in research, design name, or transportation cost. Our work is the sum total of high quality materials and experienced expert craftsmanship that will represent a value for a lifetime!
RECENT REUPHOLSTERY PROJECTS COMPLETED FOR CLIENTS ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST
Click on any image to view more recent furniture reupholstery projects.
Our craftsmen and women offer the finest in custom furnishings for your home.
Follow the links below for specific information on all of our reupholstery services.