The custom sideboard Melbourne woodworker Chris Wann created for his client, Amanda, truly differs from any we’ve seen before. Steph unravels the story behind this pegboard galore piece.
Leave it to Handkrafted to ease the process of commissioning one lovely household addition – a piece of furniture – while a customer prepares for the arrival of another miraculous creation: a tiny human.
Who would tackle this much at once? Handkrafted customer Amanda, of Melbourne, that’s who.
During a full-on nesting period while pregnant last year, Amanda decided her home could use more storage; specifically, a Tasmanian oak and pegboard sideboard to become the pièce de résistance of her dining room.
“I searched high and low in the shops I usually find things,” Amanda recalled, “but I couldn’t quite find what I had in my head.”
While exploring our website, Amanda was surprised by the number of local woodworkers she’d never heard of.
“I went through the featured furniture makers and loved the look of the work being quite modern and unique,” Amanda said.
“I knew I would find someone to make exactly what I envisioned,” she continued. “With the wealth of talent associated with your company, I never had a doubt that I’d find a really good furniture maker.”
That special someone turned out to be Chris Wann, a Melbourne-based furniture maker who favours mid-century design and dark timbers with ample grain character. Chris created his maker profile a few months ago and has completed three Handkrafted projects thus far.
“Handkrafted has been really great for business and I’ve made some good projects,” Chris said.
“Amanda sent through a picture of something she liked and told me what she was after,” Chris explained. “So, I designed a bit around that brief and put my own spin on it. She was happy with the design, so we went forward with the project.”
The ‘post a brief’ process Chris refers to allows customers to be as precise or vague in their specifications as they desire. Amanda submitted a very comprehensive project description with clear instructions for the custom sideboard she imagined.
Chris said that he appreciated Amanda’s attention to detail. “I prefer when clients have an idea of the size and type of timber they want,” he explained. “It gives you the chance to be a bit more creative.”
One of Amanda’s unique ideas was to incorporate white pegboard for a modern touch. Chris had never worked with pegboard before, but said he enjoyed the experience. “It worked really well actually,” he commented.
Amanda, too, seemed thrilled with the process.
“Chris helped guide me through what was possible with framing the pegboard and how it would be used in combination with the timber,” she praised. “He was great in assisting me with dimensions to fit the room, and a few little tweaks to the legs and shape and different things.”
“I thought Chris was so professional. We worked together really well.”
To the pleasure of both Amanda and Chris, cost never became a point of tension, thanks to our briefing process. “People can be very specific and upfront about the budget,” Amanda explained. “Everyone’s in complete agreeance with open communication right up front. I think that’s so great.”
“I was happy to pay that kind of price for a custom made piece,” Amanda remarked.
“The price was brilliant for a custom made item plus delivery. I thought it was very reasonable.”
To top it off, Chris’s quick turnaround of the custom sideboard amazed Amanda… especially after the process had to be put on hold due to baby’s impending arrival.
“We ended up with a finished piece that was not only unique to my brief, but Chris delivered it and helped me install it into my home,” Amanda exclaimed. “It was fantastic!”
“It’s a one-off piece no one else has, it’s likely to last a lot longer, and it’s locally made,” Chris explained of Amanda’s piece and buying bespoke generally. “You’re helping out people in your area.”
“That piece will always remind [my partner and I] of the time in our lives when we had Tom,” Amanda gushed. “We wanted it to be a bit of a feature and also complement our existing dining setting.”
“We got exactly what we wanted going through a custom furniture maker. It’s such a standout piece.”
…and it seems the sideboard is just the beginning. Amanda has already begun thinking about home renovations, new baby and all. Talk about go-getter! Within the next couple years, Amanda hopes to start from scratch with most of her furniture.
“It will be something we will hold onto – knowing that Handkrafted exists,” Amanda said. “When we start rebuilding, we will be able to have pieces made to fit the design of the new family home.”
As for Chris’ future with Handkrafted, he hopes to continue to “get jobs that are [his] style and connect with clients wanting to get furniture made by collaborating with people.”
Between babyproofing existing furniture and other short-term projects around the house, Chris and Amanda plan to work together for the foreseeable future. Give it a few years and you’ll likely find Chris outfitting Amanda’s new home. But, more on that later…
Handkrafted has brought together Australia’s most comprehensive community of independent bespoke furniture makers. With hundreds of craftspeople and artisans that can cater to all styles, budgets and geographies, we’ll match you to the right maker for your custom furniture project.
Commissioning a piece of furniture through Handkrafted is a unique and fulfilling experience. Support local makers and kickstart your own project today.