At first glance, having furniture custom-made might seem an extravagance, but it's often the most sensible option for householders who have clear style preferences and restrictions on space.
"Most people in Hong Kong have smaller apartments [than elsewhere], so it can be difficult finding furniture they like which also fits," says Queenie Wong, director of Good Quality Interiors, which is located in Oceanic Industrial Centre, close to Horizon Plaza. "We can help customers design exactly what they want."
The firm specialises in upholstered furniture and soft furnishings, in particular sofas, armchairs, beds, dining chairs and curtains.
A team of in-house experts is on hand to guide customers through the basic steps of the design process. They help to interpret ideas and offer advice on practicalities such as size and the use of different materials. This can involve discussion, for instance, about whether the stuffing for a sofa should be harder or softer, whether to go for foam or feather mix or kapok, and which colours, fabrics and finish will work best.
If necessary, the team can produce a series of detailed drawings for customers to study, compare and confirm. Once choices are finalised, it then takes three to four weeks to manufacture items in the firm's factory in Shenzhen.
"Not many retailers have their own manufacturing base so close to Hong Kong," Wong says. "But it means we can ensure superior craftsmanship and the strictest quality control. We also emphasise the individuality of each custom-made piece."
Reflecting the size and layout of so many local apartments, the firm is fielding more orders these days for "multifunction" items, such as sofa-beds and recliners.
"With thoughtful design, these help customers make the most of a small space and get the best out of each room," Wong says.
Also, she notes the increasing interest in hydraulic beds. Having a mechanism to lift them can effectively create significant extra storage space in a bedroom.
"They are becoming quite popular and we expect that trend to continue as more people realise custom-made furniture does not have to be a lot more expensive than ready-made."