June 6, 2019

4 Tips for Making Your Home One of a Kind

Considering Custom

A well-designed house reflects the unique lives and stories of the people who live within. I’ve found that one of the best ways to give each project its own distinctive identity is to weave custom elements throughout; but many are intimidated by the process of creating a custom piece and don’t know where to begin. Read on for four ways to incorporate custom furnishings and finishes, as well as tips for getting started!


Custom furniture can often be the solution to common interior design issues. It may be that a specific shape and size is needed or you have a mental picture of exactly what you want, but can’t seem to find it. That’s when you know it’s time to create something custom!

Marie Flanigan Interiors | Custom Bench by Joseph Company | Custom Dresser by Neal & Co.

When we’re ready to begin the custom furniture design process with one of our trusted collaborators, we begin by sketching the dream piece, pulling inspiration from past designs, or inventing a completely new creation. Once the vision is finalized, it’s time to draft the plans in AutoCad to define the exact dimensions and details. We then turn over the design to local artisans and craftsmen who bring the piece to life! The chosen materials depend on what fabricator we are working with and the specific needs the piece will meet. Many companies specialize in metalwork, carpentry, or upholstery, so do a little homework before you start to ensure your chosen vendor has the capabilities you need! Building something custom in this way ensures that we have the tightest control on the production process, and we are often able to check the progress of the piece along the way to make any adjustments as needed. Once completed, it is incredibly rewarding to see this type of  heirloom-quality item in all its handmade glory!


There are also furniture and textile manufacturers like Fabricut that provide readily-available silhouettes which can be customized with specialty fabrics, trims, and wood finishes. It’s a great way to create a personalized piece that will serve as a focal point of your space without too much legwork. When you’re spending time and resources on specialty furnishings, this route offers a wide variety of options and industry expertise to help ensure your new items will wear well and stand the test of time.

Expert Tip: Get creative with trim placement! Utilize contrasting yet complementary fabric to add textural interest. 

Window Treatments

When clients ask where they should invest their money, our top suggestions are — lighting, rugs, high-quality upholstery, and drapery. These elements have the power to transform a space; and though often overlooked, drapery is one of the most immediate means of elevating the style and comfort of your home.

Marie Flanigan Interiors | Drapery – Fabricut Almar White

Each of our designs are hugely inspired by nature and light, so we aim to dress windows in a way that draws the eye upward and outside, creating a peaceful and calming merger of exterior and interior.

Marie Flanigan Interiors | Drapery – Stroheim Avalon Coral

Whether you go for a tailored, minimalist roman shade or sky-high drapery in a dramatic color, window coverings reinforce the aesthetic tone of the room.


Let your walls do the talking with gorgeous custom wallcoverings. Specialty companies like Gracie, Porter Teleo and de Gournay give you the capability to specify custom colorways and design a completely one-of-a-kind wallpaper or mural.

Marie Flanigan Interiors | Whitney Port Breakfast Nook

We worked with Gracie to customize a modern take on an abstract garden design for Whitney Port’s kitchen.  A non-traditional white background served as a quiet canvas for layers of contemporary vines and blowing leaves. The effect was intended to connect the breakfast nook with the beautiful California hills beyond. As a sentimental touch, hummingbirds were hidden throughout the landscape, each representing a member of Whitney’s family. We love the opportunity to add symbolic meaning within wallcoverings as a special nod to our clients’ important milestones and dearest loved ones.

Gracie also created this dining room wallcovering, matching the colors to the clients’ Herend Queen Victoria wedding china – once again proving that the best custom pieces represent and help create joyful memories.

We also love breaking the mold by lining our walls with fabric. Here we used a rich textural suede that added some seriously character to this man cave.

What are some of your favorite ways to go custom? Drop us your suggestions below!


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