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Buying a bed handmade vs one that is mass produced Transcription made between Alvaro Rodriguez the Head Designer of Luxury Bespoke Beds and Mark Blakey. Produced October 2011.


This transcription discusses the benefits of handmade vs mass produced factory made beds.


14:09 minutes

Mark Blakey:

I’m Mark Blakey and today we're going to talk about handmade versus mass produced factory beds. To many people there's not a big difference between the two types but being a very talented designer you probably think there are big differences. Can you talk about what you say the differences are between the two are?

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Alvaro Rodriguez: Well without getting stuck on my ego and saying, "Oh we make everything much much better," it's not about that, it's just one first point the bed is made for the customer so the personal contact to go to a designer, to a craftsman, to a person who knows how to make furniture and beds and to talk with him/her about the design, about the requests and ideas that the customer has and the designer and the maker to sit there and take on all this information, put it together, make the drawings, show the customer the materials and he might even or they might even make first some models. These are all huge benefits to, you know, to get a bed that is really directly made for this customer and it just exists once. It's an individual unique piece of furniture and this is a huge a very big benefit for the client. You don't have to compromise on anything, you don't have to compromise on the color, you don't have to compromise on the wood, on the materials, on the comfort and it's just perfectly made for this one person or for these people. Another very big benefit of handmade beds for customers is in the quality in long term, we oftenly in our quick we have to buy everything here and now. We go to the shop, we see it, we pay for it, we take it home and we sacrifice through that a lot of things like quality. Yes you have a quick buy and your bed is immediately in the next maybe 5 days, 7 days depending how quickly it is delivered in... Whatever has to be done quickly and cheaply and just to be delivered to Europe and if you mention their beds you can buy beds now for £200, £300, £400 under £1,000 that is incredible! Just the materials and how much work that's going into it so yeah really the pay gap 20p per hour or sometimes even per day so it's really really sad and without society of quick buying and cheap and 'I need it now and immediately,' unfortunately, and I say 'We' because I'm sure in certain ways I'm doing it also, we're supporting this abuse of people in other countries. Children who are working very cheaply and whole families who are in a factory from the morning until the night just to survive in that country. It's a very sad, very sad subject and every time that we buy something quickly, mass-produced from those countries we should really think what we're doing there and in some situations we might, you know, they're able to change it but there are things where we can't change it and certainly the furniture is one of the places where we can change it. There are fantastic makers in this country, in the UK and all around and any part of this country if you look around these people are so tanned and skillful, so handy they can make such beautiful piece of furniture hand crafted like in our workshops at Robinson House Studio, for us the most important part is to enjoy the design and to enjoy the satisfaction of the client. Yes it costs more but you get an absolute premium product only made for you and absolutely made for you the customer.

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Mark Blakey:

I find it quite sad that there is a time in this country where craftsmen rarely take pride in what they've build. It's so much as if that tradition is being lost somewhere. I think people actually don't realize that they can actually go out and have a piece of furniture commissioned.

Alvaro Rodriguez: Yes it's true, I think we're missing a little bit of education, education in the sense that products like furniture like beds and also like clothes and other products and we could have really beautiful things just made for ourselves often without investing so much more than we're paying anyway for a mass-produced product. There are places that unfortunately we're often not giving ourselves time to research and that has many different reasons so everybody is busy with his life and if it is a bed or a chair or a table, everything has to be quickly quickly, I see it I want it now. The process which before the industrial revolution began that you go to a carpenter and you tell him what you want and he begins to find the wood and make the design and build the piece of furniture. This time that goes into it is less and less acceptable for many plants. I myself I experience I experience it very often that clients comes with requests for a beautiful bed and design and would like to have it yesterday. That is impossible, that is just impossible. Everything needs time and a certain amount of time at least. If you want quality and if you want something made very very well, it will need a certain amount of time. Yeah, hmm. Mark Blakey:

Well like anything I guess like in earlier days when people used to want paintings commissioned, it's not something that can be put together I guess.

Alvaro Rodriguez: Mhm yes. Mark Blakey:

I mean I'm just spinning over as well. You talked a bit about customizing the furniture for somebody's bedroom like the fact that you don't have so much choice when you go into a furniture store and you look for a bed. I mean, I guess really what you do you can actually blend woods together and furniture together within the bedroom?

Alvaro Rodriguez: That's a very interesting point Mark. Of course another huge benefit at like our company Luxury Bespoke Beds has is we look into the situation of the customer. How does the bedroom look like? How does the house look like? What kind of furniture do they like? It's important that it harmonizes with everything together you know, it's not just, "Oh yeah here you have your bed and we don't care how your bedroom looks like or so," it's is absolutely important that everything is in relation to each other. You know, every house, every flat, every bedroom looks different and that is another very big benefit for the customer that we look into it, that we try to, if you have already existing furniture in the room and it's important to the customer we would try to bring it together that it matches so it's not just, doesn't become a piece, an alien piece in the bedroom, it looks beautiful by itself Page 3 of 5

but it doesn't fit at all to the rest of the room or to the house, so yes that is very important. Also not only the beds I mean, we also produce other furniture like wardrobes and bedside tables so we are often asked to in a way, like an interior designer to redecorate the whole room and we sit down together and we look into it, you know, what kind of wardrobe or walk-in wardrobe or cloak room would they like and how much clothes they have, shoes and so on, you know, how big should be the bed, which size with the mattress. There are many many factors and we put everything together, we design, we draw different drawings, different options until we get to the exact final drawing that the client is asking for, that the client feels, "Yeah this is exactly how I wish my room to look like," then we do that and we begin to produce it, to make it, to manufacture it handmade in England in the UK. I really want to say that it's very very important. There might be some materials that are coming from other countries like the woods and so on but it's all home scratchmade here in the UK by our really skilled people that we have here in our workshop. Mark Blakey:

I guess quality you know, there is no end to quality we can produce really and it's interesting what you say about everything being handmade because we don't actually use any metal components or anything so everything in a way that we do is handmade from beginning to end.

Alvaro Rodriguez: Yes, but saying so I mean the non-metal feature is for some people interesting and for some customers not. I have experience that some customers to them it's a priority and it's very important that the bed has no metal out of several reasons one of them is not to attract any electromagnetic fields which scientific has proved now that it doesn't allow you to get into a deep sleep in our body (chuckles) I mean I'm not a scientist so I don't want to go too far into it but the body absorbs all these electromagnetic fields and you can't really relax, you can't really have a really good night's sleep, suddenly your bed becomes like an aerial like an antenna which is absorbing all the stuff that is going through the air and you know, wireless information, everything the electricity everything that is in the air and goes into the bed. To some clients this is very very important that the bed is made just out of natural materials. It can be only wood or it can be a combination of marble, stone, glass you know, different materials that suddenly don't have any attributes into the direction of attracting electromagnetic fields. For other clients this is not so important and there we give for so the other option you know, we will use a screw, we will use a nut or depending what has to be used for the design to make this bed but whatever we use with or without it is absolutely important that the bed is a high quality product that is very very easily to take apart for the client himself if they're moving house, if they're moving room whatever the situation is. Those aspects are always very important in the design. The design is not compromised but also not the possibility to take it apart, to disassemble the bed

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is not compromised so both things which are often quite a challenge for us and here...

[End of Recording] Please visit our website for more information on Luxury Beds

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Buying a bed handmade versus one that is mass produced  

The benefits of buying a bed handmade versus one that is mass produced beds