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Worth the wait: five reasons why we believe made-to-order furniture and upholstery is the future

Worth the wait: five reasons why we believe made-to-order furniture and upholstery is the future

In today's fast-paced world, where convenience and instant gratification often take centre stage, there's a growing movement towards embracing the beauty of patience and sustainability. At Nicola Harding & Co, we are passionate about limiting the environmental impact of our operations and working towards a kinder, gentler and more sustainable way of living. This is why bespoke and made-to-order items, which have a much lower carbon footprint than mass-produced production pieces, have always featured heavily in our studio’s interior design projects and when we first started to dream about producing our own furniture and upholstery collections, we knew that we wanted to produce made-to-order pieces where it made sense. “Made-to-order minimises waste,” explains our founder, Nix. “We only make what our customers are asking for so there’s no risk of stock going to waste. We can respond in real-time to what people actually want and need.”

When a customer places an order with NiX by Nicola Harding, it sets into motion a chain of processes that will take 6-10 weeks to complete. At the end of this process, a tailored piece of furniture will arrive at our customer’s home. Each piece of upholstery in our NiX by Nicola Harding collection is made-to-order at a family-run firm in Long Eaton, Derbyshire while made-to-order furniture, such as our dining tables and beds, are made by small manufacturers in Portugal and Lithuania. Below we break down the reasons why we believe these pieces are worth the wait.

Emotional connection

Made-to-order furniture and upholstery is a concept that harks back to a time when craftsmanship and individuality were prized above mass production. Unlike off-the-shelf options that are churned out in bulk, made-to-order furniture is crafted with precision and care and made for that specific customer. This approach fosters a deep connection between the creator and the consumer, resulting in a piece that holds both practical and emotional value.

Minimal environmental impact

One of the most compelling reasons made-to-order furniture is considered a sustainable choice is its minimal environmental impact. Traditional mass production methods lead to excessive resource consumption, resulting in unnecessary waste and carbon emissions. Made-to-order practices, on the other hand, promote efficiency by producing only what is needed, reducing the strain on natural resources and curbing pollution.  They help combat waste by crafting each piece individually and with care, eliminating the large-scale waste generation that often comes with mass production. Additionally, these methods often employ just-in-time production, ensuring materials are used wisely and efficiently.

Quality over quantity

In a world where items are often seen as disposable, made-to-order furniture champions quality over quantity. Skilled artisans pour their expertise into every detail, resulting in furniture that's not only beautiful to look at but also built to withstand the test of time. At NiX by Nicola Harding, longevity is a cornerstone of our work. We produce intelligently designed, quality items made from high-quality, responsibly sourced materials so that our customers only need to invest once. Our pieces are designed to last across generations reducing the demand for replacements and in turn, further reducing the carbon footprint associated with mass production.


Making pieces to order allows us to take better control of the production process and tweak things where necessary. While this level of quality control benefits all of our customers, it also allows us to create completely customised pieces as part of our service for design professionals. Whether it’s a bespoke finish, specific dimensions or a particular colour for a small or large-scale project, manufacturing in this way allows us to be responsive to the unique needs of interior designers and architects.

Make a difference

Offering more than just pleasing aesthetics, made-to-order furniture and upholstery embody a philosophy of mindful consumption and responsible production. As we navigate an era full of environmental challenges, this approach to furnishing our spaces offers a tangible way to make a difference. By embracing customisation, quality, and community, we can turn the tide against excessive waste and contribute to a more sustainable future, one beautifully crafted piece at a time. So, the next time you contemplate a new addition to your home, consider the elegance and ethics of made-to-order furniture, where sustainability and artistry converge.

Nicola Harding & Co

About Nicola Harding & Co.

Nicola Harding & Co is a London-based interior design studio that creates places, not spaces. Rich in atmosphere, our interiors are refined and reassuringly familiar, reflecting and serving the people that use them.

About Nicola Harding & Co