Collaborating to Customize Heywood-Wakefield Furniture

Collaborating to Customize Heywood-Wakefield Furniture

We’re frequently asked whether it’s possible to customize Heywood-Wakefield furniture. Can we alter one of our current pieces to different specs? Can we make something in our trademark mid-century modern style that’s not one of our usual products?

The answer to these questions is yes, with conditions.

Problem-Solving Together

At Heywood-Wakefield, we’re committed to highly personalized customer service. So, when customers keep an open mind and talk to us, we usually find a perfect solution for their furnishing needs. Such solutions often come out during the course of a conversation, which I’m always happy to make time for.

The possibilities are perhaps best illustrated with an example:

A woman recently called to say her son was turning 12 and was ready for some big-boy furniture. She was redoing his room with some vintage Heywood-Wakefield furniture she acquired. She thought she didn’t have room for a bookshelf, which he really needs, and asked if we could modify our M 321 Straight Bookcase so that it could be mounted on the wall over his desk.

We discussed it for a while. I explained to her that even without the legs, and in a smaller size, that much solid wood would still make for a pretty heavy piece that would require some serious installation. At one point, we talked about making it as a hutch that would sit atop the desk; but after discussing how this would be used, we realized it would take up more space than it would save, and be a potential nuisance when things started to pile up under it—a sure bet.

We decided the way to go would be for her to visit her local Container Store and buy those modular components that have thin metal tracks with adjustable support arms that accommodate shelves. We would make the shelves out of the same wood as the bookcase, apply our Amber finish, and add a rounded profile to the front of the shelves to give them much of the Heywood-Wakefield look.

This allowed her to get the exact measurements she needed, keep the look consistent, eliminate the potential need to reinforce a wall and—most importantly—add off-the-floor storage in a small room.

There Are Limitations

It does need to be said that there are limitations to the amount of customization we can do. We are not a custom furniture builder, nor do we ever cut corners to produce something that doesn’t fit our processes or quality standards. It’s usually much more practical—and cost-effective for us and you—to work with variations on items we currently produce.

We can’t generally do radical modifications, and it’s not always obvious to customers what might qualify. For instance, we can’t change the dimensions of our M 950 G Extension Round Dining Table. The curved bent-wood apron is specially produced for us and must be purchased at a specific quantity, so we can’t have one sized for one order. On the other hand, we build the rectangular table aprons ourselves and can alter the dimensions.

A conversation is the best way to determine if we can tailor a piece of furniture for you the way you have in mind, or whether another solution might work better.

Let’s Talk!

The above story about the bookcase is just one example of how it’s possible today to work with a factory for an item or two in a way that was unheard of 50 years ago. Our company manufactures everything in Massachusetts and North Carolina, and our office is in Florida, and we answer our phones ourselves. Heywood-Wakefield customers who call us never experience the frustrating situations that can occur with call centers based who-knows-where and staff that doesn’t even work for the company you want to deal with.

So, if there’s something you need that’s not in our catalog, call us.

Get in touch!

Want to discuss your special furniture needs? Tell us a little about what's on your mind and we'll get right back to you!


Leonard Riforgiato is a successful furniture manufacturing entrepreneur, a Miami resident, and co-owner of legacy furniture company Heywood-Wakefield.

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