After months of collecting hundreds of inspirational images on your Pinterest Board to redesign your dining room, living room or bedroom you are finally at the point where you can start buying furniture and even better those feel-good accessories. Where do you shop? Is it with the big stores where you can quickly get hold of the furniture and accessories you need at an affordable price, or do you take your time to source those unique pieces that are just right for you and your space?
Mass-produced furniture has its place, especially if you are on a budget, you are in urgent need of a bed, or you are buying for temporary accommodation, but in general it is much more difficult to find high quality, unique and sustainable furniture this way, not to mention a great customer experience. At Milola we are passionate about these values and consideration is given to each of these when we choose which brands to work with.
One of our brands that particularly stands out and shares these values is Kristensen Kristensen, a Danish company who design and craft high-quality living and dining furniture. Here I will use Kristensen Kristensen as an example to define these values and show why we believe they are so important to you as the customer.
‘When it comes to a family-owned business, everyone within the company is committed to doing what it takes to succeed, resulting in great customer experience’
Have you ever had trouble actually having a proper conversation with a real human being when you have a question or a problem about an order or product? I have spent countless hours being passed from one department to the next in a large, siloed company where it takes forever to get what you need....I am sure you have been there and agree that it is very frustrating!
At Milola we pride ourselves in only the best customer experience from start to finish, and as such tend to work with family-owned suppliers who have a similar commitment. Kristensen Kristensen was started by the Kristensen family in 1991. Whilst they have grown significantly from their small humble beginnings of trading interior products to having their own 8,000m2 factory with over 200 employees, the strong values often associated with a family-owned business still shine through. I know if we have a question or need help, we can just pick up the phone and speak with any of their staff. Even if it’s not their day job they will pull out all the stops to answer any query or resolve any issues quickly, which means we can service you in a helpful and timely manner too.
2. Quality Craftsmanship
‘In a world of mass production, the touch of the hand has value’
‘Craftsmanship is about using the skills you have developed over many years. The time and love that goes into each item is breath-taking – and worth every penny’
When we talk about quality craftsmanship at Milola we are not necessarily talking about making everything by hand with no machines, but more about the involvement and attention to detail of skilled human beings in the design and manufacturing process, ensuring the highest quality.
Kristensen Kristensen have their own drying ovens, sawmill and smithy meaning they have complete control over the whole process from selecting the wood to making the first cuts and adding the finer detail and finishes. The addition of the human touch and the natural properties of solid wood mean each piece is truly unique and of the highest quality, which we know is important to you too.
‘The details are not the details, they make the design’ – Charles Eames
With mass produced furniture there is usually very little flexibility over the design and finish, but through working with suppliers who share our passion for quality craftsmanship it means we can offer you more choice and even fully bespoke products.
At Kristensen Kristensen 90% of the products they make are custom-made and even as standard there is a lot of choice. For example on the Forest dining table there are over 24,000 combinations of table when we take into account sizes, wood stains, leg options, wood finishes and choice of edge shape. This means each piece can be tweaked to your needs and more importantly, you can imprint your own style and have something that is a unique to what everyone else is buying.
Buy less, choose well, make it last – Vivienne Westwood
Mass produced goods are often manufactured in Asia and then transported to Europe, having a massive impact on
carbon footprint. Energy emissions are also considerably less when there is greater human involvement in the production process compared with mass production assembly lines. Kristensen Kristensen are based in and manufacture their furniture in Europe using locally sourced wood and with their newly acquired FSC certification it is clear that they are taking the sustainability aspect seriously. FSC certification means that the wood meets environmental guidelines for sustainable forest management and/or comes from recycled sources.
The last step in the sustainability chain to consider is how the piece can be used after you are done with it? High quality, handcrafted furniture generally lasts a lot longer and often ends up being passed down the generations. Kristensen Kristensen’s furniture is not only made to last but with it being solid wood it can be repaired and revamped simply by sanding and oiling. As it lasts longer than your standard 'off the peg' furniture, it means that you are using less furniture overall and have less to dispose of.
So, next time you are considering making a new purchase for your home, have a little think about what is important to you and whether any of the above values resonate with you. Yes, it may be a little more expensive now and take a little longer to arrive, but we believe you will have a better customer experience and be more satisfied with your purchase in the long run.