When my Father opened his first store in 1956 choices were minimal. I remember him telling the old Henry Ford joke “You can have any colour you want as long as it’s black!”. Things weren’t that bad in those days but almost, because most things came just in one colour. The late 50’s saw the advent of kitchenette cupboards with matching formica tables and plastic covered chairs with black tubular metal legs. These sets came in four colours, a ‘retro’ blue, yellow, green or red. Not having enough space to display all four sets my Father put one chair in each colour outside his little store and much to his amazement customers wanted to buy them just like that with all four colours or in different colour combinations – but not as matching sets as imagined by the manufacturers. You could say this was an early indication that our customers wanted choice, real choice over being told what to buy. Over the years the furniture, flooring and furnishing industries have responded accordingly to these demands giving the customer enough options to be able to create a look of their own. 

 

Nowadays you may be a little bedazzled by the choices you are confronted with in our Peter Green Showrooms, on our website or even from our Commercial Contracts Division and you would most definitely benefit from a consultant to help guide you through your selection process. Very much gone are the days when you would buy a piece of furniture straight from the shop floor or were forced to have something from a limited range of stock, this is because these days many of the pieces of furniture we sell are made precisely to the customer’s own specifications. This holds pretty much true for soft furnishings and flooring too, although a lot of cabinetry is also personalised at the customer’s request when it comes to different finishes, tops and even handles. Many of the collections from the larger famous brands that we sell are exquisitely handcrafted and almost everything we display is at the very least hand finished. Your piece of furniture only begins to take shape when your order, with your specifications hits the manufacturing floor. In other words these pieces are made just for you!

 

The permutations on even a single sofa shape, made perhaps by a heritage manufacturer like Parker Knoll, are simply enormous once you take into account that there are likely to be a number of different grades of fabric, all suitable for different uses, and within each of those grades are multiple ranges of colour-ways and textures. Then there are multitudes of leathers, too! On top of that there are more often than not choices in chair arms, chair legs, seat cushion firmness and show-wood colours. When you look at it this way there could be over a thousand possible combinations for just one chair and that’s before you decide whether you want it as a recliner or if that recliner is to be manual, electric or even a powered ‘lifting riser’! Modular upholstered furniture, a common way to create corner groups or long-run sofas, is the same way, with endless possibilities in seat sizes, shapes, firmness and combinations. If you look at the thousands of items of furniture we have on display in a store like ours then multiply those by the all the options on offer, you will realise that the choices are almost endless. 

 

But we have not touched on beds yet! If you take just one of the many British bedmakers we have partnered with over decades, Harrison Spinks, who make beautiful handcrafted beds from their own farm grown materials, you will find here too that the ‘world is your oyster.’ You can choose a host of combinations of ethically farmed natural materials including wool, horse hair, alpaca, silk, cashmere, hemp, bamboo and responsibly sourced vanadium steel pocket springs. Multiply that by a variety of widths, lengths and comfort levels which these days even allow ‘his and her’ mattresses with two different tensions each side with an invisible join, and once again the choices become tremendous. Each bed we sell, from whichever brand, becomes tailor made to your specifications and many are built and finished by hand. 

 

The flooring world also is filled with choices. Each carpet manufacturer offers a myriad of colour choices and patterns, textures and grades as well as different materials from synthetic all the way through to wool. Perhaps the most astounding of all are British manufacturers like Westex and Hugh Mackay, who actually offer to match their carpets to any colour you need using patented computer technology. Now that really must be the ultimate in choice! Others will weave a bespoke design of your making or even a logo or image if you wish. It is quite common for us to work with a customer to develop a completely bespoke carpet made exactly to their specifications. Hard flooring is no exception either, when it comes to choice. There is a huge range of materials, substrates, sheet, plank or tile sizes available which means that before you even look at colour or texture you have a multitude of options to create a design just for you. It is not unusual for a customer to mix and match colours and materials to create their own unique look. A great example of that is Luxury Vinyl Tile which is cut in such a fashion that they can be laid almost anyway you want creating an infinitesimal number of designs. Then there’s vinyl sheet, engineered wood, carpet tiles, barrier mats, natural carpet, bleach cleanable man-mades, seagrass, sisal, bamboo, all of which can be used in almost any combination that our customers come up with. In fact we greatly encourage our customers to bring their ideas to us so that we can help them realise their ideas and create their dream home.

 

Over the years that my father’s business grew he saw the industry change, with more and more options being offered and more and more customers asking to order to their own specifications rather than plumping for the model that was in stock. Today’s customers know what they want and they are willing to explore the amazing world of personalisation and wait for their order to be built for them from start to finish. With the honest advice and expert guidance of one of our retail or commercial specialists we can make the process simple for you. 

 

We are here to help you make your dreams come true! 
Enjoy the journey!