Made in Hong Kong and Delivered Worldwide: How Lila & Lin Make Customization Easy

Sunita Vellapally Sunita Vellapally
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Most people shy away from ordering custom-designed furniture and accessories online as it comes with the risk of the final product not meeting expectations regarding quality, color, and dimensions. But the team at Lila & Lin, Hong Kong-based furniture and accessories designers, show us how it’s possible. In the project featured here, the team takes us through their ordering process with an example of a customization project undertaken for a customer in Vancouver, Canada. The client wanted to order a set of mah jong sofas but faced the challenge of limited space. Moreover, she was particular about the fabric and color choices. When the team received an inquiry on their website, the design team arranged several conversations with the customer to understand her taste and analyze the materials she wanted for the functional sofa. Based on the information, they set to create the perfect custom furniture for the project per the process outlined below.

Understanding the customer’s requirements

Given the limited space for the mah jong sofa, the design team worked with the client to understand the dimensions of the space, the vision, and preferred fabrics and colors, besides the budget earmarked for the project. The process involved several consultations, focusing on individual-based needs and preferences and making the conversations a fun, intimate, and worry-free experience for the customer. Based on the discussions, the designers prepared and presented the initial drawings.

Guidance through fabric selection

Lila & Lin offers over 70,000 fabric selections for their custom products, which can be overwhelming for clients, even if they have a clear idea of what they want. Therefore, the design team guided the customer through the process, working around her budget issues and helping identify suitable fabrics for the sofas in the specific colors she wanted.

Custom fabrication

After approval of the drawings and fabric selection, the customer was requested to pay 50% of the estimated cost as a deposit. The team started custom-building the furniture, such as the wooden base for the sofas.

Working within the budget

Customers needn’t worry about cost overruns as the team sticks within the budget since sourcing is done parallelly when the design team is in initial conversations with the client to present an accurate budget. In this project, the team managed to save the customer enough money. So, she ordered an extra customized carpet and two hand-painted ceramic trays from the online catalogue.

Sharing progress through photographs

Once the piece is complete, the team photographs the products and sends them to the customer for her review. The photos are sent without editing or photoshopping to give the customer a realistic impression of how the products look.

Packing for shipping

After receiving the customer’s confirmation of the products, the team sends an invoice for final payment. Once the payment is received, the products are packed with the utmost care, with each piece packaged as if it were porcelain to survive international travel. The team does not use crates for packing as the wooden pieces can harm or damage the furniture. Instead, they pack the furniture with bubble wrap and at least four layers of ABE flute triple wall cardboard. After packing, the packages are shipped from the studio via trucks to the logistics company, where they are transported by ship or land, depending on the destination.

Worldwide shipping

Heavy or bulky items are shipped through logistics companies and take around 8 to 10 weeks to be delivered, depending on the customer’s location. Small items are couriered with a delivery timeline of around 2 weeks. Once the package reaches the destination and finishes customs clearance, the team contacts the customer to schedule a mutually agreed-upon delivery time. The client is kept in the loop of every step in the shipping process via email.

As is evident from this project, the Lila & Lin team makes the entire process of ordering custom furniture and décor accessories online stress-free. All a customer needs to do to order custom products from Lila & Lin is to submit the inquiry form. The Hong Kong-based team received rave reviews from their customer in Vancouver for the product quality and customer services in this project.

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