Custom Furniture for Under $1K? Alright, Then.

By Emily McCrary-Ruiz-Esparza
Image courtesy Inside Weather

Custom furniture comes at a premium. Or it did, once. A newly minted Bay-area brand is making custom furniture as accessible as off-the-shelf pieces from big-box stores.

“My emphasis for starting Inside Weather was around the idea of providing people with choice at these price points,” founder and CEO Ben Parsa told House Method. Parsa co-founded Dot & Bo and served as COO there until 2016. He launched Inside Weather at the end of 2019. “Dot & Bo was a more traditional ecommerce retailer, and I learned that people like to get exactly what they want, but they don’t exactly know how to navigate there. [Inside Weather] makes everything available and lets them play around with it. It’s like walking into Sephora and trying all the colors before you buy.”

Customers can ultimately choose the level of customization they want in their design process, all the way from selecting a style and color and fabric and clicking ‘buy,’ to consulting a designer and sending them a picture of an empty room and saying ‘help!’ The process is informal and personal—“lightweight,” as Parsa puts it.

Individual options are limited, though combinations are not (Inside Weather likes to point out it doesn’t stock “inventory” in the traditional sense, but creates made-to-order pieces), and designs fall into the modern, mid-century, and Scandinavian schools, with many classic pieces available. “Classic design is recognizable, and we like that,” says Parsa. Unlike competitors, Inside Weather offers wild patterns for its hard-surface furniture like coffee tables, credenzas, and dining tables—a welcome addition to the new design world of ultra simplicity.

Image courtesy Inside Weather

Inside Weather affects every step of its process, from sourcing materials to design and manufacturing, all the way down to packaging, and on to your experience as the buyer. “The underbelly of this industry is overseas, which doesn’t give us a lot of control over those factors, and that leaves a lot of customers dissatisfied.” Parsa’s goal is to touch each stage of the process in order to ensure buyers get what they’re looking for without hiccups introduced by third parties. 

Pieces are designed, manufactured (for the most part), assembled, and upholstered in San Francisco. By keeping its supply chain mostly domestic and in-house, Inside Weather is able to provide virtually custom furniture at the same price points as its competitors with off-the-shelf options. A three-seater sofa will run you between $700 and $1500, which is on par with design competitors like Floyd, Article, and Burrow. Think of it as fast-fashion for furniture—but with better quality and staying power. “We look at a lot of data and let consumers really drive design decisions. We will constantly improve our process. The idea of creating five pieces we sell for ten years is not what we’re building toward.”

What’s next? Inside Weather will launch a line of custom options for ottomans and storage units as it expands its product offerings to serve every room of your house.

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