Buying furniture is an exciting experience, but it can also be quite frustrating trying to determine what to buy. Common household furniture made of wood like beds, canopies, chairs, tables, dressers and armoires can enhance a home’s decor. One major decision rests on whether to go with wood furniture or those made from other types of material. Homeowners tend to find wood furniture attractive for the following reasons:
- The natural beauty of the wood due to variety of textures and color ranges
- Its durability once it is properly cared for
- The different styles and designs
How to Choose Wood Furniture
The bedroom, living room and kitchen frequently feature wood furniture although it is used in other areas as well. Many pieces are designed for outdoor use, which influences the type of wood used. An important first step is to consider your budget and where you will place the furniture. Pieces that will be used often require durable wood, but those that serve decorative purposes do not need to be as strong.
Check the finish on the furniture for defects such as uneven drawers and joints that are not properly fitted. The way the item is made will greatly affect not only the look, but also how long it lasts. Choose colors that complement the rest of your furniture or that set the mood of the room.
Look at the finish on the furniture to make sure that there are no cracks or blemishes. Furniture makers often add extra features to meet the demands of modern living. Some types are scratch resistant or water-proofed which increases their value. Check the bottom of furniture for flaws, since the tops and sides are the most visible areas.
Pressing slightly on joints will help determine if they are strong. If only slight pressure causes them to give way even a little, they are not as sturdy as they should be. This can be dangerous especially for furniture such as chairs and beds. Since they are expected to last a long time, it is always important to test wood furniture for quality.
Common Types of Wood for Making Furniture
When it comes to wood furniture, two broad categories of woods are used; soft and hard wood. Hardwoods are the most popular types and are selected for some of the following features:
- Cherry: With colors ranging from red to reddish-brown, this wood darkens when exposed to light as well as with age.
- Mahogany: This one of the most popular woods used to make furniture, not only for its beautiful finish but also because it is durable and does not swell, warp or shrink easily. The colors range from blood red to even a slight grayish hue.
- Maple: The colors of this wood range from creamy white and variations of white with the heartwood (inner parts) sometimes being a slight reddish-brown. This makes it one of the more attractive options.
- Oak: Its ability to handle most finishes makes this a good choice for furniture as does its attractive grain and texture.
- Rosewood: Its beautiful grain makes it a favorite among furniture-makers.
- Teak: Not only is it moisture-resistant, it also takes different finishes well.
- Walnut: The texture and color makes this wood very popular as well.
While not as popular for furniture, the following softwoods are sometimes used: cedar, Hemlock, Pine, Redwood and Spruce. Those pieces made from softwood tend to be less expensive and may not last as long as pieces made from hardwood. Softwood also offers beautiful grain and color choices for homeowners.
Always bear in mind the overall look and décor of your home or office when buying wood furniture. No matter how attractive a piece of furniture is, it must fit the look of the room. Also check the rating of the wood used since wood is rated based on quality. The higher the rating of the wood used, the better the quality of the finished product.