How to Find the Best Solid Wood Furniture


Solid wood furniture is one of the best investments you can make in your home décor. Solid wood may be a bit more expensive than other materials but most buyers would agree that it is well worth the cost. As a furniture shopper you will be confronted with terminology you may not completely understand; terms like veneer, solid wood product, solid wood, laminate and particle or fiber board are all important in the search for new furniture. Understanding what these various terms mean will help you find the best solid wood furniture available.

Solid wood is exactly what the names implies, solid wood milled from a tree. Solid wood furniture is composed of only natural wood; it contains no processed wo

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Particle board with veneer. (Image via Wikipedia)

od fiber or particle board. It can be hard like walnut or soft like pine. Solid wood has a long lifespan and it can be repaired or refinished th

roughout the years; manufactured wood products cannot be refinished normally. High quality workmanship is reflected in details; look for matching grain and coloration for the most beautiful appearance. Small wood scraps pieced together are indicative of less than quality workmanship.

Be wary of the phrase “solid wood products” as it does not mean solid wood though it does seem to imply it. However, this term actually is describing MDF or particle board.

Particle board and fiber board are engineered wood products. This type of wood product is not susceptible to warping and therefore it is often used as a base for veneers. Veneer woods are made by fusing a thin layer of solid wood to particle board. The result is a material with the attractive look of solid wood at a fraction of the cost. Veneers are not as durable as solid wood.

Veneers comprised of a thin layer of costly, beautiful wood fused to a substrate made from less expensive types of solid wood. This is called “wood veneer over solid wood”; it is an environmentally friendly option since it reduces the demand on our slower growing hardwood forests. When looking at veneered furniture look for tight fusing, matching grain and good color matches. Veneer furniture is judged by its craftsmanship.

Laminates may look like real wood but they are generally composed of a durable surface material applied to a stable substrate material like particle board. Typically, laminates are inexpensive and not prone to surviving long, hard wear.

The most durable, strongest of all wood furniture choices is solid hardwood. When cared for properly solid woods such as maple, cherry and oak can last literally for centuries. One of the best indicators of high quality craftsmanship is the finish. Take your hands and gently feel the piece; look for a smooth surface with no rough areas.

Shoppers searching for solid wood pieces will want to look for the most beautiful wood with a clear finish that allows the wood’s beauty to shine through. Don’t be fooled by terminology, read labels and ask questions to find the best solid wood furniture you can afford.

Big Drawers Furniture offers the best, custom-made wood furniture for your home. Contact us for a free estimate.

Focus on Coffee Tables


Many of us take our coffee tables for granted. We walk by them every day, we dump papers on them, we carefully dust them and every so often we move them around the room. Usually we don’t take the time to really look closely at our coffee tables; we just assume they are the same as ever. It’s time to get a good close look at your coffee table and review its place in your living room décor.

If you find yourself ignoring your current coffee table it is time to get a new one. If you don’t have one, think about having Big Drawers build you one to complement your living room décor.

First of all you need to decide what you expect out of a coffee table. Realistically, will it end up being a “catch-all” for the remotes and newspapers? Will it be the highlight of the room? Do you want all eyes to be instantly drawn to it when people enter the room? Do you have small children in the home? There are many factors to consider when selecting a coffee table.

Make a proportionate sketch of the room where the table will be placed. Make sure there is plenty of room for the table; you want to avoid clutter if you expect the table to be noticed. When it comes to picking the size for your table, the general rule is that the coffee table should be 2/3 the length of the sofa; its height should be 1”-2” lower than the sofa seat. Of course, this is only a guideline. The most important consideration is the dimension of the area where the table will be located and the way it will interact with the other furniture.

If you have small children in the home you will want a table that is durable, functional and safe. For example, a glass top coffee table is not a safe nor wise choice for the home with small children since the glass can shatter. For the home where entertaining is common, a coffee table that is both functional and eye catching would be the best choice. Choosing a gorgeous wood table that could be damaged by spills might not be a good selection in this case. FYI, alcoholic beverages can easily ruin fine wood finishes.

There are no limits to the styles and materials available for modern coffee tables. Ultra-contemporary coffee tables feature minimalist styling, bold colors and clean lines. They frequently are made from glass, metal, stone or leather. Modern designs created in wood are also in high demand.

If you want your coffee table to be the main attraction in the room, a custom built table made of the finest wood is the perfect selection. The advantage to custom building a piece of furniture is that it will be the only one, it will be unique. There are so many gorgeous woods from which to choose. Hardwoods such as oak, cherry and maple will last hundreds of years with proper care. Hire a master wood craftsman to build you a coffee table masterpiece that will last a lifetime. All eyes will be on the table, just as you planned.