Solid Wood Furniture: The Allure of Wood in Your Home

You can’t beat the quality of solid wood furniture. Why is solid American wood unbeatable as a raw material for handmade American furniture? Perhaps because if its endurance. Perhaps because of the way it is easily cut, carved and formed into virtually any item of furniture. Perhaps also because of its sheer beauty and glow when fashioned and finished by masters of their craft.

There are many types of furniture on sale in American furniture stores. You can purchase modern tubular steel pieces or the molded plywood furniture designed and constructed by George and Ray Eames in the 1940s. Plastic and fiberglass furniture came in the 1950s and 60s. Much of that original stuff is worth a fortune now.

The Transience of New Materials

None of these new materials has lasted been proved a good alternative to wood. They offered artists and designers an opportunity to move away from wood for high quality furniture. Many designs were popular in their day, but did they ever take the place of solid wood furniture? Never!

With the development of corrosion-proof metals and new plastics, wood became no longer a cool material to use for the modern furniture of the day. For most of history, wood and stone have been the construction materials of choice – for homes and the furniture used in them. Stone was popular in the old civilizations, or perhaps we only think so because all wooden furniture is long gone.

Latterly, metal was rarely used in construction other than as reinforcement. However, it all changed with the development of tubular aluminum and steel, pressed plywood and plastics. Each of these had its day, being used extensively by the artists of their time. However, they were no more than transient, fading into insignificance as wood remained supreme.

The Allure of Solid Wood Furniture

Wood has a warmth to it that you can feel. There is no substitute for the feel of the grain and warmth of genuine wood – even if that is only a thin veneer of walnut over white oak, plywood or particleboard. There is something about the look of wood furniture that no synthetic material can match.

When you feel its weight, solid wood lets you know that you have a substantial and enduring item of home furniture. Nothing looks the same as a waxed pine table top, or a table that has been lovingly French polished to a high, deep shine. No synthetic or metallic material can offer you the same brilliance and high quality appearance than properly finished and polished wood.

The Strength of Wooden Furniture

A major difference between solid wood and plywood or particleboard is that of endurance and strength. It is not possible to fashion traditional joints using anything other than real wood. You cannot cut mortise and tenon or dovetail joints using particleboard or plywood. Such materials must be joined together using glue, screws, plugs and plastic or metal jointing blocks.

The traditional carpentry joints using in solid wood furniture are crafted to use the strength of the wood and design of the joint itself for its strength. A pinned tenon or a properly crafted dovetail joint needs no glue, nails or screws to make it secure. Unlike plywood or particleboard, solid wood joints do not separate their layers or disintegrate when they become wet. They remain strong, and expand and contract along with the parts they bind together in extremes of heat and cold.

Metal, Cane and Other Furniture Materials

Sure, a table made from stainless steel or even painted iron or aluminum will be strong. But none of these has the same look, and wood does not rust or oxidize as metals do. Stainless steel is an exception, in that it retains its brightness. However, while there is a place for stainless steel furniture, few would want to furnish an entire dining room or sitting room using it.

Metals, cane or rattan, and plastics have their place, particularly for outdoor and patio furniture. However, none of these has the look of high quality solid wood furniture. For accent pieces, yes, metals and even ceramics and glass can look great. A smoked glass top on a coffee table can be very attractive in the correct setting, but for a main dining table you cannot beat solid wood.

The allure of wood has been recognized by mankind ever since they found a more comfortable alternative to sitting on the rocks in their caves. Wood became the material of choice due its availability and easy working. Even when the new metals and plastics became viable alternatives, solid wood furniture has been regarded as a symbol of quality. It looks good, feels good, endures and is easy to fashion into furniture suitable for any room in your home.

For a huge selection of solid wood furniture from American furniture manufacturers such as Sherrill, Stickley, Simply Amish and Southwood, visit the Patterson Furniture showrooms in Atlanta. The Patterson website can provide you with details on how American wooden furniture is made.

The Excellence and Matchless Beauty of Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is known for its incomparable beauty and utility that is undeniable. Though modern homes include furniture made of other materials like steel, glass and so forth, the magnificence of the so called wood furniture is par excellence.

Furniture made of wood includes timeless and classic beauty which lasts for an entire life time. For this reason even today most of the people prefer to use furniture made of solid wood. There are various types of wood furniture as there are many types of wood. Wood is basically categorized as hard wood and soft wood. Both theses types of woods are used for different types of furniture.

Reasons Why Wood Furniture is Preferred

Furniture made of wood is in vogue even today because of many reasons. Some of the most important reasons are listed as follows:

Durability: furniture made of wood lasts for a longer period of time and ages with grace.

Easy to clean: regular dusting ensures clean and shiny furniture even after several years though polishing is essential every year to retain its unique and exceptional glow.

Blends with the décor: another attractive feature of the furniture made of wood is that it blends easily with the other furniture in your home. It bestows a classical and opulent appearance to the entire décor of your home.

Unique design: each piece of furniture made of wood is exceptional and unique. Some wood include grain designs which are unique and are used in most of the modern furniture today.

Can be carved with intricate designs: no furniture can be carved with intricate patterns and designs like the wood furniture.

Reasonable: furniture made of wood costs less if it is made of soft wood like pine and cedar. Though hard wood like mahogany and oak which is used for furniture, costs a huge amount, it will lasts for more than a decade.

Versatile: furniture made of wood can be shaped and designed into various forms and since each piece of furniture is unique, it costs more.

Variety of Products Made of Wood

Various types of furniture are made of wood due to its versatility, durability and matchless beauty. It is known to enhance the décor of any room. Wooden bed, dinning table, computer table, showcase, chairs and so forth are preferred by most of the people today.

Though furniture made of wood is known to be tensile and durable, proper care should be taken so that it lasts for a longer period of time retaining its natural beauty. Wood furniture should not be exposed to direct sunlight and water as it can cause permanent damage. Furniture made of wood should be covered with polish.

Different types of wood like rosewood, oak, pine, cedar, and mahogany are used to manufacture different kinds of furniture. Teak wood is widely used as home as well as office furniture as it is strong and sturdy where as pine wood exemplifies beauty and elegance at the same time.

Wood furniture is known to amplify the décor of any room it is placed in. Used in combination with innovative designs and contemporary styles, it is known to be the best choice for your home.

A Career in Interior Decoration

A certain school of thought claims that interior decorators are born, not made. However, as long as you have a basic artistic streak and a yearning to be creative, you can be groomed to any level of expertise in interior decoration. Giving a property buyer the benefit of one’s creative streak in this way is one of the most lucrative and creative careers today.

Beyond any doubt, interior decoration is a satisfying profession for those who ‘have it’ these days. There is an unprecedented amount of up-market residential and commercial property being sold on the real estate market today. Moreover, the present generation buyers of properties can afford to have their new acquisitions packaged attractively. Engaging the services of an interior decorator was once considered a lavish luxury, but not anymore. With the increased spending power of the IT generation, a home is defined by its aesthetic appeal — and a growing number of people are ready to pay for that.

The trend for professionally decorated interiors has percolated down from film stars to almost every upper stratum of society. Nor is the demand for interior decoration any longer confined to residences — witness the offices of most successful doctors, lawyers and advertising agencies, as well as bookstores, music shops, shopping malls, restaurants, hotel lobbies… yes, the scope for interior decoration is virtually endless.

HITTING THE HIGH NOTES

Apart from being an inherently glamorous profession, interior decoration has a career has a number of other appeals to offer:

PEOPLE — You meet a lot of them, and from a fascinating cross-section – from movie icons to business magnates; from well-known restaurant owners to fast-track lawyers; from neurosurgeons to the idle rich.

MONEY — You earn a lot of it. Everyone has respect for artistic flair, and your efforts are supposed to reflect the property owner’s own taste. This makes it an ego issue, and people pay a lot to support their ego.

CONTACTS — A career in interior decoration is self-propagating. One successfully completed contract almost immediately leads to another, till you can actually pick and choose. Also, the people you come across can come in useful in many other respects later on.

NO SPECIAL TRAINING REQUIRED — of course, a basic degree in the Arts can’t hurt, but a period of internship under an established interior decorator will serve just as well.

EXTENSIVE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTHERS — You will not be operating on your own. A large enough contract will require the services of a carpenter, electrician, painter and a graphic computer designer. A lot of people will benefit from your profession – and that is significant.

LIMITLESS JOB SATISFACTION — Expressing oneself artistically is one of the most satisfying experiences that a human being can have; being paid to do it is nothing but a bonus. It is no secret that one works best at what one enjoys doing – it is equally true that one of the biggest problems in today’s professional world is lack of creative outlets.

Most people have an ‘inbuilt’ creative streak in some form or the other. Professional interior decorators who were polled recently firmly denied that theirs is a ‘born’ breed — almost anyone can develop a flair, liking and proficiency in this field.

WHAT IT TAKES

As already pointed out, you don’t require any special qualifications to become a successful interior decorator (as opposed to interior designing, which has far more demanding parameters). Basically, you should have an ability to judge spaces (including the potential for hidden storage space), lighting requirements, color schemes and contrasts, furniture styles, etc. and a ‘feel’ for upholstery and curtain fabrics. Finally, you will need to bring these out to maximum advantage within the framework of a given budget.

There are a number of books and journals available to the subject of interior decoration, though not so many on the Indian market. For the seriously interested, however, this will not present a problem. Any specialty bookstore can offer you a selection of imported publications. A subscription to Indian magazines like ‘Inside Outside’ would be helpful by offering information on styles and combinations currently favored in the country.

One of the most helpful things you can do is to visit properties that have been professionally designed, study the work done there, and even ask the owners in what respects they are or aren’t satisfied with the end results. The places to zero in on are newly bought flats and offices that have engaged the services of an interior decorator. The point is not to judge the quality of the job done, but to get a feel of what kind of interior designing is popular on the real estate market, and therefore sells.

This costs you nothing, and people are always ready to talk on such subjects (after all, what is the point in splurging on interior decoration if you can’t gloat about the results later on?) In this manner, you can build up a useful mental catalog of successful and unsuccessful approaches.

Getting an eventual interior decoration team together is another important factor. You should also try to establish a personal network of carpenters and painters who will be able to spend time on unscheduled projects. This way, you will be able to obtain their services as and when you need them. Sharing your design discoveries with them occasionally is a good idea, too. In that way, you will have some concrete prototypes to refer to when you actually get to work on a project.