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Tips for Buying Wood Furniture

8/2/2013

Buying wood furniture tipsWhen did buying wood furniture get so complicated? Buying wood furniture should be easy. Unless you’re trying to make a “long-term investment” in artistic or antique furniture, you only have to remember two things:

  • Buy quality furniture that’s well-built.
  • Buy the furniture that you like best.

Here are a few questions to keep in mind when you’re shopping for wood furniture.

Is it really all wood?

Pieces of furniture might be imitation wood, metal made to look like wood, particleboard, plywood or other materials. Often, thin sheets of wood called “veneers” will be attached to core materials to create the look of solid wood. The first thing to find out is just how much wood is really in this piece of “wood” furniture.

A note on plywood – there’s no such thing as the “plywood tree”! Plywood is really just a few layers of veneers glued together to form a board. Plywood has its strengths and uses, of course – just be sure that if you buy plywood furniture, you know you’re buying plywood furniture.

Is it well-built?

You can spot good craftsmanship by taking a few minutes to inspect a piece of furniture closely. Look at how the pieces are joined together. Are the fittings neat and consistent? Are there gaps or is everything snug? Try rocking the furniture back and forth, testing how well it holds its shape. Does it feel strong or is it rickety?

You can also flip the furniture over and look at the parts that are usually out of sight. How thick is the wood on the back of the cabinet? If a piece of furniture is well-made even in the areas that nobody will ever see, that’s a good sign.

Is it what you like?

Do you want to live with it? You don’t have to buy mahogany just because somebody on Antiques Roadshow said that mahogany is fabulous. You should buy wood furniture that has the color, grain, finish and feel that works for you.

Some people like light wood, others like dark wood. You might need to match your furniture with your home’s wood paneling, your other wood furniture, or your interior design. Some people like shiny varnished wood, others like a more natural appearance.

We can help you make a decision based on your home, your preferences, your budget and your lifestyle. There’s no such thing as a certain type of wood that’s the “best” or the one you “have to” get!

Visit our Lehigh Valley showroom in Nazareth, PA, and we’ll show you a huge variety of wood furniture. Just set your GPS for 224 Nazareth Pike, Bethlehem, PA. Or, post your questions about wood on our Facebook page or call us at 610-614-1617.