Tips and Advice on Buying High Quality Wood Furniture
Shopping online for high quality wood furniture requires some research. After all, fine furniture is a big investment–one you’ll want to own and enjoy for a lifetime. Vermont furniture makers have a rich history of crafting quality hardwood furniture for over 200 years. They are considered America’s fine furniture authority so we’ve rounded up a bit of their wisdom to share with you.
With all the family feasts around the corner, now’s a great time to buy during our Fall Dining Furniture Sale.
I recently wrote about how much I love Fall in New England and one of the reasons was all of the food we traditionally eat this season. Apple pie, apple crisp, butternut squash soup, beef stew, pecan pie, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes….yum! I don’t even need Thanksgiving to consume all of this food. It’s the season of eating for sure.
We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture. It’s no wonder! When I just googled “real cherry wood” well over 50 shades of cherry came up. Quite a variation, isn’t it?
First of all, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood. When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture 30-40 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods than cherry (rather than ship cherry wood from North America to third world factories and then export it back to North America as furniture). So they stained these cheaper woods and gave them various trade names containing “cherry”. For example Makore, an increasingly rare African wood being illegally logged in Sierra Leone and Gabon has been sold under the trade name Cherry Mahogany, though Makore is not closely related to either cherry or mahogany. Worse yet, it is listed as an endangered species due to illegal logging and exploitation by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.
Many times customers come to Vermont Woods Studios looking to buy real cherry wood furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes. After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their “cherry” furniture from Bassett, Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Drexel, Lane or other big “American” companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or some kind of engineered hardwood.
At Vermont Woods Studios, our cherry furniture is indeed made out of real, solid North American Black Cherry wood. The color starts out as a light pink and slowly ripens to a rich reddish brown over time, as it’s exposed to light. Nina’s photo of the rocker below shows the range of natural cherry colors after the wood’s been exposed to light.
Are you interested to learn more? Find tons of information and photos of American made, real cherry wood furniture on our website & send us your questions on Facebook or in the comments section below.
Editors note: Sean Henry and Liz Francese are our front line, crackerjack, Vermont-made furniture sales people. If you’ve purchased from us before you’ve probably talked to them on the phone (and you’ve definitely received emails from them) so you’ll totally “get” Sean’s tongue-in-cheek essay on how people and cherry wood change over time. If not, I guess you’ll just have to visit us at Stonehurst and see for yourself.
Let me explain something. When Liz and I were youngsters, we were adorable. No seriously, we were absolutely adorable. We were cute, blond, loveable, patriotic (me) and verbally expressive (Liz). As I am sure you can see from the pictures we were the kind of kids that parents would love to pull pictures out of their wallets to show off to all their friends. But as you can also see, things change. Well, maybe not all things change (this is where I tell you to look at both of the pictures of my favorite co-worker and see if you can find the similarities between the two pics).
Okay, so now that I have that part out of the way… The one thing I wanted to point out — and yes I am finally getting to the point — is that we both used to be blond or perhaps I should say dirty blond. We both had a nice, light head of hair and over time it has become a darker shade of brown. You may say to yourself, “what does any of this have to do with Cherry wood furniture?” Well let me tell you.
Cherry Wood Furniture ripens with age.
Natural Cherry wood is a lot like Liz and I. When it first arrives, it will be a light, almost dirty blond color. The light color of new Natural Cherry wood may not be what you expect to see after looking at all the beautiful images of cherry wood furniture on our website. Don’t worry, this will change. Over time, Cherry wood darkens or “ripens” as it ages and as it is exposed to light. As the Natural Cherry ripens, you will see the beauty of the wood and all its amazing characteristics come through. You will start to see a noticeable change after just a few months. After six months to a year it will have that rich, ripe auburn color. After that the color of the Cherry wood will change more gradually. You can see the difference in the pictures above.
Cherry Wood Furniture, On Sale.
One last thing I want to point out before I stop writing this long-winded blog (I am new at this). You have probably noticed my baby picture with the American flag and my very American red white and blue sailor suit. I thought it would be a good reminder to everyone that our Cherry Wood Furniture is frequently on sale. So it might be the perfect time for some change and the perfect time to think about how our Vermont-Made, Handcrafted, ever-changing, beautiful, Natural Cherry wood furniture will look in your home! Visit our Sale Page to see what deals we’re offering.
High quality, real solid hardwood furniture is expensive, no doubt about it. It’s not for everyone. College students are more likely to find suitable furniture at IKEA- that’s for sure. But if you landed on this blog post, you’re probably a homeowner looking to feather your nest for the long term, right? Well we talk to people like you everyday and so we’ve learned a few things about why our customers are looking to buy hardwood furniture.
First – It’s Beautiful
Check out our cherry and walnut hardwood bedroom furniture set. You just don’t get this kind of smooth, refined patina on pine, spruce or other soft wood furniture. When hardwoods are sanded properly and finished with a clear, non-toxic lacquer or hand-rubbed natural oil, you can run your hands over the wood and it almost feels like skin. No softwood, metal or plastic furniture can give the same tactile sensation that high quality, handmade hardwood furniture does.
Second – It’s Durable and Lasts a Lifetime
Hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple and oak wood are from deciduous trees that grow slower than coniferous softwood trees like pine, spruce, larch and fir. Thus hardwoods are typically more dense, heavy, durable and, well… hard. They also are fairly non – resinous and close grained so they don’t leak sap and split like pine does. If you take care of your hardwood furniture it will hold up beautifully for many years, even many generations. We are confident enough in our hardwood furniture to back it with a lifetime guarantee.
Third – It’s a Natural, Organic Part of a Healthy Home
Many people, especially those with young children are looking for natural, organic furniture to be a part of their healthy homes. They often talk to us about where their furniture comes from too. Hardwood furniture that’s made in America is typically built with wood that’s sustainably harvested from well-managed American forests. Families enjoy breaking bread over a dinner table that’s made in harmony with nature.
Bonus Reason! It’s Economical in the Long Run
OK, I said Top 3 Reasons, but here’s a fourth that I just can’t walk away from. In the long run, high quality hardwood furniture is cheaper to buy than other types of furniture– even IKEA’s. Consider how many times you’ll have to buy a bedroom set or dining furniture over your lifetime if you’re always buying something cheap. We’ve had lots of customers who tell us they’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a few years while they save up to buy a high quality hardwood bed. I can relate to that.
What are your reasons for searching for hardwood furniture? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook!