Home Furniture Construction: Signs of Furniture Craftsmanship

Home furniture construction is every bit as important as its looks – perhaps even more so. Most home furniture manufacturers offer much the same type of furniture, with not a great deal of intrinsic difference between their overall design and appearance. It is how furniture is made that matters, because you want it to be comfortable, hard wearing and last a long time.

The standard of furniture craftsmanship employed is very important, whether you are purchasing a table, cabinet or sofa. Here is what to look for in your own home furniture before you part with a single cent:

The Construction

You can always tell how well a furniture manufacturer builds it furniture by checking a drawer. Just one drawer is all it takes to make a fairly accurate judgment. Remove the drawer and check the joints. There should be dovetail joints all round, signifying strength and durability. The front joint should be hidden dovetails, so they don’t show on the outside face.

Inspect the outside and inside of each drawer to make sure everything has been properly smoothed down, and its contents are unlikely to be snagged. The sign of good furniture craftsmanship is that even the outside surfaces of the drawers, including the bottom, have been properly smoothed and finished. They should also open smoothly, preferably with a central drawer guide rail to prevent any lateral movement.

Rails and framework should be fitted using proper carpentry joints: cross rails using dovetails or pinned mortise and tenon joints. Mortise and tenons should be used on the main frame of chests, cabinets and armoires. The wood finish should be added in steps. This should begin with a preservation coat and then the staining and finishing coats added.

Back panels should not be stapled – these frequently loosen, and the furniture could be weakened. In fact, if the correct jointing techniques have been employed in home furniture construction, the back panels should not be needed for strength – the frame should be strong enough itself. Nevertheless, panels should be attached using screws and corner blocks. An important aspect of taller furniture is that it has been tested for stability. You don’t want a tall chest tipping over when you pull out a filled top drawer.

Furniture Craftsmanship in Upholstered Furniture

Here again the strength of the frame is all-important. You sometimes find upholstered home furniture construction given less attention than that of cabinetry because it is not so visible. However, the frame should at least be constructed from a properly jointed hardwood frame, and not just from plywood panels nailed together as you sometimes find. A well-built frame provides a solid base for the springing and other upholstery, and your chairs and sofas will last a long longer because of it.

The base of the seat should first be correctly webbed and then sprung using steel springs of the right size for the depth of the seat. The springs should be properly secured to a solid wood frame and tied together so that the seat is comfortable to sit on. They should then be covered with canvas or synthetic burlap, and then stuffed using a suitable natural or synthetic stuffing material before adding a final cotton batting that acts as a base for the cover.

The External Covering Fabric

The cover fabric should be hardwearing, meeting industry standards for upholstery fabrics and also meet any fire-resistance regulations applicable. The cover should be properly tacked to the frame, although it is common these days simply to use a staple gun. The cushions should be filled comfortably, some preferring a coil sprung filling wrapped in a layer of foam or batting. Whichever type is used, the internal fiber should be effectively secured and distributed evenly.

Finally check the overall appearance of the furniture. If your upholstered furniture has been manufactured using proper standards of home furniture construction, it should look good, feel completely stable and also be comfortable to sit on. The covers and cushions should fit correctly, and be neatly sewn, and the seat should offer support at the front edge and not sag.

Home furniture construction is very important, and without being sure that proper standards of good furniture workmanship have been employed in its manufacture, you should not expect it to last. While furniture hand-crafted from solid wood and the best materials can be expensive, you should assess that against the cost of replacing poorly made furniture that fails to last.

Home Furniture Design and Fabric Selection

Home furniture design and fabric selection are very important to a modern homeowner, whether male or female. Nobody wants to choose the wrong furniture or home fabrics, and although the furniture might appear the more important of the two, the wrong fabric selection can completely ruin an otherwise well-designed room.

So what do you do? Leave it to chance and hope that your untrained eye is as good as that of anybody else, or hire a professional to help you? In fact, your own opinion about how to decorate and furnish your home is likely to please you just as much as that of a professional interior designer. Most people who worry about such things are trying to please friends and visitors rather than select what they personally like.

This is not necessarily a bad thing, because most people do not make the best decisions when it comes to home furniture design and fabric selection. While there is no procedure you can follow to come up with what is best for your home, here are some guidelines on how to go about selecting your furniture design and how to make the correct fabric selection to go with it.

Decide on a Theme

You cannot even begin to consider furniture without deciding on a theme for your home – or even for each individual room. Very few people furnish and decorate their entire home on one single theme, but tend to mix them. Thus, many people love to have at least one themed room in their home: an Egyptian room or a room based on Ancient Rome, Classical Greece or an Asian, Wild West or Native American theme.

None of these is suitable for general household furniture, of course, or for the normal fabric selection you will find in your local sores. However, it does show that your whole house doesn’t have to be decorated the same way. So when you decide on a theme, your living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom can all be based on a certain home accent – even a traditional one.

For example, you can use antique style furniture and fabrics in your lounge or living room, with sofas and perhaps a chaise longue in the classical French style. Your dining room might be either contemporary, with a black glass-topped dining room table or one in beautiful glossy French polished walnut or mahogany with Queen Anne legs. The chairs might be traditionally webbed and sprung, and then upholstered in tapestry or velvet fabric.

What this is inferring is that you should decide on a general them for each room before you decide on appropriate home furniture design, and then choose the furniture and a fabric selection appropriate to that theme.

Home Furniture Design

As stated, the design of your furniture should go with the theme: contemporary, antique, Georgian or art nouveaux for example. Furniture makers such as The Custom Shoppe can help you design your own solid wood furniture, offering a choice of designs and woods appropriate to your general theme.

You may have chosen a Shaker theme with simple solid wood furniture. Shakers used what was available locally, such as pine, birch, cherry and poplar, and some even used maple or beech. You might prefer something more European, with stained dark oak, walnut, or cherry veneer or the exotic cinnamon-colored Asian teak or solid mahogany which has a beautiful deep red shade. Rosewood is another beautiful wood suitable for most forms of home furniture design.

Traditional American furniture, such as that available from American Craftsman, could be fashioned from light oak, apple or cherry, and black American black cherry is very much in vogue. So is Maple, although the wood you choose should be appropriate to the rest of the furniture in your room.

Home Fabric Selection

If you choose light oak for your dresser or armoire, a walnut or mahogany chest of drawers or table would not go well. This is where advice on home furniture design would be worth seeking. The same is even truer when you consider your home fabric selection. This is where genuinely serious mistakes can be made.

It would be far better if you could find somebody well versed in interior design, and while you might think that it doesn’t really matter – it does! If your drapes, rugs and upholstery fabrics all match, and the colors and designs were appropriate to the type of furniture you have chosen, then an OK room could be converted into a fabulous room.

Get It Right – For the Cats, Kids and the Visitors!

Keep in mind that not all fabrics are cat-proof, and many are also not child-proof. What that means in general terms is that you should be practical when choosing fabrics, and understand that what might be perfect for occasional dinner parties might not be so suitable for general use in a household with kids and a colony of cats with blunt claws needing sharpening!

How To Take Care of Your Home Furniture

Furniture plays a big role in amplifying the beauty of our homes. You should therefore take care of your home furniture as it is also a costly investment. If we take proper care of the furniture, it will look better and serve us for a long time. To help in maintaining your furniture, there are some dos and don’ts that you need to be aware of. Some of these are:

· Placing drinks and tea cups directly on the table may leave a very undesirable stain on it. Some stains are not easy to remove and may require that you scrub to remove them. This may lead to damage of the furniture. You should consider using coasters as they can improve life of the furniture.

· Do not expose leather furniture to direct sunlight. They may fade out their color due to the effect of suns rays. To protect your leather furniture from sunlight, use curtains and drapes

· Dusting of the home furniture is not advised as it can reduce their life. You are advised to make use of a clean cloth and/or by using polish.

· Do not keep shoes on the furniture, guests should be advised to leave their shoes at the shoe rack. Train kids to take care of your home furniture from an early age. They should also be trained to have their shoes off the furniture. Shoes leave dirt marks that are not so easy to clear. Removal of such stains not only time consuming, but also diminishes the beauty of the furniture.

· You should call for pest control services from time to time so that you can eliminate and prevent bed bugs and dust mites which may ruin your furniture.

· You should clean off spills from liquids immediately whenever this happens on your wooden furniture. The spills can mess the beauty of your home furniture.

· You should not move heavy home furniture by dragging directly; consider putting bumpers before dragging to prevent damage to both the furniture and the floor.

It is important to take care of your home furniture as it can save you a lot of money on repairs and replacements. For you to get a better service from your home furniture, you should ensure that you take utmost care in handling your furniture. These will ensure that you do not have broken and stained furniture in your home.

Favorite Home Furniture Styles

While the glossy pages of home decorating magazines may feature headlines like “Black Walls for Drama” or “Create Your Own Vampire Nest,” most people tend to avoid trendy fads that may soon look outdated, preferring instead to surround themselves with furnishings that better reflect their own personal sense of style, taste and family history. Here are four favorite home furniture styles that are sure to stand the test of time:

Traditional

Traditional decorating styles typically include house furniture that has a sense of history. Classic lines, timeless designs and an extensive use of fine woods and fabrics are all hallmarks of traditional decorating styles. Although furniture with English, Neoclassical and Colonial designs are popular choices, traditional rooms often incorporate home furniture from several different historical periods. Color, material and texture may inform furniture choices more than any single decorating style. Home furniture stores generally offer a broad selection of traditional furniture, from leather sofas to elegant wood dining room sets.

Casual

Comfort is the primary concern of casual decorating styles. House furniture is chosen both for function and relaxation. The best casual furniture will not only withstand the nicks and spills of family living, but will help establish the atmosphere of ease and comfort that best suits family life. In addition to traditional materials like wood and leather, casual furniture may feature cane, wicker and modern materials like vinyl, stainless steel and chrome. Casual furnishings suit homes decorated in Country, Garden, Cottage and Rustic decorating styles.

Contemporary

Contemporary furniture features strong lines, shapes and forms. Polished surfaces, functional fabrics and man-made materials are characteristics of contemporary decorating styles. Streamlined sofas, chairs and tables suggest energy and movement, making the contemporary style a good choice for those with active lifestyles. While contemporary color schemes are generally neutral, they can include accent pieces that provide pops of color. The contemporary style makes great use of light, both functionally and aesthetically, and lighting fixtures with sculptural qualities are popular choices for rooms decorated in contemporary styles.

Eclectic

Eclectic styles mix and match furniture from other decorating styles at will, aiming for a style that looks as if it were assembled over time, with furnishings collected from extensive shopping excursions, either near or far. Texture and color play primary roles in eclectic furniture styles. Deeply-piled seating in strong colors, and upholstered wood pieces with strong detailing, are both popular choices for rooms decorated in eclectic styles. Eclectic styles may feature components from more exotic decorating styles, such as Moroccan, Tropical or Asian styles.

When choosing a furniture style, personal taste matters. Surrounding yourself with furniture that you love is the best way to create rooms that you will enjoy inhabiting. Furniture styles provide options for presenting rooms with a unified, cohesive look. Each decorating style presents its own atmosphere as well. When shopping at online or at brick-and-mortar home furniture stores, look for furniture that not only looks good, but that establishes the right mood too.

Home Furniture – Different Pieces for Different Rooms

Furniture provides a place to sleep, sit, keep the personal stuff, arrange things or relax in the backyard. You have different furniture designed for different purposes. The home furniture can be classified according to the below mentioned areas –

Bedroom Furniture: The bedroom is a place where you say good bye to the day and the world and brace yourself for the coming day. The furniture required for this room will let the body sleep in peace and prepare you for yet another day. Every home requires this set of furniture.

Bed
Chest of drawers
Wardrobe
Dresser
Wall shelves

Living room: The busiest part of the entire house is the living room. Having a casual vibe attached to it, it is the center of all the activities going around the house. You spend most of your leisure time in the living room, reading, watching television or doing the daily chores.

The furniture for the living room is:

Sofa
Side table
Bookshelves
TV unit

Study room furniture: For people who like to have a secluded space for studying, reading or working inside the house, need these furniture items in their study room.

Study Desks
Office chairs
Cabinets

Dining room: When the whole family unites for having their meals, they need a dedicated place to eat and serve food. The dining room will have a dining set that will allow people to sit and have their meals.

Dining table
Dining chairs

Outdoor Areas: Furniture is specially designed to make your outdoor area look serene and beautiful. The material chosen for these furniture items will be different from other furniture items because it will be out there in the sun, winds, rains and snow.

The outdoor furniture comprises of:

Swings
Hammocks
Patio furniture
Gazebos.

The home furniture designs will vary from traditional to modern to contemporary depending on the taste and preferences of the individual. The designs can be inspired from some of the greatest works of artists, interior designers and architects. Even if you have consulted some of the designers, state your choice and the style you want to dress your home with.

Grace your home with the best furniture items and give a serene and a calm look to your entire house. Nothing can substitute the utility and importance of the right kind of furniture in the house. All you need to do is to pick the right kind of furniture for each room. The home furniture should grace your interiors and outdoors beautifully.