Home Style – A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture

A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture

Wooden furniture has been favoured for centuries for its durability and easy maintenance. Its natural appearance and sustainability have helped it to stay popular in modern times.

When it comes to choosing wooden furniture, there are many different types of wooden furniture to consider. Below are a few considerations worth making to help you find the right wooden furniture for your home and budget.

Homestyle - A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture - New or Used

Photo by Laura Cleffmann

Wooden Furniture Home Style Guide

New or Used?

Brand new wooden furniture is always going to be in pristine condition – and if it isn’t, you’ll usually be able to return it. You typically have the option of handmade furniture or machine-made furniture. Handmade furniture is usually a little pricier, but you have more options to customise it, plus it’s usually more environmentally friendly. Machine-made furniture has a higher carbon footprint, but is generally cheaper to buy and you may find that flat-pack options are more widely available to make delivery easier.

Further Reading: 4 Worthwhile Ways to Give Your Furniture New Life

Used furniture is a lot cheaper than brand new furniture. On some local selling sites, you may even be able to pick up wooden tables and cabinets for free. The exception are popular vintage pieces and antiques, which are usually more expensive. These are favoured for their history and can help to bring out the character of a period home or simply serve as a statement piece in a modern home.

Homestyle - A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture - Handmade or Machine Made

Photo by Laura Cleffmann

Used furniture is not always in great condition, so you need to be careful where you buy it from. Always closely inspect used wooden furniture for damage before buying – things like warping, cracks and mould are bad signs. Also know how to recognise woodworm (which are beetles and not worms by the way) which thrive in dry but damp environments. Restoring used furniture is an option, but not everyone will be up for it.

Further Reading: Irish Furniture Design: Ronan Lowery and Design Onion

Light or Dark?

There are so many different tones of wood. Nowadays, light tones of wood are more popular – they typically make a space feel brighter and more spacious, and don’t show dirt as easily. Light woods like pine are almost white and are ideal for increasing brightness. Light woods like beech are generally more yellowish and provide warmth. Some woods even have a greyish hue – these can give a room a cooler feel.

Homestyle - A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture - Light or Dark

Photo by Ali Moradi

Dark wood might be less popular but is still a beautifully stylish choice. In many cases, it can make a room feel darker and smaller as it absorbs light. It can however look very dramatic when paired with white surroundings and could help to give a room a more sophisticated feel.  There are many different tones of dark wood to consider just like light wood. The likes of ebony looks almost black, while walnut has a greyish tinge. Mahogany and rosewood meanwhile have a reddish tinge that can be slightly warmer.

Further Reading: Home Style – Are Cheap Sofas A Waste Of Money?

Finished or Unfinished?

A lot of wooden furniture is treated with various finishes to make it smooth, easier to clean and less prone to wear. Oils, varnishes and waxes are all examples. Other finishes simply enhance the appearance such as stains and paint. Additional finishes may be added to outdoor furniture to protect it from rain and fungi. Laminate is also commonly added to wood for greater protection from damage.

Homestyle - A Guide To Choosing Wooden Furniture - Finished or Unfinished

Photo by Lasse Jensen

You’ll likely want some kind of finish on your wood, although some people may want to steer clear of certain finishes. The likes of laminate can be great for easy maintenance, but not ideal if you want to reduce plastics in your home. Painted wooden furniture could meanwhile allow you to explore different colours, however you may prefer to avoid this if you want the natural grain of the wood to show.

Further Reading: How To Add Personality To Your Interiors With The Right Seat

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