Posted on January 17, 2013
Buying high quality furniture as opposed to low quality furniture is similar to the difference between shopping at a dealership for a brand-new Cadillac and snagging your neighbor’s old junker. The two just do not compare. Buying a used car can be scary because you don’t know what you’re getting. That neighbor of yours might swear up and down that he just replaced the transmission, but without a receipt, how can you really tell? And there could be other problems. If you don’t know what to look for when buying furniture, you could be taking a similar risk.
Let this article guide you to making a good decision. Furniture is built, just like a house. So begin by testing the raw materials. High-end furniture is made of solid wood or furniture-grade plywood. They are distinguishable by the edge of the piece. If it is solid wood, there is a continuity of the grain, while a veneer dead ends. If you are considering a plywood piece, make sure it is at least nine layers. But remember, if you purchase something with a veneer, it limits the number of times you can refinish it.
Next, examine how the furniture is constructed, particularly at the joints. Anything held together with staples, nails, or glue is cheaply made and should be avoided. The best pieces are constructed with real carpentry joints such as mortise and tenon, dovetail and dado. These construction methods give all the components of the furniture strength and longevity and can have the added benefit if making the items look even more interesting.
The same methods can apply to sofas and chairs. These may appear harder to test if they are upholstered, but there are ways. David Jordan, of Jordan’s Furniture, advises that better sofas have hardwood frames. Chair legs should be screwed or pinned, and also glued. He also advises testing for misalignments by picking up one end. If it comes square off the floor, it’s good. If it feels flimsy or flops all over the place, it is a no-go.
Buying high quality furniture is a good idea if you are looking for pieces that will last a long time, even a lifetime. Should you find yourself in the market for high-end quality, let your eyes and hands guide you to finding the best pieces.
At Upstairs Downstairs, we pride ourselves on our high-quality wood and craftsmanship. Give us a call at 310-253-9994 or go to our homepage, www.lasides.com and take a look at all of our offerings.