It happens all too often. You spend time and money selecting and purchasing furniture you love. It looks great for a few years, maybe even longer. But then something happens. It cracks, breaks, or gets damaged, and you throw it away. Or maybe you just get sick of it and want to move on. You go out and buy more furniture, only eventually to have the same thing happen again. It doesn’t have to be this way. Here are three tips to ensure that next time you buy furniture it will last you for decades.
The most important factor to consider when buying furniture is what material it is constructed from. Many shoppers make the mistake of selecting solely based on style—if they like the design, they buy it. This is the wrong approach.
A lot of furniture is made from artificial wood, not solid wood. It is best to choose solid wood furniture over artificial wood for several reasons.
Artificial wood furniture doesn’t last: Manufactured woods are made from small wood fibers pressed and fused together and then topped with a thin layer of real wood called a veneer. Overtime, that veneer will often crack or even peel off entirely. Furniture made from veneers is often mistaken for solid wood furniture, but don’t be fooled.
Check out our guide to telling the difference: How to Spot Cheap Artificial Wood Furniture
Artificial wood furniture can be toxic: The adhesive resins commonly used to create these types of woods often contain urea-formaldehyde or phenol formaldehyde. These pieces off-gas, putting harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into your air.
Read more about the Hidden Dangers of Cheap Furniture
Artificial wood furniture is clogging up our landfills: In the U.S. alone, we throw out more than 12 million tons of furniture a year, just one of the many ways our furniture buying habits are killing the planet.
For more information: Is Your Furniture Killing the Planet? How to Shop for Sustainable Furniture
Do you know anything about the person who built that dining table you are hoping will hold up to your rambunctious children? How about that bedroom set you are about to drop thousands of hard-earned dollars on? Probably not.
To ensure that your furniture will last, you need to ensure it is built by someone who has a lot of experience. However, most retailers don’t provide you with any information regarding who exactly constructed your furniture.
Buying Amish furniture is a good way to guarantee your furniture is built by the experts. The Amish have been handcrafting solid wood furniture for centuries. Amish crafters build for durability as well as beauty, utilizing assembling techniques that assure each piece will last forever.
Plus, all Amish crafters use the same type of materials and techniques, and they pass those techniques on to each generation. So, if you ever want to repair something or have an additional piece created that matches what you have exactly, an Amish crafter can do that for you without issue, even if it has been decades since your original purchase.
Read more about the history of Amish crafters and Amish furniture: A Brief History of Amish Furniture
While durability is essential to buying furniture that you’ll be able to keep forever, it is of course also important to buy beautiful furniture that you will want to keep forever. When shopping, skip out on ‘trendy’ furniture that you know will fall out of style in a few years. Instead, invest in furniture that is both timeless and contemporary.
One perhaps surprising way to achieve that is by buying pieces made by Amish crafters. Many of their designs are the perfect combination of classic and modern. Today’s Amish pair metal and leather alongside the beautiful American hardwoods they have been building with for generations. They are using modern shapes and bold embellishments with the same traditional craftsmanship techniques that have made them the leader in furniture making for decades.
Read more about contemporary Amish furniture designs: Not Your Grandmother’s Amish Furniture: Traditional Craftsmen Create Contemporary Furniture