Furniture fads may come and go, but classic solid wood furniture has a timeless quality that endures.
We know this to be the case, since antique wooden furniture items are as popular as ever. But whether you favour an aged, vintage look or more modern, contemporary design, there’s a style of wooden furniture to suit everyone.
When I look around our home, our love of wood is evident – exposed wooden floorboards and stripped back banisters, original 1930s wooden internal doors and fire surround. Even our kitchen cupboards are made of wood along with our table, sideboard and bookcase.
There must be a reason we have so much wood – I think for me the natural colour and grain add comfort and warmth to a home. It has a relaxed feel and is practical – with three children in the house, I doubt flat-packed furniture would have stood the test of time in the same way that our wooden pieces have.
Yes, there are gouges, dints and scratches here and there, but wooden surfaces are more forgiving of such signs of wear and tear. Luckily, they can often add to the character of a piece and give it a sense of heritage!
My favourite wood for furniture is oak for its colour and strength, closely followed by pine. Every type of wood has a certain appeal and is suited to different scenarios. For me, these are the six top reasons to love wooden furniture:
Durability – modern lifestyles tend to be fast paced and busy, with lots of coming and going so we all need furniture that can keep pace and withstand the inevitable knocks and bumps that happen. As mentioned earlier, a wood such as Oak is immensely hardwearing. Sturdy yet elegant, an oak dining table, for example, is one of those purchases you could never regret. Something like the Breton Oak range from Lifestyle Furniture UK is the sort of Oak furniture I love, exuding quality and craftsmanship.
Versatility – wooden furniture has a great way of fitting in to most design schemes, whether you prefer a rustic, urban industrial or romantic style of décor. Items like a chest of drawers can be used in a kitchen, dining room or bedroom and with features such as extendible leaves on a dining table you can accommodate more people when the occasion calls for it.
Beauty – I love that this beautiful natural material can be carved, sanded and waxed to create a beautiful finished product. This beauty can be further enhanced by the items you use on or in it. For example, a stunning oak dresser looks beautiful by itself, but adding a display of gorgeous crockery and serveware behind its glass doors or along its shelves takes it to another level.
Quality – Solid wood furniture is an investment, depending on the item and type of wood , but you know that you are buying a quality piece that will last and last. Pine is a softer wood than oak and therefore can be more affordable sometimes, but is still practical and can look stunning, especially the sort that is chunky and well crafted, with beautiful details such as dovetail joints on the drawers. It can be stained or hand waxed which brings out the beauty of the grain. I think pine is a great choice for bedroom furniture; it has a lovely rustic charm all of its own that makes me think of country cottages with roses around the door.
Easy to Care for – wood is simple to look after. You don’t need fancy cleaning products. I tend to use a solution of wood soap to clean our stair handrail and larger areas such as wooden floors. Otherwise, a dusting cloth is often enough and an occasional rub with a product containing beeswax to nourish. A hand waxed surface may need a light sand and re-wax from time to time to preserve the finish.
Longevity – Solid Wood furniture that has been well constructed will undoubtedly enjoy a long life if you take care of it and can even improve in appearance as time goes by, mellowing in colour and gaining a rich patina. Many items can be passed down to the next generation and become a treasured piece of the family home.
Do you have a favourite piece of wooden furniture or a favourite type of wood?