Furniture Tips

Cream colored dining chairsAs our name says, Furnishings 411 is your information source for all things related to quality furniture. In this section of our website we’ll pass along info on tips, styles and information that will help you with your furniture. We’ll help you select the best and maintain it so that you’ll get years of love and life out of it. Who knows, you may be purchasing your family’s future family heirloom today!

We found this good article on Better Homes and Garden’s website and thought it was right on the mark.

Here are some of their key points:

Learn as much as you can about the furniture.

Get Physical. Sit in it. Better furniture is usually more amply sized: seating space is roomier, and the arms and legs are more substantive. Lift it. The better chair, table, sofa or chaise contains more raw material, such as springs, frame, and cushion, and will be heavier than a lower quality piece of the same material.

Examine the Finish. An even, rich, and deep paint or stain finish should not be used to camouflage flaws. If the finish is translucent, it should be even and the grain should show through; if it is an opaque finish, the consistency should be even, never bubbled or showing brush strokes. Wicker and rattan pieces should be smooth without splinters or ends sticking out, and weaves should be tight and uniform and never clogged with paint.

Check the Cushions. Neat, well-defined corners or curves, securely attached details and buttons, and unobtrusive seams are the hallmarks of a quality cushion. The contour should be plump and well-shaped; a squashed appearance usually indicates insufficient stuffing. If properly sewn and lined, a down-filled cushion should never leak feathers.

Look Beneath the Surface. Lift the cushions or turn the piece over to see how it’s constructed. Look for loose screws, padding that’s not sewn correctly, insufficient support, and springs that are obvious or unprotected. Remember that you are looking at the raw part of the furniture, so don’t expect perfection. But you should get a clue about the care that went into making the piece.

Scrutinize the Details. Fine-quality furniture has less apparent welding, better sanding and finishing, and mechanisms to conceal hardware. Nuts, screws, and bolts should be colored to match the piece and should be protected from rust. Welting should be stitched straight and the joinings should not be prominent.

Now that you’ve found out more about the piece of furniture, where is it going in your home or office?

Study the Styling. Excellent design shows. Knockoffs of successful designs are abundant, but check them carefully to satisfy yourself that the manufacturer hasn’t cut corners.

Consider the Conditions. Choose the piece based on where it will be placed and how it will be used. If you want a sofa to sit in front of a picture window, think how the fabric will fade and choose one with less pattern and less color. If the table is for the kitchen where your kids do their homework, select one with a hardy finish. Don’t put wicker or rattan outdoors in the elements, although a covered porch is fine.

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