Earlier this month we discussed reasons why you should invest in high quality furniture, from savings over time, to added functionality, to better design options. Now, you’re probably wondering how to tell whether furniture truly is higher quality. After all, you don’t want to settle on a major furniture investment, only to have to replace it within a few years. Here is a brief look at what sets high quality furniture apart from the furniture you’ll find at discount home goods stores.
It features real, solid wood.
In the case of wooden furniture, you’ll find that higher end furniture uses real, solid woods rather than softer woods, particle board, fiberboard, or pressed wood. High quality furniture wood is more scratch resistant. If when you attempt to draw a line with your fingernail along the wooden surface you’re able to do so quite easily, that piece of furniture uses a softer wood that won’t stand up to regular use for very long. Solid wood is best for furniture because it can be refinished several times, while veneer and plywood offer more limited refinishing options.
It has reliable construction.
How was the furniture put together? Are the joints held together with nails, staples, or glue? This indicates lower quality construction. But if you see screws or dowels, you know that the construction of the furniture is more reliable. The best construction features dovetail or mortise-and-tenon joints.
The smaller details are important to look into as well. Are all four legs of the piece of furniture touching the floor? Is the top surface at any sort of angle? Do the drawers glide easily? Examine your furniture closely to look for any potential problems such as these with construction.
It is well upholstered.
Not all upholstery is created equal. If you’re able to remove cushions from a piece of furniture and remove the covers, you should do so and take a look underneath the fabric. If the cushions are foam-only, then they are going to be less durable and less comfortable. Instead, look for foam wrapped in dacron, cotton, or down. Test out the furniture for comfort, and see if you can feel the frame of the furniture through the padding. And if you notice that the chair or sofa cushions are reversible, you’ll get twice the wear out of the cushions.