Wood Types: What is your Furniture Made Of?

Beth Rice 20/01/2017

Solid wood furniture has a leg up on the competition. Sought after for its quality and beauty, it can’t be beat by cheaper imitations. While it may be more expensive, wood furniture will last longer, saving you money in the long run.

Investing in solid wood furniture guarantees the buyer:

  • A durable product that will last
  • Natural beauty within the home
  • Furniture that can be passed on to future generations

Which wood types offer exceptional quality and what furniture styles are they best suited for? Let’s take a look.

Three Cheers for Cherry

Cherry wood is a popular choice for fine furniture. When first cut, it is naturally a pale pinkish-yellow color. It will darken over time into a rich brown shade. Furniture made from cherry is strong and durable. Exhibiting a fine straight grain, it’s easy to shape. Its rich color lends itself to elegant dining furniture, carved chairs, and shaker tables.

The Carson Plank Top Pedestal Table and the Lacombe Amish Dining Chair exhibit the elegance and beauty of cherry wood furniture.

Amish Carson Pedestal TableLacombe Amish Dining Chair


 

 

 

 

 

 

                       Carson Plank Top Pedestal Table                                 Lacombe Amish Dining Chair

Own Oak and Reap the Benefits

Oak wood is naturally light in color and features heavily defined grain patterns. It can be separated into two types: white oak and red oak.

Red oak is light brown to pinkish-red in color. White oak is a mixture of white combined with light and dark brown shades. Its natural beauty lends itself easily to mission style furniture. It is also a good choice for furniture that gets used every day.

There’s much to be celebrated about oak furniture. Although the heavy grain doesn’t make it a good candidate for a painted finish, its attractive price tag, strength, unique character, and resistance to wear and tear make it a popular choice for American-made furniture. It can be finished in a variety of light to dark stains.

The Mission Square Coffee Table by Keystone and the Amish Paneled Mission Morris Chair combine the strength and beauty of oak to create exceptional oak furniture.

Amish Solid Wood Mission Square Coffee TableAmish Paneled Mission Morris Chair

 

 

 

 

 

 

         Madison Square Coffee Table                                                       Amish Paneled Mission Morris Chair

The Quiet Strength of Quarter Sawn Oak

With a few creative cuts of the log, oak furniture can feature a different pattern. The log is quartered, then turned and cut to create a beautiful and unique grain pattern that is not as thick as the natural pattern of oak. Quarter sawing produces a strong and stable wood that is more resistant to cupping, warping, and moisture. This dynamic wood lends itself to bedroom furniture, as well as shaker and mission styles.

The Amish Caledonia Shaker Panel Bed and the Amish Quarter Sawn White Oak Wood Mission Hope Chest display the dramatic character of quarter sawn white oak.

Amish Caledonia Shaker Panel BedAmish Quarter Sawn White Oak Wood Mission Hope Chest

 

 

 

 

 

                    Caledonia Shaker Panel Bed                           Quarter Sawn White Oak Mission Hope Chest

The Marks of the Maple

The hardness and durability of maple wood makes it an attractive candidate for furniture. While there are different parts of the maple log, they share some of the same characteristics.

Brown maple is the heartwood of the maple tree and features heavy streaks and a sleek, smooth grain that is ideal for painting. It looks best in contemporary styles that have smooth forms and strong profiles like the Levine Amish Contemporary Dining Room Chair and the Amish Manhattan Trestle Table.

Levine Amish Contemporary Dining Room ChairAmish Manhattan Trestle Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Levine Contemporary Dining Chair                               Manhattan Trestle Table

Hard maple is the sapwood of the maple tree. It exhibits the same strength, but is denser, heavier, and harder than brown maple. It is naturally light but takes dark stains well. This added durability makes it ideal for children’s furniture.  The Amish Contempo Kids Low Dresser made from hard maple wood will easily stand up to daily use.

Amish Contempo Kids' Low Dresser

Winning with Walnut

Walnut’s heartwood (the dense inner part of a tree trunk that yields the hardest timber) is a deep, rich brown with a heavy grain that contributes to a luxurious texture and look. Walnut is the favorite for “dark furniture.” The wood’s bold grains and clean lines lend themselves to more formal styles. Walnut shines in deep brown shades, creating attractive bedroom dressers and desks. Its strength and stability make it a natural choice for beds and accent tables that get used daily.

The Amish 48” Armoire with Optional Pocket Doors is an example of premium sophisticated dark furniture while the Amish Mission Royal Corner Hutch features walnut inlays we love.

Amish 48" Armoire With Optional Pocket DoorsAmish Royal Mission Corner Hutch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            Amish 48″ Armoire                                Royal Mission Corner Hutch

 

Pine Wood: Pretty at a Great Price

Pine a soft wood with a yellow, whitish-brown color. Solid pine wood furniture is lightweight and resists shrinking and swelling. It is a more economical premium wood. Its natural knots make for beautiful country style furniture and farmhouse style tables. Create a rustic look with ease with the irresistible Amish Made Farmhouse Kitchen Table and the Amish Primitive Pine Wood Farmhouse Hutch.

Amish Made Farmhouse Kitchen Table in Pine Wood

Amish Primitive Pine Wood Farmhouse Hutch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   Farmhouse Kitchen Table in Pine                  Primitive Pine Wood Farmhouse Hutch  

Renew with Reclaimed

Reclaimed wood brings its own special story to furniture. Salvaged from abandoned barns that are often over 100 years old, the wood features nail holes, worm holes, hairline cracks, and distressing. Reclaimed furniture is usually yellow pine, but could also be hemlock or fir. It is rustic at every turn, adding that natural, lived-in feel that welcomes you into any room. Reclaimed wood is popular for industrial style furniture that combines its historic character with metal elements.

Every mark found in the reclaimed wood of the Amish Barn Wood Farmhouse Table with Breadboard Ends tells a story.

Amish Barn Wood Farmhouse Table with Breadboard Ends

Spend Time Outside with Cedar

Cedar wood is the perfect candidate for outdoor lounge furniture. It is lightweight and resists decay. It even has a fresh scent that repels insects.

The Amish Outdoor Round Side Table is just right for enjoying a beverage in the backyard.

Amish Outdoor Round Side Table

 

Perfect Poly

The formula for creating incredibly durable and stylish outdoor furniture has been found with eco-friendly poly. Made from recycled plastics, it will not rot, splinter or warp. Poly contains a UV protective agent that safeguards the wood from fading. It is also weather resistant and virtually maintenance free, only requiring occasional cleaning with mild soap and water.

The Berlin Gardens Classic Poly Picnic Table is perfect for outdoor gatherings.

Berlin Gardens Classic Poly Picnic Table

The natural characteristics of these wood types contribute to the quality and exceptional style of our Amish-made solid wood furniture.

Beth Riceby Beth Rice (102 Posts)

Beth Rice started a dream job when she began as a content writer for DutchCrafters in 2015. She has an A.A. Degree from Manatee Community College, and studied Journalism at the University of South Florida for one year. Her published work includes a short story in Chicken Soup for the Soul's "My Amazing Mom" edition and one children's book, "I"m Adopted, I'm Special." Conveying the qualities, functions and benefits of DutchCrafters furniture keeps her creative as she contributes to content throughout the website. An avid reader and devoted runner, Beth hopes to publish a novel in the future. DutchCrafters Timber to Table blog was started in 2012 to provide our customers and other readers with woodworkers stories, Amish culture information, and furniture selection or interior design tips.


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2 comments

  • Virginia Bean
    January 20, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    What about elm? Furniture made from this is just beautiful.


  • Milca Rivera
    Milca Rivera
    February 22, 2017 at 12:54 pm

    Hi, Virginia! Thank you for the comment. You’re right, furniture made from elm is beautiful. Our Brady Amish chair is just one example of a beautiful piece constructed from Grey Elm: https://www.dutchcrafters.com/Brady-Amish-Hardwood-Dining-Chair/p/46481. Elm is great for constructing furniture with curves as it is bendable hardwood. One of the things that makes elm so beautiful is it’s distinct interlocking grain pattern, which also helps make it resistant to splitting. It’s also moderately priced, although mature American elm is apparently hard to come by (and expensive if you find it) because it was ravaged by Dutch elm disease during 20th Century.


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