One of the benefits of buying American-made furniture is that the pieces are most likely built out of domestically grown trees. And those trees are likely harvested from sustainably managed forests. That means you can rest easy knowing your purchase isn’t supporting harmful logging practices like clear cutting (and in fact may actually be helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem).
We had a general idea about why this mattered, but we never knew exactly what went on in a sustainably managed logging operation. So we jumped at the chance to visit a logging site in New Hampshire and learn everything we could about the actual business of cutting down trees. Here’s what we discovered: (more…)
Pull out your list of who’s been naughty and nice–it’s time to get some gifts! Need a little shopping inspiration? Here are 10 great finds (all made in America and under $100) that we’re getting for our favorite people this year:
Copeland Furniture’s factory is nestled in a small town called Bradford, Vermont, near the New Hampshire border in an area called the Upper Valley. It’s as lovely as it sounds: covered bridges, lakes, nature, and a lot of homemade ice cream and craft beer. And it’s where Copeland makes all of their solid wood bedroom, dining, office, and living room furniture. We were lucky enough to visit the factory this past August, and we couldn’t have been more impressed. So obviously we had to share what we saw with you guys. (more…)
It’s almost impossible to take a quick glance at a piece of wood furniture (aka casegoods) and figure out if it’s quality or not. But if you take a few minutes to check out how it’s constructed, you’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of whether the piece was built to last or built for the landfill.
We covered the specifics of wood material, wood species, joinery, veneers, and finishes, which are all important, but they can be difficult to determine if you’re just out in a store browsing the selections. Luckily, there are certain features that you can spot pretty easily, giving you a clue to a piece’s quality. (more…)
Part of what makes wood so beautiful is it’s unique grain and the character that comes from it being a natural, living material. But because it spent decades growing in a forest, real wood–and the furniture made from it–will never be perfect. For example, solid wood furniture will have some color variation and marks and it will grow and shrink slightly with changes in the environment. But that doesn’t mean every imperfection is acceptable. Sometimes there are flaws that just aren’t okay. So what’s considered normal and what’s considered a defect? Let us break it down for you.
If you’ve spent any time at all on our site, you already know what we think about the quality of imported furniture (they cut corners in wood material, wood type, veneers, joinery, and finishes). American-made furniture is great because not only does it last a lot longer, but it doesn’t contribute to illegal logging–a practice that accounts for approximately 10 to 30 percent of all lumber used in furniture and flooring and that has tragic consequences: (more…)