What to Look For in Furniture

Furniture is a collection of movable objects used to make a living or working space fit for human occupation and use. It can be made from wood, metal, glass, marble and textiles. Furniture is either built-in, like cabinets and bookcases, or freestanding, such as tables and chairs. Its form and function are determined by its material and construction, and have been influenced throughout history by economics and fashion.

The best furniture is not only attractive and functional, but it is also low maintenance. Sturdy and well-made wood furniture lasts for generations, and can be refinished to bring it back to its original beauty. Its wood should be evenly colored and graining, with no worm holes or water spots. There should be no sway or shake when you sit, lean or press on the piece.

The quality of the frame and joints are another key factor in a piece of furniture’s durability. Look for dovetail, mortise and tenon joints, double wooden dowels and wooden corner blocks. These joints are more secure and longer-lasting than staples, nails and glue, which can shorten the life of the furniture. Look for a detailed description of the construction on the website or printed technical specifications. The description should clearly describe the construction method, and state whether the piece is handcrafted or machine-made. This information will help you decide if the furniture is made to last and will fit your needs. If it is not durable, you may want to consider buying something else.