Do you know how to find quality furniture? You might be surprised to know that it isn’t just about price. Even less expensive options can be made well. So what do you look for? And don’t be shy about inspecting the pieces when you are shopping. It’s your money and you want to know that you are spending it wisely. The salesperson can wait.
The better a piece of furniture is made, the longer it will last. To make you feel better about that expense, divide the number of years you plan to keep it by the cost. That is how much that piece of furniture will cost you per year. If you are replacing pieces every couple of years, you are wasting your money.
What to look for:
- There will be corner blocks to strengthen the joints
- Dovetail joints in construction of the drawers
- Stretchers should be attached to the legs with mortise-and-tenon joints or with dowel joints
- Wood or metal glides that provide a smooth flow when opening and closing drawers
- Drawer interiors are sanded, finished, and waxed with no burrs, splits, or snags
- Plywood has at least nine layers
- There will be thin sheets of wood between drawers in a chest of drawers or desk to provide structural strength and protect the contents
- All of the legs touch the floor
- It doesn’t squeak or twist when lifted at one corner, or wobble when pressed on
- Cushions in upholstered furniture should have a block of foam wrapped with Dacron, cotton, or down, preferably with a protective inner cover (usually muslin)
- The springs underneath the cushions should feel evenly spaced and have strong resistance to pressure
- You should not be able to feel the frame through the padding in the arms and back
- Upholstery patterns match up whichever way they are turned
Have fun shopping!
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