Buying Guide

Furniture plays a huge part in our lives – whether eating, sleeping, working or playing we all need furniture to be functional but it can mean so much more – by making our homes and gardens look pleasing – even stunning.

There are many things to consider when buying furniture which will help you to make sure that you get that extra enjoyment from it as well as each piece being functional. We’ve divided our suggestions into buying for interiors and buying for the garden.

 

 

Interior Furniture

1.        Measuring: always consider the largest piece of furniture first – then accompanying pieces. Where will they be positioned? Will this change eg. if extended? Ensure that you will have plenty of circulation space – room to pull out chairs etc. We usually suggest that you allow at least 750mm per chair as a minimum.

2.       Seating: how many do you want to seat? Does this change depending on visitors, extended family, occasion?

3.       Style: this is one of the most important decisions for interior furniture and will be determined mainly by personal taste. However there are some factors to consider:

     Contemporary Styles: these tend to have clean lines and utilise more modern manufacturing techniques using a combination of laminates and veneers to achieve a stable sleek finish. Cabinet furniture, tables and chairs tend to be lacquered for a durable clean finish.

     Rustic Styles: the manufacturer evokes a rustic style by making the most of the natural grain, knots and feathering and sometimes incorporate the use of artificial distressing – rounded edges, chisel marks and wormholes. These techniques give an aged character to the furniture.

4.       Location: will the piece be located in a hot conservatory or a near an Aga or solid fuel stove? In these locations solid timber furniture is more likely to move, crack and warp than a piece of furniture which utilises laminates or veneers.


Terms Used

It is important when buying timber furniture that you understand the terms that we use so that you know what to expect. Virtually all our interior furniture uses a combination of solid engineered panels and veneers. Correct use of these by the manufacturer results in a product that is not only pleasing to look at but will also give a more stable finish over time.

Veneers: a top layer of timber adhered to a stable base – the colour and pattern of a veneer tends to be quite uniform.

Solids: multiple timber sections manufactured together to create the piece of furniture. Solids tend to give a more natural finish with variations in colour and grain. Timber is a natural product and solids are more likely to crack and move giving character to a piece.

 

 

Garden Furniture

1.       Measuring: always consider the largest piece of furniture first – where will it be positioned, how much area will it have, is it to go on a patio which has a drop around it? Make sure that the piece has plenty of room for getting round it, for pulling chairs out from the table etc.

2.       Seating: how many do you want to seat? Does this change depending on visitors, extended family, occasion?

3.       Location: do you want to sit in direct sun or shade; near the house or away from it?

4.       Function: what will the furniture be used for? Will you be eating at your furniture or just reading the paper? Will you want to sit upright in your lounger to read or just lie back to top up that tan?

5.       Maintenance: our customers tell us that this is so important – so here’s the low down:

Teak and Other Hardwoods: teak and hardwoods in general will over time turn a silvery grey in colour – this is perfectly natural. They need little maintenance other than a good wash and scrub in Springtime unless you want them to stay a “woody” colour. There are several Garden Furniture Protection products on the market that when applied regularly which will help maintain colour. Teak is the best hardwood for garden furniture, other tropical hardwoods can be very durable but are more inclined to cracking and splitting. 

Softwoods: untanalised softwood is not suitable for garden furniture as it will quickly weather and rot.

Powder Coated Aluminium: this is a popular choice of recent years for garden furniture as it provides a durable, lighter-weight and maintenance-free alternative to traditional cast-iron . However, it is important to ensure that the coating is maintained in the event of chips and scratches.

All Weather Rattan: made from durable polypropelene, these synthetic weaves are sometimes almost indistinguishable from the real thing. All weather rattan garden furniture offers a lightweight product that is both aesthetically pleasing and maintenance-free. The fibres are able to withstand cold and hot weather and offer UV resistance to fading. Better quality weaves offer a more long term value as colour is imbedded in the weave rather than surface printed.

 

All our timber furniture manufacturers are carefully chosen because they are expert in making the most of the natural product. Each piece comes with its own character, grain and colour variations – making all our products naturally unique. 

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