5 Things To Look For When Choosing Furniture Online
The internet has revolutionised the way we live and shop. From how we keep in touch with friends to the way we buy almost anything online. Gone are the days of simply ordering a new CD or the latest best-seller. In the 21st century, technology means you can order pretty much anything you can think of, from anywhere in the world, to be delivered directly to your door. Whilst many people can be put off from buying large items, like furniture, that they can’t physically interact with, the smart money knows that, with a little knowledge and insight, there are many great deals on some incredible furniture just waiting for you. If you’re looking to buy a new piece of furniture, including reclaimed wooden furniture, then here are a few tips of the trade on what to look for before you hit that order button.
Wooden furniture can be a beautiful thing. The care taken by the craftsmen who designed and built it really do make it stand out from its mass market, flat-packed distant cousins. When choosing quality wooden furniture, pay particular attention to the joints. The joints can be, literally, what holds the furniture together, so they are vital to the solidity of the piece. When looking at the joints, pay close attention to them; i.e. do they look well made? Also, check that they meet closely on all edges. Remember that wood is anisotropic, meaning that its material properties are different along different dimensions, so the joint is crucial to an enduring piece of wooden furniture, whether reclaimed or not.
If the piece of furniture you’re looking at buying has drawers, then they will form an important part of the look and the structure of the unit itself. The drawers have their own set of foibles which can make, or break, your decision. Are they made from the same material as the main unit? The outer frame may be solid wood, but are the drawers? Some manufacturers will cut costs on the quality of the wood used in drawers, so pay extra attention to them as they will work so much harder than the rest.
Of course the biggest decision you may have to make is what the piece is actually made of. At Chattels, we’re a huge fan of wooden furniture, especially reclaimed wooden furniture, but it isn’t your only choice. Pay careful attention to which materials have been used in its construction. Is it solid wood, laminated wood, or a mixture of both. Each will have its own characteristics that should be thoroughly evaluated before making the decision, but it doesn’t stop there. Is the wood hard or soft? If the piece is going to be well used, like a table or chest of drawers, then a hard wood will be better long term. Check that the surfaces are scratch resistance or, at the very least, any wear and tear that does occur won’t be too obvious or detracting.
The finish on the furniture you fall in love with is very important too. Over the first few years of its life, you need to consider whether it will be easy (or difficult) to maintain. Longer term, as your decorative preferences may change, the finish becomes even more important. If you’re wanting to change the look of it to fit in with your new tastes, ask yourself a question. Will the finish it has now allow you to stain, paint or varnish it easily in the future? That’s the joy of reclaimed furniture, it changes with your tastes.
The last thing to look for is all those little details that seem inconsequential, but actually play a huge part in how you feel about it. When it comes to furniture, those little details are the nuts and bolts, the hinges and handles that accentuate your furniture. Look at them to make sure they are in keeping with the style of furniture you’re buying. In basic terms, do they go!. Also, look whether they all match each other. For the nuts and bolts on the item, are they suitably coloured to match the piece and blend into the wood, ironically whilst we’re telling you to look at them, you actually what people not to look at them for that same reason.
The easiest place to find those beautiful wooden furniture pieces you’re looking for is here at Chattels. Everything we sell meets with the exceptionally high standards you would expect them to. Don’t be dissuaded from getting yourself a beautiful, quality piece of reclaimed furniture online or in store. Follow our simple guidelines and you’ll be admiring it in your own home for many, many years to come. Don’t forget you can always stay up-to-date with what we’re doing by signing up to our newsletter today using this link. We hope to hear from you soon.
Why buy reclaimed wood furniture?
When it comes to furniture, the choices available to us nowadays are simply astounding. Everything from budget-friendly flatpack furniture to high-end classical pieces that can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. Here at Chattels, we believe that there is a place for everything, for every budget and for everyone. As you probably know, we love reclaimed wooden furniture and here are our favourite reasons for buying it.
We’re happy and proud to say that, in recent years, the popularity of reclaimed wooden furniture has increased massively. We believe it’s one of the most beautiful ways of creating and enjoying furniture. There are so many benefits to owning it, we thought it was high-time we shared them with you. One of the key reasons we sell it and you buy it, is its environmental sensibilities. With the rate at which forests are being destroyed, buying anything made from reclaimed wood makes perfect sense. Because of the impact deforestation has on the environment, there are benefits that affect us locally and globally. Reclaimed wooden furniture allows beautiful furniture to be created without the need to cut down any more trees that provide shelter, reduce soil erosion, cools the air, absorbs carbon dioxide and releases pure oxygen. Obviously it came from a tree initially, but because it reuses existing materials to create something new, no more damage is done to the environment and its green credentials are clear. It also ensures a more sustainable product can live on longer in your home, and many others, for years to come.
If you watch the news or read the papers, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a fairly corrupt world that we live in. The fact is that generally only bad news is news, so if you’re wanting extoll your own ethical credentials and give something back, then reclaimed wooden furniture is a great way to do that. The reason is that you’re never going to be quite sure where the wood in new furniture came from. Wood imports from China have increased massively in the last decade and China is the route that much of the illegally logged wood from Burma, Madagascar, DR Congo, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia passes. UK actually imports more illegal timber than another European country because of the sheer number of imports we allow, driven by the demand for cheap furniture. Buying reclaimed furniture is a sure way to ease this burden and get yourself some beautiful furniture to boot.
The final reason (for this article, not overall) for buying reclaimed furniture is often the main reason many people buy it. Reclaimed wooden has a history that is unique to every piece. In a world of duplicated, mass-produced items, a piece of beautiful furniture that has history, has a story behind it, makes it incredibly endearing to many people. Having an aged, distinct look gives reclaimed furniture a real character to it that can’t be found elsewhere. The imperfections it displays are part of its charm, rather than faults. Don’t think that reclaimed furniture is all rustic, the list of styles and designs it can adapt to is incredible. For some, it would be indistinguishable from brand new furniture you’d buy anywhere.
If you’re ready to buy your first piece of reclaimed wooden furniture, or maybe you’ve bought many, the team at Chattels are here to help. Just browse the site, give us a call or drop by our store where our friendly team will be more than happy to show you around. Why not stay up-to-date with what we’re doing at Chattels by signing up to our newsletter today using this link.
How to mix Shabby Chic style in to your home
Furniture, like fashion or food, goes through trends. What might be bang on the money today, won’t be tomorrow. Thankfully, it’s fair to say, furniture doesn’t suffer to quite the same extent as your clothing wardrobe but it does have rules. It brings to mind the quote from Yves Saint Laurent; “fashions fade, style is eternal”. If you’re looking around your home, seeing a host of different styles failing to mesh together and wondering how to make them sit comfortably together, then don’t worry. We have just what you need to turn your home into a paradise of style. There are some great ways to mix your favourite design styles together that works, particularly shabby chic furniture which is one of the most adaptable ranges out there. Let’s take a look.
For the most part, shabby chic furniture is made with reclaimed wood, which may not sound like cutting edge design, but it does offer you the opportunity to complement almost every other piece of furniture you own. Shabby chic furniture, or any reclaimed wooden furniture in fact, is at its best when it blends perfectly with modern pieces. That said, there are ways to make sure you’re hitting the right design notes. Contrasting contemporary and vintage styles brings both a freshness and an effortless style to your home. To achieve this, it’s best to be clear about what you’re trying to accomplish. Throwing every popular design choice at a room won’t showcase your style in anything like the way you want. For starters, we would recommend that your larger pieces of furniture are modern, including your sofa and armchairs. These types of furniture take a beating over the years, so trying to buy older pieces of this size in good condition can be a fruitless task. Instead, buy modern sofas but aim to accent these with shabby chic pieces, such as side or coffee tables. This will create an incredible mix of the two that works beautifully.
By their very nature, shabby chic furniture isn’t perfect. It’s those imperfections that make people fall in love with them, us included!. It might sound obvious, but bear this in mind when shopping for your next piece. Its quirky nature often works best when put against something with very definite clean lines and modern stylings. Contrasting styles really helps to draw the eye to its differences and makes for a much more interesting scene, particularly in bedrooms. To highlight this, why not check out our beautiful bedroom furniture collections, all made from reclaimed wood here; www.chattelsfurniture.co.uk/collections/bedroom
One other great way to mix shabby chic into your home is to utilise pieces in areas around the house where they wouldn’t traditionally be found. You could, for example, add a dresser to your entrance hall (size permitting obviously!) to create a focal point for friends and family as the arrive. It also works very well by adding contrasting colours. If, for example, your bathroom is predominately white, you can add pieces that accentuate themselves through their use of colour. Perhaps consider our wall hung cupboard? This adds a beautiful contrast, not only of style, but adds clarity to the piece through sympathetic colours.
To keep ahead of the latest trends you can always sign up to our newsletter today using this link where you’ll also receive our complete guide to caring for your furniture made with reclaimed wood. In addition, you’ll receive a special discount on all our furniture when you sign up!
5 Ways To Childproof Your Furniture
From taking our first tentative step onto the property ladder, we spend our lives, and a lot of money, to ensure that our homes look their best. When our family grows and resounds to the patter of tiny feet, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s the end for your precious furniture, including those made from reclaimed wood. That doesn’t have to be the case. We have some great tips for you to help child-proof your furniture that not only protects your child, but your valuable wooden furniture too. Before you start, get a better idea of what you need to do by getting down on your knees. This will put you at same height as your child will be. Your new perspective will allow you to view the world with a new set of child-size eyes and will be invaluable to seeing what needs to be done around your home.
Whatever your furniture is made from, whether it’s the strongest English oak, beautiful reclaimed wood such as teak or the coolest shabby chic furniture, you can protect them all from the daily rigours of young children. Obviously when your baby first comes home, there aren’t many changes you need to make immediately. It’s only once they start to find the feet, or rather their knees, and learn to crawl, pulling themselves up onto your furniture, that changes need to be made. Speaking of pulling themselves up, if you have any tall furniture, in particular bookcases or shelving units, it’s important to anchor them. This also applies to tables, desk or even dressers, especially if the centre of gravity of the furniture isn’t ‘standard’ due to peculiar leg designs or weighted objects on display. Of course, this could cause harm to your child, but also to the furniture, particularly if it falls onto other pieces you may have around. Furniture can be firmly secured to the wall via L-shaped brackets, which can easily be hidden from sight so as not to detract from the appearance of your furniture.
The second great tip to help child-proof your furniture is also one of the most popular; cover the corners of your furniture with protective guards. Most furniture will have some sharp (or sharp enough to hurt toddlers at least) right-angles and corners that can cause problems to children. As they learn to walk, and invariably fall over again, the corners of tables and chairs could really hurt them. By smoothing the angles with guards, hard edges can be softened which will limit the damage their delicate skin. They also work brilliantly when you’re moving furniture around. We all know the impact scuffed corners can have on furniture, so any way to protect it can only help prolong its life.
Building on the need to soften edges, if you need to soften an entire cornered edge of furniture, then you can also add edge bumpers. These can be made of harden foam or padded materials and fitted to the longer, exposed sides of desks, tables or squared pedestals. Whereas the corner protectors do exactly what it says on the tin, bumpers can cover much longer lengths to prevent injury to your child and damage to your furniture.
Once you’ve protected the corners and edges from potential injury, take a look at the furniture itself. Your new child will bring with it a myriad of new experiences for all of you, including your furniture. Sticky fingers and palm prints might be expected, but to valuable wooden surfaces, it might be a step too far. Make sure your furniture is suitably protected from fingers so that, if the worst happens, they can be easily wiped down and restored to their former glory. If wood hasn’t been protected, it could easily be stained by food, pens and any number of other substances children invariably find around the house. You may expect this to already be covered by your coffee table, but children will find all new ways of destroying / enhancing your furniture with their own sense of style, so prepare your furniture for battle!
The final tip to child-proof your furniture, is one of the easiest to achieve and also the cheapest, as it requires no additional equipment to be purchased. We all love our wooden furniture, whether it’s been reclaimed from preloved wood, exists as a shabby chic design statement, made by your own hands or purchased from the finest store, wooden furniture changes with time. The joints may weaken, fixings and glues can loosen or it can simply need a little TLC. Before your little bundle of joy arrives, give it a little shake. Find any areas that need tightening, fixing or repairing and give it a good service. The sturdier the furniture, the longer it will withstand the onslaught about to befall it. If it’s ready, you’re ready! Best of luck!
Reclaimed wood furniture: 5 reasons why we think you should choose teak!
There’s something incredibly beautiful about wood, especially when buying or even making furniture as we do at Chattels. Without question there are cheaper or more longer lasting man-made materials, but wood, especially teak, brings a warmth and style that is both attractive and durable. In these austere times we all need to stretch our budgets further, so finding high-quality furniture made with reclaimed wood is a great way to do exactly that whilst adding style to your home and also helping the environment. These days, shabby chic furniture can easily be combined with reclaimed teak to show off your home with some incredible style. Let’s take a look at the 5 key benefits of choosing teak over other types of wood.
The first key benefit of teak is its environmental credentials. Teak wood is derived from mature, tropical teak trees, which have a natural ability to defend themselves against fungus, parasitic insects (that thrive on other wood) and dry rot. These might not sound like environmental concerns but they are. Teak furniture doesn't warp or rot and because of these innate qualities, teak furniture lasts so much longer than comparable furniture, meaning you won’t need to replace it as often. Because of this, the better, reclaimed wooden furniture tends to be teak and can be enjoyed for longer.
Teak is a very strong, tough and sturdy hardwood. You might think all woods are created equally, after all ‘wood is wood’, but that is not the case. As mentioned above, teak doesn’t warp or rot, making its strength and durability a key asset, especially when used for garden furniture. This is particularly useful in the UK thanks to our predictably unpredictable seasonal weather. When you’re looking for new or reclaimed furniture for your patio, think teak!
The third incredible benefit of teak is important when you choose to buy furniture made with reclaimed wood or shabby chic furniture. Teak brings with it very low maintenance costs. You want your wooden furniture to look as good the day you buy it as the day you decide to change it. With teak, this can be years, if not decades, after you bought it. Teaks natural durability and strength means that you don’t have to spend time repainting, re-staining or re-varnishing it every year. Of course, you can, but the quality of teak as a hardwood means that it will look great from day one!
If you can design it, then chances are teak is the best choice to make it. This means that teak’s fourth benefit is its sheer versatility. Teak works perfectly for large pieces of garden furniture, reclaimed or shabby chic furniture, but it is equally at home in your home. It looks great turned into a bedside table, a dresser, a kitchen table or anything you can imagine. Its natural colour and texture means making beautiful furniture from teak is easy to do and a joy to look at.
At Chattels we love Teak. It’s eco-credentials, strength, low maintenance costs and versatility all lead to the final benefit of teak. We hope you decide, over time, to swap all your wooden furniture to teak and your home and garden becomes a teak lovers dream. If you do, you’ll need its final benefit, the ease of cleaning. Thanks to modern finishing techniques, teak can be cleaned with a simple wipe to restore its natural glory. Sign up to our newsletter today using this link: and you’ll receive our complete guide to caring for your furniture made with reclaimed wood, you’ll also receive a special discount on all our furniture when you sign up. Beautifully simple.
Next time you’re shopping for wooden furniture, try and pick a piece made from teak. You may find cheaper, but you won’t find better. Teak has everything you’re looking for and your home will look so much better for it.