Tips When Purchasing a Custom Made Bed

You and your partner have decided to buy a new bed, and while searching to the internet you have taken a liking to four poster beds. When you take a closer look for quality four poster beds, there are only a few companies making them, and very few supplying custom, hand made beds. I offer a few tips to help you find a craftsman suitable for helping to make your dreams come true.

1. You want to buy a good brand, with a good reputation in their market, look for testimonials from other customers ranging over several years, supporting product quality and service. A company that trades internationally is usually a good sign. Getting things wrong overseas would be costly to fix, so they will insist on high quality control and customer satisfaction. Ask if your four poster bed comes with a guarantee or warranty. If there is a problem in the future, it is good to know that it will be sorted out.

2. You want comfort. Good quality mattresses are the key to good sleep. Try them out in a shop to make certain that you find the most suitable for you. It is you that will be sleeping on it. Two different mattresses can be zipped together, so you do not have to compromise with your partner, as long as you decide which side of the bed you want.

3. If you are having furniture custom made, then you need someone to answer your questions that knows the product. The ultimate person to talk to is the craftsman making the bed for you. Talk to them on the phone, visit the workshop, or showroom, ask all the questions that concern you, ask for advice, and get what you want. This often means that the company that you are dealing with may not be large; it is a good sign when the person who picks up the phone is the same one that is making your bed.

4. Ask about different styles of bed that are available. You should have a choice of posts, panels (headboards and footboards), woods (hardwoods, such as oak, ash, etc. from local sustainable sources), colours and types of finish and of course mattress size. Look at pictures of the standard range, and other customers’ beds and if there is nothing that suits you, ask whether something can be made that you do like. Some companies are quite happy to make to customer specification, and most beds break down into sensible sized components, for easy access into difficult to get at bedrooms.

5. Do not look for a cheap bed, quality counts. A custom made four poster bed will last for several generations, so please remember that you get what you pay for. Having said that, however, there is no reason why you should not expect good value for money. High street shops and high profile businesses can be unnecessarily expensive, due to their overheads, so just keep looking for good quality materials and craftsmanship.

6. When it comes to delivery of your four poster bed, it is worth paying a small charge for delivery and assembly, with both customer and craftsman happy with the final result. If you are in a different country to the manufacturer, ask for assembly instructions (pictures are often the easiest), and any specialist tools and skills necessary for installation. If your bed is being shipped overseas, please allow for insurance, it is only about two percent of the total value.

These tips should be a good starting point for you to find a furniture maker with a good reputation, who puts customer satisfaction paramount and treats you as an individual. Remember that you spend almost third of your life in bed, so find one that makes you feel good, for generations.

Barstools Add Charm to Your House

Barstools are growing in popularity among a variety of venues: from kitchens and counters, to restaurants, clubs and bars. Wherever they are located, barstools are bringing modern and contemporary style to any room they reside in. Barstools are no longer just simple seats. With their increasing custom designs and styles, barstools and barstool furniture are an affordable way to add charm to the dining room, kitchen or patio of any location.

Barstool styles feature different seat heights, movement and material. Barstools are made for all counter heights, but usually 24 to 36 inches. Barstools can be made to move left to right, swivel 360 degrees, or remain stationary. In terms of material, barstools can be fashioned out of metal or wood: the most common woods including oak, pine and cherry. They can also be made of stainless steel, aluminum or wrought iron. Barstools are made in European and French fashions, and some of the most contemporary barstools can be found in chrome retro and 1950’s style designs as well.

Barstools can be purchased both with backs and without. Traditional barstools are usually found without backs. They are simple designs with seats, fabric covered or not, on three to four posts. More modern designs include backs and are more often referred to as barstool chairs. These barstool chairs are more conducive and comfortable to the human body. This is why there has been an increasing popularity among high-backed barstools and barstool chairs. Additionally, an even more recent trend has incorporated ergonomic elements in barstool designs: features like seatback and tilting seats, increased padding and cushioning, adjustable height, foot and arm rests are among some of the ergonomic aspects that are being introduced into barstool production.

Whether it is your kitchen, living room, patio, or billiard room, barstools make a wonderful addition to the furniture already present in any room design. In fact, when purchasing barstools, the best place to begin is right inside the room they will occupy: look around at your other furniture and get a feel for what styles, material and color would accessorize your arrangement the best. What is more, barstools tend to be affordable pieces of furniture, so maintaining a reasonable price range while opening up the style options available is generally no problem. Understanding what you want and what you can afford are the two best notions to keep in mind when approaching a barstool purchase. Yet no matter what material or style your original room set-up is concentrated in, it is likely that a barstool set exists in a matching fashion and affordable price.

When Is the Right Time to Buy New Furniture

When is it time to buy new furniture? Take a look around your house and ask yourself these questions:

1.Are your sofa or chair cushions showing signs of wear? If it’s leather, maybe the seat cushions are discolored, lighter in the seat area than the rest of the sofa or chair. If it’s fabric, see if the upholstery threads are pulling apart or discolored. If your furniture is showing signs of wearing, it’s time to consider new furniture or at least slip covering options.

2.Are there holes in your furniture? You might be able to stitch or patch the holes if the rest of the piece is structurally sound. Otherwise, start thinking about new furniture.

3.When you rise from the seat, does the cushion remain sunken? Check the springs to see if that’s the problem. If a broken or stretched spring is the culprit, the problem can probably be repaired, maybe even by yourself if you happen to be handy in that way. If the springs look okay, maybe you just need a new cushion. Take a cushion with you to an upholstery shop or fabric store to show the sales person what kind of cushion you need to replace the bad one. It’s a good idea to take a good cushion with you so the sales person can help match the cushion to the firmness and density you want to replace the bad cushion with.

4.Is the frame of your furniture still in good shape? If a sofa or chair has been dropped, it might crack a wooden frame. Flip your furniture upside down and take a look.

5.Does your furniture sit level? If it’s not level, check the frame. Check the legs to make sure a peg is not missing. If you can’t spot the problem, it’s time to buy new furniture.

6.When you sit on your furniture, do you feel the arms separate from the rest of the frame? Maybe you have a problem that can be solved with wood glue and a few clamps. Otherwise, for safety’s sake, get rid of your old furniture.

7.When you sit down, do you feel wood or a frame sticking out? Consider that poke in the behind your official cue to buy new furniture!

8.If you know it’s time to replace the old look of your furniture, decide if the update can be done with a simple slipcover. By measuring the furniture properly, a slip cover – either purchased ready made or custom made if your furniture has an unusual shape or curve to it – you can get a nice fit. Slip covers range in price starting at about $40. The better fabric you select, the higher the price. If you just want to update your furniture for a few more months until you save enough money to buy an all new ensemble, slip covers are the way to go.

9.Look at the finances. Will buying new furniture mean you’ll have to finance the purchase? If so, can you handle the extra bill each month?

10.Do you just want to? There’s nothing wrong with “wanting” new furniture. Look for solid pieces that will give your family many years of enjoyment and you’ll always be happy with your decision to buy new furniture!

Types Of Wood Used In Wood Furniture

Real wood furniture or handmade timber furniture and custom wood furniture is the most popular furniture in existence. It’s been around for hundreds of years and probably existed when the cave people got tired of squatting on the dirt floor of their caves and looked around for a better way.

The woods that are fashioned into furniture fall into three categories:
1. Hardwoods
2. Softwoods
3. Composites

Even the term ‘hardwood’ or ‘softwood’ is deceptive. Hardwoods aren’t necessarily harder, denser material. For example, balsa wood is one of the lightest, least dense woods there is, and it’s considered a hardwood. Technically, lumber is classified based on how the tree reproduces. As a general rule, though, softwood trees are evergreen year round while the hardwoods create the gorgeous autumn foliage that we all love so much.

Hardwoods are considered the highest quality and are the most expensive. Their natural colors vary from the darkest woods to the lightest ones and and they can be stained or painted for even more variety. Hardwood furniture is least likely to warp or bend and is prized in all high quality homes. The five woods most commonly used in furniture production are cherry, walnut, oak, maple and mahogany.

Softwoods are less expensive than hardwoods, but they require extra care. Because they are less durable, it’s much easier to scratch or dent softwood furniture. In addition, they often don’t have the beautiful grains of a hardwood, and therefore don’t stain as beautifully.

Pine is an example of a softwood that is commonly used for custom made wood furniture. These woods are often used in construction as well so the choicest pieces are reserved for furniture. In construction, knots and splits are common. Lots of construction lumber will not accept paint and this kind of wood is used for shelves or packing crates.

The softwood used in furniture is designated as “Appearance” lumber and includes most softwood lumber that has been custom milled to a pattern or otherwise surfaced on all four sides.

Composites are the cheapest form of wood and are literally manufactured, rather than grown.
1. Plywood: multiple layers of thin wooden sheets are glued together and pressed. Plywood is strong and resists swelling, shrinking and warping. There is some furniture made directly from plywood, but generally, it is only used as a support when incorporated into furniture.

2. Particle board: sawdust and small wood chips are mixed with glue or resin which is then shaped and pressure treated. When used for inexpensive furniture, particle board is usually covered with laminate or veneer. This is necessary because particle board splits easily and the laminate prevents splitting. However, the downside is that the laminate may separate from the wood because the particle board responds to temperature and pressure changes by swelling and shrinking.

3. Hardboard: is made like particle board but it’s placed under higher pressure so it’s stronger.

4. MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard: wood particles are bonded with resin and compressed. It is harder than particle board or hardboard, and can be cut like plywood although it isn’t as strong as plywood. Some MDF is covered with melamine which is a durable plastic in a variety of colors. The exposed edges of MDF are rough and need covering with molding or some other decorative material.

Technically, furniture made from all of these wood products is “real” wood furniture, even the composites. Prices and quality range from the hardwoods down to the composites. The higher you go up the spectrum, the more you can expect to pay for your wood furniture. The good part, of course, is that with proper care hardwood furniture will last for decades or even generations. If you can afford it, always choose hardwood furniture.

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