Furniture & Design

The 6 Top Benefits of Old Growth Wood

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

Wood is often underappreciated, and even taken for granted. But the truth is that there is a tremendous difference between old growth wood and new growth wood. The idea that “wood is wood” is simply inaccurate.


Just as there are substantial hardness and durability differences between particular types of wood, the same holds true when contrasting old growth wood and new growth wood. In this article, we will explore a few of the key benefits of old growth wood. When it comes to wood, old is quite often better.


Benefit #1 – Old Growth Wood is Tough, Very Tough


At the top of the list of reasons that you’ll want to consider old growth wood is its toughness. Old growth wood comes from trees that are old, often hundreds of years old. Old trees are denser and as a result much sturdier; after all, they have withstood the test of time!


It is no accident that old growth wood is prized. In fact, it is common for buildings that used old growth wood, such as old school buildings, barns and other older buildings to have their old growth wood reclaimed. If an old building is being torn down or renovated, builders often even go out of their way to reclaim and resell the old growth wood.


The durability and toughness of old growth wood means that it will always find a second or even third life whether in flooring or in wood furniture. Reclaimed old growth wood is often used to make long-lasting and impressive furniture; furniture that will stand the test of time.

The strength of reclaimed old growth wood has other benefits as well. Thanks to its strength, old growth wood can bear heavier loads. I has the capability to do so across considerably longer spans than new growth wood.


Benefit #2 – Old Growth Wood is Good for the Planet


Using old growth wood means using wood that has already been processed, and that means lowering your carbon footprint. New growth wood has another unexpected benefit. Not only has old growth wood not been recently cut down, but it also has not been processed and that saves energy.


These factors all add up to increase your carbon footprint. Opting to use old growth wood building materials, especially in a project like the building of a new home, can substantially improve a project’s overall sustainability. Using old growth wood is essentially an excellent form of recycling. Reclaimed timber builds both a strong home and helps the environment at the same time; it is a true win-win.


Benefit #3 – It’s Rot Resistant


No wood is rot proof, but old growth wood is far more rot resistant than new growth wood. As any woodworker or builder will tell you, water and wood don’t mix.


When it comes to the benefits of old growth wood, rot resistance ranks high on the list. Obviously no wood is rot proof, but old growth wood provides far more rot resistance than new growth wood. The same softness that makes new growth wood weaker than old growth wood also means that new growth wood is more susceptible to rot. Play it safe and opt for old growth wood whenever possible.


Benefit #4 – It’s Beautiful


There is a charm and appeal to old growth wood that is unique. Simply stated, old growth wood is stunning. The world’s most beautiful furniture and artwork is usually created with old growth wood. The intricate, natural patterns in old growth wood, patterns created over hundreds of years, cannot effectively be reproduced.


Looked at another way, old growth wood is a work of art created over time by nature and the results can yield unforgettable artwork and furniture.


The possibilities are virtually limitless for how old wood can be put into use in new applications.

It looks stunning when it is used for wood flooring, rustic furniture, musical instruments, exposed headers and even open beam ceilings. The truth is that the sky is the limit for what you can use this wood for; so feel free to use your imagination.


Benefit #5 – Not Quite as Attractive to Termites


No wood is rot proof. Likewise, no wood, not even an old growth hardwood, is termite proof. If only life were that easy. If you are living in a termite zone like the southern part of the United States, then no wood is potentially off limits to termites.


However, the good news here is that old growth wood is harder and denser, and that means termites are often less interested in it. New growth wood is a different story, for once again, new growth wood, being softer, is simply easier to chew through. Take a look at a close-up picture of the jaws on a termite and you’ll quickly realize just how quickly a group of hungry termites can gobble their way through new wood. Once again, old growth wood is a different story!


Benefit #6 – Heirloom Quality


Thanks to its great durability, whether it is a home, a table or any other item, anything made with old growth wood can be passed from one generation to the next. The cheap pressed wood furniture found in the big box stores isn’t built to last.


In fact, pressed wood furniture is literally in a constant state of decay. Your grandchildren won’t be using the pressed wood table you bought from your local big box store in fifty years, or likely even in fifteen. One of the key benefits of old growth wood is that it will, when properly cared for, last for generations.


Added together the benefits are clear. Old growth wood is special. People who know wood understand that old growth wood is superior to younger woods. Younger woods simply don’t have the durability or the visual appeal so often found in old growth wood. Furniture that uses old growth wood might be a little more expensive than other options, but for those looking for the best investment possible, one that will last a lifetime and beyond, there really is no replacement for old growth wood.

The Health Benefits of Selecting Wood Furniture

Monday, July 31st, 2017


You might not instantly associate real wood furniture with health benefits, but the bottom line is that there is a link between real wood furniture and health. A wide array of home products contains chemicals and additives that are unhealthy. Quite often, when people think about healthy products in the home, they think of food or perhaps cleaning supplies and furniture never even crosses their minds.


However, the kind of furniture we bring into our homes can have a major impact on our health and the health of our family in a variety of ways. One of the key facts to remember about furniture is that it is often quite large. Simply stated, if your furniture contains unhealthy compounds the size of furniture means that there is a great deal of that compound or compounds in your home. It’s can have a far greater impact than a toxic small household item that might simply be stored in a drawer somewhere. In this article, we will explore how selecting real wood can help you improve and protect your health. When you select naturally made hand crafted furniture, you ensure that you and your family breathe healthier air and get less exposure to toxins.


VOCs Never Take a Holiday

Most non-wood furniture and simulated wood furniture so often sold in the “big box stores” are made using a wide variety of chemicals. These chemicals are not inactive and do, in fact, keep off-gassing for not just months but in fact off-gas for years. Furniture and other items that we put in our homes such as carpeting product volatile organic compounds or VOCs.


Furniture and carpeting containing VOCs off-gas around the clock and unfortunately also do so 365 days a year. Many people are more sensitive to off-gassing than others. Building materials are often behind high levels of VOCs, and if you are living in a newly constructed building the odds are good that considerable off-gassing is taking place. If you are living in an older home then much of the off-gassing has likely already occurred; however, new furniture presents a potential problem.


Upholstered and Pressed Wood Furniture is Inferior to Real Wood Furniture


It is quite common for mass produced upholstered furniture and so-called “pressed wood” furniture, which is essentially a mixture of chemicals, glue and sawdust formed into the shape of furniture, to off-gas chemicals such as formaldehyde.


Formaldehyde is a known toxic compound and one that should be avoided. Children and particularly vulnerable to chemical exposure underscoring the importance of protecting children from products, such as pressed wood and upholstered furniture that are off-gassing.


Tighter Homes Mean Greater VOC Exposure


Currently there is a widespread movement to make homes “tighter” so that they are more energy efficient. One of the byproducts of having tighter, more energy efficient homes is that VOCs tend to get trapped inside where they are breathed, resulting in potential health consequences. There are two ways of reducing one’s risk of VOCs being trapped due to today’s tighter homes.


Additional Steps You Can Take to Safeguard Your Health Against VOCs


-Simply Avoid these Products


The first way is to simply avoid products that are high in VOCs in the first place, such as pressed wood and upholstered furniture. The second step is to make sure that one’s living space is well-ventilated and that a quality air purifier is used. Many air purifiers on the market use ozone, which is known to have a range of potential health problems. A safer approach is to use HEPA filter non-ozone, non-ionizing air purifier to help clean the air. Even taking a step as simple as opening up a window can help dramatically when it comes to lowering indoor air pollution and VOCs.


-Circumvent Flame Retardants


Another major problem with upholstered furniture and press wood furniture is that these low-cost, low-quality furniture options contain flame retardant chemicals. In short, flame retardant chemicals should be avoided whenever possible. Flame retardant chemicals are added to the foam in furniture, and there are conflicting opinions out there as to whether or not these chemicals even work.


What is known, however, is that flame retardant chemicals are harmful and pose a particular risk to the health and development of children. These chemicals have been linked to cancer, lower I.Q. in children and hormone problems. Avoiding furniture and other products with flame retardant chemicals in them is a prudent move, especially in furniture which is generally large and contains a large volume of these harmful chemicals.


-Skip the Stains 


As mentioned earlier in this article, furniture is large. Upholstered furniture often has stain guards on it or consumers add stain guards after the fact. Stain guards are usually nothing more than a mixture of chemicals and they are not a permanent solution. Upholstered furniture will get dirty. Attempting to prevent the staining of upholstered furniture through the use of stains is only a short-term solution and serves to reduce indoor air quality.


Stain guards do, however, release VOCs and chemicals into your environment. Choosing well made wood furniture means that you and your family are not only avoiding the toxic compounds contained within the furniture, but also eliminating the need for stain guards altogether.


-Always Choose Real Wood


Opting for real wood furniture is one of the single greatest steps any consumer can take towards reducing flame retardant and VOC compounds in their homes. There are many chemicals in our environment and the majority of them have not been tested for their long-term impact on human health.


With this in mind, it only makes sense to reduce harmful chemical exposure whenever possible. Until greater safety regulations are put into place it is the job of the consumer to vote with his or her dollars. Not only is real wood furniture a safer option, but it is also an option that is better for the planet, as most upholstered furniture and pressed wood furniture has a high carbon footprint and uses petroleum in the manufacturing process. By contrast, real wood furniture is safer and much more durable.

5 Tips for Protecting Wood Furniture in Your Home

Sunday, May 21st, 2017



Quality furniture made from real wood can literally last for generations. This simple fact is at the root of why real wood furniture is such a good investment. Of course, as we are Amish Furniture Factory, it likely will come as no surprise that we feel that way. But there are a variety of reasons why that is the case. It isn’t just about appearance, wood is a healthier material and it will also pay off in giving you years of trouble-free use.


Cheap furniture, made from so-called manufactured board, which is really just a combination of glues, chemical binders and wood fragments, can’t possibly measure up to good old fashioned authentic wood. Inexpensive furniture comes with a range of problems and issues. For example, cheap furniture may look good at first, but it doesn’t last. That means that you will have to go through the trouble of replacing it sooner than later.


Another key problem with cheap furniture is that since it is usually made from a combination of chemicals and wood fragments, this kind of furniture tends to release harmful VOCs or volatile organic compounds into the air. Most people understandably don’t think about air pollution when they buy furniture, but the simple fact is that cheap wood furniture can degas for many years to come. That means that it can negatively impact your health and the health of your family.


Since real wood furniture is an investment, it only makes sense to do everything you can to protect that investment. In this article, we are going to explore five tips for how you can protect your real wood furniture so that it is continue to last and last.


#1 Treat Wood Furniture Right and It Will Last for Decades



The most basic way to protect wood furniture is to exercise basic care of your furniture. In other words, you shouldn’t leave your wood furniture outdoors unless that furniture has been specially treated to be outdoors.


Likewise, for your indoor furniture you will want to take steps to protect it from moisture and heat; after all, real wood furniture, while durable, is not indestructible. A degree of care must be given to even the toughest wood furniture if that furniture is to last for years to come.


#2 Protect Wood Furniture from Moisture and Damage



Another step in protecting wood furniture is to finish that furniture. Unfinished wood furniture is more susceptible to damage, especially from moisture. There are many non-toxic ways to finish your wood furniture so that it will last for decades.


Finishing or treating unfinished wood furniture is something that you may want to consider. It is, however, important to exercise caution if you are finishing or treating your own furniture. Many finishes and treatments on the market contain potentially harmful chemicals. For this reason, you should know what ingredients are in a given finish or treatment and then take necessary precautions when applying those treatments.


#3 Exercise Proper Health and Safety Precautions When Treating or Finishing Wood



In general, it is best to apply any finishes or treatments in a well-ventilated area, even outdoors if possible, and gloves and even as face mask should be used. Additionally, it is critically important to keep children and pets out of your work area when you are finishing or treating wood furniture. Most finishes and treatments will release vapors that can harm lungs and even damage your body.


While finishes and treatments are a great way to preserve your wood furniture, care must be exercised. Once you have applied a treatment or finish to your wood furniture, you will want to let that furniture dry in an area far from your family and pets.


If you are thinking about breathing new life into your old wood furniture there are some steps you should take. Refinishing wood furniture usually means sanding, and that means you will be causing a lot of wood particles to be released into the air. Just as it is necessary to wear a respirator or mask when applying finishes and treatments, the same holds true for sanding wood. Refinishing your furniture can be rewarding and a lot of fun but it is important to take the necessary safety precautions.


#4 Remember that Oil and Wood are a Winning Combination



There are many simple steps you can take to protect your wood furniture. One of the first steps in protecting wood is to use oil. Coating your wood with a safe oil, such as tung oil, every couple of years will help keep your wood in great shape.


There are other oil options as well. Many people have great results with a mineral oil and even coconut oil. Yes, even an oil as “simple” as coconut oil can yield positive results. Before you apply any oil to your wood you should clean the area. Once you have finished applying the oil be sure to wipe up any excess oil. You may discover that it is necessary to apply more than one coating to your wood to achieve your desired results.


#5 Enjoy Your Furniture


wood guy

In summary, taking care of real wood couldn’t be any easier. Wood is tough and will last and last. It will be durable and look fantastic for many years to come. Once you place it in your home, you really can sit back and relax. With following just a few simple steps, your wood furniture should be trouble-free and even an heirloom that you can pass down to future generations.


While we have outlined some of the different steps you can take to enhance the longevity and appearance of your wood, that is not to state that wood isn’t tough. Wood hasn’t been one of the most preferred building materials of humanity for centuries by accident. It is incredibly durable and if you follow the tips in this article you can enjoy your real wood furniture for decades.


A piece of high-quality, well-built wood furniture will, in fact, last not just for decades but for centuries. The time you invest in taking care of your wood furniture is time well-spent.

5 Things to Know About Replacing Your Roof

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017



Most homeowners, at some point, will be confronted with having to replace the prospect of replacing a roof. Roofs, much like other manufactured goods, don’t last forever. They often don’t even last as long as they should. In this article, we will explore the five top things you should consider when replacing your roof.


#1 Asphalt Roofs are the Most Common Type of Roofing, Just Don’t Expect Much More than Twenty Years of Service


Most forms of roofing material are not built to last. The simple fact is that like many manufactured goods there is a degree of planned obsolescence built into the roofing industry; after all, if roofing companies could make roofs that lasted forever they would have a big problem on their collective hands.


The most commonly installed roof is the so-called asphalt roof. Asphalt roofing is a blend of asphalt and chemicals. Asphalt roofing is most definitely not environmentally friendly, regardless of some claims to the contrary. Asphalt is also really not something that you want to breathe in too much either; however, asphalt roofing is everywhere.


You shouldn’t expect asphalt roofing to last as long as other forms of roofing either. Fifteen to twenty years is usually the lifespan of an asphalt roof. These are the least expensive roofs on the market but they don’t last. Even the manufacturers and installers don’t claim that they do. Just as real wood furniture will last many times longer than cheap MDS furniture, the same holds true for roofing material.


#2 -No Roof Will Last Forever, but There is Almost an Exception to the Rule



There are many different roofing options on the market and each have their pros and cons. Asphalt roofing usually offers the lowest years of service before needing to be replaced. Other commonly used, but more expensive, roofing options include metal, cedar shake, slate, clay and composite.


Composite roofing is often made out of plastic and/or rubber. Composite roofing hasn’t been around as long as other roofing options and some rubber based composite roofing options tend to smell as they are, after all, made out of rubber.


Metal roofing comes in many forms ranging from the very expensive, such as copper, to more wallet-friendly options such as steel and aluminum options. Aluminum, unlike steel, will generally not rust and is lightweight.


Metal options offer a vastly improved service life over asphalt roofing. So where is the catch?  Well the main potential drawback to metal roofing is that it is considerably more expensive than asphalt roofing.


Cedar shake roofs are made from trees and have an ancient history. But cost can also be a factor with these roofs. Today, fewer and fewer homeowners are opting for cedar shakes due to both cost and longevity.


The most durable of all roofing options are slate and clay. Slate and clay roofs are built to last. In fact, there are clay roofs in Europe that are literally hundreds of years old! Clay is tough, weathers extremely well, but there are two big catches with this option.


First, clay and slate roofs are very heavy and not all homes have foundations that are sturdy enough to support the weight of clay and slate roofs. Secondly, clay and slate are quite expensive. However, many experts say that clay or slate are probably your best roof options if your home can support the weight and you have the budget.


#3-Give that Amazing 50-Year Warranty A Second Look



A 20-year, 30-Year or 50-Year warranty on your roof often isn’t exactly what it seems like. Whatever the warranty may be that comes with your roof, you may want to take another look and carefully read the fine print. The roofing company will most likely not replace your roof once it begins to fall apart.


Warranties in the roofing industry often don’t mean all that much as you might hope. If your roof falls apart after 10 years, you might not be getting a new roof free of charge. The roofing industry simply doesn’t stand behind its product in this fashion. Instead, the warranty tends to be is a prorated one, so you might save a little money on yet another new roof. Again, if you want a roof to last a very long time then you’ll want to opt for a slate or clay roof.


#4-Select Your Own Roofing Materials



Roofing contractors have many reasons why they might want you to use a given roofing material, but you should select your own roofing material. Do your research ahead of time when selecting your roofing material. In this way, you’re the one in control of what kind of roof you get. You’ll also want to take into account what you actually think will look good with your house. There are a variety of different appearances and colors to consider. Don’t let a salesperson talk to you into something you might not be happy with when you actually see it on top of your house.


Your roofer’s personal preferences may have nothing to do with providing you the best roof possible. In short, buyer beware. Do you own homework and lots of it. Your decision is certainly something you’ll have to live with- quite literally in fact.
#5-Do Your Research in Selecting a Roofer and Roof Type



Installing a new roof is no small endeavor, and it’s not one that you want to do again anytime soon. The simple fact is that installing a new roof is expensive, time consuming and can be disruptive to your lifestyle. You don’t want to install a new roof only to discover new leaks or other problems such as horrible fumes or odors.


All of this underscores the importance of understanding all the products that go into your home, including items like underlayment and installation. The time you spend investigating roofing options and roofing contracts is a prudent investment.


Ultimately, there currently is no “exceptional” roofing option. On one end of the spectrum are cheap roofs that need to be replaced every 15-20 years. On the other end of the spectrum are highly durable roofs that are very expensive. Homeowners have to decide which options works best for their budgets and current needs.

Can You Learn Woodworking? 5 Steps to Success

Friday, August 19th, 2016


Woodworking is an ancient skill that is still alive and well today. It is no accident that it has endured the test of time. Wood remains one of the most versatile and durable materials on the planet. Thanks to the growing interest in the environment and all things eco-friendly, renewable resources such as wood have taken on a new importance.


Woodworking Will Always Be in Style


One undeniable fact about woodworking is that it will never go out of style. The artistry and beauty of woodworking is such that this craft will always be both practical and have a place in the world of the arts. Just as a sculptor can bring a block of marble or other material to life, the same holds true for a piece of wood in the hands of a skilled woodworker. So let’s explore some of the best ways to learn the ancient skill of woodworking.


Tip #1 Begin by Learning Important Safety Protocols


It is important that we discuss safety before moving on to any discussion. Like many skills, woodworking can be dangerous, especially for amateurs.


Following safety protocols is a must and for woodworking beginners, it is vital to have an experienced woodworker help you gain familiarity with the machines used and the safety protocols for the use of those machines. It is also important to note that working with manual, non-electric tools is often a safer alternative for woodworking newbies than using power tools. Summed up, proceed with caution when learning!


Tip #2 Read Easy to Use Books and E-Books on Woodworking


Learning woodworking can be very exciting and there are many ways to begin the journey. Books, including e-books, can be a great place to begin familiarizing oneself with the basics of woodworking. Many books have blueprints and plans for woodworking projects.


Woodworking books for beginners, such as Woodworking for the Serious Beginner by Pamela Philpott-Jones and Paul L. McClure and The Everything Woodworking Book: A Beginner’s Guide to Creating Great Projects From Start to Finish by Jim Stack are two good examples of woodworking books for beginners, but there are many others.

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Woodworking Basics-Mastering the Essentials of Craftsmanship-An Integrated Approach with Hand and Power Tools by Peter Korn and Your First Workshop: A Practical Guide to What You Really Need (Getting Started in Woodworking) by Aime Fraser are two other excellent examples of easy to read guides for woodworking beginners.


Tip #3 Watch YouTube-A Free Guide to Endless Woodworking Tutorials


There are plenty of other options for woodworking beginners beyond books. The Internet is rich in woodworking tutorials and tips. From websites to YouTube videos there exists no shortage of ways to learn more about woodworking. Video sites, such as YouTube, are particularly valuable and useful for newbies.


When it comes to woodworking, seeing actual examples from experienced woodworkers can be rather valuable and time saving. If you are looking to “hit the ground” running with your woodworking, then watching videos is an excellent step to take. Woodworking tutorials are plentiful on YouTube, are easily accessed and are also free. In short, you just can’t beat the price of YouTube’s woodworking video tutorials and information videos.


Two good woodworking series on YouTube come from The Wood Whisper and Steve Ramsey’s Get Started in Woodworking. Ramsey, in fact, has numerous basic woodworking videos.


Tip #4 Visit Woodworking Websites


Also available online are numerous websites that are rich in woodworking information. A couple of good examples of helpful woodworking websites include Bob Villa’s website, and’s Woodworking site.


About’s Woodworking site includes a range of helpful articles including Safety Rules Every Woodworker Should Know, Top 10 Hand Tools Every Woodworker Needs, Top 7 Power Tools Every Woodworker Should Have, Woodworking Machines, Selecting Lumber for Your Woodworking Projects, The Easy Way to Check for Square and many other articles.


Make.Com Might Just Be Your First Stop


At, you’ll find articles on Understanding Basic Woodworking Tools, which is a great place to begin if you feel completely lost and want to know where to begin; this quick tutorial of woodworking basics is a great option for amateur woodworkers. The bottom line is that there are more woodworking articles and tips online that most people could ever read.


Tip #5 Try Some Fun and Easy Woodworking Projects


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Once you have woodworking basics under your belt, you might want to check out sites like The Saw Guy has little gems like the 27 Easiest Woodworking Projects for Beginners, which is packed with basic woodworking projects for newbies to cut their woodworking teeth on. You’ll find everything from a Rustic Candle Holder and a Wooden iPad Dock to a wood rack and a simple table over at The Saw Guy.


Learning Woodworking Has Never Been Easier


Today, thanks to the Internet there exists an abundance of free advice, knowhow, ideas, tutorials and instructional videos on woodworking. Learning the valuable and ancient skill of woodworking has never before in history been this easy or this fun. If you have always wanted to learn how, then now the best time. So don’t wait, instead discover woodworking for yourself.

Carpenter marking a measurement on a wooden plank

Experienced woodworkers will tell you that there is no greater feeling than building something wonderful, beautiful and useful with your own hands. Instead of buying an item like a table, why not learn to build your own table? The time investment you make in learning woodworking will be well rewarded.




How to Appreciate the Beauty of Amish Quilts

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Amish quilts are known around the world for their intense beauty. Amish quilts are carefully designed by masters. The end results are functional works of art that are often displayed by their owners with great pride. A key reason that Amish quilts are so valued is that these quilts not only take tremendous skill to produce but are also beautiful and classic works of art that are sure to stand the test of time. For this reason, many see the purchasing of Amish quilts to be nothing less than an investment.


An Investment of Time


The story of an Amish quilt is by no means a short one. The skill needed to produce these quilts is not learned overnight. Amish quilts are, in fact, works of art that are created by women who have often spent decades learning how to produce these one-of-a-kind and iconic creations.
Usually Amish women begin learning how to create Amish quilts at a young age and continue refining their skills over not years but decades. When you opt for an Amish quilt, you are in fact selecting a unique work of art that has been carefully created by a master, one who has often spent a life time learning to create these wonderful creations.


A Long History of Amish Quilts


Amish child

Amish quilts are one of the key crafts of the Amish people. The tradition of Amish quilts goes well over a century and is as appreciated today as it was in the past. While the history of quilts and quilting goes back centuries, Amish quilts have made a real name for themselves in the United States. There are many different styles of Amish quilts ranging from the Lancaster quilts to the Midwestern quilts and more.


Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is a major hub for the creation of Amish quilts. These quilts are known for their high level of manufacturing quality, artistry and of course beauty. Amish quilts are handmade and for those looking for something unique and charming Amish quilts are tough to match. In an era where a large percentage of clothing and bedding is machine made, cheap and considered to be temporary in nature, Amish quilts truly stand out in beauty, durability and value.


MultiPurpose Items for the Home


There also exists a greater level of variety to Amish quilts than many suspect. Amish quilts are not simply for bedding, but for many other purposes as well. For example, Amish quilts are often used as wall decorations, decorative throws and even for infant bedding.


The focus on quality materials help ensure not just the durability of Amish quilts but also the warmth of Amish quilts. Consumers looking for a warm bedding that will stand the test of time will quickly discover that Amish quilts are a true winner. Cotton is typically used and bright colors are often blended for what can be called a dazzling effect.


A Stunning Array of Varieties


When it comes to styling, beautiful Amish quilts have several options including Amish color quilts, patchwork quilts and applique quilts. Amish color quilts help dispel the notion that the Amish don’t embrace color. When it comes to their quilts and the use of quilts as a form of decoration, Amish quilts can safely be called breathtaking. Through a process of carefully blending geometric patterns and colors, Amish quilt makers achieve end results that are often called hypnotic.


Star, square and diamond patterns are often seen in Amish quilts. Many new to Amish quilts are surprised by the level of geometric complexity that is clearly on display in Amish quilting. This complexity also serves to underscore why Amish quilts are often more expensive than many other quilt options. In terms of complexity, that complexity is strikingly evident in patchwork quilts. The complexity of Amish quilts reaches a whole new level when it comes to patchwork quilts. These large quilts help to showcase just how much creativity, artistry and beauty Amish quilts can provide. While usually more expensive than other types of Amish quilts, patchwork quilts often demonstrate what is possible in Amish quilting.


Another beautiful type of Amish quilt, one that also displays the great creativity and artistry of a quilting master, is the embroidered Amish quilts. Embroidered Amish quilting takes many years to master and can provide for simply stunning results.


A Gift that Will Never Disappoint


Those looking for a surprising and unforgettable gift will find that an Amish quilt offers something truly amazing. Having a gift that is overlooked or forgotten is an unpleasant experience and this is yet another way in which Amish quilts are different. Amish quilts make for a fantastic gift because they always get used. Their beautify and functionality ensures that Amish quilts are never forgotten. If you are looking for a way to add warmth to your home or the home of a loved one then a beautiful Amish quilt is an excellent option.


More than Just a Pretty Face


The simple fact is that a true Amish quilt is labor intensive. Not only is an Amish quilt made by hand, but it is also the product of years of hands on experience. A wonderful Amish quilt is the result of a master who has invest years in learning the craft. In short, Amish quilts are not quickly produced. Instead, each and every Amish quilt is a unique, one-of-a-kind creation and work of art. In many ways, Amish quilts stand as one of the single best art investment one can make. These functional works of art are more than just a pretty face.





The Top 8 Reasons to Choose a House Made from Wood

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

houses-1150022_960_720Wood is a beautiful and renewable resource, as a result building with wood has many diverse advantages. Those looking to build their own home or buy a preexisting home made from wood will find that there are a surprising number of advantages associated with “going wood.” From being beautiful to being safe and eco-friendly, wood has a bounty of offer homeowners and homebuilders alike.


Wood’s great versatility is truly only matched by its durability and charm. Let’s explore some of the key reasons that you’ll want to consider building with wood or buying a home made from wood.


Reason 1-The Tremendous Beauty of Wood


It is impossible to have a discussion about the value of choosing wood as a building material and not mention wood’s great beauty. No other material has the look, feel and charm of all-natural wood. A home featuring a large percentage of wood has instant beauty. With wood there is no need to attempt to add beauty as the beauty is inherent in the wood itself.


A key aspect of the beauty of wood is it’s timelessness. Properly constructed and maintained wood homes are just as beautiful now as when they were created; this is a rare feat and hard for many other building materials to match. In short, it is no accident that building with wood as stood the test of time!


Reason 2-Wood is Versatile



Wood is unlike many other building materials in that it is highly versatile, dependable and easy to use. The versatility of wood means that many different construction options and looks are available. Regardless of the kind of look you desire, the odds are excellent that such a look can be achieved using wood.


If you are going for an authentic cabin in the woods, for example, you can’t beat wood. But it can also be used for various modern designs as well.


Reason 3-Ease of Construction


Another key aspect of wood’s versatility is its ease of construction. Wood can be crafted into a shocking array of different configurations and in many different ways.

When it comes to readily available materials there are few, if any, can match wood for its ease of construction. In turn, this makes wood a more cost effective and attractive building option.


Reason 4-Infrastructure


Building with wood is also easy, cost-effective and time-efficient due to the fact that building with wood is one of the key ways that buildings are constructed. The construction industry understands the fundamentals of wood and how to build with it. The end result is a fast and affordable building option.


Reason 5-Wood Handles Water



Water is a constant threat to any home. Simply stated, water can do tremendous damage to one’s property and do it quickly. There are many varieties of wood that are highly water resistant, such as Douglas Fir. If you want your construction to stand the test of time then consider opting for a wood that is naturally water resistant.


Reason 6-It’s Tough, Strong and Durable


Real wood should never be confused with manufactured wood products such as MDF, which are little more than chemicals, wood fragments and saw dust mixed together to create a cheap, temporary, flimsy and even toxic final product. Whether you are building your own home or buying furniture, always spend the extra money on real and durable wood. Real wood is lightweight while at the same time sturdy, helping to make it one of nature’s most perfect building materials.


Reason 7-Non-Toxic Wood is Safer for Humans



Wood, especially wood that has not been chemically treated, is a very healthy building option. The same can not be stated for many building options. An increasingly serious modern environmental problem comes in the form of “sick buildings.” Sick building syndrome refers to buildings whose construction materials result in a toxic build up of fumes due to the degassing of harmful and toxic building materials. All types of wood are a safe building materials. The harmful compounds released by many modern building materials have been implicated in a range of diseases. Fortunately, healthy wood options do not come with such concerns.


Reason 8-A Great Choice for the Environment



Wood is a renewable resource. Trees help the environment in a myriad of important ways including absorbing carbon. Unlike many other building materials, wood is renewable and can even absorb carbon while growing. Those looking for a great building material that is also comes with a lower carbon footprint will want to take a look at what wood has to offer.


These eight reasons together underscore why so many homeowners and builders have opted for wood over the centuries and will continue to do so. The great and undeniable beauty of wood combined with its numerous building advantages all combine to help wood stand out as a truly unique building option.

When it comes time to build or buy a home, consider the various benefits that wood has to offer. Wood homes are durable and wood will stand the test of time. A properly built wood home can dramatically reduce the amount of toxic fumes present in indoor air quality.

Combined together, all the factors point in a clear direction. Wood is a superior building material generously supplied by nature.

5 Wood Projects to Do with Kids

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016


Woodworking can be a relaxing and fun activity for children. The most important aspect of woodworking projects is, of course, to observe safety rules. Woodworking with children is obviously not the same as working on adult projects. You have to give some advance thought to what is the right fit. Let’s explore woodworking and wood based projects for a variety of ages and interests. Wood projects for kids can be fun and creative and create functional works of art that can become valued mementos of childhood.


Project One-You Cut and They Build


There are plenty of guides and templates for how to build different wood projects online. For younger children, one of the best approaches is for an adult to cut the pieces in advance and then assemble projects together afterwards. This is a great way to get children use to working with wood and engaged in the assembly process. The real key here isn’t so much what you build, as it is the process itself. Many websites and woodworking magazines have online outlines and templates for how to begin building everything from airplanes to boxes and more.


Project Two-The Birdhouse


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Building a birdhouse with your children is an amazing idea and for many different reasons. A birdhouse provides birds with a place to live and this fact can help you teach your children about birds, nature, habitats, conservation and more. Another great fact about building a birdhouse is that a birdhouse is perhaps the perfect starter wordworking project. Constructing a birdhouse is a manageable project, and it is small and lightweight enough that children can move and manipulate the pieces and contribute to construction and every phase.


Additionally, birdhouses are art projects. Once completed a birdhouse can be painted and decorated. The fact that birdhouses must be painted also gives children an opportunity to express their creativity and allows you to teach them about the importance of protecting wood from the elements. While birdhouses might seem simple there is much that children can learn from their construction. If you are looking for good birdhouse plans, check out sites such as This site is loaded with tips on building a birdhouse and even comes with six free plans.


Project Three-The Doghouse



Building a doghouse is a natural continuation of building a birdhouse. Once your child has mastered the basics of building a small birdhouse, he or she will feel more confident tackling a larger project such as building a doghouse. Just a word of caution, never lose sight of the fact that a beloved family pet might be inhabiting your doghouse! So keep an eye out not just for your child’s safety during the doghouse construction process but also for the long term safety of your pet.


There are many clever free doghouse plans out there. One of the best doghouse plans is  for a custom, insulated dog house. Yes, doghouses can benefit from insulation as well. Check out this link to Ron Hazelton’s website to learn more about how to build an insulated doghouse that will keep your dog warm and toasty all winter. Just remember that many forms of insulation can be harmful if inhaled so when working with children opt for healthy forms of insulation, such as wool or blue jean insulation. If you are looking for a somewhat easier and very inexpensive doghouse project for children to assist you with then it is tough to beat this simple A-frame doghouse plan that can be found at Instructables. This plan is a quick and easy build, is inexpensive costing only about $75 or less and is relatively easy to put together. This plan does include using a small amount of asphalt/fiberglass singles, which if cut should be cut away from your children due to the particles they release, which can be inhaled. Your children will love the sense of satisfaction they receive from building this fairly large doghouse!


Project Four-The Bookcase



Once your child has tackled a birdhouse and a doghouse, he or she might be ready for something more advanced. Building a bookcase with your child is a great deal of fun and will definitely instill in your child a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The woodworking experts over at This Old House have a great plan for a small bookcase. It is a little more advanced than the other projects we’ve discussed so far but it will definitely help to build your child’s puzzle skills and in a major way.


Project Five-Graduate to Building a Coffee Table


Is building a coffee table with your child ambitious? Yes, especially if you haven’t started with a birdhouse and/or doghouse, but if you have taken those smaller steps then there is no reason you can’t take on something more substantial. Of course, it is vitally important that you observe excellent safety precautions to avoid any injury. There are many build-it-yourself coffee table plans out there and some are much more complicated than others.


With this in mind one of the single best options for parents and children building a coffee table together can be found at Ana White’s website. The Tryde Coffee Table is beautiful but also fairly simple to build. The plan is straightforward with only ten-steps in total!


Obviously, not all of these woodworking projects are perfect fits for children of every age, but this list has something that most children can participate in. There are many aspects to woodworking projects and that means children can help in various ways. Just don’t forget to opt for people-friendly and eco-friendly paints and finishes and keep children away from any potentially harmful dust or fumes. Best of all, these projects build memories.

7 Inspiring Ideas to Decorate your Dining Table

Saturday, January 2nd, 2016



If you are like most people your dining table is, well, somewhat forgotten. It does its job, doesn’t ask for much, and like a well-behaved middle child it can be somewhat (and sadly) overlooked. Most of us look at our dining room table every day, but don’t take steps to bring it into our home decoration strategies. Yet, your dining table likely has a great deal of wonderful untapped potential and it deserves its own blog post.


The typical dining table takes up a lot of space in the average home. But with the right approach and strategy, it can be transitioned from forgotten to fabulous! Once you start using the seven tips we’ve outlined in this article, you’ll never want to go back. Let’s take a look at some fun, festive and creative ways to infuse some life into your dining table.


Tip One-Go Seasonal


easter-eggs-828955_960_720One of the easiest ways to breath new life into your dining room table is to simply “go seasonal.” Holiday themes ranging from Christmas or Hanukah to Halloween, New Years celebration, Valentine’s Day, Easter and the light and festive colors of summer are all great starting points. From this simple foundation, you can build interesting and fun ideas.


Tip Two-Glasswear, Vases and Plants


Glass wear, such as vases or other containers and plants such as flowers are an easy way to transform your dining room table. Bring natural beauty to your table doesn’t have to be difficult. Two or three short vases or other glass wear combined with seasonal flowers or plants can not only transform your dining table but your entire dining room. One word of caution: some plants are poisonous to pets, so stick with safe flowers and plants.


By opting for seasonal choices, your dining room table will have a fresh and vibrant look year round. If you really want to impress friends and family alike, integrate your dining table glass and plant choices with other décor in your living room. The end result is a subtle but well thought out look.


Tip Three-Go Beyond Considering What Goes On Top of Your Table


A great rug can do wonders to help integrate your dining table into the rest of your home. Decorating your dining table isn’t just about what goes on top of your table, but also how you frame the areas around your table.


A well designed rug that has been chosen to complement the colors you’ve chosen for the decorations on top of your table will work wonders. Many people skip rugs under the dining table, but a rug helps to add color, warmth and charm in an unexpected way. Adding a rug to your dining room, specifically under your dining table, serves to frame your dining area and, in the process, adds a level of elegance.



Tip Four-Candles, Candelabras and Mood Lighting

Much like rugs are overlooked in relation to the dining room table, the same can often be stated for dining room lighting. Any table top decorations you select will benefit from adding the right kind of lighting whether it is a chandelier, candlesticks or candelabras or track mood lighting from above. The combination of the right rug and the right lighting choice can quickly and inexpensively elevate any dining experience.


Tip Five-Small Artwork



Small artwork whether in the form of sculptures, glass, such as blown glass, carved wood or even small postcard sized and framed paints or artistic photos can add an unexpected but welcomed addition to your dining table. The trick to effectively using this tip is to think small and understated. Art pieces included on a dining table should by design be small for a range of practical reasons. While using this tip might take a little extra work, it is well worth the effort and artwork can deliver an impressive “wow” factor.


Tip Six-Selecting Placemats


Placemats can be a quick way to transform your dining table. Since placemats run the color spectrum and come in all kinds of styles, materials and textures, it is possible to create a highly customized look and feel. Think about the palette of your dining room and your chairs when selecting your placemats.


Tip Seven-The Table as Art


Some tables are works of art all on their own. Selecting a new table is often just what is needed to change the look of an entire dining room. If you have an old and worn out dining table, a table that doesn’t work with your décor or simply don’t like the table you have, it’s time to consider making a change. After all, the tips we’ve outlined here will work much better when matched with a beautiful table!


Used together, these seven tips will definitely help you decorate your dining table like never before. All too often the dining table is overlooked and it is quite a shame. The large and usually central location of the typical dining table means that it has tremendous decorating potential. If you are interested in making your dining experience something more, then you’ll find that these fun and easy tips can transform the look and feel of your dining table. From mood lighting to placement selection to the use of rugs and artwork, there are plenty of options for getting more out of your dining table every day of the year.

How to Determine Table Seating Capacity for Table Top Sizes

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015


Each table style and size has varying seating capacities.  As a rough/general rule, every 24″ of table edge length will accommodate one chair.  For example, a 42 x 72″ table will accommodate 8 chairs.  One on each end (42″/24″ = 1.75, one chair)  and three on each side (72″/24″ = 3, three chairs).  For exceptions to this rule, please read on below.


Trestle Tables


60” tables can only fit one chair between the trestle legs


66” tables – some can fit two chairs between the trestle legs, others only one


Product codes that start with CWA will fit one chair
Product codes that start with WPA will fit two chairs
Product codes that start with NWA will fit two chairs


72” and longer tables can fit two chairs between the trestle legs.


As a general rule trestle legs are usually set in about 18” from the end of the table. Anytime one or more leaves are added to the table the distance from the end of the table to the trestle legs increases as the table halves move apart to make room for the leaves.


As another general rule the overhang on the table’s short sides is about 7 to 10 inches from the trestle leg. The base size stays the same for either a 42” wide or 48” wide table top. On the 42” wide top the overhang will be about 7”, on the 48” wide top the overhang will be about 10”.


See our Trestle Table Seating Tips post to learn how chairs that overlap the trestle supports can not be fully pushed in under the table when expanded with leaves.





Round Tables


A 36” round table will take 3 to 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs


A 42” round table will take 4 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 6 chairs


A 48” round table will take 4 to 5 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 7 chairs


A 54” round table will take 5 to 6 chairs; with two leaves you have an oval table that can fit 8 chairs


A 60″ round table will take 6 chairs; with one leaf you can fit 8 chairs


A 72″ round table will take 7 to 8 chairs; 72″ tables are available in solid top only, no leaves.





Leg & Pedestal Tables


The general rule is two feet per person. So a 72” table will seat 3 people on each side, 1 on each end which comes to 8 chairs.


When you add 2 leaves you add 2 more chairs, likewise when you add 4 leaves you add 4 more chairs.


For example: a 72” table with 4 leaves goes from 6 people to 10 people around the table.