May 26th, 2015
Here is a dining set that Jacqui Litvan put together for a North Carolina dining room. Jacqui created her own set by combining the Manitoba Dining Table with Lavega Dining Arm and Side Chairs. The whole set is in oak with Sealy stain. Jacqui is happy with the dining set, but let her tell you about the customer service and delivery, too:
I couldn’t be happier with the outstanding quality of the table and chairs and the professionalism of the people I dealt with. Throughout the building process I was given updates, and, best of all, they always remembered my name. I had a somewhat complicated buying process since the furniture was a gift but the people working at the Amish Factory kept up with my situation and were quite patient.
The mandatory expensive delivery is absolutely necessary for such substantial furniture. All the packaging was taken and was contacted after the delivery to ensure my satisfaction. I would definitely buy from again!
And the dining set? Big style!
The Manitoba Dining Table has thick legs, a trestle and exposed mortise joints. Its strong profile is an excellent match for the Lavega Dining Chair’s broad slats and walnut inlaying. Jacqui ordered arm chairs and side chairs, and had them upholstered in Lawn, to refine the style.
May 26th, 2015
Mr. Chris Kennell of Tennessee was not disappointed when we delivered his family’s new Brentwood Bed in solid maple. The Kennells got a traditional bed without drawers, emphasizing the turned and carved feet to complement the bed’s many spindles. Michael’s Cherry stain adds drama to the Kennells’ bedroom.
But it’s their bed. Let’s hear what Chris Kennell has to say:
We are extremely happy with the beautiful wood, style and finish of our new queen size Amish Factory bed.
The bed is so strong and stylish. We consider this bed to be an instant family heirloom.
Amish craftsmanship and solid materials win out in the Kennells’ choice for a quality bed.
May 23rd, 2015
The Amish have some pretty amazing food. Just ask anyone who visits Amish Country about the food, and you’ll hear a great deal about the consistently incredibly quality. One of the key reasons that Amish food is able to set itself apart is the Amish fixation on high quality and craftsmanship.
The Amish are famous for their attention to detail. People have long known, for example, that the Amish build some of the most durable and beautiful furniture on the planet. What many don’t realize is that this same work ethic and dedication to quality is also alive and well in Amish food.
Amish Food Focused on Fresh Ingredients
Amish food has won a following all over the world and for good reason. By focusing on using the very best ingredients and then preparing those ingredients with love, passion and an unwavering attention to details large and small, the Amish are able to create food that is simply mouthwatering.
A big reason that Amish food continues to win over fans is that the Amish are obsessed with fresh produce. There is an emphasis on taking ingredients right from the farm to the table.
Many who visit Amish Country are shocked by the intensity of the food. The reason for this is two fold. On one hand, the Amish put a lot of work and craft into their food, but that is only the beginning. By focusing on fresh produce and lots of it, the Amish achieve something that is increasingly rare in our heavily processed world.
Fresh food, taken straight from the garden and put on the plate, is radically different than the modern U.S. diet. Typically, the average consumers food travels hundreds of miles before reaching its final destination. That apple you are eating today likely was picked a week ago, if you are lucky. The Amish are not removed from their food the way that most of us are today.
Amish Food Maximizes the Taste Benefits of Going from the Garden to the Plate
There is an attachment and relationship to food that brings with it greater overall nutrition and much more taste. As many visitors to Amish Country learn, often for the first time, fresh food simply tastes much better.
If you want to revitalize your taste buds, then a trip to Amish Country has some distinct advantages. As expert chefs around the world realize, great tasting food needs fresh, high quality ingredients. The Amish realize and embrace the fact that in order to make world-class dishes, the freshest, world-class ingredients are possible.
If you like hearty food, then you’ll find that Amish food is tough to beat. Spices and herbs are used more sparingly, but you won’t miss them. The Amish don’t hide their ingredients but instead celebrate the freshness and vitality of those ingredients. The end results are powerful and rich flavors.
Chefs Now Realize What the Amish Have Known for Generations
Today, many chefs realize what the Amish have known for generations. In order to achieve fantastic culinary results it is necessary to grow one’s own food, take it from the garden and serve it fresh. Chefs around the world looking to give their customers an amazing treat start with the freshest ingredients possible and that is exactly what you’ll find when you venture into Amish Country.
You’ll Find That There Are Plenty of Ways to Enjoy Amish Food Wherever You Live
Introducing Amish food into your diet couldn’t be any easier. The incredible taste and variety of the food is such that you’ll always find some new and tasty treat to enjoy. Here are some of Amish favorites that you’ll want to try for yourself.
Cheese, Jams and Jelly
One of the big reasons that people love Amish food is that it is highly versatile. The Amish specialize in foods such as cheese and jams, which are easy to ship and have long expiration dates.
Seemingly every fruit has been made into jam including all sorts of berries as well as rhubarb, apricot and more.
For many, the Amish have elevated these products to a new level. Cheese and jam lovers will find that they are in for a real treat when trying Amish produced goods.
Amish desserts, not too surprisingly, are something to get excited about. Pecan pie, molasses cookies, whoopie pies and shoofly pie are some of the more common offerings. Again, simple, pure and fresh ingredients are blended with perfection to achieve mouth-watering results. Rich molasses is a yummy fixture in Amish desserts and you won’t be disappointed!
Some of the more commonly enjoyed Amish foods include treats such as apple butter, pumpkin butter as well as an array of smoked meat options ranging from entire hams to beef jerky and more.
Amish Food is Pure, Natural and Delicious
People choose Amish food because it truly is different. In an era where most of us are disconnected from our food, Amish food truly stands out as being something different. Processed food, which has been stripped of its nutrition, and infused with chemicals, pesticides and preservatives, simply can’t hold a candle to quality-obsessed offerings.
Just as Amish crafts and Amish furniture have built a remarkable reputation for quality, the same holds true for Amish cuisine. Amish food stands apart from the crowd because of its obsession with the freshness of ingredients. Ingredients are not grown hundreds of miles away and then placed on trucks where they sit… only to arrive at a store and sit some more. Amish ingredients are fresh ingredients and you’ll definitely notice a big and bold difference in every single bite.
May 20th, 2015
Would you like to design your room with the TV in the corner? We have a TV stand for that. In California, Kim Kelly is thrilled with her new Mission 061C 61″ corner flat panel TV stand. Read on to see just how thrilled:
Laura, this is as beautiful as I hoped it would be. I am so happy with our purchase and can’t wait for others to admire this piece in our home. I hope it generates more sales for your company.
I love it. It’s exactly what I wanted. Thank you for your awesome customer service and a beautiful product!
You get the picture.
Kim’s TV stand is quarter-sawn white oak with our Michael’s Cherry finish. The stand’s Mission-style lines and smoked glass doors are a modern complement to a flat-screen TV and the fringed mat lain softly over the stand. Cheers to another happy customer!
May 20th, 2015
We’re proud to show this sofa because it is for a returning customer. Linda Hill of Bothell, Washington ordered this Diamond Sofa with our Gem upholstery to look good with whatever she hangs above it (we love the quilt, by the way). The frame is oak with our Baywood stain.
Here is what Linda has to say about her new sofa:
I ordered a chair from the Amish Furniture Factory last spring, and was so happy with the service I received AND with the chair, that I came back with an order for a sofa. People were endlessly helpful and friendly–even the guy who delivered the sofa! It’s gorgeous, and everyone loves it. As you can see, I like bright colors (the quilt is seasonal–it’s February now); the upholstery fits right in as well as it would in a more neutral environment.
Amish Furniture Factory is happy to serve you, and we’re glad we could help you get the best sofa for your home.
May 20th, 2015
Jack Granzow of Wellington, Florida, has sent us pictures of his new dining table. The Granzows ordered the Princeton Dining Table in cherry with the classic cherry stain. The banquet shape and the traditional, curvy double pedestal make the table a joyous fit for the traditional theme and bohemian undertones of the Granzows’ dining room.
After Jack’s table got settled in, Jack sent us an email:
We love the table. It arrived just after Christmas and it exceeded our expectations. Thank you.
Thank you for the photos, Jack. We love seeing the ways that people fit our furniture into their unique styles. Here is one last shot of the room.
May 8th, 2015
There are many ways that we can make the most out of the resources that we have. Constructing new buildings and new homes takes up a tremendous amount of energy. And with that high level of energy use comes a greater carbon footprint. Many people are rightly obsessed with finding new ways to build and, in the process, save energy both in the construction phase and in the make a more energy efficient home. Nature has provided some pretty amazing and useful materials. Pioneers and experts are combining these materials and techniques to make the most out of sustainable building materials.
Sustainable building materials make the most out of what nature has to offer. The materials employed in sustainable building are durable, easy to work with, come with environmental benefits and are renewable. Unlike many other building materials currently used, sustainable building materials are more in line with the Earth’s natural ecology and cycles. Ultimately, these impressive building materials have too much to offer to ignore.
Bamboo-Lightweight, Super Strong and Versatile
There is no shortage of sustainable building materials. One of the first materials that we will look at is bamboo. Bamboo is not a tree, but is, in fact, a type of grass. It has some rather impressive properties. First bamboo is lightweight, flexible and strong. Increasingly bamboo is being used in construction and with great results. Bamboo has a compression strength that is superior to that of brick and rather surprisingly even concrete. Add to this the fact that bamboo has a tensile strength roughly equal to steel, and you have a tremendous building material. Perhaps the greatest single surprise regarding bamboo is that it isn’t used in construction even more often!
In addition to being strong and durable, bamboo also grows very quickly. Some species of bamboo can grow a couple of feet in a single day. Once bamboo starts growing, it grows very, very rapidly, which helps to make bamboo an excellent sustainable building material.
The Wonders of Cork
Cork is another simply amazing building material. The majority of cork is produced either in Portugal or Spain. Part of why cork is considered to be a very sustainable building material is that cork trees are not cut down, but instead their bark is stripped to make cork. The end product is a very impressive one.
Cork is good for far more than wine bottles, as cork is lightweight, very strong and has acoustic and thermal insulation properties. Insects and rodents will generally not eat cork, and it is highly resistant to moisture and mold. It is no accident that cork is used to keep liquids in bottles, whether it is wine, olive oil or other liquids.
Additionally, cork is naturally flame-retardants, meaning that highly toxic flame retardant compounds do not need to be added. These factors combine to make cork a truly exceptional insulation product. Currently, cork is being used for insulation across Europe, but the impressive properties of cork will likely make it a key insulation, flooring and sound insulation product in the coming decades.
When it comes to inexpensive and renewable building materials, rammed earth has much to offer. Rammed earth structures have a long history as they date back to 5000 BCE and can be found all across the world. Their construction involves compressing a damp mixture of materials, typically clay, sand and gravel into a mould. From there, the shapes are built into larger structures.
Rammed earth may not have the strength and durability of other materials such as concrete, but the price is very tough to beat. It is also possible to mix rammed earth with concrete to produce a very durable building material.
There are also energy saving benefits to rammed earth. Rammed earth has a high thermal mass, and that means it can absorb heat during the day and release it at night. Overall, rammed earth buildings can help to cut, often dramatically, heating and cooling costs.
The energy efficient nature, low cost and sustainability of rammed earth buildings means that rammed earth may very well have a bright future. Combing rammed earth with solar power could prove to be one of the future’s great building combinations.
Papercrete, Straw-Bale Construction and Reclaimed Building Materials
Other notable sustainable building materials include Papercrete, straw bale construction and reclaimed materials, ranging from reclaimed wood to reclaimed stone and brick. All of these materials are quite sustainable.
Papercrete combines re-pulped paper fiber with Portland cement or clay. The end result is a partially recycled material that can be made into a durable building material. The reason that Papercrete has drawn a lot attention is that it is lightweight, has a high R-value and is durable.
Straw-bale construction, much like rammed earth, has much to offer. Straw-bale construction goes back centuries and is an inexpensive and sustainable building material.
The future is bright for sustainable building materials. They are renewable, take less energy to work with and come with an array of energy saving benefits. In a future where climate change and energy consumption are likely to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, from builders and homeowners to policy makers, we can expect to hear more about this impressive natural wonders.
May 2nd, 2015
The doors that go into your house are one of the most important home-related purchases that you can ever make. Most of us don’t think too much about our doors until something goes wrong, of course. Yet, the right kinds of doors add value, security and beauty to our lives. Selecting wood doors for your home has many different components, and ignoring any of them can result in complications and problems in the long run.
So can you find the perfect wood door for your home? Definitely and, with the help of this article, you’ll love your final results.
Investing in Wood
Wood doors are so common because they last. Metal security doors have become popular, and they have their benefits, but they also have their drawbacks. On the top of the list is the fact that metal doors usually lack the charm and beauty of wood. Another problem is that once a metal door is dinged (and metal doors do tend to get dinged or caved in) they instantly look cheap. Even a high-end metal door with a small ding looks cheap. However, because people expect some degree of imperfection from wood, it can weather life’s little problems with greater ease. People often even find the imperfections in wood to be quite charming or even beautiful!
Opting for a wood door also means that you have a door that is far easier to repair. Scratches and even small missing pieces can be repaired with relative ease. Yet, the same cannot be stated for metal doors. A wooden door can, for example, be sanded, refinished, stained, painted and repaired in a range of ways. Your options, on the other hand, with a metal door are dramatically limited by comparison.
Sizing Issues Shouldn’t Be Ignored
The old saying, “Measure twice and cut once,” is certainly good advice. When you are selecting wood doors, be certain to know exactly what size you need. Getting the wrong size door can be a major hassle and one you want to avoid!
Matching the Style of Your Home
If you are thinking, “any old door will do,” think again. Your home is an investment and one of the most commonly viewed items in your entire home is a door, especially your front door. One of the first things that people notice about your home is the door that they use to enter. If your front door doesn’t match with the rest of your home, everyone will notice it. For this reason, it is prudent to take the design, look and feel of your home into whatever wood door you select.
You can also do a whole lot with interesting and innovative doorknobs. If you have an older home, look for a vintage door and lighting store in your area. They may be able to advise you on the best knobs to match the period during which your home was built.
The older your home, the greater the potential challenge when it comes to selecting a wood door, as modern doors often don’t match the look and feel of older homes. What should you do if you have an older home and are in need of new doors? If preserving the look and feel of your home is important, you may want to venture online and try to find doors from your home’s time period. It might take a little research but restoration companies specialize in giving a second life to old wood doors. By investing in reclaimed wood doors, you are lowering your carbon footprint, investing in a tiny piece of history and helping to preserve your home’s original look and appeal.
Interior Door Options
Not all interior door options will work for all situations. There are many different options, ranging from French doors and swinging doors to sliding doors and bi-fold doors. Panel doors and flush doors are extremely popular and often make up the bulk of interior doors that one sees in most homes.
Exterior Door Options
When it comes to exterior door options, there are many choices ranging form steel and fiberglass doors to solid wood and engineered wood. Many people buy engineered wood exterior doors not realizing that they are not, in fact, getting a solid wood door.
Engineered wood is not built to last, but is instead assembled from layers of low-quality wood that mixed with chemicals and then compressed together. In short, this is not a product that will last, as it wasn’t built to last. It was designed to look good and be cheap, but it is not a high quality product. This is especially true when compared to a solid wood door.
A solid wood exterior door is a must. Solid wood exterior doors will outlast engineered wood and can be easily repaired if damaged. If you want a door that provides security and looks great at the same time, then your best choice is always going to be wood!
A Wood Door Is Durable, Looks Great and Will Prove an Excellent Investment
A wood door will stand the test of time. You will not have to worry about replacing a wood door after a couple of years. You will also not have to worry about your wood door looking cheap after it takes a couple of hits, which is all too common with metal doors.
Solid wood is always a smart investment and one that you will not regret. It might cost more upfront, but in the end you’ll save money. Why replace a door when you can install a solid and reliable wood door instead?
April 25th, 2015
You might be thinking, “I’m no woodworking expert,” but you don’t have to be knowledgeable to create your own useful, DIY woodworking projects. There is no need to be intimidated. After all, DIY woodworking projects can be fun even if you are a novice. (That stated, however, it is always important to practice proper safety such as only operating equipment that you understand, working in a safe and well-lit environment and avoiding distractions.)
We are going to look at a few DIY woodworking projects that we know you’ll love. Don’t worry whether you are an expert or this is your first DIY woodworking project, you’ll find our ideas to be easy and simple!
Should You Buy Plans?
When it comes to DIY woodworking projects one of the first decisions that you’ll have to make is whether or not you should buy plans. Buying plans largely comes down to how complex of a woodworking job you are planning on tackling. The DIY projects we’re suggesting in this article are easy projects. Keep in mind that there are plenty of free plans online regardless of DIY project complexity, so look around!
1. Stumped Where to Begin? We Have You Covered with the Stump Table
Want to make a super-easy and super-cheap side table? Then you might want to head over to a slightly unexpected place in the form of Home Depot. The Home Depot community has great plans for a Stump Table that requires very little know how and money. Simply drill three holes, screw on some legs and you have yourself an instant, dirt cheap table that will last for years and years. This is one of those ideas that will leave you saying, “Why didn’t I think of this and why don’t I already have a couple of these tables?” You’ll find the Stump Table is a great addition for your guest room, garage or even your living room. Learn more about the cheap and versatile Stump Table by visiting http://ext.homedepot.com/community/blog/diy-decor-tree-stump-side-table.
Whether or not you want to paint or finish the Stump Table is up to you. Either way this project won’t take long and as long as you can safely handle a drill you should be good to go!
2. Feeling Artistic? You’ll Love the Openwork Cube Pendant Light
If you were thinking that DIY projects meant clunky, then think again. A good deal of creativity and inspiration went into the creation of the Openwork Cube Pendant Light. This light looks like a million bucks but is, in fact, about as inexpensive as our Stump Table.
The skill level on this one is pretty low, but you’ll need a little more patience than with the Stump Table. The cool geometric design looks far more complicated than it really is. All you need are a few pieces of wood and a little time on your hands and you’ll be ready to create a real work of art. Perhaps the best thing about the Openwork Cube Pendant Light is that it is one of those DIY projects that not only looks expensive, but also looks difficult to do. Your family and friends will think that you’re developing a whole new side of yourself with this clever little project.
Check out an easy step-by-step guide at Vintage Revivals http://www.vintagerevivals.com/2012/03/openwork-cube-pendant-light.html
Don’t be afraid to pretend that this project was a hard one. It will be our little secret!
3. You, Yes You, Can Make Your Own Unique Headboard
Have you always wanted a very unique, cool and impressive looking headboard, but just didn’t want to pay those huge prices? A striking looking headboard can be an expensive purchase, but we have uncovered a DIY Pallet Headboard from the people at This Old House that is worth the time and effort.
So what will you need? You will, of course, need a pallet to get things started. Pallets can be pretty inexpensive and surprisingly tough as they are meant to take a lot of abuse. In just a few hours on a Saturday, you can use this idea to totally transform your bedroom and do it for just dollars! http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/photos/0,,20672101_21278317,00.html
The process begins with sanding and painting. From there, we move on to measuring and finding studs in the wall for mounting. You can also see other ideas from these creative minds, such as a DIY Mud Bench with Herringbone Wall by visiting www.theroosterandthehen.com.
More Creative Pallet Ideas
Bob Villa also has his own ideas for inexpensive pallet ideas. He suggests taking pallets and repurposing them into a range of different kids of useful household items from sectional sofas to desks and even kitchen islands. You can see more about Villa’s ideas on what to do with the humble but very durable pallet by visiting his site, which outlines five easy DIY projects for beginners. http://www.bobvila.com/articles/5-things-to-do-with-shipping-pallets/
Follow Bob’s advice and you’ll be making daybeds and even a desk for almost free. Here is a link for an inexpensive desk that Bob found on Instructables. http://www.instructables.com/id/Pallet-desk/ (Don’t let this one fool you as it is actually easier than it appears at first glance!)
These easy and fast DIY woodworking projects show that you don’t have to be a woodworking expert or experienced carpenter to make something useful and beautiful. Great DIY woodworking projects have been outlined for you on the Internet and the free price tag is impossible to beat!
April 19th, 2015
If you are like most people you probably don’t give too much thought to where your furniture comes from, its origins or how it was made. Let’s face it, the hectic nature of living day-to-day life often means that you just lack the time and energy to think about how your products are made, by whom and out of what kind of materials.
However, the simple fact is that how your furniture is made can impact not just the health of local ecosystems, but your health as well. There are also other concerns, such are you really getting a good value for your dollar? In this article, we will turn our attention to the origins of furniture and why those origins should be of concern to you!
One of the most commonly overlooked factors in furniture is value. Cheap furniture is usually cheap for a reason, and that reason is that cheap furniture just doesn’t last. Furniture that is made out of real wood is highly durable and will last for many years to come. However, the overwhelming majority of cheap furniture is not made out of wood. Instead, cheap furniture is usually made out of MDF.
MDF is, simply stated, something that you don’t want in your house and is a poor investment. The reason is that MDF is essentially nothing more than wood fragments and sawdust held together with glues and binders that are usually chemical in their origins. These chemicals degas and usually do so for many years. MDF furniture contributes to poor indoor air quality as it degases a range of harmful and even cancer causing chemicals into the air.
Not only does MDF potentially harm your health, but it is also a poor investment. Sawdust and wood fragments held together with chemical binders and glues probably doesn’t sound too tough to you, does it? Facts are that the low quality and inexpensive furniture available in most of the big box stores are not built to last. Instead, this furniture is built to be cheap and look good. Sadly, this furniture will not stand the test of time like real wood. Not only do you have to buy new furniture in a just a few years, but you also have to invest the time to find that furniture and put it together. If you want the best value for your furniture dollar then avoid low quality furniture and opt for solid wood furniture instead!
Factor Three-Your Carbon Footprint
Usually low quality furniture made from the poorest materials possible are created in overseas factories that are often several thousand miles away from their final destination. The end result is something of an environmental disaster. The “cheap” furniture that you buy at a local big box distributor has usually been placed on transport ship and shipped across the ocean. The unpleasant fact of the matter is that the cheap furniture you may have purchased has been created using polluting and environmentally damaging chemicals that make their way into the water supply. It takes a lot of energy to get your low quality furniture across an ocean and that harms the environment a great deal. Large transport ships are amazing polluters. If you want to lower your carbon footprint then it makes sense to buy locally as much as possible.
Factor Four-Does Your Furniture Stimulate the Regional Economy?
Buying locally also stimulates your local economy. Buying real wood furniture from regional manufacturer, even if that manufacturer is on the other side of the country, is far less polluting than buying furniture from overseas. Plus, it also is much better for the economy. Real wood furniture made in the United States lowers your carbon footprint while stimulating the economy. As an added bonus you also benefit financially, as you receive a higher quality product that will stand the test of time.
Factor Five-True, Real and Lasting Beauty
The inexpensive furniture sold in most big box stores is an illusion. There is an illusion of quality and durability, but real wood furniture is different; real wood furniture is the real thing. MDF and other low quality furniture is just pretending to be what wood actually is. Opt for real wood furniture and you will get what you pay for and more.
Real wood has a lasting and real beauty that MDF and other low grade furniture can’t hope to match. When you opt for the knockoff wood furniture sold by big stores, you are losing money in the long run. You are also losing the substantial beauty that real wood furniture can provide. Are you better off having less furniture than furniture that isn’t built to stand the test of time? In a word, “Yes!”
Factor Six-The Social Factor
The bottom line is that where your furniture is made and how matters. Many foreign manufacturers pay pennies an hour and expose workers to harmful work conditions. By refusing to support such labor and business practices you are making an important statement with your dollar. In time, businesses will notice and respond accordingly! Buying locally eliminates the concern while you benefit by receiving a higher quality product. Buying real wood furniture is, in the end, the best choice possible. You’ll have furniture that will look great and provide you with superior functionality for years to come!
We always get what we pay for and with furniture we all want something that is real and reliable. Real wood furniture is just that, real.