When the time comes to furnish a nursery for a new addition to the family, Amish furniture is ideal. The timeless pieces—from toy boxes, cribs, and rockers to rocking horses, chests, and changing tables—become heirloom pieces for the child to grow up with and pass on to their own children. Amish real wood furniture can be enjoyed by several generations of a family over time. Here are some things to consider when furnishing a nursery.
Consider the Investment
When it comes to buying furniture for a nursery, it is recommended that even if the purchase must be put off for a few months, it is best to save to get a well-made item. Cheaper pieces will not stand up to the wear and tear of time, and rarely have a chance when it comes to the rigors of childhood play. And quality means comfort, too, which matters greatly for rockers or sofa chairs in which parents will spend countless hours feeding baby.
Some parents are of the mindset that asks Why buy quality furniture for a room that will be full of kids? While this may be sound logic when it comes to the quality of kids’ shoes, which they can outgrow or wear out in what seems like minutes, this is not wise when it comes to furniture. Children don’t outgrow or wear out quality furniture in the same way. Mass-produced pieces, which are often focused on a child’s color preferences or styles (think pink castle beds or red race car beds) will not be something they can use or keep for long, but solid oak furniture will last easily through childhood, can be repurposed for teen use, and can be kept as heirlooms, especially since the look is timeless. The child may not choose to continue riding a handmade rocking horse into their teens, but that same rocking horse will be of incredible value to them as adults with their own babies on the way.
Remember the Importance of Safety
Safety is of utmost concern with furniture for a child’s room or nursery. Amish furniture is
handcrafted and checked carefully for quality and safety. When compared to mass produced pieces that may or may not have staples sticking out in random places, it’s not hard to see why Amish furniture is so superior. There is also less concern with quality pieces, such as solid oak furniture, as they are not going to be splintering, collapsing, or breaking in a way that would harm a child using them.
Inspect for Quality Wood
When looking for quality, real wood furniture is the way to go. But finding quality pieces goes a step beyond just choosing what will fit the room, the needs, or the design preferences. Choosing quality means being able to tell if a piece is going to last 5 years or 25 years. How do you go about doing that? Here are tell-tale signs to look for to determine quality in wood furniture:
In general, wood furniture will fall into one of three categories: solid wood, veneers, or particle board (sometimes called composite wood or laminate). Solid wood, as Amish furniture always is, is by far the superior of the three and will last the longest.
Amish craftsman create pieces that are both furniture and art. They pay close attention to the kind of wood chosen for each piece, intentionally working with kinds that best showcase that wood’s features. They create pieces from a wide variety of woods, ranging in color from white to rosy red to dark mahogany, and choose woods with features that can be highlighted in the piece, such as those with a certain grain or with a contrast of light and dark features.
Quality furniture, whether Amish-made or not, will use solid wood or 9+ layer plywood. Avoid anything with thin plywood, particleboard, pressboard, or fiberboard. Inspect the piece for cracks and knots. Knots are very susceptible to cracking. Avoid anything that you can easily dent with slight pressure from a fingernail as that will mean that scratching and denting can happen too easily. The joints are where real quality (or the lack of it) is obvious. The best joints are dovetail (interlocking pieces) or mortise & tenon (narrowed end of one piece inserted into a hole in the other piece). Look for reinforcing corner blocks and either screws or dowels holding things together. Avoid anything with visible glue, nails, or staples.
If you are considering purchasing anything with drawers, check them. Quality furniture will have drawers on metal glides and will include a stopping mechanism so that the drawer doesn’t just pull straight out and dump its contents. The best drawers will have floating bottoms (where the bottom piece fits into a groove to provide extra strength and room for expansion from humidity changes). Often quality pieces will also have a “dust panel” between drawers to protect contents and add strength. Finally, the frame of the piece should be level and should not creak or wobble if you pick up one corner of it.
Inspect for Quality Upholstery
Quality furniture with fabrics will have excellent upholstery and construction. Visually, the patterns will be aligned and the skirts will be lined up and even. The padding and cushions will be even and firm. Always test drive a piece by sitting in it and checking that there are no places where the fill is so thin that you feel the frame. If buying new, ask some questions about the coils. Good ones are referred to as “hand-tied coil springs.” Coils should be close together and the resistance should be even as you sit. Typically, coil springs that are more than a few inches apart or considered lower quality.
The cushions are another good indicator of quality. Reversible cushions are excellent because you can get twice the wear out of them. When possible, unzip a cover to see if the foam is wrapped in any kind of padding. Quality furniture will have cotton or down wrapped around the foam. If the cushions have a protective inner cover that’s a sign of good quality too.
We invite you to visit our site to explore the nursery options we offer. Keep in mind that real wood furniture pieces can be handcrafted to a certain style and will always have more meaning to the family than a mass-produced piece. There is even the option to have something completely customized so that your choices are reflected in the construction of the piece. And, with Amish furniture, you can be assured that the pieces are handmade by craftsman who themselves value family and are passing their values and traditions on to their children through their craft.