Spotting Quality: What to Look for When Buying Wooden Furniture

Spotting Quality: What to Look for When Buying Wooden Furniture

Spotting Quality: What to Look for When Buying Wooden Furniture

When it comes to buying furniture, nothing quite matches the warmth, sturdiness, and timeless appeal of wooden pieces. Especially in a market saturated with fleeting trends and disposable pieces, investing in high-quality wooden furniture, such as those offered at the Somerset Workshop, is a decision that pays dividends in aesthetic appeal, functionality, and longevity. Here, we delve into key considerations when shopping for wooden furniture to ensure you're investing wisely in items that will enhance your space for years to come.

1. Understanding Wood Types

The foundation of every piece of wooden furniture is, of course, the wood itself. Wood is categorized broadly into three types: hardwoods, softwoods, and engineered woods.


Derived from deciduous trees that shed their leaves annually, hardwoods include species like oak, maple, and walnut. They're typically more robust and grain-rich, which can give your piece unique, organic patterns. For instance, a black walnut desk can be an elegant addition to any home office setup.


Softwoods come from coniferous trees, which remain evergreen throughout the year. These include pine, spruce, and cedar. Although generally less durable than hardwoods, softwoods have their own charm and can be perfect for pieces like rustic wooden shelves.

Engineered Woods

These are manufactured products like plywood and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). They offer an economic alternative to solid wood, but it's important to remember that not all engineered woods are created equal. When looking for a long-lasting piece like a desk for your home office, solid wood or a high-quality veneer is a wiser choice.

2. Spotting Stellar Craftsmanship

Now that you've acquainted yourself with the types of wood, the next step is to understand craftsmanship. High-quality wooden furniture pieces, like the dining table with hairpin legs from the Somerset Workshop, exhibit attention to detail in their construction.

Look for features such as a sturdy frame and joints. The joinery technique used in a piece can tell you a lot about its quality. For example, dovetail or mortise-and-tenon joints are signs of skilled craftsmanship and durability.

"The best of modern engineering fused with old-world craftsmanship is what sets superior furniture apart."

Another telltale sign of quality craftsmanship is the finishing. Whether a piece is painted, varnished, or left with a natural finish, it should feel smooth to the touch. Look out for signs of rough patches or bubbles in the finish, as these can indicate rushed or unskilled work.

3. Evaluating Aesthetics and Functionality

Beyond the physical makeup of the furniture, it's vital to assess the design's aesthetic appeal and functional purpose. The right piece of furniture should not only complement your decor style but also cater to your specific needs.

A stylish console table with hairpin legs can serve as a charming decor piece in a hallway or living room while providing additional storage or display space. An oak console table handcrafted for style and functionality, for example, merges the best of both worlds – practicality and design.

Hairpin Legs: Style Meets Functionality

One design element that has gained significant traction in recent years is the use of hairpin legs. With a sleek and minimalist aesthetic, hairpin legs add a vintage charm to your furniture while ensuring sturdiness.

You can find this elegant feature in various products at the Somerset Workshop, from the long console table to the dining table with hairpin legs. Each piece exemplifies how a careful balance of style and functionality can elevate your space.

4. The Advantage of Adjustable Shelving

Another key feature to look out for when purchasing wooden furniture is adaptability. Adjustable shelving units, for instance, provide you with the flexibility to cater to your changing storage needs. The wooden shelves with up brackets from the Fiddes range are a perfect example of this functionality.

Brackets: The Unsung Heroes

When assessing shelving units, it's crucial to consider the quality and design of the brackets. After all, these elements provide the structural support for your shelves. Brackets in the Fiddes and Briwax ranges at the Somerset Workshop are specifically designed to bear weight efficiently while adding a subtle, stylistic touch.

5. Prioritize Personalized Workspace: The Home Office Revolution

With an increasing number of people working from home, a dedicated workspace has never been more essential. Investing in a solid wood desk will not only add character to your home office but provide the necessary durability to withstand the rigours of daily use.

Whether it's the desk for home office or the desk with monitor shelf legs, each piece from the Somerset Workshop embodies the meticulous attention to detail that goes into every product.

Elevated Efficiency: The Monitor Shelf

An overlooked, yet transformative feature of a workspace is the addition of a monitor shelf. Elevating your monitor to eye level can significantly improve your posture and reduce strain during long work hours. Consider the desk with a monitor shelf and hairpin legs for a blend of ergonomic design and rustic aesthetic.

Wrapping Up

From the wood type and construction technique to the aesthetics and functionality, there are multiple factors to consider when buying wooden furniture. Remember, the best pieces are those that encapsulate your personality and cater to your unique needs. The family-run Somerset Workshop is a haven for such high-quality, handcrafted wooden furniture.

With a deep understanding of wood, an eye for design, and an unwavering commitment to quality, the Somerset Workshop ensures that every furniture piece becomes an heirloom, passed down through generations.

Your journey to owning quality wooden furniture starts here. Explore our wide range of products today.

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