Nothing beats a quality piece of wood furniture. Nothing. Good looking and durable wood is king. Here in Durango, we know that not all woods are created equal. If there’s one common benefit to wood furniture, it’s the timeless appeal of its natural beauty. So how do you know if the piece you’re interested in is quality? What kind of wood is it, and does it matter anyway? How can you be sure that it’s from a sustainable source? Wood may be omnipresent, but the education around it is often lacking. Today, we want to fix that by giving you everything you need to know about wood furniture.
Wood by Any Other Name
When shopping for new furniture, chances you’ll be looking at pieces made of wood. Whether it’s a sofa, dining room table, or desk, your furniture will likely consist of wood in some form. There are of course other materials out there, but many manufacturers choose to take advantage of wood’s natural beauty and durability. In fact, wood is such a common material that sometimes it’s taken for granted. The demand for furniture wood is constant, but many consumers aren’t educated enough about the source of their new furnishings - trees. There are a large variety of trees furniture can be made from and their wood is classified as either hard or soft. The kind of wood used is one of the deciding factors in how well your piece will age, and how long it will last.
Hardwood vs. Softwood
Though it may seem obvious, it’s the tree species your wood originates from that determines whether it’s a hardwood or softwood - not its durability. True, most hardwoods tend to be well, hard, but there are exceptions! For instance, yew trees produce a softwood that’s hard and balsa trees, produce a hardwood that’s soft. Hardwood derives from angiosperm trees that are deciduous like oak, maple, mahogany, teak, walnut, cherry, and birch. Softwood derives from coniferous gymnosperm trees, i.e. trees with cones. Many people believe that hardwood lasts longer than softwood, but that isn’t always the case. Generally speaking, hardwoods have a higher density making them more fire and scratch-resistant.
Although hardwood is more common, nearly 80% of all timber milled is softwood because of how easy it is to work with. Plus, softwood-producing trees tend to grow straight and fast, making them cheaper and more sustainable than hardwoods. It's possible to find high-quality softwood furnishings, but they may require more care because softwoods are easier to scratch or dent.
As the population grows, deforestation becomes a larger concern. More and more people are becoming conscious of the need to conserve our trees. Compared to plastics manufacturers, many wood manufacturers have begun to adopt reliable and improved technologies to minimize waste and energy. It’s important to choose quality furniture from responsible manufacturers. At Supernova, we carry Home Trend & Design furnishings, an environmentally conscientious company that focuses on superior craftsmanship, heirloom details, and sustainable materials. The woods HTD uses are primarily Mango and Acacia but they also use reclaimed hardwoods and they only use low VOC stains and lacquers. HTD created the Mango Foundation, a sustainable organization with a goal of planting one tree for every table sold. When you shop at Supernova, it’s possible to be environmentally conscious while buying affordable luxury furniture!
What is Live Edge Wood?
While we’re on the topic of sustainability and responsible manufacturing, let’s talk about live edge wood. You’ve no doubt heard the term live edge, but what is it, and why is it more sustainable than other woods? The live edge refers to the process of keeping at least one side untouched or natural. Live edge wood is milled in the same way as other woods, with one exception. In standard milling, each log is processed with 20-25% waste caused by creating straight edges. Live-edge milling leaves the trees natural lines, yielding a higher number of usable cuts with just 5-8% waste. Also, a lot of live edge pieces are cut from felled trees, or reclaimed sources that would otherwise have been left to waste. At Supernova, we proudly offer HTD’s Live Edge Custom Tables. Crafted from sustainable hardwoods, each of their one-of-a-kind tables reflects the individual characteristics of the unique tree it was harvested from.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to consider when shopping for wood furnishings. Those of us that live in Durango and the Four Corners Area are lucky to be surrounded by the natural beauty of the forest in our daily lives. When you’re ready to bring some of the beauty of nature into your family’s home, Supernova Furniture and Sleep Gallery in the Crossroads center is here to help.
We have the experience and knowledge to educate you about which furnishings are right for your home and lifestyle. Whether you're looking for sustainable wood furnishings, live-edge tables, or mattresses from Simmons or Beautyrest, bedding, protectors or pillows, the experienced staff at Supernova has you covered with easy financing and prompt delivery.