Archive for January, 2014

Solid Wood vs. Veneer

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

roomscene

“Solid wood” sounds good, doesn’t it?  “Solid” is a good word whether it’s describing a friendship, your financial status, a marriage, or your furniture.  We all like the sound of it…it’s a term that assures quality – or does it?  You can get quite an argument going among folks over which is better – solid wood or veneer.  I’ll try to shed a little light on the controversy.  For starters – “veneer” used to be a synonym for “cheap” when used to describe furniture – that ain’t always the case, as Grandpa used to say.

You’ll find that the very finest furniture made can be either solid wood OR veneers…or a combination of the two.  Solid wood has some advantages; it’s strong and can be more easily repaired if it’s damaged, especially by water.  Water is going to make veneer peel…it’s pretty much unavoidable even with today’s adhesives. Always try your best to keep water off ANY wood surface.  It’s also quite a bit easier – especially for an amateur – to refinish a solid wood piece because you don’t have to worry about sanding your way through a thin layer of veneer.  Remember that the frames of practically all furniture are solid wood.

Solids are subject to expand and contract with changes in climate and humidity – and if solid woods are improperly kiln-dried- to “season splits” where the wood actually splits or cracks as the drying process continues after the wood has been made into furniture.  This sensitivity to moisture and temperature creates an engineering problem; to avoid the same fate as my eighth-grade shop project, good furniture is designed with “floating” construction.  This method leaves spaces inside the furniture so that expansion can occur without damaging the piece.

As for veneers, well, the MOST expensive antiques and even new items are very likely to be veneered.  That beautiful figured wood and intricate inlay work on magnificent antique secretaries, armoires and the like…it’s veneer.  If you examine a fine old veneer piece closely, you’ll probably find hairline cracks along the wood grain; this is called “checking.”  Think of it as “character lines.” In years gone by the veneers were “laid up” on top of solid wood.  Solid wood expands and contracts when conditions change, so when the base wood “moved” the veneer HAD to move as well, causing the tiny cracks.

Today’s fancy veneers are often “laid up” on a more stable core material engineered to prevent this movement.  In fact, many modern-day pieces use veneers on the large, flat expanses of wood like dresser tops and end panels – not to save money, but to prevent the cracking or separation that sometimes occurs when solid boards are glued together to make a top or end panel.

In summary, there is no clear “winner” in this argument.  It all comes down to quality – there is poor quality solid and poor quality veneered furniture – and superb furniture made with BOTH.  Confused?  No need to be.  Bowenf Town & Country Furniture in Winston-Salem carries a wide selection of solid wood and veneered furniture, all carefully selected by us to be the best available for your dollars whether you’re on a strict budget or less restricted one.  Come in and see us today – we have highly-trained and experienced professionals to answer all your furniture questions!

At Bowen Town & Country Furniture  we carry the finest solid wood furniture in Winston-Salem and the area.  We are located at 1910 Mooney Street, right off Stratdford Road…near Hanes Mall.

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Solid Values In Solid Wood

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

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Something interesting happened the other day…a customer commented that they knew there wasn’t any solid wood or traditional furniture made anymore because a salesperson at one of the big national chain furniture stores told them so.  Well, there are lots of jokes about lying salespeople but I prefer to think that this guy was just brainwashed because his company doesn’t offer any.

The truth is that there is PLENTY of solid wood furniture to be had, and while traditional furniture isn’t as common as it once was, there’s plenty of it out there as well.  Bowen Town & Country Furniture is proud to offer an excellent selection of solid wood furniture from outstanding companies like Kincaid, Bucks County, Gat Creek and more.

Many of our suppliers offer extensive collections of traditionally-styled furniture as well.  Carriage House by Kincaid is a perfect example of 18th Century designs executed in solid cherry…and handcrafted in Hudson, NC.  If you aren’t interested in contemporary or transitional styles, come and see us.  While we do have offerings in those categories, traditional furniture IS a tradition at Bowen Town & Country Furniture.  From rustic hand-build reproductions in tiger maple, cherry, and pine by Bucks County to the sophisticated formal look of Kincaid’s Carriage House, we are THE source for traditional furniture in Winston-Salem.

Come see us today!  We’ll show you that quality, style, and solid wood values are alive and well at Bowen Town & Country Furniture. We are located at 1910 Mooney Street, off Stratford Road…near Hanes Mall.

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Tomorrow’s Antiques: Made in America and Available Today

Monday, January 13th, 2014

bucks county furniture

Remember going to Grandma’s house?  If yours was like mine, the place was furnished almost exclusively with really old furniture…some good, some bad.  Sprinkled in the mix were some pieces that had some special significance…the chest great-great-grandpa built before the Yankees got him at Gettysburg…that kind of thing.

A lot of those old antique furniture pieces look great…from a distance.  When you examine them closely, you’ll find that the years may not have been kind.  Looking terrific isn’t enough for furniture you actually plan to use.  The piece has got to be sturdy enough to stand up to the rigors of use by a busy family…and most antiques can’t meet that requirement.

If you want the look of a fine hand-crafted antique but need something you can use on a daily basis, there IS a solution.  Bucks County Furniture -a very small Pennsylvania company- makes what I refer to as “new” antiques.  Using techniques from years gone by such as hand-planing the lumber and assembling pieces with cut nails and pegs, Bucks County turns pine, cherry, and tiger maple into tomorrow’s heirlooms -today.

And make no mistake…other than a single chair that they have made in a small Canadian workshop, EVERY piece of Bucks County is proudly hand-made in America.  Take a look at Bucks County Furniture .  You’ll think you’re looking at museum pieces…but it’s furniture you can use every day – and a piece or two can work with ANY decor.

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Kincaid Has Mastered Upholstery

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

Kincaid has a well-deserved reputation as a manufacturer of fine American-made solid wood bedroom and dining room furniture and as an importer of carefully selected international products.

Unknown to some, they’re hard at work building another fine reputation – as a maker of fine hand-tailored American-made upholstered furniture.  Kincaid upholstery is designed to suit your needs; careful craftsmanship and quality materials equal lasting comfort for your home.

Kincaid offers over 50 sofa styles and 600 fabrics; chairs, ottomans, benches and loveseats are available as well. There is a dazzling selection of finishes, trims and even cushioning materials so you can make your sofa uniquely your own! Don’t see quite the style you are looking for?  Kincaid’s Custom Select program allows you to design your own sofa!

Bowen Town & Country is proud to offer the complete line of Kincaid custom upholstery.  Come by today and let our experts help you pick the perfect piece for your home!

Visit us at Bowen Town & Country Furniture! We’re located at 1910 Mooney Street, right off Stratford Road…near Hanes Mall.

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