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Furniture, Exposed

Updated on March 6, 2011

World Wide Furniture

Without furniture, we'd be eating on the floor. Our living rooms would be filled with milk crates and flat screen televisions, but no comfy couches. Give thanks to the tireless craftsmen who toil tirelessly to craft the stuff upon we sit, sleep, and eat. Nod appreciatively at every furniture salesman who waits endlessly in sparsely trafficked showrooms until we all get off work and drive to the mall for the President's Day Sales. These people make our way of life possible.

Many furniture shoppers venture out into the cutthroat world of styles and colors without proper understanding of exactly what they should come home with. Experts estimate that the average buyer can't tell a davenport from a sofa or a Louis XIV settee from a post modern breakfast nook. We're here to help. Read on to learn more about the wonderful world of furniture. It can get confusing. Don't say we didn't warn you.

Amish Furniture

The Amish live in tight-knit communities throughout Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. Amish craftsmen and craftswomen earn a well-deserved reputation for quality products. Earnest shoppers drive hundreds of miles for Amish-built furniture, accessories, knick·knacks, gew gaws, lagniappes, and dining room tables. If it's made of wood and it will almost but not quite fit through your front door, it's probably available in an Amish furniture store.

Amish furniture mills do not use electricity in the traditional sense that most people do. They lovingly apply hand-operated tools and animal-driven mechanical devices to shape and craft their products. A bedroom ensemble may require the careful attention of many Amish woodsmiths. Once a tree has been selected from an Amish forest, it is carefully cut down and transported to the lumber mill/bakery/dry goods store for processing. Earnest Amish craftsmen earnestly cut away everything that doesn't look like a coffee table: soon another amazing product is ready for sale, until the sun goes down.

postmodern furniture
postmodern furniture

Post Modern Furniture

The style of post-modern furniture may be best described as "anything that doesn't fit into another category." Post-modern aficionados look for items that subtly approach usefulness but stop short just before arriving. A post-modern chair looks like was designed for someone with more arms than legs and more money than brains. This style might be best suited for furnishing Soho lofts during the Spanish Inquisition. Don't expect the Amish to be building post-modern breakfast nooks anytime soon.

Scandinavian Furniture

People tend to find interesting ways to spend their time when winter sets in and daylight hours shrink to a minimum. 20 hours of darkness inspires innovative designs for furniture: at least that's what you'd think. If they can't go outside and play because their noses would freeze off in 3 seconds, then you'd think that their energy would be directed into making really cool furniture. For whatever reason, Scandinavian furniture is inspired by tedious minimalism and lots of little parts that have to be glued together or lost beneath the workbench.

Some Scandinavian furniture stores actually have the chutzpah to sell kits of their stuff. They brazenly display fully-assembled samples of luscious breakfast nooks, but when the stockboy meets you at the checkout stand with your purchase, it's flat enough to slide under a 2011 Corvette. Your friends and neighbors will gape in awe at the stuff you've assembled out of mounds of identical-looking wood bits, but don't plan on moving it once the glue has set. Scandinavian furniture somehow becomes an order of magnitude heavier after being put together.

Can furniture be purchased online?

Indeed, furniture can be selected and ordered online. The local furniture store persists, but online vendors proliferate. Some shoppers actually know what they want before going online, therefore saving the hassle of shopping in 2 dimensions. Other intrepid shoppers are able to visualize their rumpus room decked out in virtual furniture upon which they have yet not sat, slept, or eaten. Return policies vary. Read the fine print before committing a credit card number to an online vendor.

Unfinished Furniture

Unfinished furniture can be found in unfinished furniture stores, but don't expect to locate a strip mall with no roof or bare drywall in the showroom. The unfinished part refers to furniture that escaped from the factory without proper sanding, painting, or staining. Many styles of raw furniture persist. A casual wander through an unfinished furniture store will reveal the same desperate salespeople found in finished furniture stores, but they will smell like sawdust and varnish instead of Brut.

This type of furniture is unsanded and unpainted but usually pre-assembled. It's as if some Scandinavians got into an argument and formed a new furniture cult. Expect a new chain of stores to open very soon, selling unfinished and unassembled furniture called 'trees.'


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    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Stan Fletcher: embrace all furniture.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Kindacrazy: how nice of you to say that!

    • Stan Fletcher profile image

      Stan Fletcher 7 years ago from Nashville, TN

      Your brilliance knows no bounds. Furniture too? I didn't know anyone could know this much about furniture. And I've been looking for an unfinished furniture store for years, but they all were completely drywalled and painted and had lights, doors, cash registers and everything. Thanks for clearing that up. I've been confused for 30 odd years about that.

    • Kindacrazy profile image

      Kindacrazy 7 years ago from Tennessee

      Personally, I like the comment about Brut. You, nicomp brighten my day with a laugh.

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj, stephhicks68 , brianlokker , Austinstar : Thank you all so much for your kind words!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 7 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Nicomp, you can take the dullest topic and make it funny. Thanks!

    • brianlokker profile image

      Brian Lokker 7 years ago from Bethesda, Maryland

      I can't decide which of your descriptions I like better: the earnest Amish furniture or the tediously minimal Scandinavian furniture. Great hub!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      100% agreed with drbj's comment. Beautiful sentence, and lovely useful hub, as well!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      "Amish craftsmen earnestly cut away everything that doesn't look like a coffee table." nicomp, the Amish may be woodsmiths, but you, nicomp, are a wordsmith of the highest order.