The earliest furniture isn’t in fact wood but stone. Excavated in the Orkney Islands where wood was sparse, they found stone cupboards, dressers, beds and shelves. Some of the earliest wooden furniture has been found in the most ancient civilisation of Egypt, Greece, Rome and Turkey. It’s even been found frozen in time and ash at Pompeii.
Wooden furniture really took off in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was mainly made from heavy oak as it was plentiful, sturdy and easy to carve. As one century turned into another, the style changed from Greco-Roman to Queen Anne but the wooden material with which it was made never did.
It was only in the 20th century that wood was replaced with more modern material to make furniture. Contemporary style for example is based around using new man made materials to create multi-textured rooms.
Oak wood has always been traditionally used to build European furniture. It’s renowned for being sturdy, durable and easy to carve. Oak has an open wood grain, prominent rings and and can be stained easily to other colours; it’s easy to see why it’s remained a popular classic. But oak is still one of the most expensive wooden bedroom furniture items to buy, so we would recommend getting an oak bedside table, so your bedroom can have a touch of luxury.
Pine is the modern version of oak when it comes to wooden furniture. It’s both durable and sturdy but unlike oak it’s light, making it an ideal choice if you move house a lot. This is especially handy when it comes to larger furniture, which is why we would recommend pine wardrobes and pine chest of drawers. Pine also has beautiful grain that only needs a lacquer or wax finish to bring out.
Beech like oak is a hardwood, so it is used to make durable furniture. It has a beautiful fine, tight grain, creamy pale colour and stains well. A quirky fact about beech is that it adapts to humidity. Beech furniture is a great wood choice for young families as it is shock resistant.
Ash has specific benefits that make it perfect for furniture. Firstly ash wood is a hardwood, making it exceptionally durable. It also has a similar wood grain to oak but it’s much cheaper. Ash is more flexible and pliable than other types woods and is widely used in decorative wooden furniture. But ash furniture isn’t just beautiful it’s also practical; it is scratch resistant and easy to assemble, making it perfect for modern lifestyles.
Hevea and rubberwood
These woods have been proving more popular in recent times. That is because both are tropical hardwoods that come from sustainable and eco-friendly forests. They are only felled once they have stopped producing latex, which makes rubber. They are stable woods, that can be stained and oiled to enhance their appearance.
MDF and particleboard
MDF and particleboard are environmental alternatives to traditional solid woods. They both can have a solid wood veneer so you can still get that popular look. They are most commonly used to construct modern furniture, because they can be painted, veneered and even glossed to create hundreds of unique and creative styles.