Furniture can mean a lot to some people, and rightly so. Furniture is what helps make a house a home. Whether it’s some milk crates and an old card table or a set of Amish rustic cabin furniture, the pieces you place in your home make it look, feel, and be lived in instead of just there. Through cozy comfort and simple utility, furniture is important. Some people like to buy sturdy, reliable furniture that they know will last. Amish furniture is well regarded in this area for its durability, looks, and utility. It is also renowned for its cost. With such high costs involved, some might question if it’s worth it to buy Amish.
Part of the issue is that there are misconceptions when it comes to Amish furniture. People presume that items like Amish hutches are naturally rustic, handmade furniture that is the epitome of both old fashioned hand-based woodworking and traditional craftsmenship. It brings to mind for many the sort of furniture you would see in a log cabin, only much more detailed and finely worked.
This is not true, for the most part. CreativeClassics.com makes note that “Amish furniture isn’t a “look” or style; it can be country, traditional, contemporary or modern in design. It is not a quality distinction. The designation “Amish made” does not mean that the furniture is produced according to a single standard of excellence in construction. Amish furniture quality is as varied as individual people themselves.”
While Amish furniture may not be one style, there are some similarities across the different standards. As noted previously, high quality and craftsmanship are consistent, reliable hallmarks of Amish furniture. It’s hard to say no to that kind of quality. Sturdy, well built furniture lasts. This alone can make Amish furniture worth the expense. Lasting furniture is a pretty valuable asset in the long term.
Granted, such expenditure depends on the people involved. A college student with milk crates and an old desk can’t justify the expense, and besides wooden furniture is heavy so moving into and out of the dorms would be a major pain. For a family looking to settle into their final family home, though, sturdy, strong furniture that survives years of childhood upbringing is definitely worth purchasing.
There are other benefits of Amish furniture that makes it appealing as well. Besides the standards of qualities and materials, those materials are environmentally friendly. The woods used by Amish woodworkers are made from sustainable, local forests. The chemicals used are also all environmentally friendly, since the Amish are not generally known for their chemical production. This also makes the furniture easy to maintain, since all you need to take care of it is dusting and regular cleaning.
That said, it can be misleading to think that all Amish pieces are produced just from solid hardwood. CreativeClassics.com explains that “Amish builders (and other furniture makers) combine the use of solid wood and hardwood plywood for various reasons. Plywood is not always a bad thing, and builders actually prefer it in some cases. For example, plywood is used in instances where solid wood of an equal dimension would be less stable.”
The big question with the inclusion of plywood is whether or not it affects the heirloom quality of the furniture. This is something of an ongoing debate when it comes to Amish furniture, and, thanks to the variety of pieces that are actually included in that category, the answer really depends on the individual pieces. Tables, hutches, and the like are going to last longer than standalone chairs as a general rule.
Generally speaking, Amish furniture is of superior quality to mass produced pieces obtainable from a regular department or furniture store. Whether or not the specific piece being considered for purchase is superior is another matter. The best way to determine this is to carefully examine the furniture to make sure it’s made from better materials, that plywood is rarely if used at all, and other little things like the types of hinges and drawer construction.
The value of Amish furniture depends on the specific piece of furniture being considered and how it compares to other pieces made by competitors. Amish furniture is constructed from sustainable sources and materials and well proven crafting methods. Amish furniture itself is a broad category that doesn’t mean rustic furniture carved from a single chunk of wood. Pretty much any piece of furniture can be made from Amish methods and fit within most categories of furniture styles.
This makes Amish furniture very versatile for matching set pieces and styles within a home. The value of the pieces to the individual is ultimately up to them, but it’s hard to beat reliable hardwood construction using proven craftsmanship. The furniture is reliable and sturdy, which makes its worth considering for purchase.