Author Archive | Woodcraft

Find The Desk That Fits Your Work Habits

Your desk should be a personal, professional, and creative place where you can concentrate on the task at hand, control your environment, and improve your productivity. Far too often, people neglect their work space, whether it’s at the company office or at home, but it’s a room that deeply affects your mental well-being and the quality of your work. Many of the most productive people treat their desks as a kind of shrine to their creative process, carefully controlling it to facilitate what’s best for them.

Staying Grounded

In the early days of laptops, later reinforced by tablets and smartphones, the nomadic worker became a popular marketing and workforce myth: with new technology, no one was meant to be tethered to the same, monotonous space day in and day out. They would be free to roam wherever they pleased and the growth of freelancing across industries today has also seen a rise in co-working spaces and café culture geared more toward productivity than socialization. However, even freelance workers have found that owning their own desk, whether it’s in an office or at home, grounds their work and allows them to create a space that reflects their own personality. An office is a very personal thing and when you’re thinking it’s finally time to create the space that reflects your work habits, you should have a custom wood desk or office collection. A Woodcraft desk is handcrafted – we make traditional, executive-style collections as well as contemporary styles that will fit your home office or study.

At the Workplace

Contemporary office design is moving away from individually owned desks and toward a variety of workspaces that promote collaboration – while there have been negative effects on productivity caused by the lack of privacy, round shapes have also been proven to encourage collaborative work and improve team-based productivity. There’s also been a move toward creating collective but different spaces, so that teams and individuals can move through an office to find a space that complements the task at hand. Solid wood makes an excellent signature office piece and a custom design makes a true statement to both employees and the clients who come through your office. Talk to Woodcraft about building furniture for co-working pieces that can improve productivity and create the kind of collaborative energy your company needs to inspire.

Home Office

For some, the desk at their office never truly feels like their own; one study on workplace productivity by consultants Identity Realization found that office workers connect more to their job and employer if they’re given more control over their own workspace. People already feel very strongly about the state of their desks: some work better with a creative clutter or reminders of work in progress, whereas others are fastidious about keeping their space clean and organized so that they can concentrate on the task at hand. If you’re serious about rejuvenating your workspace, consider a unique solid wood desk from Woodcraft that speaks to your work habits and your personality, and helps you get started on what’s important.

The Simple Pleasure Of Solid Wood Furniture

From time to time, we at Woodcraft hear someone ask us why they should invest more in solid wood furniture like a desk, bookcase, dining table, or chair, rather than buy it premade (and mass-manufactured) from a big box store. In truth, it’s a matter of taste, and those who want solid wood furniture, handcrafted by people who have been dedicated to making furniture that their customers come to love, desire something unique, long-lasting, and beautiful. We only use high quality woods and stains, well-made joints, and make everything to fit the dimensions our customers require. You wouldn’t shortchange yourself by purchasing a substandard home – why would you expect anything less from the furniture with which you fill that home?

You can tell that our tables and desks are made with attentive, caring hands as you run your own along the grain, feel the corners, and test the strength of the joints as you apply your weight to them. Woodcraft has been in the business since 1974 because of our multi-generational commitment to quality and a love for what we do, whether that’s building our own unique design of office desk, working with our customers on a one-of-kind, custom wood dining table, or restoring and refinishing a cherished family heirloom.

Our designs are made to make a bold statement in your home but fit a variety of looks, whether you’re looking for darker colours and contemporary shapes for your dining table or traditional styles of office collections and bookcases. We receive orders from across North America from discerning furniture buyers who have come to expect a higher quality than what’s available from mass-manufacturers. We offer turnkey delivery, including placement and assembly, because we want our pieces to arrive safely and soundly in your home.

At Woodcraft, we like to think that we’re making an heirloom for your family – one that will withstand decades of use, that will gather dents and scratches in its role at the heart of a busy family life. That’s why we take restoration and refinishing so seriously, stripping by hand and not by soaking or dipping with acids that can weaken glue used in older joints. We can bring new life to older pieces of furniture by stripping old paints and updating them with a more contemporary look that will match your home, including moving from darker colours to lighter ones. We love bringing new life to old wood because we know what big box furniture retailers don’t – you can’t prepackage memories.

Contact us if you’re ready to invest in solid wood furniture that you will be proud to bring into your home or visit our website and see our one-of-a-kind designs as well as your options for wood and colours. Most of our pieces are available in pine, maple, wormy maple, cherry, and oak and the colours that will best complement both the wood and your own home design. There are hundreds of ways to decorate your dining room, but it all begins with a wood dining table. Your home deserves something made to fit your tastes, home, and family; get solid wood furniture from a company that listens.

How Custom Design Can Solve Your Furniture Hunt

Do you have an image in your head of a coffee table, sofa, desk, or cabinet that you can’t seem to find anywhere, no matter how many antique stores, furniture markets, or design boutiques you visit? When you’re dedicated to interior design, you can spend years searching for that piece of furniture you’ve been imagining to no avail. That is, unless you’ve considered working with a handcrafted furniture company to build a unique piece just for you, whether it’s a grandiose boardroom table or inspired by a designer who’s impossible to find.

At Woodcraft, we offer dining tables, coffee tables, bed sets, office collections, cabinets, bookcases, and more in a variety of our own designs with customization options including dimensions, wood, and finish. For a piece like our Metropolitan Dining Table, you have your choice of five different woods, including vintage cherry, three different textures (rough sawn, ruff cut, random plain), and 16 finishes ranging from white stain to ebony black and everything in between. However, we frequently work with customers who need a piece built from the ground up when they envision something that cannot be found in stores.

Many people don’t first think of custom furniture because they believe that it’s too expensive; however, as this article all about finding someone to bring your custom design to life in the New York Times explains, it can be just as affordable as buying from a high-end store and less expensive than finding a vintage piece online or at auction. Whether you have a completely unique plan in mind or there is a particular style you want to imitate, request a quote from us and find out if we can help make your vision a reality.

Details matter when you’re having your own custom design built by a wood furniture craftsman and it can help if you use resources like images from magazines that illustrate what’s in your mind. You don’t need to be able to draft blueprints of the piece that’s in your head, but you do need to be able to give the craftsman a concrete image; they will consult with you as they proceed and make sure that you’re satisfied with the end result. It’s also important to supply exact dimensions: make measurements of your home and the room where the piece will live; in the case of a cabinet, give us the dimensions of the drawers and doors you want. Leave nothing to chance – but rest assured, if you’ve missed something, we at Woodcraft will ask the right questions.

The last step is to compare samples of finishes and stains in your home or condo so that you can make sure it matches. Having your own wood table or desk built by Woodcraft is about seeing that dream piece of furniture in your head become a reality and you have the opportunity to make sure that everything fits perfectly in your home, from the size to the colour. Great design and superior construction will travel with you for the rest of your life, so stop hunting for that impossible piece and have it made custom.

Take Advantage Of Our Cherry Wood Sale For A Rich Colour

Cherry wood, harvested from the broad-leaved, eponymous tree, is a hardwood that you will frequently found used to make panels, hardwood floors, cabinets, drawers, dining tables, bookcases, and more. Because of its natural properties, it’s been a popular material among craftsmen for centuries, and markings such as gum streaks lend even more to its characters. It’s not only been a popular material among carpenters and furniture makers, it’s also a treasured material in flutes as a sound conductor that can rival mahogany.

Despite its sonic qualities, we here at Woodcraft mostly turn to cherry for making furniture (that is, after all, what we’ve been doing since 1974), and it’s one of our favourite materials to use. If you’re unfamiliar with the material, these are some of the reasons that we love it so much:

Colour – When it’s freshly planed, the sapwood is a pale, creamy colour, but the heartwood is a pale pink, almost as though it’s blushing. The most striking quality of cherry is the way it ages; over time, the pale pink deepens and darkens into a ruddy brown with an undertone of amber, a depth and complexity that’s impossible to replicate with finishes. The sapwood, meanwhile, takes on a darker brown hued with gold, a combination that’s earned the material plenty of fans, many of whom believe it’s too rare an effect to be stained.

Pliability – Cherry is generally more pliable than some of the other materials we use, including maple and oak, while still retaining a remarkable strength that’s made it popular in both furniture and flooring.

Density – A moderate hardwood, strong, and falling somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of weight, it’s not just beautiful but a practical choice for solid wood furniture. In addition, it’s finely grained and features a smooth texture, another reason woodworkers love it. Plus, it’s highly resistant to rot and fungi, which can make it suitable for cottage furniture where you may not have the same kind of humidity control you enjoy at your home in the city.

These qualities mean cherry commands a higher price than other hardwoods because it’s in such high demand, but its colour is simply irreplaceable. Fortunately, if you shop for your custom solid wood furniture at Woodcraft, you can take advantage of our cherry wood sale.

Before our fall promotion is over, get any piece of furniture in cherry and we take 5% off the price, including items that are already part of our table sale such as the Arcadia, Metro, Avenue, Long Island, St. George, or Strata tables. Combined with our table sale, you can save anywhere from 25 to 35% from your purchase, and still take advantage of all the customizable options we offer on dimensions and stains. While some admirers insist that cherry should never be stained and allowed to darken naturally, certain colours can help accentuate its natural properties. It’s a great opportunity to introduce a wood with a lot of personality, a rich and complex colour, and many admirers into your home.

Your Wood Furniture Buying Guide

When it’s time to bring some new life into your home with new furniture, it’s important that you know what you’re getting into. If you’re craving the warmth and style of wood, going custom is a great way to get exactly what you want and a piece that will last for decades, which means significant savings down the road compared to ready-made purchases. These are some of the things you should know about custom furniture before you take the plunge.

Type of Wood

Before you decide, it’s important to understand the different qualities of wood used by a manufacturer and whether or not they will meet your needs. At Woodcraft, we commonly use oak, maple, pine, and vintage cherry on our pieces, each of which has its own special qualities that make it better suited to different purposes.

Oak: A strong material, oak will last for the duration, whatever job it fulfills, making it especially great for high-use pieces like dining tables and chairs.

Maple: Usually a creamy off-white in colour, maple is an excellent and strong hardwood (strong enough to be a common feature of baseball bats, including the one used by Barry Bonds). For those who want more colour and pattern, wormy maple is streaked with knots and veins caused by boring beetles.

Pine: A softer material, you wouldn’t want to turn pine into a chopping block, but it does not shrink or swell as much as other materials as the temperature changes.

Vintage Cherry: As cherry ages, its colour changes, reaching a darker, deeper brown or red over the years to create an enviable complexity. At Woodcraft, we use vintage cherry that has already darkened, so you know whether or not will fit with your home decor.

Stability

Before you buy anything, you should ask about how the piece was constructed and what kind of joints the craftsmen used. Look for pieces that were constructed using either dowel joints or mortise-and-tenon joints as these are more stable and secure than buttered or mitered alternatives. As far as chair legs go, joints should be squared off with diagonal blocks to prevent the chair from shifting when weight and pressure are applied.

Delivery

Many big box furniture stores recoup the costs of big discounts when it comes to delivery since many customers treat it as an afterthought. Don’t neglect it: once you’ve bought something like a sofa or a long dining table, you’re going to have to get it home somehow. Our delivery service is reasonably priced in addition to being guaranteed and insured, so you do not have to worry about anything if it’s damaged during the delivery. It includes setup, placement, and clean up, although you can also economize with warehouse pickup or curbside delivery. We deliver across Toronto 6 days a week, but we also ship across Ontario, Canada, and internationally.

Time

Great wood furniture takes time because it’s made-to-order, using the materials, stains, and dimensions you want, and built to last with solid joints: generally, we take about 8 weeks for most custom orders at Woodcraft. Keep in mind that the furniture you buy from us will last for decades, even generations, and we make it worth the wait.

Is Custom Furniture Right for You?

We often hear people ask us why custom furniture is better than mass-manufactured pieces available from major furniture stores. We’ve dedicated decades to building custom furniture from the finest materials because we believe that a tailor-made piece of furniture has a better, more meaningful relationship with the home and homeowner because it’s been crafted with its place in mind. Whether you’re outfitting your bedroom, dining room, office, home study, or even finding furniture for a restaurant, going custom is not just about making an impression, it’s also about loving the space you’ve built.

Home

Whether it’s a turn-of-the-century home, a Victorian townhouse, or a contemporary condo, you may have a home with a unique layout that comes with its own set of design challenges. Mass-made furniture simply does not take into account the dimensions and challenges of your space, such as odd corners or support beams. Small or unusual rooms don’t have to be awkwardly furnished; for example, round dining tables are known to be great solutions for compact, square-like dining rooms. The round design creates more space between the chairs and the walls, making it easier to walk around. At Woodcraft, we make furniture according to your home’s individualized dimensions, and we can adjust anything to fit the shape of the room.

The bedroom is another place you may want to consider custom wood furniture, where you can add a personal touch to bed frames, wardrobes, and cabinets. Bedrooms that seek the attention of guests rather than hide away are one of the top 25 trends listed by Houzz for 2016, but a custom wood bed frame should also be a piece that you want to keep through the years.

Offices and Studies

As more and more work gets performed outside of the office, many professionals find themselves turning to third spaces like coffee shops to work from laptops and tablets. Even so, there’s been a backlash against the idea of the “nomadic worker” from many creative professionals who put a great deal of importance on their desk space. From the materials out of which its made to the state of organization and clutter you prefer, your desk is a reflection of your personality and your work habits. Everyone has their own tastes and preferences, but if you feel as though you’re drawn toward the tactility, textures, and stains of wood, don’t hesitate to request a quote on a custom desk from the Woodcraft team.

Bars and Restaurants

When it comes to good dinner and drinks, custom wood furniture is in style, with rustic farmhouse and industrial looks dominating the dining scene across North America. Just look at the rich colours and textures used in Toronto favourites like Bar Raval, a pintxos restaurant that uses rich, dazzling woodwork inspired by Gaudi’s Modernisme. Step inside any restaurant, brewpub, or espresso bar in Toronto’s west end and you’re bound to find some gorgeous textures and colours, unique shapes, and cuts that give the place the kind of character and charm discerning diners crave. It’s no longer enough to make quality meals and drinks to please urban crowds; people are just as much looking for atmosphere, and that’s where we at Woodcraft can lend a hand. Tables and chairs in restaurants and coffee bars also see a lot of use, and investing in solid craftsmanship and quality materials can save you a lot of money in repairs and replacements down the road.

Add Style to Your Living with Wood Entertainment Units

Often the television becomes the focal point of the living room, whether you want it to or not, as it typically occupies a central position and is aligned with the sofa. It can distract attention from more appealing features like the fireplace, bookshelves, and art on the walls. If you find yourself displeased with the attention your media setup draws from the room, you can always add some style and elegance to it with a custom wood entertainment unit. You can use it to frame the negative space of the screen, blending in with darker and black stains.

As far as entertainment units go, everything starts with the TV stand, a simple stand on which you place your TV with storage underneath, on the side, or above. While they are typically wide and low to the ground, an armoire style can raise your screen higher off the ground and increase your available vertical storage. From there, you have a variety of additions to choose from, all of which are available from Woodcraft:

Cabinets with Drawers – Drawers are a great option if you prefer to keep the clutter of your DVD and game collections out of view and hidden behind elegant wood doors.

Cabinets with Hutches – Adding a hutch to the cabinet will lend your entertainment unit plenty of vertical height and it will quickly become the focal point of the room. They’re great for larger televisions and making use of vertical space in your living room for additional storage, whether it’s your media library, books, or ornaments.

Consoles – Instead of drawers beneath the stand, you may opt for consoles, which are long, open shelves beneath the television. These are great for storing Blu-Rays and DVDs players, as well as video game consoles and TV streaming boxes, while shelves underneath give you space for games and DVDs without having to resort to boxes and binders.

Now comes the question: why should you go with a custom made unit instead of something from a big box store? At Woodcraft, we believe in making solid wood furniture that will last, in both style and stability, for years into the future with timeless looks and a commitment to durability. Saving money by scrimping on quality is not really saving money at all when you have to replace furniture every 5 to 10 years. When you’re out shopping for a new entertainment unit, you should keep in mind things like the dimensions of your television, the size of the room, your electronics storage needs, and your preferences when it comes to drawers, hutches, and glass doors.

TV Dimensions – Don’t just take the screen dimensions, take the time to measure the full size of the actual television, particularly if you want a unit that uses hutches or side towers.

Fit Your Space – You don’t want the entertainment unit to completely overpower everything else in the room, or create a cramped feeling, so make sure you take into account the size of the room. Large entertainment centres work best when you have ample space, so if you’re economizing on size, consider a simpler cabinet.

Drawers, Hutches, and Cabinet Doors – Woodcraft entertainment units come with a variety of storage options including consoles, drawers, hutches, and glass cabinet doors in order to give you more options. If you prefer to keep your DVD and game library on display, hutches are a great way to keep them organized.

Woodcraft’s 6 Point Guide to Dining Tables

A dining table is an important element to any home, whether you use it primarily for your family and yourself or for entertaining guests. It’s the centrepiece of any entertaining you do, but for most households, it’s also a daily part of life, and it has to appeal to you on a day-to-day basis or it won’t be long before you start thinking about replacing it. At Woodcraft, we make custom wood dining tables, either from a catalogue of our unique designs or to your unique desires, with a range of woods and finishes to fit your home and tastes, and we’ve put together this guide to finding the right dining table for your home.

#1 Consider wood: Wood is truly an unparalleled option for homeowners who want to add elegance to their dining rooms. It’s sturdier than glass, easier to maintain than marble, and lighter (and therefore easier to move) than metal.

#2 Size and shape: Size and shape are the most significant elements to consider – keep in mind the dimensions of the room and how many people you are going to be seating.

DimensionsRound tables work well in smaller rooms as well as spaces that are closer to squares. They also make your seating situation more flexible than a rectangular shape as you can likely squeeze in an extra seat or two. Long rectangular shapes are great ways to create an elegant atmosphere in larger, longer rooms where you’re going to be entertaining or hosting the whole family for the holidays.

Seating – Younger couples often don’t need to worry about hosting large numbers of people for formal occasions, but if you’re at an older stage (and perhaps your adult children have kids of their own now), go for something longer and more spacious, and something that can also fit all those Thanksgiving dishes.

#3 Tactility: While it’s often overlooked, the feel of the table is going to have a large role in how and when you use it. Smooth surfaces work well for doing paperwork, but if you use it primarily for dining or you plan on using a laptop, you may want a depth of touch offered by old-world solid wood tables.

#4 Choose your material wisely: When you buy your dining table from Woodcraft you have your choice of material options, but make sure the kind of wood you select is going to work with how you decide to use it. Pine is a soft material that’s more susceptible to dents and scratches, so it may not hold up to the wear and tear of frequent entertainers. Oak and maple are great hardwood options that can withstand frequent use.

#5 Maintenance: When it comes to wood, maintenance can be quite simple, just make sure you clean up spills as they happen and treat it with care.

#6 Make an impression: Finally, if you’re primary concern is entertaining guests, find a design that will make an impression but also stand the test of time. We offer a range of designs from classic, rustic looks to contemporary options with a startling elegance. Visit our website or any of our retail locations across the GTA and take your time deciding on the best option for your home.

How to Select Bookshelves for the Serious Collector

Serious collectors spend hours fretting over how to best display their books, whether their library is made up of rare and antiquarian books, encyclopedias, first edition hardcovers, trade paperbacks, or vintage mass-market paperbacks. Some treat their libraries as a display, others regularly consult them either for work or for pleasure. Some prefer to display a carefully curated selection alongside other antiques and collectibles, while others hope for a place that can contain their unwieldy and esoteric interests. There are many considerations a serious collector should keep in mind when deciding on a bookshelf, including design, type of wood, stain, and location.

Design – The design you choose will reflect your personality and the relationship you have with your library or your collection. For antiques and collectibles, bookcases with glass doors are a great way to display your prized possessions without leaving them exposed. Antiquarian book collectors may also want to take advantage of glass doors combined with a higher number of shelves in order to preserve the condition of their library. If you’re more practically minded and want a place to store books you frequently consult, consider a sleeker design that fits well in offices. Consult our full catalogue of bookshelves to decide which one will work best for you.

Wood – The type of wood you choose depends on how you plan to use the shelves and how much weight they are going to bear. With a Woodcraft bookshelf, you can choose from five different types: maple, wormy maple, pine, oak, and cherry. Pine is typically a more affordable material that works well with many different stains, but it is not advisable if you plan on storing heavy books. It’s a pliable material that will bend under enough stress, and you can also dent it if you are not careful. Oak is a better option for the collector who is mad about his library or keeps complete collections of heavy encyclopedias. Cherry is another popular option for those who are interested in creating an elegant display case, because of the way it ages. Because its colour naturally darkens over time toward a warm brown or red, some prefer not to stain cherry at all, but let it evolve over time. It’s a highly sought-after material among antique collectors because there is no way to truly fabricate the effects of time on cherry.

Stain – We offer a wide range of stains at Woodcraft for you to select from, and much of it relies on your personal taste, as well as the prevailing colours of the room. If you want to create a clean, austere look, a white or grey stain can create a neutral effect that leaves the focus on the books themselves. Red or Brazilian cherry stains give a feeling of warmth to a room, while lighter shades of brown can be used to complement rustic atmospheres. You could also use espresso or ebony black for a professional effect in your office or your study at home.

Location – Finally, decide on the ideal location for your shelves: typically, you can find a bookcase in an office, study, living room, or bedroom, depending on whether they’re used for display, personal and private use, or for work. There are a number of tips for displaying books themselves that can enhance their aesthetic value in your home, as well. Wherever your place your bookcase, make sure you get a custom case that fits your taste and fills you with pride every time you go to consult your collection. The team at Woodcraft can help you find it.

 

Custom vs. Big Box Furniture

When Woodcraft Furniture was first founded, its reason for being was to make beautiful, handcrafted pieces that would quickly earn a place in their owners’ hearts. That hasn’t changed since the 1970s, and it’s why we remain committed to providing handcrafted, solid wood furniture for your dining room, bedroom, office or study, and living room. We believe that we offer a better product than big box furniture stores, and we can provide it because we care about you, your home, and your personal tastes.

Wood furniture is not just durable and long lasting, it also never goes out of style, and our designs avoid “trendy” traps like fashionable colours that are destined to become tomorrow’s fashion faux-pas. We use enduring, classic finishes for all of our pieces, and we let you decide the combination of material and finish that will fit your home and give you the most satisfaction out of your purchase.

Made to Fit

Custom furniture makers take into account the dimensions and shape of the room where the piece will be. For example, all of the dining tables available from Woodcraft can be made to fit the size and dimensions of your dining room. Our tables fit both smaller, square rooms and longer, elegant dining halls for households that love to host dinner parties or have the entire family over for the holidays. Custom makers can also fit their pieces to irregularities in your home or office, such as odd corners, rounded walls, or even sloping ceilings in finished attics. Often these irregularities leave rooms with void and useless spaces that could otherwise be completed with a desk, sofa, bed, or bookshelf.

Choose Your Wood

Whether you are building your dream centrepiece, completely to your personal requirements, or using a catalogue design, the choice of wood should be yours. While your options differ between pieces, you can generally choose between:

  • Pine (a softwood), very easily cut and stained
  • Oak, a reliable and sturdy material that will hold up to more wear and tear than pine
  • Maple, a hardwood like oak that is very durable and also available as “wormy maple,” with more texture and naturally-formed knots that add an element of patterning to the surface
  • Cherry, which can be stained to offset the changes to its colour that occurs naturally over time, or left on its own, which results in a deep, rich reddish-brown hue

Choose Your Finish

Once you’ve selected the materials with which you would like to make your piece, it’s time to select your finish according to the colour scheme and atmosphere of your room. Our team is happy to help you select a colour and finish if you need guidance, just ask for our help or visit any of our retail locations across the GTA.

Your Taste, Your Personality

When it comes to custom built tables in Toronto, Woodcraft puts in the design, craft, and care it takes to make the piece that will match your home. Get in touch with us and request a quote for your special project. Big box furniture stores just can’t provide the same attention to detail or meet your personal taste the way a custom furniture maker can.