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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.

Make Your Office Your Own with a Handcrafted Desk - Featured

Make Your Office Your Own with a Handcrafted Desk

If you’re outfitting your home or workplace office, don’t underestimate the importance of your desk. It’s the place where you spend hours every day, and it can become your best friend if you take the steps now to find one that you will love. At Woodcraft, we don’t just recommend a handcrafted, custom desk because we’ve been building them for over 40 years; we also understand that your workspace should reflect your habits and your personality.

The three most important factors you should keep in mind when you are choosing a desk are shape, storage space, and style. When it comes to quality, there is no competing with handcrafted wood furniture, and going custom gives you the freedom to choose the wood and colour to match your bookshelves or other interior decorations. When it comes to shape, storage, and style, choose your options based on how you work.

Shape – Do you require multiple computer screens to work effectively? You may want an L-shaped design that allows you to pivot from one screen to another. A traditional rectangular design works for most, but you will also want to consider height for ergonomics. You should also be able to choose between features such as a keyboard pull out vs. a centre drawer. These are all facets unique to your own work habits; make sure you have the desk that works for you.

Storage – Save yourself hours of lost productivity by staying on top of clutter. As soon as that stack of papers starts to pile up next to your computer, take the time to sort it out. A disorganized workspace creates distractions since clutter competes for your attention. It can be difficult to concentrate on the task at hand if you keep a pile of papers and forms that you need to deal with next to your computer. It’s like having your To-Do List hang over your head all day, reminding you of all the other tasks that you have to complete. Make sure you have enough drawers, and drawers that are the right size and depth, to meet your organizational needs.

Style – All of the desks we offer at Woodcraft come with a variety of wood and colour options for you to choose from. For example, our Downton Executive model is available in maple, pine, oak, and vintage cherry, with your choice of colours ranging from a light white stain to gunstock walnut or ebony. Select your colours based on the other pieces in your office, whether they’re bookshelves or cabinets. We also have a wide range of desks to choose from, whether you’re looking for a contemporary style or a simpler student-style option.

We take your office seriously at Woodcraft, which is why we also offer full suite collections that include cabinets and shelves. While you can choose between our standard styles, we also create totally custom pieces that will fit your personalized needs and inspirations. Get in touch with us if there’s a piece you’ve always dreamed of having, but could never find at the store.

How to Care for Wood Furniture

Wood furniture is a generational investment: the dining table that’s been in the family for almost a century, the desk that passes from grandparents to children when they first move out for school, the china cabinet that gets handed down from mother to daughter over the years. Properly caring for a piece will ensure that it lasts long after you have handed it down to your children and on. That’s why we here at Woodcraft wanted to put together a few tips for people considering a new dining table, desk, or cabinet.

The First Month

After you first bring home your custom wood piece, you still have to give it time for the finish to cure. Do not use any water or solvents on the piece during this initial period, and avoid placing hot or cold objects on it (such as a coffee mug or casserole dish just out of the oven). Also during this initial period, open any drawers or doors that belong to the piece for one hour each day. Exposing the interior to air every day will allow the finish inside drawers and storage space to cure properly.

General Maintenance Tips

For everyday care, follow these useful tips:

  • To clean it, use warm water with a cloth. Once the finish has cured, the water will not damage your furniture, but do not let it soak. Afterwards, dry off any moisture still left lingering with a dry cloth.
  • You can dust the piece, and we recommend you do so frequently, with a soft, dry cloth. Follow the pattern of the grain as you do so to avoid abrasion.
  • Avoid using wax or polishes that contain silicone – modern finishes do not need these products. It’s sufficient to dust cabinets and tables, and clean them with warm water only when dirt has accumulated.
  • Keep your piece away from vents, baseboards, and radiators, as the dry heat can shrink wood and cause it to crack. Read more about preventing dryness during the winter below.

Seasonal Care

Don’t let the piece come into direct contact with sunlight, especially during the summer. Keep drapes or blinds closed throughout the day. In the summer heat, the temperature of direct sunlight can become extremely warm, and it will cook the finish. During the winter, use a humidifier to control the humidity; the ideal level of humidity is 40-45% for both furniture and people.

Refinishing Services at Woodcraft

Over time, nicks and scratches in the finish are inevitable. We don’t just build furniture at Woodcraft, we also refinish it with an unrivalled attention to detail. We can eliminate scratches and gouges, as well discolouration, in addition to mending minor problems like loose joints. Is your antique heirloom starting to look a little outdated in your contemporary home? We offer plenty of finishes that bring your antique up to date so that it stays cohesive with the rest of your home. We strip old finish by hand, not in tanks, thereby preserving joints and veneers, and keeping the wood from drying out. We pay close attention to every job – we can even preserve those storied scratches you’ve told so many stories about. While you want your furniture to stay beautiful, it’s normal for things to get damaged, and sometimes it’s just not worth erasing a good memory or a mark of family history. Just send us a picture of your piece and details about what you want, and we’ll get back to you right away with a quote.

Choosing a Type of Wood for Your Dining Table

You’ve decided to invest in a custom made wooden dining table – something that will last for years, if not generations, that will anchor your dining room’s decor and act as a showcase in your home. Wood is an elegant and timeless material that can be shaped and finished according to today’s trendsetting designs. At Woodcraft, we offer a wide variety of standard designs for dining tables that you can customize by wood, colour, texture, and size. It can be a lot to choose from, especially if you’re not sure where to start. We suggest that you begin by deciding the type of wood you would like to use, and we’ve put together this quick guide to help you make up your mind.

Cherry – Cherry is remarkable for the quality of its colours and grains, and it polishes very well. The colour is known to darken over time, and while some people count this as a fault, any good craftsman will take this change into consideration from the beginning. Plenty of people covet cherry for its ever richer colour, year after year. Although the colour changes, it is largely unaffected by seasonal changes thanks to its pores and straight grain.

Oak – Oak is an incredibly durable material that resists warping. Oak is relatively affordable in North America, and it’s a favourite for Woodcraft tables because it’s a sturdy hardwood. It’s particularly grainy, and the patterns depend on the species. Whereas red oak’s grain has a swirling pattern, white oak has a striped pattern. White oak is particularly resistant to water damage, which is why it was a popular choice for boats and whiskey barrels.

Maple – Another hardwood, maple has a white, creamy colour. It is particularly hardy, and it’s frequently used in dressers and cabinets. You won’t have to worry about denting a maple dining room table. Maple goes particularly well with darker stains and can be made to look like cherry. It also darkens with exposure to sunlight, so be aware of how you place it in relation to windows.

Wormy Maple – This is a softer type of maple that hosts the Ambrosia beetles (hence why it is sometimes called Ambrosia maple). In the past, it was often considered a “discount” material because of the discolouration and holes made by the beetles, but today it’s highly sought after because of its design appeal.

Pine – The downside to pine is that it is a softwood lumber, and therefore very susceptible to dents, and you will have to treat it gently (i.e., keep Halloween pumpkin carving on the kitchen counter). It’s straight grained and naturally white or tinged with yellow, while the knots are brown. It works wonderfully for creating a farmhouse look in your home, as it has a naturally rustic feel to it.

Most of our dining tables at Woodcraft are available in several of these woods, and we encourage you to explore how each will look with different colour combinations. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions finding the right materials for your needs.


Solid, Uniquely Designed Wood Furniture is setting new Trends

Here at Woodcraft, we believe that the experience of buying a piece of well-designed furniture from a qualified craftsman can be likened to a foodie looking for a good meal prepared from locally grown ingredients — in short, it is more than a purchase; it is a lifestyle choice. Working with a craftsman is a different experience than buying from a big box retailer. The client is treated as a unique person with individual desires instead of being identified by a credit card number. Similarly, the furniture manufacturer is a tangible contact with which the customer can interact easily. Thus, customers can gain a better understanding of the furniture manufacturing process. Quality and durability move to the forefront of decision making and affect how the other elements of the home are selected beyond the choice of furniture. Over time this results in a redefinition of the word “value,” as value becomes a function of equitable remuneration for a well-designed object. There are advantages of buying local, handcrafted furniture that often go underappreciated.

There is a boost to the local economy, which is helpful to both the client and the craftsman. Local manufacturing is important because it helps to define a regional aesthetic, which can be embraced by other clients, and other businesses, creating a regional cultural identity. Additionally, by commissioning custom furniture, the client also invests in a piece of furniture that functions as a cherished object, which probably will become a valuable piece inherited by future generations.

In a world where efficiency is often measured only by the bottom line — which usually means the use of machinery to mass produce — the loss of time-honored, craft-specific knowledge is slowly eroding cultural output. Fortunately, the reignited emphasis on the revival of trade and crafts professions has become a priority in North American culture.

When you buy custom-designed wood furniture from Woodcraft, you make an investment in a product that will last a lifetime. Consider these benefits of customized wood furniture:

It saves you money

By spending more money today the purchase of high quality, solid wood furniture, you will actually save money. Indeed, you will not buy replacement furniture in 5-10 years, then another 5-10 years later. Solid wood furniture is an investment whose dividends will pay off for decades if not generations.

It can withstand a lifetime of wear and tear

Most cheap or discount furniture is made from low quality wood — or worse particleboard — which is not built to last. Solid wood furniture pieces will be able to withstand a lifetime of wear and tear, without negative side effects — you can even customize further down the line with Woodcraft’s custom refinishing services.

Wooden furniture is an eco-friendly choice

There are several reasons why the purchase of solid wood furniture is better for our planet. Because high-quality furniture is built for the long term, your dining table or armoire won’t end up in the landfill. Better still, solid wood furniture can be reassigned or recycled into a new piece if you ever decide you are through with it.

All of Woodcraft’s solid wood furniture is made in our Markham workshop and handmade or manufactured by local artisans, which means that you are supporting your local community and reducing the fossil fuel that would otherwise be required to ship or transport furniture from outside your local area.

If you think it’s time to replace that old, factory-made furniture with an accent piece that will last a lifetime, give us a call or better yet pop into one of our showrooms to see why custom wood furniture is all the rave. We look forward to introducing you to this brave new world.

Custom-Designed Wood Furniture is here to Stay

While advances in technology and industry have contributed to a conflagration of easy-to buy, stock furniture, hand-made wooden furniture has always been the preferred choice for furniture shoppers who want a special touch, a unique look, or simply have some custom design ideas in mind. At Woodcraft, we take custom wood furnishings as seriously as people take their interior design choices; and so we realize that nothing will accent your dining room, living room, or bedroom like a unique, custom-built piece of furniture. The rising trend in wooden accent pieces attracts many entrepreneurs to craft their own custom-designed wooden furniture, but without the right workshop, tools, and experience, it’s easy to create inferior pieces. This is why it’s so important to work with the right custom craftspeople.

One of the most obvious benefits of custom wood furniture is that you are not limited in any way and will not be forced to compromise what you really want when choosing pieces for your home or office. Since it is not already built, you have total control over all aspects of the design; the size, style, and wood, as well as the details of molding, decorative hardware, and finishing. At Woodcraft, we understand that you are making an investment, and that is why all of our pieces are built to last — not just as practical home additions, but as potential heirlooms to last generations.

Long-term value

Many people mistakenly assume that out-of-the box factory-made furniture will save them money — especially if they move often or have children. However, the inverse is actually true; after years of owning disposable furniture, many people actively seek out finely built pieces that are more luxurious and stand the test of time because they have grown tired of replacing their furniture every three to five years.

Signature Pieces

Modern home designers stress the importance of what are commonly called signature pieces that make a home a place of elegance and beauty. From the entryway to the bedroom, antique pieces can either enhance an existing style or replace it entirely making guests or family members viewing it for the first time feel like they are looking as much at a piece of art as a piece of furniture. Such pieces are especially coveted in dining rooms where groups gather intimately and the table is often the focal point.

Our expert craftsmen appreciate the construction of original custom pieces, and details as dovetail corners, mortise and tenon joints, extensions, hand-rubbed finishes, and solid wood craftsmanship are all central parts of the process. With 22 different shades of stains to choose from ranging from light to dark, it’s easy to select a color that complements other existing pieces in the home while making the dining table a pivotal point of conversation.

Consider Custom Refinishing

Well designed, solid wood furniture can easily last for generations with proper care, but even the best finish will suffer from wear created by families increasingly — day after day, year after year, decade after decade. Fortunately, Woodcraft offers refinishing on our custom built furniture — or even on an antique you bought elsewhere — so that you can bring new life and beauty to a finish that shows its age, and save up to 65% of the cost of buying new furniture.

If you want to explore the world of custom-built, custom-finished wood furniture, stop by one of our showrooms in Markham, Mississauga, or Whitby, or give us a call. We’ll be glad to help.



Our Furniture is Designed With Your Specific Needs in Mind

Because of its aesthetic beauty, longevity, and its ultimate versatility, wood has been a preferred building material for centuries. Custom-made products are primarily about individuality and people have always loved to express or showcase their personality through custom-made objects. If you’re in the mood to add a personal touch to your home, then you should consider custom-made furniture.

You might have a very precise vision about how your living room or office should look. With ready-made furniture from a box, you will likely not be able to follow that vision. However, with custom-designed, custom-made furniture from Woodcraft, you will be able to incorporate your style and taste directly into each piece we manufacture — at every step.

The best thing about custom Woodcraft furniture is that you can have it made according to your specifications. When you buy poorly-made furniture from a big box store, you do not have any say at all in its durability, sturdiness, or functionality. If you have an awkward corner in your home, apartment, or office where nothing really fits or if you have an open space you want to fill, then custom furniture is the right choice for the situation. For example, a sofa can be designed to perfectly fill the remaining space in a family room effectively; an armoire can be designed to fill a corner, and the right table can accent a room perfectly — and practically — while adhering to your unique and specific tastes.

At Woodcraft, we stand by our product and believe that each piece is as unique as the room it is intended for. Handcrafted furniture is unique and has its own style that can never be offered by commercial pieces. Each piece of handmade Woodcraft furniture is individually created and designed to reflect your personal style. Using several pieces of handcrafted furniture all designed together can, for example, connect several rooms into a cohesive whole. Handmade furniture will add to your home’s value and reflect your individual tastes. The best results in the design of handcrafted furniture will be achieved through collaboration and close work between the client and the designer.

Imagine sitting down to eat at a sturdy wooden table designed specifically for your needs and your preferences. And now, imagine having a meal at the same wooden table 30 years later. The age of a piece, and the memories tied to it will enhance every meal and use of such a table. Each piece of handcrafted furniture is created at our workshop in Markham Ontario by a craftsman with a special warmth and soul that cannot be duplicated or replicated anywhere else.

At Woodcraft, we believe in a unique experience at every level, which is why we offer custom-design, custom staining, as well as our famous “white-glove” delivery service anywhere in Canada. Do you have a tight or awkward space? Our staff will deliver your furniture and assemble it on site. If you have any questions about our personal furniture care policy, call us today to learn more.