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What Makes Certain Furniture “Modern”?

For as long as people have had homes and hovels, they’ve had furniture as well – from the pre-historical tree-stump seats all the way up to last year’s line of Woodcraft furniture. And, sure, it can be easy to tell the difference between a tree-stump and handcrafted chair, but where it loses some people are the finer distinctions: what is Baroque, Rococo, Gothic or Victorian? And what exactly do we refer to when we say something is “modern”? Is that just any furniture that’s been made contemporarily, or are there other defining features? Well, the short answer is, yes, there are defining features that apply to “modern” furniture, tracing a lineage back to art deco, through post-WW2 mid century and up to the present.

A lot of the time, when people talk about modern furniture they employ the term “mid-century” with it, to describe the period in which these clean-lined, minimal and natural designs started to become popular. Another descriptor you might hear in the same breath as modern is “Scandinavian”, or, more specifically, “Danish”, referring to the Nordic countries where a lot of these minimalist pieces were designed. Often, people will speak about modern furniture – like some of the beautiful bedroom sets and tables we offer – in contrast to traditional furniture, which is often more ornate and bulkier, with noticeable trim (more on that below). One is absolutely not better than the other, but rather just two different style aesthetics that each has its own merits.

Modern furniture, as we mentioned, is characterized by minimalist design, simple lines and a focus on functionality. They are often lighter than their traditional counterparts and take up less visual space, meaning the room in which they’re displayed will feel more open. Modern might also refer to the materials used, and the ways in which those materials are handled. Take, for instance, our “live edge” furniture – a modern technique (albeit one that evokes a very old style) that leaves the raw grain of the wood’s edge intact, allowing it to remain connected to its source. Allowing the natural “imperfections” of the material shine through would be considered a very modern thing to do. Or, take “reclaimed wood”, which reuses wood salvaged from other purposes to make and discover one of a kind reclaimed wood tables and coffee tables, another modern technique.

For sake of visualization, let’s look at a few examples. For tables, check out our Queen West Dining Table, Boulevard Table and Loft Table for just a few examples of the modern style. For an example of how the modern style applies to sideboards, take a look at our Brooklyn Sideboard, Sterling Sideboard or Crescent Sideboard, each unique in its own right, but each displaying tenets like minimalism and clean design. For contrast, a great example of a more tradition style – in this case a buffet hutch – would be our Downton Four Door Buffet and Hutch, which exhibits a 19th Century style elegance in its decorative moulding and bun feet. Again, it really all boils down to what kind of furniture you gravitate towards, what kind of space you’re dealing with and what kind of other art and decorations will accompany the furniture.

At Woodcraft, we enjoy all types of furniture, from the tradition to the modern, and even more contemporary styles. We encourage you to peruse our site and see what pops out at you – maybe you thought you were a traditional type of person, when in fact you like the modern stuff better, or vice versa. It’s all up to you. Trends may come and go, but the one thing that has remained constant in all good furniture is the craftsperson’s knowledge and dedication, as well as stellar solid wood materials.


Spring Cleaning Starts With Reconsidering Your Old Furniture

That old bookshelf whose veneer is peeling. That old chair that creaks every time you sit down. That old dining room table that’s on its last leg (literally). When you’re spring cleaning this year, don’t just sweep for dust – consider everything in your house, including your furniture, and make decisions about what needs to go. And when it comes time to say goodbye to those old pieces of furniture, make sure you replace them with furniture that will last.

It’s understandable – a home is a constant work in progress, and getting around to replacing all those old, past-their-prime furniture pieces can take some time. Oftentimes, first-time homeowners will buy their furniture on the cheap, since they’ve already scrimped and saved what they could for a down payment, and that furniture will stick around well past its due date. But as time goes by, and finances once again look healthy, you should consider buying furniture that will stand the test of time, like Woodcraft solid wood furniture made from Canadian wood.

It’s not that old furniture is bad necessarily. In fact, it usually contains some serious sentimental value – maybe it was the first bed you bought with your partner, or it was a table you got as a gift from your parents all those years ago. But as it ages, especially the stuff made from particleboard, veneer or lower quality solid wood, it begins to deteriorate and it looks, well… ugly. Out with the old, and in with the new. And you can view this as a great opportunity to improve your home.

So, what should you look for in new furniture? For starters, you want something that is solid and well built, sturdy enough to last for decades, that way you won’t ever have to replace it again. To that end, you also want something that looks timeless, with a clean, straightforward design that won’t fall out of fashion in a few years. Sometimes you can just tell when a home was decorated in the ‘70s or ‘80s because it carries that unmistakeable faddish quality, but if you shop for simple, professionally crafted pieces you won’t run into that issue.

Start with the centre of attention: the living room. Really consider whether the coffee table, sideboard, sofa tables or entertainment unit need replacing. For an updated take on the classic coffee table, consider one of our reclaimed wood coffee tables, made with wood repurposed from industrial uses – they adds a timeless, nuanced character to a living room. For an entertainment unit that has plenty of storage (after all, this is spring cleaning we’re talking about), check out our Newport 65” TV Console with Side Towers. And for a little extra table surface, for flowers, pictures or books, check out our Live Edge Console sofa table, crafted to preserve the natural grain of the wood around the edges.

Next, turn your attention to where you spend a third of your day – the bedroom. The last thing you want is a creaky old bed that threatens to collapse every time you fall on it at the end of a hard day. For a simple, sleek design that’s made with durable, lasting solid wood, take a look at our Waterfall Live Edge bed; that live edge really adds a natural, rustic charm to the room. For your clothes, you can’t go wrong with our Hampton or Riverdale Dresser, or if you just want to streamline and consolidate the whole decision-making process, just go for one of our bedroom sets – we’d be happy to chat with you about your personal vision for your bedroom, and make that vision a reality.

Finally, if you’re slightly embarrassed every time you have dinner guests over, because of the state of your kitchen table, perhaps it’s time to reconsider that as well. Try a round table, like our Queens or St. George Dining Table, which allow for better conversation.

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to just be about sweeping up the dust bunnies and throwing out old magazines. Reconsider the big stuff in your home, like furniture. After all, spring is all about rebirth, right? Out with the old, and in with the new!

3 Ideas For Dressing Up Your Kitchen Table This Easter

Easter is all about getting together with family, sharing a large meal and indulging in more than your fair share of chocolate. It’s about also welcoming in the springtime, celebrating the new flowers and natural abundance by sprucing up your home. We at Woodcraft think that it’s a great time of year to reconsider some old décor and have fun with decorating, which is why we’ve put together a short list of Easter decorations that are sure to give your family and guests something to chirp about.

Of course, any good table setting wouldn’t be complete without a spectacular table. Nothing says warmth and conviviality quite like a solid wood table, lovingly crafted from Canadian wood and finished with the stain of your choice. As opposed to those tables you find at big box stores, our tables will last you a lifetime, allowing you to decorate and redecorate them year after year. And of course, the solid wood furniture from Woodcraft doesn’t just stop at tables – to really add charm and sophistication to your dining room, check out our sideboards, buffet hutches and chairs. But enough about the tables themselves – let’s look at how to dress them this Easter!

Pastel Colours

A traditional Easter palette of colours has to include a few pastels. An eggshell blue vase with a light pink rose would look striking against a backdrop of driftwood or white stain on maple wood. Look for pastel yellow place mats and couple them with personalized, pastel purple name cards for a fresh pop of colour that your guests will love. You don’t have to go too overboard with the pastels – lest your table start looking like an episode of Miami Vice – but a few carefully chosen pastel elements will really help evoke the Easter holiday.

Spring Floral

As mentioned, Easter is also a celebration of spring, and in order to drive that point home, consider dressing your table with an array of freshly picked flowers. If you can get your hands on some, trilliums would look fantastic laid out on a dark stained reclaimed wood kitchen table – that mix of natural and industrial is very dramatic. If you don’t have access to a garden, head down to your local florist and have them make you up an arrangement; just make sure to make it clear that you’re looking for a spring theme.

A Nest Of Eggs

Branches are a very popular centrepiece these days, and a great twist on that trend, especially for Easter, is to make them into a nest for painted eggs. You can either get these branches at your florist, or just go foraging in the front yard for good-looking branches, making sure to get a good variety of lengths and shapes, which will add depth and contrast to the setting. Of course, natural wood looks good against natural wood (who would’ve thought!) so this will go great with any of our solid wood dining tables. If you want to order a table now for the Easter holiday, get in touch with us about our floor models, or come down and visit one of our showrooms.

Easter should be about two feasts – one for the stomach and one for the eyes. Let us know what kind of table décor you like to use on your Woodcraft solid wood table – we love to hear all the ways our customers enjoy their furniture. And if you don’t have a Woodcraft table yet, get in touch with us about fixing that!

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.