Hardwood Furniture: Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut?

Hardwood Furniture: Real Solid Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Oak Wood

Which Type of Hardwood Furniture Is Best For Your Bedroom, Dining Room or Home Office?

If you’re looking for hardwood furniture, there’s a good chance you’re narrowing your wood choices down to the most popular and plentiful species grown here in America such as cherry, maple, oak and walnut.  These prized hardwoods are grown sustainably here in the USA with Vermont and New England being a favorite source for many woods.

We like these species because they are well suited to fine furniture making by virtue of their color, strength, hardness, grain patterns and workability.  They are also readily obtainable in our local and regional area, making them a sustainable choice.  Often our furniture makers will offer two-tone combinations of these hardwoods creating a custom, artisan look and feel to your furniture.

The photo above shows Copeland Furniture’s SoHo Bedroom Set in solid maple and walnut hardwoods.  This striking two-tone wood combination has become a best seller in our metropolitan markets, particularly Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Homeowners appreciate the modern, contemporary sensibilities of the SoHo solid hardwood design as well as the fine detail and craftsmanship that goes into every custom, made to order piece.

SoHo furniture is also offered in a two-tone walnut and cherry design.  Which of these hardwood combinations would look best for your bedroom furniture?

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Fine Furniture Characteristics: Solid Wood vs Veneers

Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.

At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.

Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.

Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland’s framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.

Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.

After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We’ll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Solid Cherry Wood Furniture: 3 Ways To Tell If It’s Real

solid cherry wood
Our American Mission Dining Room in Cherry wood. You’ll notice this table set has a lighter, almost pink hue. That’s because when photographed it was a new set, overtime it will darken into a rich, reddish-brown tone.

Cherry, cherry cherry. Over half the furniture we sell at Vermont Woods Studios is made of beautiful, lustrous cherry wood from the American black cherry fruit tree.  Often customers come to us a little bit suspicious about whether our handmade furniture is made of real solid cherry wood.

Well, it’s no wonder!  Most furniture that’s sold as cherry isn’t cherry at all.  Hard to believe isn’t it?  So I thought we would publish a few tips for determining if the cherry furniture you’re looking at is actually made of real cherry.

solid cherry wood
Our American Shaker Panel Bed and case goods in Cherry wood.

 Here are 3 things to look for:

What color is the wood?

OK, this is a trick question. Freshly harvested cherry wood is a light pinkish color but as cherry ages or ripens in the presence of light, it gets darker and eventually reaches a rich reddish brown.  So when you’re shopping be sure to ask if the furniture is brand new or if it’s been in the showroom for a number of months.

Often customers will request a dark stain on cherry to “hurry-up” the process.  If you just can’t wait we can usually convince our furniture makers to stain cherry but most of them would rather plead with customers to be patient and wait for the real thing.

solid cherry wood
You can see the cherry wood grain in the door panels of our American Shaker Large TV Stand

What does the grain look like?

Solid cherry wood has a simple, fine, closed grain, much like that of maple.  Fake “cherry” wood often has little or no grain pattern.  It’s made by taking a cheaper wood, bleaching it, texturizing it with chemicals, then staining it with a “cherry” stain.

Are there occasional black flecks and black streaks in the wood?

Real cherry has beautiful markings (from gum streaking, mineral deposits and pin knots).  Fake cherry looks entirely uniform in grain due to the chemical processing mentioned above.  It’s unlikely you’ll ever find black flecks or streaks in faux cherry woods.

solid cherry wood
Our Vermont Shaker Wide Chest in Cherry wood.

Do you have any other questions about solid cherry wood that hasn’t been answered on our Cherry Wood info page? That’s okay-give our knowledgeable sales team a call at (888) 390-5571, live chat during business hours or stop into our historic Stonehurst Showroom in the hills of the Green Mountains.

solid cherry wood

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.