Dorset, located in Southwest England, has some of the finest furniture makers in the country. Not only can you find cabinet makers for remodeling jobs and new construction, you can find craftsmen who build custom furniture and cabinets that will not only be beautiful, they will become heirlooms. Becoming an heirloom takes quality materials and quality construction – something you don’t often get with “big box” furnishings.
Let’s get this out of the way – furniture that you assemble yourself, like the pieces you get from IKEA, are less expensive than quality stuff. That being said, there is a reason to buy quality items, even if you have to make your purchases a few at a time.
Craftsmanship makes a difference in durability and appearance. Drawers, for example, need to be properly built or the front will eventually pull off. A craftsman in furniture production in Dorset will use finger joints or dovetails when assembling a drawer. These joints are simply stronger and more stable, keeping the drawer from coming apart or developing torque. A craftsman will build furniture and cabinets that are structurally sound.
You’ll also have more handsome furniture and cabinets when they are built by a craftsman. Finishes make all the difference. With DIY furniture, you’ll apply a wood-toned tape to the edges of shelves. A wooden furniture maker will attach strips that have been planed and shaped specifically for the item, and that fit and finish perfectly.
Have you ever purchased a DIY bookshelf, only to notice that the shelves bow after they are loaded? That’s because it is cheap stuff. The MDF used by IKEA and other companies can’t stand up to the static loads of books. They can’t even resist the pull of gravity, eventually developing a bow even if they are not overloaded. Cabinetry in the kitchen and bath tends to de-laminate in the constantly humid conditions, and you often cannot even sand and paint the cheaper materials.
Furniture and cabinets that are made by a real furniture maker, however, will be made of quality materials, with quality construction techniques. When a cabinetmaker routers the edge of a counter, it helps to prevent chipping and splintering during heavy use. Furniture made of hardwood, such as oak, maple, or mahogany, will not dent from everyday use. A ring left by a damp glass can buff out of a piece of fine furniture, while it would cause water damage to a laminated material.
You can fill your house with cheap, self-assembled furniture – and replace a piece every few months. It is simply not made to last. It is made to “get you through.” You may be able to buy a boxed end table right now, but are you willing to replace it when a leg gets kicked out from under it? You save money in the long run by purchasing quality items from the beginning.
Just as a few good foundation pieces in your wardrobe will last and never go out of style, so will your fine furniture serve you for years to come.