Going Green with Heirloom Furniture
Although green furnishing often bring to mind highly contemporary or unusual pieces, your home may already boast several green furniture pieces without you even realizing it. Heirloom furniture that has been passed down for generations counts as eco-friendly interior design, as do new heirloom-quality pieces you may bring into your home.
Why Heirloom Quality is Eco-Friendly
In the most basic sense, eco-friendly interior design consists of furnishings that don’t harm the environment. Heirloom-quality pieces are right on target.
Durability: Pieces that stand up to use and abuse for decades don’t require replacement and, therefore, depletion of natural resources.
Open to repairs and alterations: Furniture starting with a solid foundation can withstand minor repairs, refinishing or other updates as needed, again avoiding replacement.
How to Choose Pieces that Will Last for Generations
You may already have several heirloom-quality pieces that have been successfully passed down the family line, and you can keep the trend going. Whether you’re perusing your favorite antique shop or commissioning a custom-made heirloom-quality piece, keeping an eye on a few basics can help ensure your choice continues to contribute to eco-friendly interior design for years to come.
- Opt for solid hardwood, such as cedar or oak, which is readily available. Skip pieces constructed with fiberboard, medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or tough-to-get woods that deplete natural resources, such as Brazilian mahogany.
- Ensure the color and wood grain make a close match. A high quality finish is also important to ensure the beauty lasts for years.
- Look for furniture joints that are free of gaps, glued together and use wood-to-wood construction.
- Avoid pieces with metal fasteners that can corrode.
- Look for tabletop and drawer bottom construction that uses sliding dovetails or another method that lets wood swell and shrink with the seasons to avoid splitting.
A long-lasting, gorgeous piece of heirloom-quality furniture can add to your home’s high-end style while it serves as the green furnishings every home deserves.