Wood has become the preferred material for furniture manufacturing due to its strength and simplicity. Throughout history, various kinds of wood, including oak, maple, willow, cypress, lime, and olive, were utilised to make stylish and practical furniture for kings and commoners. According to archaeological evidence, Greeks used various hand tools to carve intricate designs into the wood used for their furniture as early as the sixth century. The aesthetic finishing of wooden furniture involved using an axe, a hammer, a saw, a lathe, a plane, and a rule. After that, veneer and oil polishes seal the wood furniture. Unfortunately, only a few pieces of old wooden furniture exist today because most of it has sadly rotted away over the years.
Everything has a past. All of it, indeed. That couch has a colourful past. There are a lot of chairs. You don’t even care what’s on your desk.
Today’s furniture is so ubiquitous that it’s simple to overlook that each piece is a product of long-ago technological, artistic, and fashion developments that date back to the dawn of time. There are many different materials and designs for furniture, but few things have characterized it as consistently as wood. Wood is a common building material that is easy to work with, lightweight, and long-lasting due to its softness. As a result, wooden furniture has been extensively used throughout human history.
The Origin of Wooden Furniture
Furniture has its roots as far back as the prehistoric or Neolithic age. Stone benches and tables were the practical furniture used throughout the Neolithic era. Humans who lived as nomads were hunters and gatherers and did not stay anywhere for very long. The furniture made was mostly utilised for sleeping, eating, and sitting. The makeshift furniture of the Nomadic Peoples was constructed from rocks, stumps, and other materials in addition to stone.
Around 10,000 B.C., the Neolithic Revolution—also referred to as the Agricultural Revolution—began. and was a turning point in the growth of human civilization, from small, nomadic bands of hunters and gatherers to bigger agricultural settlements. When people build permanent homes, their furnishings become more ingrained in those communities. With cupboards, shelves, and dressers showing up in homes, Neolithic furniture was astonishingly sophisticated despite being mostly composed of stone.
Early Civilizations’ Use of Wooden Furniture
The earliest examples of wood used for furniture may be found in this ancient civilization, thanks to the arid climate of Egypt. Chairs, boxes, storage chests, and beds made up the majority of the furniture throughout this time. There were many farming-based villages, and people cleared the ground of trees to develop crops. People started to realize the advantages of using the removed wood to construct furniture at this time. Ash, beech, cedar, elm, fir, lime maple, oak, pine, plum, and yew wood were imported into Egypt, signaling the start of a bustling trading economy. The Egyptians discovered that wood was simple to deal with and could be polished to a high sheen. By carving pictures and patterns into the wood, artisans could start to display their talent.
Rich Egyptians lived in very large, comfortable homes with lots of rooms. Wealthy people might decorate their homes with walls, floor paint, and colourful tiles. Beds, chairs, tables, and storage chests were typical furniture pieces in wealthy Egyptians’ homes. Furniture in ancient Egypt was more plentiful and of superior quality for the nobles and kings compared to commoners. The furniture’s high calibre and stylish design demonstrated the upper-class Egyptians’ riches and prestige. Simpler houses, frequently made of mud, were the norm for lower-class Egyptians. Only a few wooden pieces, such as reed chests or wooden pegs to store items on the walls, were used as functional furniture by the impoverished.
For royal use only, furniture made its appearance in Mesopotamia. The throne is an illustration of this regal furniture. A throne is an elaborate chair or stool signifying a divine rank comparable to a god. The throne was only available to individuals with royal blood. There were many more chairs and stools in Mesopotamia than in Egypt because of the regal significance of a chair there.
Benefits of Wooden Furniture
Furniture has typically been constructed out of wood. With the advent of the industrial revolution, furniture made of glass, steel, aluminium, and plastic started to appear. Although these materials may have changed the furniture industry, wood is still unquestionably a key component of furniture production. In addition to being eternal, wood is also timeless. Wood furniture producers can blend timeless beauty and durability with a contemporary or rural style, whether an armoire in the family room or a chair in the dining room.
There is no denying the benefits of hardwood furniture. The natural beauty of the wood will offer warmth and character to any area when combined with steel, glass, or other types of furniture.
- Sturdiness and strength: Furniture made of wood is incredibly durable and requires very little upkeep. A sturdy natural material like wood can survive repeated damage, such as spills in the kitchen and scratches in the dining room. With minimal upkeep, solid wood furniture can last for many generations.
- Low upkeep: Furniture made of wood is essentially maintenance-free. Regularly use a wood cleaner to cleanse the surface of the wood chair pieces. Don’t let water or dust remain on your tables, chairs, or armoires for long.
- A defining element of the room’s design: A room’s appearance and atmosphere will alter drastically when wood furniture is added. Any room benefits from the elegance, charm, and refinement of wood furniture.
- Value: Although the initial cost of a piece of solid wood furniture may be more, wood is more expensive than other materials used to make furniture. The wood’s natural texture makes each piece of furniture distinctive. Although wood furniture may cost more upfront than cheaper materials, you will benefit from it in the long run. Depending on your budget, you can choose furniture made from harder, more exotic woods, such as mahogany, or furniture made from softwoods like pine.
- Modifiable: Wood furniture’s versatility allows it to be altered throughout time and given a second, third, or even fourth life. Wood furniture can be refinished and given a new appearance by sanding and staining or painting.
Furniture Designer from South Africa
Are you planning any home décor? Would you like to have access to the best solutions for interior design? Learn about the top South African producers of wood furniture.
No matter how fashions change, wood furniture will always be a favourite of interior designers due to its strength, aesthetic appeal, and quality. Pine furniture or other wooden furnishings make your house feel like a home. It makes a space warm in a way that other materials cannot. Wood is the best material for every type of furniture, including bedroom pieces like nightstands and wardrobes and kitchen sets with a table and chairs.
Perhaps you frequently think of oak furniture as being rustic. You might not like this decoration, but wood furniture like this one and others allow for a wide variety of modern designs, such as a room with a futon bed example.
Tips on caring for wooden tables and other wooden furniture
You may have some maintenance anxiety. We provide you with some advice so you won’t have to hire carpenters to fix things:
- When cleaning them, use only warm water and delicate cloths. It can be damaged by cleaning agents; however, using water is safe if you don’t saturate it.
- Add some high-quality soft paste wax to make them appear brand-new.
- Heating is bad for furniture because, in addition to causing it to lose colour, it will decay and become more brittle. Keep them away from radiators and direct sunshine.
- Refrain from using oils and polishes.
- When purchasing used furniture, take a close look and pay attention to the inner sides and the less obvious parts. Look for indications of excellence.
These South African furniture designers are listed.
- Haldane Martin
Haldane was born in Johannesburg in 1970, and even as a young child, he was passionate about design and creating things. He started shaping his skateboards, surfboards, and sailboards when he was young. He then pursued his ambition by enrolling in Cape Technikon’s industrial design program in Cape Town.
Before creating his powerful brand, Haldane Martin, the furniture designer John Vogel and Haldane ran their own design company, Brave New World, from 1994 to 2002. He’s become well-known in South Africa for his design work.
Haldane Martin designed outdoor chairs, tables, and furniture for outdoor settings. You may get Haldane Martin outdoor furniture at the Sarza furniture and home products store in Rye, New York.
Early studies by Haldane that investigated modern African culture, sustainability, and biomimicry received widespread acclaim. But, he says, who are we as new South Africans after 1994 about most of his early furniture design work? Haldane’s career began at the same time as this significant turning moment in South Africa’s history. Some of his classic furniture designs were an effort to offer a concrete response to that question.
- David Krynauw
In the Piet Retief, a forested town, David Krynauw was born in 1984. David, his father, the owner of the Town Hotel, made the furniture for it instead of purchasing it. David and Dawie have a great love for wood and woodworking. David loved to pitch in and learned much from his father as a young boy. When he was 13 years old, they sold the hotel and relocated to a farm near Piet Retief, Swaziland, where Dawie established a eucalyptus saligna plantation. Throughout high school, David kept trying out new woodworking techniques.
He moved to Stellenbosch to study winemaking and agriculture. He built pieces of furniture on his vacations to earn extra cash to pay for college. After finishing his education, he spent several months working as a winemaker in Hermanus and America, but he was always thinking about producing furniture. To establish his business, he packed everything up and returned to the family farm in 2007. He practiced and refined his technique for months. Finally, he chose to submit his Dome Pendant Cluster to the Eskom Lighting Design Competition in 2008, winning first place and establishing himself as a notable designer. After that, a finalist for the Most Beautiful Object, his Dome Pendant Cluster, was displayed at Design Indaba. He worked from the farm and held exhibitions in Johannesburg for the ensuing few years. Finally, he was asked to create a light for an exhibition in 2014 by The Southern Guild. The Haywire, the winner of the object that moves the prize, was his creation. He displayed this in several nations, including Dubai, Miami, Basel, London, and Japan. When his Haywire was sold at London Christies, it became valuable and popular worldwide.
Although industry and innovation already assist with plan B for furniture, hardwood furniture consistently ends up being the most cherished choice for buyers. People will adore having comfortable wood furniture indoors and outside. This trend also attracts numerous company people to create their intended wooden furniture. There are good reasons behind it.