The Guide to Amish Farm Tables 0
The history of the Pennsylvania Dutch, or Amish and Mennonite communities is intricately linked with the history of the United States, where this group of devout people sought refuge during the eighteenth century and where they live and thrive to this day. One of the principles of Amish life is that they are not a frivolous society, nor are they a throw-away society, and many of the pieces of furniture made by Amish craftsmen are built to last several generations.
A traditional Amish Farm Table is more than just a dining table – it is a table at which long conversations are held, meals are served, work of all sorts is done, prayer meetings are held, and where the community makes some of its most important decisions. When the weather is good, you can often find an Amish Farm Table outdoors, groaning under the weight of fresh produce and hosting everything from potlucks to weddings.
Amish Farm Tables are not small tables for small groups, nor are they delicate, flimsy things. They are strong, sturdy, crafted with love and care, and designed to hold as many people as you can possibly fit around it. So how do you know if the table you are considering buying is suited for Amish farm life? Well, you need to check these details:
1 – The Wood
An Amish Farm Table will be made with the best possible quality of wood, preferably good, solid hardwood. Hardwoods last hundreds of years if they are well taken care of, and longevity is a prized quality among the Amish when it comes to their farm tables.
2 – Quality of manufacture
Because these tables are expected to do decades worth of hard work, each table needs to be manufactured as well as possible. They are hand-made, with every single piece of wood, every dowel, bracket and nail being carefully and accurately inserted by the maker. There is no mass-production when making Amish Farm Tables.
3 – The Style
The Amish refer to themselves as Plain folk, because excessive decoration is considered frivolous and unnecessary. That extends to their furniture, too. If the farm table you’re looking at is heavily decorated, it’s not Amish! Sturdiness is more important that fashion, and hard work more prized than attractiveness.
4 – The Manufacturer
It may sound obvious, but you can really only be sure that your table is genuine Amish Farm Table if it is made by an Amish craftsman.
5 – The Size
A small table that seats two to four people isn’t a farm table. Of course, you can get Amish-made dining tables, work tables and many others that are smaller and suited for your space, but if it’s a farm table, it needs to seat at least ten people, and preferably more.Amish Farm Tables are a perfect addition to any home that needs a hard-working, solid piece of furniture that can handle heavy duty. From being able to handle some exposure to weather, to having extensions to make it as long as needed, to holding a family history in itself like a cherished secret, an Amish Farm Table is there for a lifetime and more
- Amanda Griman
How to select the best bed for your room ? 0
Every room in your home has its own unique purpose, and every piece of furniture in that room needs to suit your style, budget and comfort needs as well as possible, or you’re going to be uncomfortable and unhappy – no matter how good it looks. Nowhere is that more important that in your bedroom – specifically, your bed. The wrong mattress, the wrong support and the wrong size can all make sleeping a supremely unpleasant experience, and considering we should be spending at least six to eight hours sleeping each day, that can result in a whole lot of time spent in discomfort.
So what are you supposed to do when choosing a bed? After all, there’s more to it than just getting a good, firm mattress – you want it to look good, too and hopefully be part of your furnishings for a few years.
1 – The mattress
The very first thing to do when choosing a bed, is to establish what mattress you will get with it. You need to make sure it is of good quality and is going to be comfortable. That means the right hardness or softness, good back support and the right amount of movement.
2 – Size considerations
Yes, we probably do say this in every single article, but measuring the room and establishing exactly how much room you have for the bed is critical. You want to be sure the bed is large enough for comfort, and also that there will still be enough room to move around in once the bed’s in place. So measure the room, work out your placement and confirm what size bed you can comfortably accommodate. Remember also that the bed itself will be larger than the standard mattress sizes and that custom beds like those you can buy from Amish Tables can vary. Make sure that the supplier gives clear measurements of the bed’s various size options.
3 – Quality of manufacture
When you think of beds, you don’t really think of them as very active places – sleep is pretty calm, after all. But if you think about it, even the calmest sleeper moves around during the night, and beds are not exclusively used for peaceful sleeping, either. You need to be sure your bed can stand up to several hours of nighttime movement as well as occasional vigorous activity, so it has to be well constructed and unlikely to collapse under you. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals and testimonials, or to view examples of the company’s manufacturing standards. Also, find out about quality guarantees!
4 – Style and design
Whether you like things clean and simple, or prefer ornate, chunky or rustic looking furniture, choosing a style is very personal. It does help if the manufacturer of quality furniture has a few ranges to choose from. Always consider future furnishing requirements, as well. You may only be buying a bed today, but soon you may want a complementary dresser or nightstands, and if there are matching pieces on offer, it makes life a whole lot easier. If you are choosing custom stains, finishes and woods, like we offer, make sure you keep a note of what you chose, so that it’s easier to match up later.
- Amanda Griman
Going Big – your guide to large dining tables 0
Amish life is a very different way of life to modern life – we all know this in theory, but consider this – the average modern family in the USA has just two children, while the average Amish family has six children, sometimes even as many as nine. That makes for large family mealtimes, and even larger gatherings of extended family and friends – which means there’s nobody who knows about large, easily extended dining tables like the Amish.
Whether you have a big family of your own, or need a regular-sized table that can be extended out for holidays, dinner parties and any other occasions that need you to accommodate fourteen or more people, there are a few things you should bear in mind when purchasing your large Amish dining table. Besides the usual admonishments to take care when choosing your wood, stain or finish, here are some things to check before clicking “pay now”.
Table shape and size
Extension tables come in both rectangular and round tables and most of our extension tables can seat fourteen or even more people when they are fully expanded. When you’re considering your table, however, it helps to think of how it’s going to be used for everyday purposes, like regular family dinners. For a small family of two to four people, a smaller, round table is ideal, as it doesn’t take up too much space, while a family of six, for example, might be better served with a longer, rectangular table. It all depends on your space and what you like.
While everyday use should be your first consideration, you do also need to make sure that your fully-extended large Amish dining room table will fit into the space allocated for it – which doesn’t necessarily have to be the same space. If you have a small dining room that can fit a table for four comfortably, but not much else, consider where you would put the table for big parties. Do you have a porch, a large living room, or somewhere else that could handle an extended table?
The chair situation
Of course, you want to have matching chairs whether your table is in its compact or extended state, so make sure you order enough chairs, and also that you have suitable storage space for the extras when not in use.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when getting an extension table is uneven maintenance. Remember, even though the extensions are safely stowed away, they also need regular care, whether you oil, wax or polish your table. Also, remember that if your table is exposed to plenty of sunlight, its color is going to change at a faster rate than the extensions that are stored in the dark. The same goes for any other exposure that can age the wood, the varnish or the finish, and all of this obviously applies to the extra chairs that are stored away as well. Your best bet is to keep your table in an area where it doesn’t get constant exposure to sunlight, wind or other elements, and to take out and polish up the extensions and extra chairs every time you do the same for your table.
A large Amish-made dining table – especially an extension table – is going to serve you well for the next several decades, so it pays to get one that will work for you now and in the future. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to ask the supplier for help and advice. At Amish Tables, we’re always ready to answer any questions you may have, or provide you with wood, stain, finish and even upholstery samples.
- Amanda Griman
The Guide to Amish Kitchen Tables 0
Since the mid-1700s, when the first Amish and Mennonite settlers arrived in the USA, these communities, who eventually also became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch, have been living simple, but rich lives, separate from the hurly-burly of modern living, and with unique traditions stretching back to their origins in Europe.
Among these traditions is the humble Amish kitchen table, which serves as a workplace, a meeting place and the communal center of the home, where food is shared, the workday is planned and discussions of familial gravity are held. Tables like these are built for a couple starting out in their lives together, passed down from generation to generation, and made to last more than one lifetime – the Amish, after all, do not believe in creating waste, but rather in building for the long term.
Amish kitchen tables are created to live in the family home, and usually built to accommodate the family unit plus guests. They are frequently used for housework as well, to knead dough for bread, cut pieces of meat and vegetable for the pot, and prepare dozens of delicacies for celebrations. An Amish kitchen table must be strong, hard-working and able to withstand generations of taking a beating, while still looking as beautiful and strong as the day it was made. If you are looking for an Amish kitchen table to grace your home, here are a few things to look out for:
1 – The Wood
All Amish furniture, including kitchen tables, are made with wood that lasts – good quality hardwood. You can expect a table that lasts for decades, and even centuries, if it is well made and cared for; something your family can also pass on from generation to generation.
2 – Quality of manufacture
An Amish family’s kitchen table is expected to be as hard-working as the people who use it, so every table is made to exacting quality standards. The craft and art of making Amish furniture is taught one-on-one and a craftsman is only allowed to call himself that once his teacher deems his work to be good enough. Mass-production doesn’t happen with Amish kitchen tables, so if your table comes off a factory production line, it isn’t Amish!
3 – The Style
Plain living is at the heart of Amish life – excess decoration, loads of frou-frou and delicate curves and frills are better left to other people, not this community. You can see it in their clothes, their homes and their furniture; simple, hard-working and designed to do a job is the Amish way, and it’s the style you can expect from your table, too. That doesn’t mean every piece isn’t unique and beautiful, of course, it just isn’t covered in curlicues and delicate engravings.
4 – The Manufacturer
Many have tried to replicate Amish furniture, and some have even come close to getting it right, but it isn’t truly Amish if it isn’t Amish-made.
5 – The Size
Amish kitchen tables, much like their farm tables, are designed to seat as many people as possible. Families are large, extended families even larger, and the work done on these tables can stretch for several feet. A proper Amish kitchen table will seat at least ten people comfortably.
- Amanda Griman
The Ultimate Guide to Solid Wood Dining Tables 0
For the last few decades, we’ve lived in an increasingly throw-away society, replacing whole items when a small part breaks or buying cheap, short-lived products and discarding them when they get damaged. This has, unfortunately, had its toll on our world and more and more people are beginning to realize this and embrace the old habits of buying quality products that last a lifetime or longer – and nothing says “lasts a lifetime” quite like a large solid wood dining table.
For us at Amish Tables, there’s something special about the knowledge that our solid wood dining sets leave our warehouse and end up in homes where they will be cherished and used for generations to come. Choosing solid wood dining room furniture means a commitment, selecting furniture that will be with you for decades, so it helps to make an informed decision. That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to solid wood dining room tables, to help you make the right choice.
Veneer vs solid wood
Why choose a solid wood dining table and chairs, anyway? Surely there are perfectly good quality pieces that are veneered instead? Let’s take a look at the difference between the two.
Veneer – On the plus side, these tables are usually somewhat lighter, and also somewhat cheaper, than solid dining room furniture. However, because they are generally made with pressed wood, superwood or even hollow-core, they are intrinsically shorter-lived. They may, if well looked-after, last for ten or even twenty years, but they are very susceptible to temperature and humidity fluctuations. They may be easier to move around, thanks to being lighter, but they are also structurally weaker and significantly easier to damage or even break.
Solid wood – While the initial outlay may be slightly higher, a well-taken-care-of solid wood dining table is going to last for decades, or even hundreds of years – they could easily become a family heirloom, a great-great-grandchild’s prized antique family possession. The reason for this is that solid wood that is not exposed to harsh elements and is cared for doesn’t rot or disintegrate; it just becomes harder – and more beautiful – with age. Another plus for solid wood dining tables and chairs is that, if they do become damaged, scratched or dinged, they are significantly easier to repair and refinish than a pressed wood or composite piece of furniture.
Choosing the right wood
All our Amish solid wood dining tables are made with hardwoods and you can check out our selection, as well as various guides on how to choose the perfect wood for your table, right here. There are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing the wood for your dining set:
Color – Many hardwoods tend to darken as they age, but not all of them do. Do your research on how each type of wood changes over time, because you need to be happy with what it will look like in ten, twenty and fifty years, not just what it looks like now.
Stains – Whichever wood you choose, you can radically alter its appearance by choosing the right stain. But why would you choose to take a pale oak and make it the color of ebony – why not simply choose a dark wood? Well, each wood also has unique grain patterns, density and hardness, and while you may prefer a certain color, you may also prefer the qualities of a particular piece of wood. Before making a final decision, we strongly recommend getting samples to make sure you are happy with the final result.
Natural appearance – As we mentioned in the section on stains, each type of wood has its own unique appearance. Some have finer, less visible grains, while others have more prominent loops and swirls, and others are known for their knots. Choose a look that appeals to you and enhance it with a suitable stain or finish.
Hardness – Don’t be fooled by the name hardwood; even hardwoods can come in varying degrees of hardness, and you should take this into consideration when choosing the wood for your set. The harder and denser the wood, the longer it will last, but the more difficult it is to work. We’ve written a guide before on how to choose just the right wood for your furniture, which you can read here, or you can read up about the finer details of our various woods here.
- Amanda Griman
13 Spring Decorating ideas 0
Spring is about to poke its head out again, which means it’s time to start taking a long, hard look at your home décor. Spring is a time for rejuvenation, renewal and a fresh approach to life, so where better to start than by revitalizing your home and welcoming in the season’s spirit of new life? Every year, there are hundreds of articles and posts shared with minute details of the new season’s trends and it’s up to you to pick which ones work best for you. Rather than rehashing what you can easily find on Pinterest, we thought we’d help you plan and focus on some of the areas you can look at refreshing for your spring décor facelift.
One of the quickest ways of breathing new life into a room is to update your paint or wallpaper. It’s not too expensive, and it’s one of the most forgiving décor changes you can make – after all, if you mess up a section, it’s really simple to paint over it and start again. If you prefer to go for wallpaper over paint, check out some of the season’s trends and designs for inspiration – just remember one thing: wallpaper needs to be applied straight and patterns need to match up, so if you’re unsure about your skills, go for a simple pattern, or get in a professional to hang it for you.
Your house takes a lot of strain during winter, with temperature fluctuations, rapid changes in humidity and a whole lot more wear on the floor as the family stays in. Check if any tiles, floorboards or sections of carpet need to be replaced or repaired and, while you’re at it, consider having the floors professionally cleaned. Tiled and wooden floors can do with the rejuvenation, and with carpets, it practically a necessity, to get out the accumulated staleness and grime of the past season. Update your décor with a fresh new rug that brightens up the space for an inexpensive and simple décor pick-me-up.
Window and door frames, fireplace trims and mantelpieces, cornices, skirting boards and moldings can all do with a revamp or an updating from time to time. As with the floors, check if anything needs replacing or repairing, or consider changing them up for something new and fashionable.
- Arts and crafts
Whether it’s updating the framed family portrait or replacing your old home-made crafts for something more up-to-date, consider the pieces of art and the various crafts that fill your space. Are there pieces that could do with replacing? Maybe you can consider relocating pictures you particularly like to a different room for a renewed perspective, or rearrange them within the same room.
Color trends change every single year and it’s your choice whether you keep up with the trends or try to find something that works for you for the longer term. Either way, there are quick and inexpensive ways to keep the colors in your space fresh. If your furniture is wooden or upholstered in a neutral fabric, you can add color with throws or cushions. Tables, mantles and storage chests can get a tablecloth or throw draped over them, while your new rug can reflect the season’s mood. As we mentioned in point 1, walls are easy and inexpensive to update, so paint them in the season’s trendy colors. Replace your vases, picture frames and other small items with new ones in fashion colors, or keep the old ones and paint them yourself.
Nothing says “Spring” better than a healthy, beautiful, growing house plant. They are attractive, not too costly and, as a bonus, help keep the air in your rooms fresh and clean. Plant containers are also an excellent opportunity to keep your décor current and interesting – use different types or keep them all matching, depending on the look you’re going for.
Each year, Spring fashions bring the latest accent trends; it could be butterflies, birds or bees, patterns or pastels – whatever the current accent trend is, there are several simple ways of bringing them in. Try a throw, cushion or tablecloth or a combination of these; paper a section of wall; find or create a painting or picture; get a rug printed in these. The possibilities are endless.
From classic, uniform and geometric patterns to eclectic, organic swirls and designs, patterns make a statement about your room and your personality. Some patterns do well when mixed with others, while other patterns do best on their own with simpler, more neutral décor. Choose from Damasks, stripes, Art Deco designs and a host of others to bring your room to life.
Keep the feel of things interesting with textures, and don’t be afraid to mix them up. A fluffy rug on a smooth wooden floor, an embroidered cushion on a soft sofa, even a house cactus next to a blooming lily. Textures add to the sensory experience of a room and serve as both a tactile and a visual focus.
Winter is done! There’s no need to keep hanging out in the dark. Let as much natural light light into your home as you can, and help it reach the far corners of the house with light colors, mirrors and pale or wide-open curtains. Play with the light as well by adding strategically placed prisms, painted or stained glass inserts, or any other features that make the light streaming in more fun and engaging.
- Fresh furniture
Now, you don’t want to go replacing all your furniture every spring, but every now and then it’s a great idea to replace, revamp or add one new piece of furniture to help revitalize a room. If your coffee table is starting to look a bit worse for wear, consider having it repaired and repainted in a new finish. If your ottoman is falling apart, consider a large foot cushion instead. If your sofas are starting to look a bit shabby, look at having them reupholstered.
Every Spring brings a new fascination with different materials. Glass, metals, woods, acrylics, all of these have their own time in the sun and every year there’s a new take on how to present them. The wonderful thing about décor is, you can revamp a room easily and without too much expense by adding a few of this year’s fascinators to the mix. If you enjoy doing this regularly, though, be wary of letting too many years’ items build up, or you’ll end up with a cluttered space that makes no sense.
- Cozy and simple
There’s a lot of discussion about the Danish concept of Hygge going around, and what it really comes down to is keeping things comfortable, and keeping them simple. Don’t try to follow every single new trend that’s going around every year, because you’ll end up with an overcrowded space and a garage piled to the rafters with out-of-date junk you can’t give away. Wherever possible, try to update a piece before replacing it, and keep things as consistent and simple as possible for a long-lasting beautiful look and a house that feels like a home.
- Amanda Griman