Let’s put the thanks in Thanksgiving

Crunch time is here.  Believe it or not we will be delivering dining room tables and chairs on the day before Thanksgiving…wow.  It happens every year, but even I can’t imagine waiting until the last minute to put my dining room together. 

But maybe it’s because there are just too many options?  Besides what is available in your own neighborhood, on line you can shop the entire world.  Add to this the pressure people feel to chose something that will last forever, throw in the fact that there are usually two people who must agree on a design they both feel they absolutely have to love FOREVER and voila, gridlock.  

Actually that is why we don’t try too hard to sell furniture over the internet.  In my heart I believe you have to see it, feel it, and touch it to understand what you are buying.  Too many times I have loved, really loved a product on the page or on the screen only to feel mega disappointment when it finally arrives. 

So thank all of you who call me from Ohio and elsewhere.  Probably you would really love my things, and I encourage you to buy them but I am uncomfortable guaranteeing there will never be a problem.  I’ve had four people come in the store in the last month saying they returned dining room tables they ordered from Restoration Hardware because of color and condition issues. Actually it happened to me today.  I have a customer who patiently (sort of) waited six months for her bedroom furniture and the color is off. 

The fact is when you are dealing with a product that is handmade out of natural materials, there will be some variation in color and condition.  Sometimes it can be a lot of variation–each piece of wood, particularly reclaimed timber, is different. The reason why our tables stay sold is you actually see the exact table you are buying and we explain how to maintain said table…

For example, the worst thing in the world for old wood is a super hot house heated by a furnace that sucks all the moisture out of the air.  In fact many times when we get a call that a table top has cracked we’ll find a child with bronchitus–the air is just too dry and a humidifier is needed–stat.  I
f a top does split, chances are it will come back together again when you turn the heat off in the spring.  And if not it is an easy thing for us to run over, pop the top and clamp it back together again. 

The other major problem is finish.  If you are buying a table with a raw wood top it needs to be protected from spills or else it will stain.
A waxed finish lends a lovely patina to wood and will provide protection against spills, but a wet, drippy glass will leave a ring. We always provide a can of wax when we sell a waxed pine table so you can touch it up at home. 

For the last couple of years we have been selling hardwood tables (and some pine) with polyurethane finishes that provide more protection, but you still have to be careful about scratches.  Because we usually start with wood that has been distressed, our fix is to fill in the scratch with a furniture touch up pen in a slightly darker color, hopefully making the the scratch look like it has always been there.

Luckily for those of you who demand zero maintenance, we do offer a finish that is probably a resin and use it on our sandblasted trestle table.  It is so hard I think you could probably drive a truck over the table top and not leave a mark.   However, I’ve been in this business long enough to know it is only a matter of time before a teenager somewhere, somehow manages to mess it up. 

But that is another whole blog–teenagers and furniture.  Meanwhile l
et’s just be thankful for our families and friends and remember fondly those who made our lives possible. Happy Thanksgiving!