Solid Wood Bedroom Furniture
Solid wood versus other materials
Solid wood bedroom furniture gives your bedroom a timeless quality. The wood in the furniture may be centuries old, and if you treat it well it will last for centuries more. Solid wood furniture is usually sturdier than other kinds of wood furniture, too.
Solid wood bedroom furniture versus other materials.
Furniture made from solid wood has more potential for craftsmanship, so you will have more intricate detailing on a piece of solid wood bedroom furniture than you would on furniture made from other materials. The wood itself has natural detailing, too; the grain and knots of the wood give each piece an individual air.
Composite wood is usually made from several materials, sometimes including recycled plastics and fiber filler as well as reconstituted wood. Plywood and particle board are examples of composite wood. Composite furniture is much cheaper than solid wood. It's nowhere near as sturdy or as long-lasting as solid wood, but it's a good budget option if you want the look of wood in your bedroom but don't have the cash for solid wood bedroom furniture. Composite wood furniture usually has a veneer or laminate surface.
Veneers are a popular alternative to solid wood in furniture. One popular Depression-era technique was to use solid wood veneers on furniture made from composite wood or other materials. It was a style borne out of necessity, but now it's one of the features an antique dealer looks for when identifying the period of a piece of furniture. Techniques in veneering furniture have advanced since then, so it is often hard to tell the difference between a good veneered piece of furniture and solid wood. Veneered pieces are easier to care for than solid wood bedroom furniture, because they're not as sensitive to humidity. However, they don't have the same cachet as solid wood.
Laminates are imitation veneers - they're designed to look like hardwood and they're bonded onto composite wood furniture. It's usually very easy to spot a laminate finish.
Caring for solid wood bedroom furniture
Solid wood furniture "breathes", and it's sensitive to the humidity in the air around it, slightly expanding and contracting accordingly. The key is to keep the humidity steady. Humidifiers, dehumidifiers and air-conditioning can all help with this, although DIY methods such as keeping a bowl of water in a too-dry room can help too. Keep your solid wood bedroom furniture away from heat sources, and try to keep it out of direct sunlight if possible. Clean with a soft, damp cloth, making sure you dry the furniture thoroughly afterwards. If the only dirt is surface dust, simply wipe it away with a soft, dry cloth. Don't leave damp cloths lying on the wood. You should also protect your wood with a suitable polish, preferably one that doesn't contain silicone.