How to Choose the Right Furniture for Your Living Room

One of the most intimidating and expensive pieces that anyone can buy for their home is the sofa. It’s big, it’s expensive, and not often replaced. Plus, there are (what seems like) a million choices out there. How does one decide? We’ve taken a bit of the guesswork out of the equation by eliminating one category: anything $5000 or more! Check out our favorite living room sofa for under $5000.

1) Amax Leather Monaco Leather Loveseat | 2) Barcalounger Premier ll Sofa Recliner | 3) Baxton Studio Abriana Dark-Brown Leather Sofa | 4) Broyhill Emily Collection Sectional Sofa | 5) Crafters and Weavers Leather Chesterfield Sofa | 6) Kardiel Florence Knoll Sectional Sofa | 7) Garcia Sectional Sofas | 8) Lazzaro Leather Anna Collection Sofa Sectional | 9) Mid Century Blend Royal Sectional Sofa | 10) Original Chesterfield Leather Sofa | 11) Oyster Bay – Ashton Leather Sofa |

Construction of Your Furniture

When you’re selecting furniture pieces for your living room, it’s imperative to select items of quality. When possible, it’s best to buy solid wood that’s been handcrafted. AmishOutletStore.com has everything you’ll ever want — and more in terms of old-world, quality craftsmanship.

Nowadays, we’re all used to imitation real wood pieces that may look good from afar, but they are lacking in the durability that solid, handcrafted wood offers.

Let’s take a look at some modern composite materials furniture can be made from:

Particleboard

Particleboard is a hot-pressed composite made from waste wood-based materials, bound with formaldehyde resin and then usually painted or veneered. Weaker than other composites and fiberboards, it’s also relatively inexpensive. Particle board may look fine upon your far-away glance, but upon closer inspection, it usually looks inferior to solid wood.

Particleboard is also much flimsier than solid wood. If the outer veneer or laminate portion peels off, the interior particleboard crumbles. It doesn’t stand up to moisture well because it absorbs water and expands, so it’s not ideally used in a living room where spills are a risk. Once damaged by water, furniture made out of particleboard cannot generally be repaired.

MDF

MDF or medium-density fiberboard is far denser than particleboard, and it is also a wood-based composite material, pressed from formaldehyde resin, residual wood fibers and wax. Often used in place of solid wood, MDF, like particleboard, is environmentally questionable due to its formaldehyde content. For this reason, some manufacturers are now opting to use polyurethane resins instead to create the material.

Like particleboard, MDF tends to expand when damp, which can lead to cracking.

It’s true that both MDF and particleboard pieces break down in time, ceasing to be attractive pieces of furniture. Although solid wood furniture may expand or contract, it always looks good, and it does not warp like these cheaper materials.

Solid Wood

Arguably, solid wood is the best choice when you’re buying living room furniture. Wood ages well, is high quality, long-lasting and strong. Your wooden furniture is an investment, and it looks as beautiful in 40 years — sometimes even more beautiful due to its character flaws — as it did on the day you bought it.

Additionally, no two pieces of wood are the same, so your wooden furniture is entirely unique. These natural variations in the grain depend on the age of the tree as well as the environmental conditions the tree experienced during its lifetime.

When it’s cared for correctly, hardwood furniture looks attractive in any living room. A few things to remember when caring for your wooden furniture are:

  • Polishing and cleaning your pieces regularly keeps them in excellent condition.
  • Restoring and treating any scratches on the surface of solid wood is far easier than fixing a damaged composite piece of furniture.
  • Keeping your wooden pieces out of direct sunlight is crucial, as the sun bleaches wood and degrades the finish of your furniture.
  • Remembering to keep your wooden furniture away from sources of direct heat is imperative, as heat can also damage wood.
  • Using harsh chemical cleaning agents on wooden furniture is a bad idea as these can strip or stain the surfaces of your piece. Find natural, gentle alternatives instead.

As wood is a sustainable product, and also gives the appearance of luxury, it perfectly complements your living room. When choosing furniture, know that if you’re buying pieces made from either particleboard or MDF, they are an inferior product to natural wood.

You may also be potentially exposing you and your loved ones to toxic chemicals in particleboard, like formaldehyde in the resin glue that binds it together. The World Health Organization has classified formaldehyde as a carcinogen.

Health experts propose people have an exposure rate below 0.1 parts per million. Some individuals experience nose and throat irritation and eyes watering at levels as low as 0.03 parts per million. Care.com reports that the fumes from particle board can emit for up to five years.

This is why real wood furniture is always the best choice when you’re planning the perfect living room.

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