“Forever” has some very long-lasting connotations, but it’s a great starting point for a conversation when it comes to discussing the period of time Amish furniture will last. And that’s not even considering how long a chosen piece of Amish furniture will remain in style. (The answer to the latter question: Breathe easy, because that new piece of Amish furniture purchased last week has a timeless appeal that will still fit into any home 100 years from today. After all, an Amish rocking chair that just celebrated a 100-year anniversary still looks perfectly acceptable in a modern-looking living room today.)
So, how long will Amish furniture last? Fortunately, Amish furniture is virtually immune to style obsolescence. And from a physical perspective – barring the destructive forces of fires, floods and other natural disasters – handmade Amish furniture typically constructed from hardwood trees found in North America can measure a lifetime of use in terms of generations. In other words, Amish furniture owners can likely look forward to passing their pieces to a next generation, and conceivably the generation after that.
The biggest reason for the durability of Amish furniture begins with simplicity. What you see in an Amish-made piece of furniture is really what you get. There are no electronic components vulnerable to break-down and failure. The essential component of every piece of Amish furniture is hardwood, with no place for any laminate or particle board in the process. These wood products are crafted, assembled and finished by hand by craftsmen that have learned from their mentors in a tradition dating back decades.
Chances are good that woods like northern red oak, white oak, elm, mahogany, cedar, pine, cherry, maple, beech and more could be used in the construction of these pieces, often as directed by customers electing to customize the construction materials used. The important question at the top of mind for the customer: Will this Amish-built bedroom set, chair or table, for example, last? Evidence of longevity can be seen simply by visiting a historical museum or an antique shop, where furniture dating back a hundred years and more is often on display. If those wood-crafted pieces can endure, those same features will likely convey the same nature of longevity into an Amish bed built last week.
Living in a modern consumer-driven world that some critics fault as symbolizing a “disposable society” where items are quickly discarded in the interest of owning the latest, greatest products that are never repaired, Amish furniture bucks the trend with a commitment to the long-term future. Consumers opting to purchase an Amish piece are making that informed choice with the knowledge their purchase is made to last and likely to be enjoyed by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
If questions still linger in the minds of consumers contemplating a long-term Amish furniture commitment and the related durability factor, perhaps the wisest advice is to simply speak with family, friends and neighbors already enjoying Amish furnishings in their homes. Word-of-mouth is more enduring than any other; let the experts share their Amish furniture relationships with nothing less than an enduring future.
Michigan residents living in southeastern Michigan can easily view a wide array of Amish furniture by visiting Jasen’s Fine Furniture in Roseville, where a two-story showroom awaits visitors. The family-owned business founded in 1951 is located at 27603 Gratiot; call (586) 777-1717 to learn more.