Why Buy American Made Adirondack Chairs And Patio Furniture?

Why is buying American made products an important consideration when making your next purchase of Adirondack chairs or outdoor furnishings? In the past 10 years the market for Adirondack style furniture has been diluted with imported products coming from China and Indonesia. The products resemble the classic styling of Adirondack furniture, come in a variety of colors, are extremely cheap, and appear to be made of quality wood. So why should buying locally make a difference?

The importance of buying local is not so obvious. First, consider the actual quality of the furniture. Is that “cedar” chair really cedar. Often, the chairs are listed as being made of Asian cedar. What exactly is Asian cedar? Is is the same as American cedar and does the wood contain the same characteristics that make American white and red cedar such a suitable material for outdoor use in Adirondack chairs. Is it even cedar at all?

Second, what type of hardware is being used in the chair. You are not likely to find stainless or even zinc-plated screws and bolts in an imported chair. You will notice the difference almost immediately as the screw heads begin to rust and bleed colors into the wood. Your chairs will shortly appear as though they are bleeding from every screw hole.

Third, and most importantly, what happens years down the road if a slat breaks? Years ago we sold dozens of chairs to a school in Florida. They thought they would make a great respite area for the high school students during outdoor study periods. What they hadn’t considered is how the students would use the chairs. The students began sitting on the arms, which promptly split. The school called us immediately and asked if they could purchase new arms. We sent them directly, free of charge. All they had to do was unscrew the old arms, screw in the new arms and they were good to go…just like new. Then, of course, they had to set some ground rules for use of the chairs!

Therein lies the most important lesson in why buying American makes sense. What happens when you need to replace one slat? Will you need to purchase a whole new chair because the company you bought from can’t supply parts? If you are buying imported, the answer is yes. Imported chairs are packed on containers, shipped overseas and distributed locally. They are not meant to last for generations. They do not ship with extra parts. They are disposable.

Drawer Hardware Can Make a Big Difference

When we look around the rooms of our house, it’s the big things that catch our attention. The furniture, the color of the walls, the floor coverings-those are the things that give our home its flavor and express our personality. But it’s the small details that finish our decor and make it truly our own.

One of the small details we choose when we design our kitchens and baths is the drawer hardware. Whether you are buying new cabinets, refinishing existing cabinets, or just sprucing up what’s already there, your choice of drawer hardware makes a statement about your sense of style. You can take a simple cabinet or a piece of used furniture, and make it your own with your choice of drawer hardware.

Drawer hardware comes in more styles, materials, and shapes than most of us would imagine. One of the first factors to consider is size. If you find a great piece of hardware but it doesn’t fit, there’s no point to considering it.

Ask yourself these questions when you are determining the sizes you need:

• Are you limited because the existing cabinets already were drilled for hardware and you have to retrofit the knobs?

• Do you need something with a low profile, that does not project from the drawer too much? Picking drawer hardware with a low profile will help ensure that when you open and close the drawers, they won’t hit the knob or handle on the adjacent drawer if they are installed in a corner.

• Are the drawer fronts different sizes? Do you want to select a single piece of hardware that works for all drawers? Or do you want to select a coordinated suite of hardware that varies in size?

• Do you want hardware large that is easy to grasp? Or do you want something that is small, that does not draw attention away from the cabinets or furniture?

After you determine the size hardware you need, consider style. The shape, material and metal finish all contribute to the style of the drawer hardware. For traditional cabinets or furniture, a polished brass knob, simple or ornate, may look just right. Adding a backplate to the knob can enhance the traditional feel you are looking for.

Do you prefer contemporary styles? Simple, unadorned geometric shapes–spheres, circles, cones, rods, squares-lend themselves to a contemporary look. If you like a style that straddles the two, look at traditional designs with a contemporary finish, or a contemporary shape in a traditional material or with traditional detailing.

The material used for the drawer hardware gives you even more choices. The most abundant choices come in metal in a variety of finishes. Shiny metals like chrome and polished brass are attention-getting and stand out from the cabinetry. But matte and brushed metal finishes are a popular choice for contemporary, transitional, and traditional looks.

You are not limited to metal for drawer hardware. Another popular choice is glass. Glass comes in so many colors-clear and colorless, rich jewel tones, pretty pastels, sophisticated frosted-that browsing though catalogs and websites can give you more ideas than you imagined.

You can turn a painted dresser into a shabby-chic treasure by adding a set of faceted glass knobs to the drawer fronts. You can turn your traditional cherry cabinets into something a little more transitional with a set of frosted glass knobs with a polished brass base.

Granite is another popular material for drawer hardware. You can find solid granite knobs or metal handles with granite inserts. Selecting granite hardware adds a high quality look to simple cabinets or recycled furniture.