At Ebony & White Design, we produce furniture using 100% real wood. A lot of the furniture you see at big stores isn't 100% real wood. Every piece of wood presents unique sets of knots, grains, cracks and holes. The variation in wood means that every piece of furniture we build will be unique.
Over time (especially in soft wood like pine), dents, scratches, nicks and dings will become visible as well as any seasonal movement in the wood. There will be color variations, and other natural imperfections in the wood. These characteristics create the beauty and uniqueness of real wood furniture.
Once your new furniture is in your home, it will acclimate to its environment. Seasonal movement in wood can cause the wood to shrink or expand as it reacts to your homes unique environment. This movement may result in cracking, bowing or cupping. We take several steps to ensure the wood we use is ready to be worked with and sealing the wood with several coats of clear coat finish. However, in its very nature, wood is alive and there is a chance that it will shift over time.
When humidity is too low in a home, wood doesn't have enough moisture to retain its true form. Each grain or ring will react differently to humidity, and when humidity is not at an appropriate level, cracking (when the wood splits along the grain) can occur. To prevent this, it is important to ensure that you maintain an appropriate humidity in your home. This doesn't just apply to wood furniture, but also to wood floors and musical instruments.
Tip: The perfect home humidity isn’t always easy to pinpoint, as it relies on personal tastes and outdoor temperatures. Ideally, home humidity should stay between 30 and 40 percent in the winter months, while the summer allows a bit higher rate from 40 to 60 percent.
Softwood vs. Hardwood
The kind of wood used is really dependent upon your needs. We offer two options, each with pros and cons.
First, we can use softwood, like pine. The pros of softwoods are that they are very affordable and look great when they are stained. The cons are that softwoods are prone to dings over time. Additionally, softwoods may experience cupping or warping over time. We try our best to let the wood dry out to prevent this, but it is important to acknowledge that this may still happen over time.
The second option is to upgrade to a hardwood, like Ash or Oak. The pros and cons are virtually the exact opposite of the softwood. The con is that hardwood is more expensive. So the overall cost of your product will be higher to start with. The pros, however, are that hardwoods are more resistant to dings over time, as well as cupping/warping. Overall, hardwoods will provide a much more durable product with respect to wear and tear.
Basically think of it like a base model (softwood) and a premium model (hardwood). Both options will provide you with an excellent product. It all really depends on what your budget is.
We use a professional sprayer with high quality latex paint on all of our items, which gives a very smooth finish. However, your pieces are made out of real wood, not laminate. Wood will accept paint differently in some areas. Grain and knots in the wood may "bleed" through over time. Unlike fake wood furniture, you will be able to see the texture of the wood underneath the paint.