What Makes Heirloom Furniture?

In the breakfast nook of my parent’s home sits a round kitchen table. It is beginning to show a bit of age, but it has withstood generations of use and abuse. It is rumored to have been my great-grandmother’s table who was the mother to 20 children. It is now enduring the activity of ten grandchildren that pass their weekends and holidays eating pizza and doing crafts at this kitchen table. I expect that this table will be passed on to one of these ten kids someday. This is an heirloom piece of furniture. During my great-grandmother’s lifetime these pieces of furniture were the norm. In fact, it was likely that a close relative crafted it. Hand craftsmanship was necessary and commonplace. In current times it is much more difficult to find a piece of furniture that is worthy of being handed down. We have traded stellar craftsmanship, quality materials and style for cost and convenience. However, heirloom furniture does still exist. Here is what to look for if you are looking for a special piece that can be passed down for generations:

Full Grain Matched Drawer Bottoms

Look for pieces that are made from hardwood rather than MDF.

Hardwood Construction

This Old House suggests avoiding fiberboard or medium density fiberboard, also called MDF. These materials just won’t hold up over time. Look for pieces that are made with all hardwood. A good craftsman will also make sure the grain and color match well in each piece of wood used for construction.


Handcrafted joinery such as dovetails and quality adhesives will outlast any metal joinery. If metal was required, makes sure it isn’t readily visible. This can detract from the appearance of your furniture.

Style and Story

Live Edged Cherry Bed

The small heart carved into this headboard makes this piece unique and special.

Heirloom furniture is more than just a quality piece of furniture. It should be one-of-a-kind with a design that is both attractive and timeless so that it will be desirable for years to come. Look for pieces that have a story and personality, but will also blend with a variety of decor. Try to find little details that make the piece stand out.   At T. Scholl Fine Woodworks furniture is built with quality wood and hardware using attentive care and craftsmanship so that the pieces will last for generations. Each piece is also inspired by the mountainous scenery and rich history surrounding Todd’s shop in Fairplay, CO. These pieces are full of personality and unique details. If you are searching for furniture that you can pass down to future generations, check out T. Scholl Fine Woodworks.   Do you have any heirloom furniture in your home? What kind of piece would you want to hand down to your grandchildren?