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Experiences with Amish Furniture?
February 23, 2014 1:49 PM   Subscribe

We've never bought a dining room table and chairs before, and we're just not quite sure we're being thorough in our questions and inspection of the samples we've seen at the furniture store. Is there anything we need to know? Specifics inside.

Mr Metarkest and I are on the verge of buying a dining room table, arm chairs, and side chairs from a local store that is actually getting it from this company. We're opting for quartersawn oak.

We're child-free so we're not looking for heirloom quality, but we do want something sturdy and attractive since we expect we'll be living with it for 40+ years. The local chain stores tend to have too much furniture that's veneered and plasticky, and the kinds of places we'd like to order from are way out of our price range.

Those of you who've gone this route: are you glad you did? Are you happy with your purchases?

Many thanks in advance!
posted by metarkest to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't exactly speak to the Amish part but the Canadian version is Mennonite furniture and it is generally excellent in quality. Clean, simple lines built to last. Many family members have bought tables, desks, chairs and sideboards and have been thrilled. We are very interested ourselves but living in California is a long way for shipping.
posted by saradarlin at 1:55 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


We've bought several pieces from these people recently and can vouch for the quality and the value, as well as their willingness to customize. In fact, it looks like the company you linked buys from at least some of the same Amish families as my linked site. For example, a dresser from your source and a dresser from the company we've used. Don't be afraid to ask for customization; it's amazing what they're willing and able to do, without charging extra. We've never had a moment's regret; in fact, we wonder why we didn't buy Amish furniture sooner. MeMail me if you want more info.
posted by DrGail at 2:20 PM on February 23 [2 favorites]


Have you thought about buying used? I'm looking for a set myself and it's amazing the number of "owned for decades, but hardly used" sets I'm finding on kijiji. Even some of the well used ones seem to have held up since they've been refinished and reupholstered. Or in the case of teak, just very sturdy.
posted by waterandrock at 3:01 PM on February 23


These are all excellent answers so far - thanks so much!

Have you thought about buying used? I'm looking for a set myself and it's amazing the number of "owned for decades, but hardly used" sets I'm finding on kijiji. Even some of the well used ones seem to have held up since they've been refinished and reupholstered. Or in the case of teak, just very sturdy.

We've been scouring eBay local and Craigslist (luckily, we live near two metropolitan areas and have been looking at Craigslist for both), and we're just too darned picky. Plus, we have some space limitations, so some of the promising items are too large for our modest rooms. We'd rather buy used, though, because it's the original recycling!
posted by metarkest at 3:16 PM on February 23


Have you considered a local to you woodworker or furniture maker?

If you're "way to picky" or "have some space limitations," a local craftsperson is more likely to produce something that suits you because it'll be designed expressly for you.

In addition to the link above, check Etsy (some woodworkers market that way), or seek out a local trade association for leads -- look especially for guild or association shows you can visit to meet with individual artisans and see examples of their work.
posted by notyou at 4:20 PM on February 23


I bought a set of dining room table and chairs from an Amish business 12 years ago. We love it. I lived in a Craftsman-style house, which it was perfect for, and have since moved to a more modern home, but it looks good here, too. Someone offered to buy the set from me, but I can't let it go. I'm pretty attached. It's so well-made, with a neat little mechanical system for opening the table to retrieve the leaves.

The expected date of delivery was rather wide, something like 4-16 weeks. We just waited for a while, and one day they called and delivered the table and chairs. So you've got to be patient, but it's worth it.
posted by Fichereader at 5:36 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


We bought a custom-made dining room table from Amish craftsmen in Millersburg, OH last year. It is gorgeous and I am filled with happiness every time I look at it. The business was able to replicate the style I wanted at 1/3 of the price we would have paid in a furniture store OR purchasing it second-hand. My in-laws have also purchased multiple pieces from the same workshop and all have held up incredibly well over the years. If you live within half a day drive or can take a long weekend, I highly recommend visiting the workshops. And yes, the expected date of delivery was long, but well worth the wait.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:32 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


In our case, the lead time they quoted was about six weeks and they pretty well met that estimate. However, the delivery guys couldn't quite master the time difference between Indiana (Eastern time) and Illinois (Central time) so they showed up to deliver furniture before 6 am on a Saturday morning. Twice.
posted by DrGail at 7:06 PM on February 23 [1 favorite]


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