Most of us might remember at least a single article of furniture from our grandparent’s house that enjoys greater reverence than others. That, “canopy bed”, that “Dressing table”, that “Round dining table, with curved legs, ivory inlaid”…. It’s a long list. What is it with wooden furniture? Just the way it looks feels and stays. The kind of wood selected also determines the durability, beauty and the general look and feel of the furniture. So we thought, why not explore the woods a little?

Furniture is made with two kinds of woods. Hardwood and softwood. Although, both have their own distinctive properties, the softwood variety is less expensive than the hardwood one. Now that, that distinction is clear, here is some softwood that is used in furniture:

1. Cedar


A moderately expensive, beautiful, light red wood with a very pleasing scent and touch to it. That’s, cedar. Cedar is mostly used in making chests and closets.  That usage makes more sense when one considers the insect repelling property this reddish wood boasts of.

2. Pine


pine woods

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Softwood on the list but this one is widely used. It’s remarkably light in colour and weight and is also, incidentally not expensive. All of this makes it very versatile So, those ethereal looking furniture pieces of ivory and cream on pinterest, are most probably pine wood, redecorated.

Moving on to the hardwoods, which we hear more about than the softwoods, we consider furniture  an investment, a relic, something to be passed on.

So hardwood furniture fits all of that. First up our favorite,

1. Teak

Teak flowers

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We’ve heard so much about this one, its actually annoying! “Oh this, this is teak. My grandfather got it made fifty years ago”, this is not a very strange and uncommon thing to hear around us. So whats up with this heroine? This wood was used for boat building for 2000 years. It is weather resistant and can really bear the brutal attack of termites and other uglies, while looking absolutely ravishing.

Fun fact: Teak trees produce these very fragrant and almost, delicate white flowers.

2. Mahogany 



Mahogany is a beautiful hardwood, revered all over the world for its wide use in fine furniture. Its colour can be best described as reddish brown and it darkens as it ages, so that adds to the sophistication. It also happens to not rot as easily, so we shall sail in class, the seas of life! There is more, actually. It happens to be a tone wood as well and a better one at that, because it produces really amazing sound, which few people describe as “warm”. So it is used in musical instruments as well.

3. Walnut


I remember walking into a walnut wood shop and falling in love with it, at first sight. The furniture, the carvings, even the smallest articles are absolute beauties. Its colour varies from a rich chocolate to a purplish brown, depending on how you treat it. It is hard, it is prized and it is expensive. What’s most impressive, is how varied are its uses. Most interesting use is definitely how gun makers have had a love affair with walnut wood for centuries. It is the most preferred wood for gun stocks. Who knew, hey!

That’s a faint glimpse into natural woods. But, hey, techy world, techy woods.

We have engineered woods as well. Presenting:

1. Plywood

Plywood isn’t actually a kind of wood rather it is an application of wood. It can be hardwood or softwood. It is essentially a thin sheet comprised of layers of wood.

2. MDF

Medium density fiberboard is made by breaking the residues of soft and hard wood into fibers and combining it with other constituents to make MDF panels.

The above two woods aren’t used as much in furniture making as the others, even if they are, the usage isn’t as widespread.

So there, was just slight peek into the woods that make our homes beautiful.

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