This Fall, Unwind and Enjoy the Scenery in a Rocking Chair

This Fall, Unwind and Enjoy the Scenery in a Rocking ChairWith fall festival season in full swing, now is the perfect time to relax on the porch and watch the world go by. As much as we might miss the warm summer nights, there’s something truly special about that crisp autumn air that brings the senses to life. The air smells different, the world feels a little smaller and our bodies feel poised for hibernation. What better place to settle down for the season than in a rocking chair? Here at Carriage House, we make rocking chairs in all shapes and sizes to suit the needs and tastes of our customers.

Looking for something simple and traditional? Why not add a dash of southern charm to your front porch with an ash ladderback rocker? The design might be simple, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t comfortable, too. We’ve spent hours lounging (and sometimes napping) in these classic rockers.

Or maybe you’d like to get cozy with a loved one this fall. Check out our rocker built for two, the hickory and oak swing rocker. You’ll love relaxing after a long day with that special someone in this eye-catching piece of furniture.

But let’s not forget the little ones! With this bowback rocker built specifically for children, you can kick back with the whole family this fall. Someday, it might even become a seat for the grandkids!

Want to learn more about these or any of the other pieces available at Carriage House Furnishings? Browse our entire inventory online, or give us a call today for more information. We’d love to hear from you!

Watch an Amish Community Raise a Barn in Just 10 Hours

Watch an Amish Community Raise a Barn in Just 10 HoursIf there’s one thing you can say about the Amish, it’s that they’re a resourceful bunch. Even without the aid of electricity, Amish communities are able to accomplish remarkable things every day. In addition to being accomplished furniture makers, the Amish also have a knack for structural engineering. Recently, WIRED co-founder Kevin Kelly (a man who spends a great deal of time in Amish country) even described the Amish as “complete hackers,” in reference to the way they often retrofit machinery to run on pneumatics rather than electricity.

Recently, a time-lapse video that showcases this special breed of Amish ingenuity has been making quite a splash on the Internet. In the video, an Amish community in rural Ohio raises a massive barn in just a few minutes over 10 hours. The process is truly a sight to behold. The whole community comes together like the components of a well-oiled machine to take on this impressive feat of engineering.

The time-lapse video offers a unique perspective of this remarkable process. In just a little over 3 minutes, the barn materializes on its foundation as if out of thin air. Watching the community complete the roof is especially impressive. It just goes to show that you don’t need modern gizmos and gadgets to accomplish hugely ambitious goals. All you need is a plan and a committed team of hard-working individuals. This barn raising is a vision of skill efficiency. See the whole process for yourself below!

Update Your Eat-In Kitchen with Amish Furniture

Many modern homes these days favor a comfortable, casual eat-in kitchen, rather than the traditional formal dining room that can be found in older homes. If you’re thinking about updating your home’s eat-in kitchen, consider furnishing it with some of these beautiful, handmade pieces from Carriage House Furnishings – perfect for a busy home and a busy kitchen that’s used for cooking, eating, entertaining, and hanging out

If you’re short on space, try our 42” round pub table with shaker legs. This table is great for smaller spaces, and can be a multifunctional surface for kitchens with small countertops. You can keep two chairs at the table, or add two more to comfortably seat friends and family.

Some of our most popular pieces are our islands, which are available in a number of different dimensions. If you need some extra counter top space in your kitchen, check out our 6 door kitchen island. An ideal option for adding surface space for cooking and dining, this beautiful, sturdy island also gives you a ton of extra storage. Complete the space with a few stools, like our hickory saddle barstools, to create a cozy space to eat and relax. Islands are a great addition to any eat-in kitchen, especially if you don’t have the space to add a full table. With the addition of a couple of bar stools, you’ll transform your regular kitchen into an eat-in kitchen, with extra storage and plenty of counter space.

If you’re furnishing a larger space, take a look at our hutches, like the two door hutch with glass doors. Not only will this piece give your eat-in kitchen a rustic and more traditional dining area ambiance, you’ll benefit from tons of added storage in the lower and upper cabinets, as well as a bit of extra counter space.

Stay tuned for more updates on all the Amish furniture pieces available at Carriage House Furnishings!


The Historic Tradition of Amish Mission Furniture

Amish Mission Furniture is known for its sturdy construction, simple, attractive design, and reliance on hand craftsmanship. Furniture builders who work within the Amish Mission tradition focus on straightforward, honest aesthetics and the preservation of traditional woodworking techniques. These pieces are all solid wood, and not particle board that is often found in other furniture factories throughout the country.


Amish Mission furniture is closely related to the Arts & Crafts movement, which was sparked by furniture and home designers such as William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright. This movement encouraged the renunciation of the mass-production techniques bred by the Industrial Revolution. Rather than embracing the mass-produced, cookie cutter items that the Industrial Revolution had created, followers of the Arts & Crafts movement rejected the factory-produced items, and refocused their attention on creating unique handmade items.


The Amish share many values with the Arts & Crafts movement, particularly in regard to their focus on simplicity, clean living, and building with purpose. In addition, because of long-held religious beliefs and traditions, the lifestyle of the Amish prevented them from employing the automated machinery of the Industrial Revolution. Rather than getting involved with factories and machines, the Amish applied their traditions to the Arts & Crafts movement and continued to produce beautiful, sturdy, handmade furniture items.


Today, Amish craftsmen continue to carry on on the traditions of their furniture-building ancestors. The same values of simplicity, hand construction, and classic design are still reflected in today’s Amish Mission furniture.


Want to learn more about Amish Mission furniture? Browse our entire inventory here to see more examples of this time-honored tradition.


Decorating a Dollhouse with Amish Furniture

If your child is interested in dolls or dollhouses, why not decorate a classic dollhouse with beautiful, handmade Amish furniture and create memories that will last a lifetime? A dollhouse furnished with well-crafted handmade pieces designed to stand the test of time can be passed down through a family for generations.

Choosing pieces for your child’s dollhouse depends entirely on your child’s personality and preferences. If he or she is especially interested in cooking, for example, we have a number of pieces that would be perfect for a dollhouse kitchen. Whether you’re just beginning to decorate a dollhouse, or you already have some pieces in your collection, here are some of our favorite dollhouse furniture sets from Carriage House Furnishings.

If you’re just starting out, consider our 3-in-1 combo set, which includes a rocking horse, rocking chair, and desk – perfect for decorating a bedroom or living room area. We also have a rustic oak table with matching chairs, ideal for a kitchen or dining room. While you’re furnishing the kitchen, check out our sink and stove combo which come painted in white and stenciled with a delicate pink pattern.

For bedrooms, we offer a beautiful chest of drawers and deluxe wardrobe. These items feature authentically constructed moving pieces, and are available in a choice of natural wood finish or white paint.

To view more Amish dollhouse furnishings, visit our complete children’s furniture and toys page here. Stay tuned for more updates on all the products available at Carriage House Furnishings.


Tips for Moving Heavy Furniture Safely

Moving heavy furniture is often the most difficult part of any move. These big and burdensome items can easily strain backs and pull muscles if you’re not careful, and trying to navigate weighty items through narrow hallways or stairwells can be all the more frustrating. In this entry, we’ll look at a few simple ways to spare yourself the pain and consternation associated with moving heavy furniture.


You’ve probably seen a TV show or movie with a sinking ship, where the passengers try to throw everything off to reduce weight to save the vessel. The same practice can work for moving larger furniture. If the piece has drawers, make sure everything is removed and, if possible, take out the drawers entirely. Losing the extra weight will make lifting far easier.


Another tip is to make full use of moving blankets. Besides protecting items in transit, moving blankets can allow you to slide heavy furniture across lawns and hardwood floors. Simply lay down the blanket and place the furniture on top, pulling the blanket along to slide it into place. Similarly, laying blankets down over steps can allow you to slide large pieces up the stairs instead of struggling to awkwardly carry the heavy item into your home.


Plan in advance where items will go in your new home before moving. This will help in several ways. First, the truck can be strategically packed so that items destined for interior rooms are placed toward the front, preventing you from having to navigate around other items that may get in the way. Mapping out your plan also lets you know exactly what obstacles you will have to contend with along the way so that there are no surprises while you’re managing a heavy item. Measure doorways and narrow hallways in advance to ensure you can make it through before getting stuck with nowhere to go.


Take it slow and plan ahead, and you’ll be able to move heavy furniture safely and with relative ease.


Furnishing Your Home With Hickory


When you’re filling your first home with furniture, or replacing pieces that haven’t stood up to wear and tear over the years, consider buying pieces made from hickory. Handcrafted from this strong, beautiful wood, hickory furniture will withstand the test of time and might even be passed down in your family for generations to come.


Not only is the look and style of hickory furniture beautiful and classic, the pieces at Carriage House Furnishings are sure to be well made, sturdily built, and crafted with care and precision. Here at Carriage House Furnishings, we know that when you buy furniture, you’re not just buying a dining room set, you’re building your home.


Consider, for example, the 3 door hickory hutch, and the hickory dining table. These pieces, made of naturally finished hickory, can be eye-catching additions to your current dining room, or striking centerpieces around which you build your dining room set. The table would also fit nicely in an eat-in kitchen.


Some of our other most popular pieces include the blanket chest and the coffee table. A hickory blanket chest can double as a bench in a living room to provide extra seating and storage, or simply an accent piece in your bedroom at the foot of the bed. The chests also make great gifts! The coffee table is classic, comfortable, and sturdy, and will stand the test of time and spilled drinks.


Hickory furniture from Carriage House Furnishings is sure to go great with your current décor, and all of our pieces – especially those with a natural finish – offer an attractive, rustic look.


This Spring, Spruce up Your Porch with Amish Furniture

At Carriage House Furnishings, we’re committed to adding comfort and style to your outdoor living spaces. And isn’t the beginning of spring the perfect time to redecorate your outdoor living room?


Many of our outdoor products are made from premium recycled plastic and stainless steel hardware, which will give you years of continued use with minimal maintenance.


The classic Adirondack chair gives your back yard a comfortable and rustic look, and a couple of chairs gathered in a semicircle will create a wonderful spot to hang out with family and friends. Not only are these chairs stylish and sturdy, they blend easily with any kind of backyard décor, from Tiki torches to fire pits to volleyball nets.


For a slightly more modern option, check out our gliders, such as the Poly Curved Back Swivel Glider. This chair is perfect on the patio or on the grass, paired with a beautiful matching Poly End Table. After all, you’ll need a spot to put your snacks and drinks!


Another classic is the Curved Back Swing, great for porches both front and back, and perfect for creating a brand new living space with just a few simple installation steps. If you can’t hang a swing from your porch, but are still looking for that classic porch swing look, try our Poly Curved Back 4 Foot Glider to achieve the same look as the porch swing with no installation required.


No matter what you’re looking for, we’ll be able to help you find the perfect set of furniture to spruce up your outdoor living space. Don’t be afraid to reimagine your yard! A few new pieces of furniture, and you have a whole new living area. And hurry, spring is almost here!


Want to Work with Wood? Start with Whittling!

“I’ve always wanted to work with wood, but I never know where to start. There’s just so much to learn!”


It’s a common quandary, one we hear all too often from friend and patrons of Carriage House. Woodworking is a wonderful hobby that can bring its practitioners years of satisfaction and enjoyment. It’s true that there’s a lot to learn, but that’s half the fun! It’s time to embrace your status as a fresh-off-the-sawmill scholar of this fine discipline. But first, we have to address that all important question – where to start.


Well, with whittling, of course!


Many of us probably experimented with rudimentary whittling projects as children – sitting around a campfire and turning large sticks into smaller, pointier sticks.


Whittling requires a minimal investment in equipment, and it’s a great way to get a feel for the way wood behaves as we shape it. To get started, all you’ll need is a knife and a block of raw wood.


The Knife


Generations of handy craftspeople have used nothing but a trusty pocket knife to whittle. If you already have a favorite pocket knife, you’re halfway there. If, on the other hand, you’re more inclined toward using specialized tools, there are a number of fixed-blade whittling knives available on the market. Whatever knife you use, you’ll want to keep it sharp. This will not only make whittling easier, it will protect your thumb from becoming collateral damage. A sharp knife will glide easily through wood, whereas a dull knife is more likely to catch, snag, and jump toward your hand. If you’re especially concerned about the health and well-being of your thumb, you might consider investing in a leather thumb guard to protect your digit. As long as you keep your knife sharp, however, the risk of injury is fairly minimal.


The Wood


When you first start whittling, you’ll want to avoid hard woods, knots, and complex grains. Basswood, known for its softness and simple grain, is a favorite of many novice whittlers. Pine is another good candidate for beginners, however it is so soft that you might have a hard time carving fine details. Balsa is another popular option, as it is cheap, easy to work with, and readily available at many craft stores.


Perhaps the most important advice we can give to aspiring whittlers is to take your time. Two basic cuts – the push stroke and the pull stroke – will constitute the bulk of your early whittling work. The push stroke is likely the stroke you used when you whittled those tiny spears as a child. The pull stroke is similar to the motion of paring an apple. Practice these basic motions to get a feel for the way your knife moves through wood.


There are all sorts of great resources for beginner whittlers online. Veteran whittler Lawrence Spinak maintains one such site devoted to providing aspiring whittlers with all sorts of tips and tricks to help improve their craft.


Why wait any longer? It’s time to get whittling!


History of the Adirondack Chair

The Adirondack chair is perhaps the most easily identifiable piece of outdoor furniture in North America today. Since the first Adirondack chair was built in 1903, the design has spread from its point of origin on the shores of Lake Champlain in New York to front lawns all across the country.  Nowadays, these chairs are so common that it can be easy to forget just how clever their design really easy. So, with this in mind, we’d like to take a moment to enlighten our readers about the history of these charming pieces of craftsmanship.

The chair’s beginnings are as humble as its rugged construction. A resourceful New Yorker by the name of Thomas Lee had a summer house with a beautiful view and no comfortable seating from which to enjoy it. And so, guided by his simple desire for a place to lounge, he set out to build a better lawn chair.

Lee needed a chair that was not only comfortable, but also durable. After all, New York winters can do a number on outdoor furniture. He also wanted a chair that could be built with relative ease. Hence, the Adirondack chair, which could be constructed from eleven pieces of wood all cut from the same plank. Wide armrests offered a convenient place to set beverages while a low, deep seat made for comfortable place to unwind. It was, by all accounts, a lovely chair.

Before long, Lee’s friends began to take notice of his new outdoor décor. One friend in particular, Harry Bunnell, recognized the unique appeal of Lee’s chairs. Bunnell was a carpenter by trade, so he offered to help Lee manufacture them in his shop. As orders for the chairs started to roll in, Bunnell saw an opportunity to turn a profit on the chairs. In 1904, without obtaining Lee’s permission, Bunnell applied for a patent on his friend’s design.

For the next twenty years, Bunnell had great success building the chairs and selling them under the moniker of the “Westport Plank Chair.” It’s safe to assume that by this point, Lee and Burnell weren’t getting along so well.

Eventually, Bunnell’s patent expired and a new generation of craftspeople was free to build their own versions of the iconic chairs. At Carriage House Furnishings, we even carry our very own uniquely Amish interpretation of the Adirondack chair.

Want to learn more about the outdoor furniture available at Carriage House Furnishings? Give us a call today for more information!


Furniture Restoration 101

As purveyors of fine wooden furniture, we feel an obligation to our work that compels us to preserve the work of the artisans who came before us. In an earlier post we shared some helpful tips for staining furniture with our readers. While a fresh stain and finish can work wonders to revitalize a piece of furniture that has fallen into disrepair, there are a number of other simple, effective techniques we can use to keep our furniture looking and feeling its very best.


Use Epoxy to Fill Gouges


Epoxy, commonly known as wood putty, is an essential component in our furniture repair toolkit. For small nicks and divots, take a small amount of putty and knead it between your fingers until it is soft and malleable. Next, simply press and mold the putty into the damaged area until it roughly assumes the original shape and curvature of the piece. Once it’s dry, you can sand it down until it’s smooth and flush with the existing wood. Stain the epoxied area to match the rest of the piece, and it will be virtually indistinguishable from the natural wood. This technique is also great for fixing chipped or cracked veneers.


Use Water to Lift Dents


Many shallow dents in wood can be repaired with nothing but a little care and moisture. Take a wet cloth and apply it to the dent. Wring the cloth gently to apply water directly to the damage. Allow the water to soak into the wood, and before long the wood will swell slightly and return to its original shape. Furniture sealer will prevent water from soaking into the wood, so you’ll want to sand down the finish in the affected area first in order to facilitate adequate penetration.


Furniture Restoration


Use Mineral Spirits to Reveal Blemishes


Before you delve too deep into your restoration project, we suggest that you apply a light coat of mineral spirits to the piece with a clean cloth in order to get a better idea of the condition of the wood. Make sure you do this in a well ventilated area and wear protective gloves, as mineral spirits are petroleum based. The mineral spirits will clean off any dirt and grime residue and reveal light damage such as scratches and water rings that might have been concealed by dull, old finishes.


When it comes to furniture restoration, experience is the greatest teacher of all. Have you already had success restoring a dilapidated piece of furniture to its former glory? Share what you learned with other users in the comments section!


How to Arrange Your Bedroom Furniture

When deciding how you want to arrange your bedroom the first thing you should consider is what you want to use the space for.

If you have a large bedroom you have more space to utilize and if you have a smaller bedroom you have to be smarter about the space you are using. The largest focal point for the bedroom should be your bed and your headboard. It is the largest piece of furniture you typically have in your bedroom so why not show it off?

The bed is typically placed across from the door of your bedroom so when you open the door it is the first thing you see. There are a few more things to consider before placing your bed there. First, is it blocking a window? Not only is the window going to be used for air but it also allows light to come into the bedroom. If you block the window you won’t have the light and it will make it more difficult to open when needed.

Also be sure to not obstruct the door or a walkway within the bedroom. If you cut off access to your closet or dresser with the bed, then your bedroom is not going to operate as you wish.

A few more things to think about when planning your bedroom arrangements are where your other furniture pieces are going to go. First: your dressers. If you have a large enough closet, consider placing your dresser inside the closet to free up floor space. Also you will need a place for your bed side table. If you have glasses or other loose items you probably want to place them next to you when you sleep. A bedside table would make this easier. But, make sure you are buying a table that isn’t too large for the space.