Cleaning and Caring for your Amish Furniture

Amish furniture is particularly special in that it is made with superior craftsmanship, in the old style. So cleaning and caring for it should be your top priority once you bring it home. With the right care, it will last for eons, and can become treasured heirlooms that can be passed down from one generation to the next.

 

When you first get your furniture home, keep in mind that it is still curing, meaning you will want to let it be for a while. It has an adjustment period, and is affected by new environments. You will want to keep the humidity in your house in a range of 35%-45%. That way, the furniture will not crack or warp.

 

Keep sharp objects and harsh solvents away from the furniture. Sharp objects will scratch the surfaces, and harsh solvents can affect finishes. Also keep furniture away from places where abrupt temperature changes occur. Do not put it near furnace vents, radiators or heaters, fireplaces, and keep it out of direct sun. This will prevent the furniture from cracking.

To clean your Amish furniture you can use a solution of water and some mild soap. If you insist on using polish, stay away from polishes that contain wax and silicon, as this will cause a build-up which can make future refinishing difficult.

 

For upholstered pieces, spot clean the upholstery with a mild solvent or upholstery shampoo. If using a dry cleaning product, make sure it does not contain anything toxic, including carbon tetrachloride, and clean in a room that is well ventilated. You may also spot clean using the foam from mild detergent. Whatever you use read the instructions carefully and take care to protect yourself.

 

Your Amish furniture deserves your care and attention if you want it to stay beautiful for a long time. You don’t have to put in a lot of time, but regular cleaning and maintenance is a good idea. For table tops, use tablecloths or table pads to keep the finish in good shape. And if you must put a glass top on the table, be sure there is good air flow between the top of the table and the glass.

 

Amish furniture remains one of the most sought after styles of furniture, especially because of the care with which it is crafted. Using these simple tips, you can keep it in good shape for years to come.
 

 

The History of Amish Furniture

amish furniture

Amish furniture is created primarily by the Amish communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Made of 100% wood, without the use of any synthetic “wood” product; the style of Amish furniture is normally traditional in design.

 

Coming into its own, in the 1920’s; Amish furniture was discovered during the same time period as American folk art. Quickly becoming known for its exceptional quality and craftsmanship; Amish furniture pieces became highly valued by collectors and auction houses. There are many unique styles of Amish furniture design; the Jonestown School and the Soap Hollow School are two of the most popular and well-known styles in history.

 

Both the Jonestown School and the Soap Hollow School originated in Pennsylvania; Jonestown was started in a town called Lebanon, and the Soap Hollow, from a town of the same name. Widely known for painted blanket chests with colorful floral designs, the Jonestown School style of Amish furniture is on display at the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

 

The Soap Hollow style is also very distinctive. The pieces are often vividly painted in red, gold, and black. The style of Amish furniture many of us are familiar with today, can be credited to a man named Henry Lapp. Lapp was a furniture maker who lived in Lancaster County, Pa. It is Lapp’s designs that we think of when we think of Amish furniture within the last few decades. Prior to Henry Lapp, the germanic-style of Amish furniture making was most popular, with painted, floral designs. Lapp’s style abandoned that form of artistry for a more traditional and neutral style of wood furniture.

 

The very first order book Henry Lapp created for his furniture customers was done in watercolors and is now located in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 1986, Sothebys sold a piece of American folk art styled furniture for over $200, 000. It was a clock made by Johannes Spitler in the early 1800’s. So you can see the value of a finely crafted handmade wood furniture item over time. Most will not sell at such extravagant prices but they will hold their value throughout generations of family history.

 

Two of the most well-known styles of Amish furniture today are called the Mission and Shaker styles. These two styles of Amish furniture share some similarities but have their own unique characteristics as well. The Mission style is known for its exposed joinery and straight lines. The Mission style of furniture is clean and modern. The Shaker style is known for its simple elegance and durability. For those who love more ornate designs, the Queen-Anne style is just what they’re seeking. Taking a total departure from both the Mission and the Shaker styles; the Queen-Anne is also very popular with a certain number of customers who desire a more lavish design.

 

Making Amish furniture is a skill that is passed down through generations; children often begin to learn the craft by helping out at home and in the furniture shops. Though there are categorized styles of Amish furniture; no piece of Amish furniture is identical to another. All are handcrafted with pride, which makes each piece unique.

All About The Amish Buggy

Amish Buggy

The horse-drawn buggy is one of the most iconic symbols of the Amish. They come in many styles and colors, which would reflect the different preferences of that particular community. However even though many think the popular choice was the black buggy, this actually isn’t true.

 

The Amish have different buggies that are very similar to different types of cars and trucks that the Englishers drive. The market wagon is very similar to a station wagon, which has a rear panel that shifts.

 

The spring wagon, also known as the cab wagon, is the equivalent of a pickup truck.

 

The buggies that have gray tops belong to the Amish, and the Old Order Mennonites had buggies that were all black. Other differences within the buggies can be found based on the level of conservatism of the different church district leaders. These differences include things such as windows, windows wipers, batter powered head, tail, and directional lights, and the choice between rubber and steel rim wheels.

 

There is one facet of modern civilization that has been thrust upon the Amish buggy. After many accidents at night due to the darkness and fast moving cars, the Amish have begun to add reflective tape to the back of the buggies. The less conservative groups will have battery powered lights put on them along with slow-moving vehicle triangles.

 

Some have not conceded to this implementation because it is too “loud” or fancy.” There was even a case that was taken to the Supreme Court in Harmony, Minnesota over a divided community. They ruled in the favor of those who had resisted their use.

10 Myths about the Amish

Amish Myths
 
There are many rumors about the Amish that are simply not true! Here is a list of ten for clarification:
 
The Amish have arranged marriages. Just like all other young adults, the Amish are allowed to go on dates, even if they don’t go to some of the places that others do.
 
The Amish don’t drink alcohol. This is not entirely true- there are some that do. We may prefer wine to chugging beers, but we do enjoy the occasional drink.
 
Amish people do not have to pay taxes. This is not true; we pay income tax, personal property tax, among others.
 
The Amish cannot use electricity. This is not true. While there isn’t the use of technology inside the home, if a man or woman has a job in the secular world then they are allowed to use it.
 
The Amish wont have anything to do with cars. We wont own a car or drive a car, but we may hire drivers in order to take us to the hospital or doctor.
 
Amish people do not eat junk food, just what we grow on our farm. This is also not true- we enjoy chips and soda pop just like anyone else.
 
We have an 8th grade education and are not smart. This is the opposite of true- we do not have sports or extra curricular activities with school so many evenings are spent reading. This includes the newspaper to keep up with current events.
 
We only use outhouses. While some communities do still use these, there are plenty who have indoor plumbing with toilets.
 
The Amish cannot travel outside of their community. We cannot travel by plane or cruise ship, but we will hire a driver or buy a bus ticket in order to travel.
 
We don’t use telephones. This is false. Some Amish have no phones, but some others have a phone booth in their church or community. Some also have cell phones for work related use.
 

Depending on the area, different people will follow different practices.

Making the Most of Your Dining Room space

dining room
 
Many people have a dining room in their house, but many times it gets used as a storage room or the place where all the boxes go after you don’t have another room to move them in. Take back your dining room and use some of these clever tips to bring life to the room.
 
Corner Extra Chairs- Most dining sets have more chairs than there is space for, usually because you table came with a extra leaf for when you decide to have that big thanksgiving dinner. Instead of hiding these chairs in the basement, corner them on an angle to provide functional lively space.
 
Functional Reading Space- Yes the dining room is for dining, but if you do not utilize this space often use one of the corners with an angled chair and add a lamp for a unique reading space.
 
Add storage- Many times dining rooms have china cabinets with drawers for extra things like napkins or table cloths. This will give the room more than one function.
 
Different Furniture- If you do not want your dining room to look like grandmas but you still want storage space, buy an unconventional cabinet that will give you all the space you need, like a old roll top desk or hutch.
 
Change the Drapes- Sometimes a space can get dark and dreary because of the window treatments. Make time to take a look around and find something that will let in light but will also go nicely in your space. They can really change the look of the room!
 
Art- Any art will brighten up the space but only certain art will take it to another place. Use art that continues from one wall to the next to make the space feel larger.
 

 

Birdhouses and Mailboxes

 
When you drive down the streets in your neighborhood you see all the plain mailboxes and then you arrive home and you also have a plain mailbox. You don’t want to fit in with the crowd, you want to be a trend setter and have the mailbox everyone else will want. People will want to ask you where you got your mailbox and you will be so proud to be the first and the most epic.
 
That is exactly how our mailboxes will make you feel. All of our mailboxes are given the care and attention to make them truly one of a kind and special. Our log cabin mailbox may be the perfect amount of rustic charm you want to give your suburban home, and make your yard stand out in a totally new way.

mailbox

If that is the way our mailboxes will make you feel, imagine what our birdhouses can do for you. They are all special in their own way and we like to believe they are all mini condos for birds. Our Large Dome Copper Topped Birdfeeder is one of our most luxurious.
 
The birdhouse is made with white vinyl to make it durable in the weather and to hold up to the use of multiple birds. You aren’t buying a birdhouse just because it will look nice in your yard. You are also buying their piece because you want birds to visit it and make your yard the place to be.

birdhouse

 

 

Jewelry & Silverware Chests

jewelry chests

Do you have jewelry or silverware at your home that is just laying around on dressers or buried drawers?  If that is the case, a jewelry chest may be the perfect solution for you. The jewelry chests that we have available are absolutely gorgeous and will make a great addition to any room in your home.

 

It is so important to take care of jewelry and silverware that you own.  It needs to be stored properly and carefully so that it lasts for years and the heirlooms can be passed on for generations to come.  When you are storing jewelry and silverware there are a few rules to abide by for the best and safest storage.

 

Pearls should be stored separately in a box or bag.  They are very delicate and can scratch very easily.  Gold and silver should not be stored together; this could cause the gold to tarnish.  Gemstones should not be stored near gold; the gemstones can actually scratch the gold.  Gemstones should not be stored with each other because they can also scratch each other.  Diamonds should be stored alone in separate pouches.  Diamonds are so hard that they can scratch each other.  All forms of jewelry and silverware should be stored far away from hairspray, perfumes and cleaning products.

 

With all of the above in mind, we have great solutions to meet and exceed your jewelry and silverware storage needs.  We offer jewelry chests, armories, dressing tables, silverware chests and more with plenty of storage room.

Wooden Toys for Children

wooden toys

Wooden toys have been around forever, and they will continue to be brought into every home where there are children.  There are several reasons as to why wooden toys continue to be purchased each year and are enjoyed by kids of all ages.

  • Wooden toys are practical, easy to clean and they will last through the roughest of play times.  You cannot compare the durability of a wooden toy to its plastic counterpart, it just wouldn’t be fair.
  • They involve your children.  Children must actually interact with the toy, there are no buttons where once you press it the toy takes over and sings its song or dances around the floor.  With wooden toys you have to pull, turn and move it yourself while you lie on the floor or sit in your seat.
  • They are much less dangerous.  There are so many less parts to be swallowed or cut with or broken off and chewed on.  Leaving you as the parent much more comfortable.
  • They last a lifetime.  We all know how it feels to buy a toy and two weeks later it is destroyed and your child is having a meltdown when you have to throw it away.  You are then forced to run to the store and spend another $19.99 on a replacement.  Wooden toys can last generations, there may need to be a quick tune up or repair but the value in the price is there.
  • There are so many wooden toy choices to choose from.  Some of them include: building blocks, board games, wooden trains, pull-alongs, horses, doll houses, puzzles, farms, towns, people and more.  The list of possibilities is almost endless.

Beautiful Outdoor Amish Furniture

durable amish furniture
 
Go outside and look at the current outdoor furniture you have, it is probably either metal or wood. If it is metal the paint is most likely peeling on some places and if it is wood it be falling apart after only half a season of use. This is because they aren’t made with love and care; they are made in a factory by John Smith who would rather be playing video games.
 
When you buy Outdoor Amish Furniture, it is made to last. Our furniture has treated with that is made to withstand the elements and wear and tear. It comes in a variety of stains and materials so you will not have to sacrifice beauty and comfort for durability. All of our wooden pieces are stained and handled with care to make the perfect piece for your outdoor patio. They are heavy enough you will not see them blown over during a small storm. They are also built strong enough that is they were to be knocked over in a heavy storm you would not see damage to the integrity of the furniture.
 
Also offered is out Poly furniture pieces. These are made from recycled plastic and stainless hardware. Poly pieces are also going to stand the test of time. They will wipe clean easily so placing them outside is not a problem. The material is made for many years of maintenance free use.
 
If you are creating an outdoor space you want to be proud of it and not embarrassed when your family and friends come by and break your cheap chairs. You want to be the talk of the town with your durable Amish made furniture.
 

Durable Amish Coffee Tables

Why You Need One

 

 amish coffee table

Living room spaces are sacred to many people. In many homes, the living room is often the heart of the house, or a very special place, designed for company and special gatherings. This reverence of the living room, is very common in many areas of the United States. And the coffee table, is at the heart of the space.

 

Making itself, useful in a huge number of ways, the coffee table is used for display, storage, decoration, and many times, as a sturdy place to rest our feet. Because it serves so many purposes, buying a quality one, makes all the difference between having a coffee table that will last and be passed on to the next generation, or one that soon needs to be replaced.

 

We do live in times, where everyone is seeking a bargain. Many consumers are desiring to save money whenever they can; but with certain items, saving money, actually means spending more now, for something of quality and substance that won’t break a few months after it’s purchased. Coffee tables are one of these items. Buying a cheap one, may only mean that you will end up spending much more money in a very short amount of time. Splurging on a great well-made, beautifully crafted coffee table, will give you decades of use, and years of joy.

 

Many homeowners like to repurpose good quality coffee tables, when they choose to redo the decor in their living rooms. If you have a coffee table that withstands the test of time, it can be used in family rooms, kids play rooms, even in master bedrooms in a reading nook. A great piece of furniture, outlasts time and style trends. It is also customary to give a great piece of furniture that has been in the family home for many years, to the next generation of homeowners. They make wonderful and sentimental gifts for sons or daughters who are just moving out into their own homes, or getting married.

 

Spending some time, and a decent amount of money, picking out a good coffee table, will be a decision that you will not regret. Furniture should last a long time, and not be in one season, and out the next. Decorative accents, such as pillows, curtains, and rugs, are perfect for that purpose. But coffee tables should define the everlasting style of a home, providing beauty, design, and a sentimentality to your living space.

summer traditions: a Carriage House family favorite

Happy summer to you and yours=) We’re enjoying the warmth of the season and the beauty of Lancaster County.

 

Around here, we love summertime with it’s traditions & local goodness- and today we’d like to share a favorite recipe with you!

 

Here’s the recipe promised in our nifty email newsletter..This dessert can be made anytime, but it’s better with fresh fruit and homemade ice-cream & always worth the wait!

Delicious Berry Peach Cobbler with Sugared Almonds

 

( recipe credit: Cooking Light July 2009 issue
baking credit: the best chef in town- Becky Lapp  )

 

Filling:
18 ounces fresh blueberries
18 ounces fresh blackberries
3 medium peaches, peeled and sliced
Cooking spray
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 & 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Topping:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup half & half

 

Cherry on top: (Last but not least!)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon egg white

 

Prep:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare filling by combining the berries and peaches in a 13×9 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle the fruit with 2/3 cup sugar, 2 & 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, lemon juice and salt.
3. Prepare topping by combining flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Stir well and add butter pieces. Continue to stir and add the half & half, gently kneed dough until moistened. Drop the topping mixture by spoonfuls evenly over the fruit filling.
4. Combine almonds, sugar and egg white & sprinkle over the topping.
5. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes & let stand another 10 minutes before serving with ice-cream.
6. Enjoy!! =)
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Which Amish Furniture is Right for The Living Room?

 

The living room has traditionally been the largest room in the house, the place where people entertained, watched television and spent time with family. But with the advent of “Great Rooms” and “family rooms”, the living room has become something other than it was, though, in many households, it is still used for more formal occasions.

 

Once called the “drawing room” because it was the place to which dinner guests withdrew to talk, have brandy, and for the men, to smoke, the living room has served many purposes. Later it was called the parlor, and it was where tea was served and also where wakes were held. (hence the phrase “funeral parlor”). Then it was called the sitting room, for somewhat obvious reasons, but it was still a more formal place, though friends and family did gather there. In some areas of the UK it is still referred to as the sitting room, especially in older houses.

 

The term “living room” referred to something a bit more informal, but it remained the place where guests gathered to talk, be entertained, drink, and socialize. Families often kept their TV’s in the living room and that was where they came together to spend quality time.

 

Nowadays, family rooms and great rooms have usurped the living room’s primary functions, being the places where people gather, where entertainment systems are, and where most of a family’s “living time” is spent. So what has happened to the living room? Well, as even formal rooms are less formal than they used to be, living rooms are being turned into large breakfast nooks and home offices, often serving more than one function. A large living room can be partitioned off into more than one room and many different activities can be done.

 

The living room has served its purpose well. But its day as the place to hang out is over. Many newer homes don’t even have anything equivalent to a formal living room. But the living room will never completely disappear from the American landscape. In some homes it will always the be the place where the family lives.