Bespoken Nostalgia of the Holiday Season

In a world made for ephemera, we often lose the tenderness that makes the gift-giving season truly special. In selecting the perfect present to give someone at the holidays, we choose to create lasting memories that our children will carry with them beyond adolescence.

Create memories with handcrafted, bespoken toys this holiday that your child will be able to hold onto for years. Here are a few of our favorites.

Rocking Horses Bespoken Nostalgia for the Holiday Season

This classic children’s toy goes by many names. You’ve probably heard hobby horse or barrel horse a few times. When wood craftsmen introduced to the world the bow rocker, the rocking horse appeared. During the 17th century the rocking horse was constructed top heavy, and so the momentum swing mechanism wasn’t yet refined. In the later Victorian era, horses were often constructed as hollow heads and were used as storage. After America fell on hard times during the Great Depression, very few craftsmen continued rocking horse production. There exists today, however, a few companies that have restored interest in these nostalgic works of beauty.

Wagons

The toy wagon wasn’t introduced until the 1880s, and they were first constructed completely of wood. Over the decade their production included steel and plastic. After World War II, wagon production reached a halt as steel was rationed only for war purposes. A toy of European-crafted origin, the children’s wagon hit toy stores in a bright, fire engine red color, is still a popular toy sold around the holiday season, admired for its utility and design.

Our solid oak toys, furniture, and other home items are crafted with exquisite detail and care so that they can be passed down for generations and generations as family heirlooms and thought pieces. Take a look at our selection here at Carriage House Furnishings.

Large Purchases Worth Considering

Carriage House FurnishingsIt is no secret that owning a home is expensive. So many different costs come up on a yearly basis that you don’t expect and maintaining your home can start to add up. If you’re working on furnishing your home, it can be tempting to go with cheaper furniture options when you feel like you need “one of everything.”

If you purchase a well-made, solid piece of furniture, you are making an investment in your home and your future.

 If you pay a little more up front, you won’t have to replace the item in a couple of years, and you can pass the furniture down to your kids someday Here are some items you should consider investing in.

 

Reliable

 

You spend every day getting into your bed at night which means you should definitely invest in a bed that is going to last long-term. Our hickory queen bed set is a bit of an investment, but will serve you well over the coming years. It is tougher than nails and versatile too!

 

Reliable Desk

 

Even if you don’t work from home, having a desk at home is simply convenient. If your children have a long night of homework ahead of them or if you have to catch up on paying some bills, a desk provides a great space to take care of those things without cluttering the dining room table. An Eshton Oak Desk will stand up to piles of paperwork for decades to come.

 

Reliable Jewelry Armoire

 

If you are someone that loves to accessorize, investing in a jewelry armoire is a must. Purchasing one is an investment in your jewelry because it is built to specifically protect and preserve special pieces. To prevent heirloom pieces tarnishing or losing their luster overtime, protect them with a jewelry armoire.

 

At Carriage House Furnishings our products are designed and solid wood constructed to add beauty to your home while being highly functional at the same time. This type of craftsmanship is from another era – when furniture was built to be attractive, affordable, and sturdy for years to come.

Keeping Your Kitchen Island Organized

Keeping Your Kitchen Island OrganizedIf you’re like the majority of busy people, your kitchen island is probably a “catch-all” for an assortment of different things. However, a clean kitchen island can really make your kitchen feel bright and organized.

We have a variety of tips on how you can keep your kitchen island organized and remain in control of your home’s overall appearance.

Take Inventory

The first step towards a clean kitchen island is figuring out what exactly gets set on it throughout the week. If you typically find mail, keys, pens, and bags, figure out where those things actually belong in your kitchen. For example, pens probably go into some type of holder, mail goes onto a desk, and bags should hang on a hook.

There is a good chance that a few of the items that end up on your island don’t have a real place. If that’s the case, create one. If your purse is always ending up on the island, create a place for it to hang in the entrance of your home where it can be nestled away. It may take some time to get used to this new storage spot, but if you make the room for it, you’ll quickly fall into that habit!

Junk Bowl

Undoubtedly, there are some items that that simply don’t belong anywhere, such as quarters, paper clips and other little things that you’ll eventually need but can’t really create a specific space for. Pick out a pretty bowl and designate it as the “junk bowl” on your kitchen island. This method works well for people who still need a spot to toss their keys to keep track of them! Commit going through the every week or two and putting some items where they belong.

Vertical Storage

You might be cramped for space in your kitchen which is how so much ends up going on your island. When you’re lacking counter space, it’s time to starting thinking about vertical storage options. Consider mounting small shelves onto your backsplash to hold your spices, teas, and other small items. Use hooks to hang cooking utensils above the stove right where you need them!

If you’re looking to update your kitchen island, view Carriage House Furnishings beautiful, hand-crafted islands.

History of the Pie Safe

History of the Pie Safe Way back in the 1800s, there were a lot of German immigrants that started moving to America. And in addition to bringing all of their customs and traditions along with them, Germans also brought a very important piece of furniture that quickly turned into an essential item in many kitchens.

The pie safe, also known as a pie cabinet, played an integral role in the early American kitchen and is still being made today.

Pie safes served two main roles when incorporated into a kitchen. First, they were a piece of furniture that could be used to store pies and other baked goods once they cooled off after coming out of the oven. Remember, back in the 1800s, there weren’t as many storage solutions for baked goods as there are today. So pie safes helped to keep baked goods cool and to prevent mold growth on them. They also played another role and that was to keep rodents, insects, and other pests away from the baked goods. Without pie safes, those living in the 1800s would have had a difficult time keeping their baked goods around for very long.

Since first being introduced, pie safes have evolved quite a bit. The earliest pie safes were often as large as bureaus, and they were made out of solid wood. They usually had very deep shelving, and they had tin doors on the front of them with holes punched out to allow for ventilation. But since then, pie safes have changed, and the designs that are used on them are different. While early American pie safes were relatively simple, the pie safes you’ll find today feature things like glass and copper doors. They are also used for more than just baked goods, as today’s pie safes can be placed into any kitchen, hallway, or mudroom and used as storage.

Would you like to purchase a beautiful pie safe for your home? Carriage House Furnishings has plenty of pie safe options. Check out what we have in stock or call us at 717-768-8712 today to order one for yourself.

History of Hickory Wood Furniture

History of Wood Furniture When it comes to what can be constructed with hickory wood, the sky’s the limit.

Hickory wood is one of the most commonly used materials in the industry, especially when building furniture.

Tables, chairs and dressers are always made better with hickory.

History of Hickory

Hickory wood has been used for furniture and flooring for years, and with many different varieties, there is a type for every project. Some of the most common types include southern shagbark hickory which grows in limestone soils, bitternut hickory which is found in moist and damp forest thrives, and shagbark hickory that is most common in drained soils. These varieties have all been used for decades. The type of hickory utilized depends on the project and the builder’s personal preference.

Advantages of Hickory

The most significant advantage of hickory is that it is commonly used in anything from wagon wheels and lacrosse sticks to golf clubs and skis. In addition to that, hickory has a type of living energy that makes it great for burning in fireplaces and wood stoves.

Of course, hardwood is especially great for furniture. It is considered to be one of the stronger woods, so it is great for tables, bookshelves, and benches, among many other pieces.

Hickory is also more stain resistant, making it a great choice for dining room tables and nightstands. Hickory also basically takes care of itself and requires very little upkeep.

Most importantly, hickory wood furniture just looks better. The wood grain provides a very unique texture and it hardly ever needs to be painted over. In the end, hardwood furniture just adds a level of class to your home that will impress all who enter.

Here at Carriage House Furnishings, we offer at extensive collection of hickory furniture. Stop by our hickory page and find the perfect piece for your home.

Importance of Hands On Play for Children

Importance of Hands-On Play for ChildrenIf you’ve ever sat and watched a young child play for a few minutes, then you know that kids love to touch everything when they are playing. From building blocks to puzzles to other toys, kids will spend hours walking around the house and touching everything in sight. And there’s a very good reason for it! Outside of the fact that kids are just naturally curious about things, touch is what helps introduce them to all of the different shapes and sizes in the world.

Hands on play is what often shows children how certain things work, and it also teaches them to share and work out conflicts with others.

In 2017, there are many parents who try to teach their kids about the world surrounding them through the use of different electronics, but the truth is that those electronics will never be able to teach them like hands-on play will. There is something to be said for handing a child a block or a ball and allowing them to experience it for themselves. They can sit and watch someone else play with these items all day long, but until they put their hands on them and touch for themselves, they won’t truly understand what those items are all about. Hands-on play is responsible for developing spatial learning in children and for helping children learn certain words and actions.

Do you have an active child who enjoys playing around the house? Your natural instincts might be to tell them to stop, but you really should be allowing them to play as often as they can. Encouraging them will strengthen the communication between you and your child, and it will also enrich them with a sense of independence. You will be blown away by how much they are able to learn just by touching different things, and as long as you make sure your home is safe for them, you won’t have to worry about them getting into any real trouble.

You can keep your home safe by investing in durable furniture in addition to children’s toys and furniture. Carriage House Furnishings can help you obtain both of these things by providing you with a wide range of furniture options. Check out what we have in stock and call us at 717-768-8712 today to order new furniture for your home.

Decorating for Fall with Natural Woods

Jack Daniel's Barrel | Amish Furniture Can you believe it? Fall is in the air! If you’re looking for a few tips on adding some fall-themed décor to your home this season without breaking out the pumpkins and the cornucopias quite yet, read on to learn about how to decorate for fall using natural woods.

Wood-Scented Candles

Midwest Living says that spreading some candles around your home is a surefire way to cozy things up in time for fall. If you head to your local home goods store, pick out a few wood-wicked candles. These unique scents will fill your home with a delightful woodland smell.

Rustic Accents

Natural wood gives your home a cozy, rustic feeling: add some seasonal flair to your refrigerator with magnets made from branches you find in your backyard. Simply saw the branches into one-inch thick pieces, and affix a magnet to the back with wood glue or a hot glue gun. You can paint or stamp a design onto the front. Add them to the fridge, and the kitchen will be ready for fall.

The same method can be used to make coasters, wine glass name tags, napkin holders, serving trays, and more.

Centerpieces

Focus on your table’s centerpiece, and add in a bit of wood. Natural wood boxes can be used to hold flowers and garland, which make the perfect festive centerpiece. You can create serving trays that can be added to your table for a bit of rustic flair.

Mantle

If you have a mantle over your fireplace, use wooden accents to dress it up for the season. Think candle holders, picture frames, or pumpkin-shaped accents.

If you’d like to add a mantle-piece to your fire place, consider using reclaimed wood: a skilled wood worker can shape and sand a reclaimed wood log into the most beautiful, rustic and fall appropriate mantle you ever did see! But don’t worry, it’ll look great during the other seasons of the year, too.

Liquor Barrels

Another unique way to add some natural wood accents to your home is by using liquor barrels, like the ones available from Carriage House Furnishings.

Liquor barrels can be used as a buffet table for an outdoor, end of the season barbeque; or, add a glass slat to the top for a unique bar area in your basement. Add them to your front porch as a seasonal decoration, or place a few in the living room corners for some seasonal glow.

For more tips and design ideas to get you in the fall spirit, click here to view Carriage House Furnishing’s blog.

 

Invest in Outdoor Furniture for Your Health

Invest in Outdoor Furniture for Your HealthAnother great summer season is coming to a close but that doesn’t mean that you need to stop dining outdoors just yet. The fall brings crisp weather, perfect for enjoying a cup of coffee outside in the warm morning sunshine.

Spending time outdoors can be beneficial for your health; consider purchasing outdoor furniture and set up a cozy space to sit outside.

If you felt uninspired to sit outside this summer, it’s time to think about investing in some outdoor furniture. Not only will you thank yourself when you’re settling in for a bonfire in the backyard on a comfortable chair, but having good outdoor furniture can actually benefit your health.

On average, Americans spend about 93 percent of their lives indoors among their home, office, and car. As it turns out, spending more time in the great outdoors, even when the weather begins to cool off, can be extremely good for your health. Pollutants tend to collect indoors, which means when you take a breath of fresh air outside, you truly are breathing in fresh air compared to what typically is found inside of homes and offices.

Spending time outside can boost your mood, increase your creativity, and give you better self-esteem. Vitamin D, which we absorb through our skin from the sun, is important for fighting infections, and it’s estimated that most of Americans are not getting enough of it.

Spending time outside can also help us feel more relaxed, which many people struggle with. It’s been shown that spending time in nature decreases the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone found in the body.

Consider purchasing outdoor furniture to investing in your health and brighten up your outdoor space. Carriage House Furnishings has a variety of outdoor furniture available from chairs to bistro tables.

Benefits of A Children’s Bookshelf

Benefits of A Children’s Bookshelf It is no secret that reading is beneficial for children, but with technology constantly at our fingertips, getting our children to read can be a battle.

If you’re trying to encourage your children to read more often, consider placing a personal bookshelf in their room.


Why Children Should Read

Not only does reading help children develop a stronger vocabulary skillset, but it also helps them be better communicators. Reading improves fluidity of comprehension. It’s all about practice, practice, practice!

Reading helps kids make sense of the world around them. They learn how to process feelings, observe human behavior, and eventually in more advanced texts, analyze human truths. The fundamentals may be cemented in reality, but by picking up a book kids can travel to celestial spheres or vacation on the moon. Reading sparks imagination!

Reading leads to better writing prowess. Think about it: every class in school involves some degree of writing. If not a story, then an essay, which they will be writing a lot of once they approach college age. The more a child reads, the better a writer they become. This will help them stick to deadlines for school projects.

When Children Should Start Reading

Many children learn reading by the age of six, but research studies prove that children can actually start comprehending what they read by the age of two. Truth be told, there’s no “right” age for your child to start learning, but the sooner they learn to read, the more knowledge they are going to soak up. Drench their minds in the fundamentals now so that they are set up for a trajectory of success!

What Children Should Read

Anything and everything! You’ve put the shelf in their room, now stuff it with novels, picture books, and anything you can get your hands on. Scholastic has created lists for you to choose from based upon a 2-13 year-old age group. They have a great selection which includes baby’s first books, animal books, fantasy, and science and nature themes.

As parents we always want what’s best for our children. Encouraging them to read is one way to keep them on a noble path. Gift your little one a locally-crafted bookshelf from Carriage House Furnishings.

Importance of Properly Storing Jewelry

Jewelry Storage TipsFor many people, jewelry is a precious keepsake for many reasons. Jewelry does hold monetary value, but more importantly, it often represents specific memories and relationships.

If you want to make sure that your jewelry lasts, you need to make sure that you are storing it safely and properly.

Carriage House Furnishings has a few tips on how to properly store your jewelry, so the memories and the sparkles will last a lifetime.

It is important to keep your jewelry in a place that is clean and dry, such as a jewelry box that’s lined with fabric. If your jewelry came with a pouch when you first purchased it, it’s important to continue to store the piece of jewelry in that pouch. Jewelers often will sell jewelry with a pouch made from a specific type of fabric, designed specifically to keep the piece safe from tarnish.

Gold is malleable and can be damaged and scratched from other gemstones metals. To keep your gold jewelry safe, store it separately from your silver or platinum pieces, and keep them in the bags that they were likely purchased with.

Silver should be stored in tarnish-proof cases, away from air exposure. Extended exposure to air and moisture can cause even well-made silver pieces to tarnish.

To prevent the loss or misplacement of your pieces, it’s important to keep to a routine, and store them in the same place on a daily basis. Jewelry boxes make storing your jewelry easy: not only does the box protect the pieces from tarnish, but it’ll keep them safe in your home, if you always put your pieces back in the same place, you’ll always know where they are the next day.

Interested in purchasing top quality jewelry boxes available at Carriage House Furnishings? Call us today at 717-768-8712.

Benefits of Summer Birdhouses

Amish BirdhousesHaving an outdoor space where you can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning is important. Sitting outside and being surrounded by nature can be good for the soul, and we are all about creating a yard space that you can enjoy.

If you’d like to enjoy your outdoor space with some friends, consider adding a birdhouse into your yard which comes with a variety of benefits.

Adding a birdhouse into your yard can do a lot more than attract beautiful, singing birds for you to glance at. There are tons of benefits, both for you and your neighbors, which come with hanging up birdhouses. Many birds eat insects so having birds active in your backyard can help to eliminate unwanted pests in the garden. If your birdhouse attracts enough birds, you might avoid using harmful chemical pesticides

Birds can also help contribute to weed control: birds love to eat weed seeds, especially finches, towhees, and sparrows. If you have birds that get comfortable hanging out at the birdhouse provided, they can actually help you landscape the space and keep it weed-free.

Birdhouses are also great for promoting native plants and flowers to grow in your neighborhood. With bee populations declining throughout the country, your garden and your neighborhood likely need all the help they can get. Hang birdhouses to encourage birds to visit your yard to help keep the area pollinated.

Hanging birdhouses in your backyard can provide an oasis for local and migrating birds, and other species. If you add a few birdhouses to your yard this summer, you’ll even be helping to promote wildlife conservation.

In addition to all of this, bird watching can be a relaxing, joyous hobby to develop.

Feeling inspired? View the birdhouses we offer here at Carriage House Furnishings.

Why You Should Choose Wooden Toys

Why You Should Choose Wooden ToysIf you’ve been to a toy store lately, you’ve probably noticed that the majority of toys are bright, loud, and plastic.

However, old-fashioned wooden toys that used to entertain kids for hours have made a strong comeback in recent years.

In fact, playing with wooden toys can actually be very beneficial for your child.

Extremely Durable             

Wooden toys are durable; a must-have when it comes to children’s toys. Wooden toys rarely break or lose their paint like many other toys do. Instead of being made of plastic that easily cracks, wooden toys are sturdy and stand up to play time that might be on the rougher side. Unlike stuffed animals, wooden toys will stand the test of time. If you give one to your child to play with, your great grandchild could be playing with the same toy decades from now.

Commit to Safety

Since wooden toys aren’t as prone to breakage as other types of toys on the market, they are often safer for your kids to play with. You won’t have to worry about cuts or scrapes on jagged plastic. All wooden toys are sanded and treated, so splinters won’t be an issue either. Although you have to make sure the toy is age appropriate, they often provide safer options when compared to other toys.

Creativity and Imagination

Wooden toys are just that: toys made of wood. Wooden toys don’t dance and sing and they don’t come with a battery pack. When your child plays with a wooden toy, he or she will have to use his or her imagination in order to play. Imagination and creativity don’t come easily to children who spend most of their days watching television or playing with electronics.

Carriage House Furnishings has a variety of children’s toys available, along with wooden storage and toy chests.