Articles

Hardwood Lumber Supplies Are Plentiful And Not to Be Confused with Softwoods

Perhaps you’ve been to the lumber store recently to pick up some 2x4s or fence pickets for a repair job. There’s a good chance you experienced a mild cardiac event when you saw the prices. 

“Softwoods like two by fours are up three or four times. For us, we have a short-term bump in pricing of thirty to forty percent,” said Gat Caperton. And in hardwoods, the supply side is robust.

Healthier Furniture Materials Let Us Breathe Better Indoors

Considering Americans spend about 65% of their lives inside their homes, we should all be asking hard questions about indoor air quality. Recent studies have found the quality of the air we breathe is significantly impacting our overall health.

“Poor indoor air quality has been linked to asthma and other respiratory illnesses,” said Jonsara Ruth, design director at the Healthy Materials Lab for the Parsons School of Design in NYC. “Even diseases like obesity are related to long-term exposure to the chemicals that off-gas from furniture, carpet, and paint."

Caribbean Designer Finds Gat Creek Feels Right At Home In The Islands

This island romance began in 2013 at High Point Market, the world’s largest home furnishings industry trade show. Interior designer Tiffany Cassidy, based out of St. Thomas, V.I., and a friend were doing laps from floor to floor around the show, killing time before an appointment.

“I would have just breezed right by the Gat Creek showroom,” Tiffany recalled. “It was my friend who put the brakes on, and in we went." That, as they say, was the beginning of a beautiful relationship, one many might not have expected.

Sustainability Story - Converting Wood Waste Into Heat

At Gat Greek, we get a warm feeling inside knowing that part of our sustainable story is making the most of the lumber we purchase. Through no small effort, 90% of the heat for our facility is provided by wood scrap that would otherwise end up in the landfill. During those crisp late fall days or in the middle of a West Virginia winter, we are reminded of the benefits every time we enter the shop to find it toasty warm. Sometimes, we even take the time to reflect on how this simple idea contributes to conserving natural resources and reducing our carbon footprint.

Old School Polish Is Just Plain Bad For New Furniture

If you grew up seeing your grandmother or parents routinely apply polish to the furniture, you may be conditioned to mimic that behavior. Nothing against family traditions, but putting polish on solid hardwood furniture is one tradition we recommend you reconsider. 

Our catalyzed lacquer finish makes polish unnecessary. Your Gat Creek furniture leaves the workshop with a super stable, long-lasting protective layer against the effects of air and moisture. If you have an ancestral need to apply something to your Gat Creek furniture, let it be Aristo Shield.

Where To Find Sustainably Made Furniture? Right Here

In just 14 years, the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) has grown from a seed of an idea into one of the industry’s most influential voices for environmental responsibility. Credit the rapid growth and impact to two things: consumers’ awareness of and desire for safer, more sustainable products, and a leadership group wholly dedicated and committed to sustainability.

Hundreds of domestic and international manufacturers, designers and retailers comprise SFC’s membership. Gat Creek is proud to be a founding member with Silver Exemplary status. For a complete list of Sustainable Furnishings Council member companies visit sustainablefurnishings.org.

Virus-Proofing Gat Creek Furniture: Treat Your Table Like Your Hands

We have all become more aware of the surfaces we interact with every day and most of us are regularly disinfecting those surfaces with all manner of concoctions from homemade to industrial strength. So are there particular formulations that work better than others on solid wood? 

Your current cleaning regimen is very likely more than sufficient to maintain safety for your family. “Treat your tables like your hands. Use soap and water," said Gat Caperton. "You don’t need an alcohol-based disinfectant but if you feel more reassured using using one, that’s fine. It won’t harm your solid wood.” 

Do You Know Where Your Furniture Is Made?

Would it surprise you to learn that 86% of the wood furniture sold in the U.S. is not made here? That means the majority of America’s most familiar and famous furniture brands have chosen to export furniture manufacturing jobs. If given a full accounting, the price tags on off-shored products don’t fully reflect their costs in illegal harvesting, unsafe factories, abused workers, and environmental damage.

Our customers value the reassurances that the hardwood we use is sustainably harvested from regional forests; that our workers earn a good wage, receive benefits, have a safe and supportive workplace; that quality control is 24/7/365 to ensure their furniture is extraordinarily crafted, properly finished and is safe for their home and family; that their custom order can ship quickly with the smallest possible carbon footprint.

Crazy Enough To Make Wood Furniture In The USA

Almost 25 years ago, Gat Caperton bought the Tom Seely furniture factory in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. It had operated since the 1950s and was struggling to compete with brands that had moved their production to low-wage factories in China. 

The Gat Creek story appeared in this 2018 Washington Post story. It’s an excellent portrait of Gat and the company. If you saw the story when it was first published, it is worth revisiting for the reader comments!

Solid Wood Furniture Is Smarter, Healthier, And Worth It - Part II

Gat Creek is fortunate to be located in the Appalachian Mountains, surrounded by the beautiful forests that supply our workshop. It’s a source of pride that, through sustainable management, these forests hold more trees today than they did a century ago. Environmentally and economically, our local forests are healthy and thriving. And there is even more good news when it comes to the healthy advantages of our handcrafted solid wood furniture.