Shopping for furniture to set up your dream home? There is an art to choosing quality furniture, and the secret lies in knowing which materials are favoured by artisan craftsmen when creating luxury furnishings.
For furniture brands committed to making timeless designer pieces, such as Marano Furniture, great care is taken to select only the finest materials that are not only pleasing to the eye, but also safe and sustainable for homeowners and the environment.
In this guide, we will highlight some of these quality materials, and show you how to:
- Choose your upholstery well
- Pick ‘healthier’ furniture
- Select the right marble statement piece
- Know the difference between solid wood and veneers
We hope you will find our tips useful when considering furniture for your home.
The Materials that Matter in Quality Living Room Furniture
What are the best materials for living room furniture, such as sofas, armchairs, and coffee tables? Here’s what you need to know.
Choose Your Upholstery Well
Does ‘upholstery’ mean ‘fabric?’ Yes, it includes fabric, but also refers to all the materials covering the bare structure of a sofa or armchair, such as the foam padding. Together, these materials will determine how comfortable your sofa or armchair will be, and how well it will hold up against daily wear and tear.
Those in the know will ask about the Martindale test for fabrics, which is typically used on wool and natural fibres. A higher Martindale test result indicates that a fabric has better resistance to abrasion. For the home, one should choose a sofa or armchair featuring fabric with a Martindale value of at least 20,000 cycles, while furniture meant for public use should have fabrics with a Martindale value of at least 40,000 cycles.
For practical needs, a good sofa or armchair fabric should also be:
- Easy to clean, using only water, or soap for stubborn stains
- Liquid absorbent, so that accidental spills on the fabric can be contained on the surface, without seeping into the structure
As for the foam cushion of your sofa or armchair, it should be:
- High density, with at least a 2.0 density value, to ensure a longer product lifespan
- Able to hold its shape after compression—a sign of a good balance between softness and support
Looking for a sofa or armchair for your living space?
We recommend our DURAZ sofa and armchair, which are upholstered with FibreGuard, an abrasion-resistant cotton linen fabric with a top-of-the-range Martindale value of 100,000 cycles. This fabric is from the premier US textile brand Fabricut, which creates all of its products with stain-free and environmentally responsible technologies.
All of Marano’s sofas and armchairs feature high-density foam with a 3.5 density value, which ensures they are made to last. In line with our commitment to sustainability, the foam is made from only recyclable or biodegradable materials.
Pick ‘Healthier’ Furniture
With any piece of new furniture in your home, do ensure that you keep potentially harmful emissions to a minimum.
Chemicals such as paints and glues can produce gases that are unhealthy for us, known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. Where possible, you should choose furniture classified as ‘low VOC’ or ‘zero VOC.’
If you are considering wood products, do be aware that they often release formaldehyde, a strong-smelling colourless gas known to cause cancer. To protect your health, look for products rated ‘E0.’ This means that the formaldehyde emissions are minimal (less than or equal to 0.5mg/l), and thus, these products are safe for interior use.
At Marano, we are committed to safety and sustainability, which is why we source and use environmentally friendly materials in our furniture production.
Want a vibrant coffee table as your living room showpiece?
The LIVISE Coffee Table features a striking design of butterfly halves in gold, finished in vibrant red and green lacquer for a flawless look. Both ink and lacquer are eco-friendly and free from harmful pollutants, and the LIVISE Coffee Table is rated E0 and low VOC, so you can be assured that it is perfectly safe for any indoor space.
Wish to create an inviting space for drinks? A bar cabinet may be just what you need.
The CARVA Bar Cabinet is a sleek statement piece, in contrasting colours of black, gold, and dark walnut. It features E0 plywood—the healthiest and safest interior plywood, with no harmful emissions.
How to Pick Quality Dining Room Furniture
What should you consider in your dining room furniture? Well, the same principles (as above) apply when purchasing fabric- or wood-based furniture for dining spaces. However, if you are curious about less common—but trending—materials, such as marble and wood veneers, read on.
Select the Right Marble Statement Piece
Marble is one of the most luxurious and striking materials used in furniture. A crystallised form of stone, raw marble is found in quarries all over the world. Because of the different composition of salts and minerals in each location, the appearance of marble will vary in pattern and colour, determined by its source.
It can be difficult for consumers to tell the difference between natural and artificial marble, but there are some simple methods that furniture professionals use to weed out fakes, which you can read about here.
At Marano, we use only the finest natural marble for our furniture. Our marble is treated for scratch resistance, and to preserve its shine—this also makes the marble easy to upkeep.
Want the perfect marble dining table for your home?
The MIRAN Dining Table features beautiful white grains on dense, black marble. The marble has been treated with an eco-friendly crystal surface finish, ensuring that the piece is wear-resistant for magnificence that lasts.
Know the Difference Between Solid Wood and Veneers
Solid wood furniture is crafted completely from a single block of wood. Furniture with wood veneers, on the other hand, feature a thin piece of natural wood attached to a fibreboard or particleboard panel.
Furniture made from wood veneers can be as durable as solid wood furniture—they may even outlast them! Eco-conscious customers prefer veneers, because this method of production helps to conserve our natural wood supplies.
For an exquisite piece featuring diamond motifs on a silver pearwood veneer—consider our MOROSI Sideboard. Its delicate texture is a result of artisanal cutting, polishing, and ironing to reveal a beautifully harmonious surface. The interior plywood is rated E0, the safest grade, to ensure your good health indoors.