I just recently got to set up my own home office, and it is wonderful. I finally have my own space. I can’t believe how productive I am when I’m in my office. For years, I worked at the dining table. It was ok, but everyone thought that I was just hanging out until they needed me for something. Now, they knock before entering! In choosing furniture for my home office, I automatically started looking at IKEA type items, but my husband stopped me. He, said, “I don’t care if you paint it, but you need real wood.” Here is why I’m glad I followed his suggestion.
The “assemble yourself” furnishings that you find in chain stores such as IKEA and WalMart are affordable. You can certainly furnish your entire office for a fraction of the cost of solid oak. However, this DIY furniture is not very sturdy. It is usually made of particle board, which is just chips of wood and sawdust that have been glued together.
If you have ever assembled one of these pieces, only to immediately strip out a screw, you know my dilemma. Since the “wood” is just particles, one too many turns of the screw driver will strip the wood out, and ruin the piece. Even if you manage to assemble it without stripping out the screws, the weight of use will strip them. It will also bow the boards. You can see it with your own DIY pieces. I didn’t want that in my home office.
These pieces of furniture are disposable furniture. They are intended for college students ad people just setting up their own homes, and need something to “get them through.”
Even if you take care not to overload your particle board furniture, the finish is fragile. All you have to do is set a cold glass down on it, and it puckers the paper veneer that is supposed to resemble wood.
Solid Oak Furniture
Solid oak furniture, however, is beautiful and durable. Rather than an oak desk, I found an oak drop-leaf table. I painted it to match my office. Sure, the beauty of oak is often in the deep grain, but I wanted what I wanted. I had a friend to some decorative painting on it, and turn it into a work of art. My shelves are solid oak, and let me tell you – they don’t sag. They are painted as well, and the clean, straight lines help me to feel like everything is in control and orderly.
The small oak dresser I use behind the desk is perfect for drawer items. The drawers slide smoothly. They don’t bow and sag, and the front doesn’t pull off. The plastic drawer case I had used for a while couldn’t hold up to the weight of items in the drawers. It wouldn’t even open.
So, I’m sold on solid oak furniture. If you try it, you will be, too.