It is our intention to use our blog to inform. Information tends to change behaviour, ideally for the better.


We hope to persuade readers that there is a better way to approach furnishing their homes than the usual way. Few people buy furniture often enough to think differently about how furniture is generally sold or bought.


We expect to enlighten readers about decorating and designing: from how high to hang a chandelier (30" above the table, generally, but it depends!), to why some paint colours are depressing.


We will endeavour to provide answers to questions which shoppers in our store have asked over the years; practical questions like: what to look for in a "good" sofa; why prices can differ so much among different manufacturers, for what looks to be the same thing; or why designers should look back to ancient Greece for design guidance, and why understanding this heritage is relevant today.


Perhaps too, some posts will be quirky, or amusing, or entertaining, or reveal odd facts not immediately practical, but informative in some way.


For example, some believe that wood from pine trees today is softer than it was one hundred years ago. I have had people say to me that their grandmother's table was pine, that "The wood in her table was hard, not like pine today."; "The colour was gorgeous!".


Wood, before it can be used to make furniture, must be dried. The wood from deciduous trees such as oak, maple, cherry, and birch, have a high moisture content, but these species do not contain resins.


The wood from coniferous trees such as White Pine, Red Pine, Ponderosa Pine, and Longleaf Pine, have a high moisture content and a high resin content. Whether air dried, or kiln dried, the resins do not dry out quickly.


Resins harden over time. The moisture present in the wood dries out gradually when air-dried, and quickly when kiln-dried, but the resins take much longer to harden. Long after furniture made from pine is brought home, the resins continue to harden.


Think amber; the hard orange stuff insects get trapped in. The insects get trapped in the resin when it drips from a place where a branch has broken off and onto a spider or fly. As anyone knows who has ever climbed a pine tree knows, the resin is very sticky. Once hard, the sticky resin is called amber.


It is the resins which cause pine to turn the colour of amber. Any good, well made furniture bought today, that is made from properly dried lumber, will take on all the attributes of the most prized antiques.


So welcome to this space and please don't be shy. E-mail us here at hello@theemporium.com with any questions, observations, challenges to conventional wisdom, or decorating challenges you may have.


Let us help you to, make your house a home.