Family history 'traced' in furniture

Hitting furniture with a hammer to make it more personal (as a manufacturer suggests in the story at right) may sound a bit odd. But anyone who even occasionally wanders into an antique shop realizes that people have been altering furniture for years.

Sneaky folks have added "worm holes," a few dents, or different drawer pulls in order to make a dresser or table seem older - and more valuable - than it is.

But just about everyone has furniture that's been unintentionally altered and thus personalized. If I were in a huge warehouse of household goods and had to identify which pieces were mine, it would be easy.

A massive Empire chest is notable for the faint outline of one of my sons' boyhood scribbles on its soft pine top. It happened when he was signing his name on a piece of paper with a ballpoint pen, not realizing how hard he was pressing. It would be simple to sand it out, but it's still there.

A three-inch slit in the back of a leather wing chair is hardly noticeable, I tell myself when dusting. It resulted when an indoor touch football game got a little too exuberant.

Some people have cat-scratched sofas. At my house, we have dog-chewed rocking chairs and wooden file cabinets - the latter reminding us of a high-spirited bulldog puppy named Tuffy.

I can also tell you how that unusual-shaped scratch got into the top of the dining-room table and where that white ring on an end table came from.

I obviously don't need a sledgehammer to personalize my furniture - everyday living has done the job for me.

E-mail the Homefront at

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
QR Code to Family history 'traced' in furniture
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today