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The ultimate guide to...

Living, Dining & Bedroom Cabinets

Getting new furniture can be exciting. But knowing which pieces are right for your home can be confusing and tiring. Here are some helpful tips that will ease the process of updating your home.

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Your new cabinet

  • When measuring to see if the desired item will fit, clear the space to see if the surrounding furniture will still work. If you have time, use tape or string to mark out the area to get a better understanding of the scale of the proposed item
  • If you are able to, always make time to visit a nearby store that has your desired item on display. This way you can be sure that you will be happy with it once it arrives
  • Some smaller items, such as occasional tables and chairs, may be available to buy and take away from our shops. See our delivery information online or in the catalogue
  • Think about what use you want from the new item, Eg. storage, decorative, how many people will be using it (dining tables) will it cope with this demand?
  • When you shop online, you'll notice that some items of furniture are "available to order" rather than in stock - these made-to-order pieces take longer to be delivered - but will be worth waiting for. However, if you need your new furniture quickly, many pieces can be delivered within 14 days (or even less if you buy in our shops).
  • Darker woods look bigger, heavier, and tend to suit bigger rooms
  • Glass and mirrored, polypropylene and clear acrylic furniture give the illusion of light and space in smaller rooms, and you're free to change the colour of your decor
  • Less is more - the more furniture you have, the smaller a room can appear. Aim for unity if you've got a small room, as co-ordinating furniture is more sympathetic in compact spaces
  • Clutter also diminishes the size of a room, so calculate a generous amount of the storage furniture you'll need, such as cupboards, shelves and drawers.

How our wooden furniture is made

  • Our ranges are crafted from a choice of solid wood including oak, acacia, beech, walnut and mahogany
  • All of these come from sustainable sources and once constructed, will be finished in a protective lacquer, oiling or waxing
  • Finishing may also include staining the wood or a degree of distressing to create an 'antiqued' look
  • Each range is inspected by our Quality Assurance team to ensure that it is of high quality for our customers.

Solid wood

  • Generally a more desired finish with an upmarket reputation. However, it is not always more expensive than veneered products due to fewer processes used
  • If you are purchasing a suite of furniture, try and buy it all at one time. This way the colour differentiates between each piece will be minimal, but it is important to remember that each tree will have individual characteristics
  • Knots, grain patterns, blemishes and burrs are part of the beauty when buying solid wood pieces, and is a stunning way to bring nature indoors.

Veneers

  • Are thin pieces of wood cut straight from the log to encase the inner board (usually MDF or particle board)
  • Due to the lightness of the material, it is much easier to move the items around your home
  • The process used to create veneered wood means that it is actually stronger than solid wood. Reducing the risk of twisting and warping due to the sun and weather
  • Continuous pattern and colouring is easily achievable with veneers
  • Carefully considered use of solids and veneers reduces the demand on natural resources.

Caring for your furniture

All furniture types require care once bought to keep it looking as fresh and lasting as long as possible.

  • Use a dusting or soft dry cloth for wax polished or hard lacquered pieces
  • Use beeswax a couple times a year for waxed furniture, this will help maintain its shine
  • Spray polishes can be used but try to stay clear of those with silicones as these types can harm the furniture surface
  • Always use placemats when placing a heated item on a surface and immediately wipe dry any spillages to avoid a permanent stain
  • When working on a surface, use a pad beneath the paper to avoid imprinting the furniture
  • Natural light will alter the colour of furniture over time. To slow this process you can rotate and move the item so that it is not always in direct sunlight. Placing items close to radiators or fires will also damage the material over time
  • Central heating or air conditioning can cause wood to warp over time due to the lack of humidity
  • To reduce the chance of weakening the joints of a furniture piece always carry the item to its destination with the help of someone else. Do not drag the item; This could also mark your flooring
  • Glass and plastic: Do not use anything abrasive. Soapy water and a cloth tends to do the trick.

Delivery

  • Debenhams uses various methods for delivery, ranging from assembled and delivered to your door to white glove service where the item will be assembled by the delivery team in the room of your choice, taking away the packing material with them
  • Before your furniture is delivered, check that the floor where it is to be placed is level - for example, along the skirting board where carpet gripper may have raised the edge of the carpet
  • Uneven surfaces may cause the carcase of a cabinet to twist slightly making doors appear to hang unevenly or to scrape when opening
  • The best course of action is to level the unit with some small wedges. In addition many hinges are adjustable to compensate for minor problems
  • Where a tall cabinet is delivered in two pieces - top and bottom - it is important for safety that the two parts should be connected with the metal plates provided.

Our timber policy guide

  • Debenhams feel strongly about the use of the correct ethical timber and instil a policy for all our suppliers that all timber furniture must comply with EUTR (European Timber Regulation) and FR (Fire Retardancy) standards.