Furniture - Top Tips

The Natural Characteristics and Benefits of Solid Wood Furniture: What to Expect from Your Solid Oak or Pine Furniture

At Made in the Cellar, we specialise in bespoke solid wood furniture. In this guide, we’ll detail the characteristics of solid wood furniture, outline its distinctive features compared to cheaper alternatives, and provide essential furniture care advice. As both woods are natural products, we can’t predict how many knots or variations each piece of furniture has.

Differences Between Solid Wood Furniture and Alternatives:

  1. Authenticity: Unlike flat-pack MDF or other cheaper furniture options, solid wood furniture is full of authenticity and character. Each wooden piece tells a unique story through its natural grain patterns, knots, and imperfections, adding warmth and charm to your home.
  2. Durability: Solid wood furniture is built to last for generations, thanks to its robust construction and high-quality materials. Unlike cheaper alternatives that may deteriorate over time, solid wood furniture retains its beauty and integrity for years to come with proper care.
  3. Customisation: we offer bespoke solid wood furniture with endless customisation options to suit your style and preferences. From choosing between pine and oak, choosing your wood and/or paint finish and tailoring dimensions and designs, you can create a one-of-a-kind piece that perfectly complements your space.
  4. Environmental Sustainability: Made from renewable resources, solid wood furniture is a sustainable choice for eco-conscious consumers. Unlike cheaper alternatives made from composite materials or plastics, solid wood furniture has a minimal environmental footprint and can be recycled or repurposed at the end of its life.

Differences in Characteristics and Care Between Oak and Pine Furniture:

Grey Painted Edwin Sideboard

Edwin Sideboard

Solid Pine Furniture:

Pine furniture is beloved for its warm, rustic charm and versatility. As a natural material, pine is prone to slight movement and loss of moisture, which can result in minor cracks over time. To minimize the risk of cracks forming, furniture should not be placed next to a direct heat source like a radiator. These imperfections only add to the rustic charm of the furniture and do not compromise its structural integrity. However, customers should contact us if they have concerns about larger cracks. Additionally, pine will darken over time, especially when exposed to sunlight, so it’s important to remove placemats when not in use to prevent uneven discoloration. For cleaning, only use a damp cloth to avoid any adverse reactions with the varnish.


Chiswick Solid Oak Dining Table Metal Base

Chiswick Solid Oak Dining Table Metal Base

Solid Oak Furniture:

Oak furniture embodies timeless elegance and unparalleled strength, making it a popular choice amongst our customers. With its rich, golden hue and prominent grain patterns, oak adds a touch of sophistication to any space. Oak planks can vary in lightness and darkness board to board, which results in variations in furniture tops. The pattern and grain will also differ board to board. However, oak is less prone to dents and scratches. Like pine, oak furniture should also not be placed near a direct heat source to minimize the risk of cracks forming due to fluctuations in temperature.



Care Advice for Solid Wood Furniture:

Sigma Solid Oak Top with metal Base

Sigma Solid Oak Top with metal Base

To preserve the natural beauty of your solid wood furniture, follow these simple maintenance tips:

Protect from direct sunlight to prevent fading and discoloration.

Remove placemats when not in use to allow for even aging and darkening of the wood.

Avoid placing furniture near direct heat sources like radiators to minimize the risk of cracks forming.

Clean spills promptly with a damp cloth and avoid using chemical cleaning products that may react with the varnish.



Check out our furniture care advice here for more information, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us here.

Explore our collection of oak and pine furniture, from farmhouse-inspired dining tables to sleek modern pieces. With our customisable options, you can create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece that reflects your unique style and personality. Shop Made in the Cellar UK here.

Furniture - Top Tips

The Oak Vs Pine Debate

Oak & Pine – The differences

Things to consider when buying new wooden furniture is what type of wood will suit your lifestyle, usage and budget requirements. We offer our furniture as standard in both pine and oak options, which may leave you wondering- which wood is best for my needs?


Appearance is a key factor to consider when choosing between Oak & Pine. Oak before finishing has a light to golden medium brown tone and is typically identified by a straight grain with a medium – coarse texture. Whereas Pine tends to be a lot lighter in tone before being finished. Lending itself to take on stains well and easier to personalise to your space and colour finish. Pine can be recognised by its striped wavy grain and frequent knots which add lots of character and rustic charm.

One of the main differences between the two timbers is that Pine is a softwood and Oak is a hardwood. Hardwoods such as Oak can take up to 150 years to grow to be fully established and live for well over 300 years meaning they are generally a lot denser, have greater strength and durability (being less prone to scratches and dents).

That isn’t to say Pine isn’t hard-wearing, it just means that it’s typically lighter in weight due to its faster growing time and softer in nature than Oak. Our 45-50mm thick Pine tops lend themselves to our Chunky style rustic furniture that over time will show its natural charm and history through daily use. Our Oak is finished to a 30-32mm thickness giving it a sleeker, stylish appearance. Then oiled using Rubio Monocoat wood protection colours to bring out the grain beautifully.

In terms of maintenance and up keep of your wooden furniture our care instructions differ between the two types of wood, Oak is easier to spot repair as the top is oiled rather than varnished meaning you can repair small areas if you were to mark the top. However for Pine, we apply a water-based stain and a layer of acrylic varnish on top, so if you were to have a mark that wouldn’t budge you would need to refinish the entire surface area. Check out our care guide for our instructions on how to care for the two.

Your decision may rely heavily on budget, with this in mind, the slower growth rate of Oak and its high durability levels means it commands a higher price point than Pine. Oak is an investment that should, if looked after last you a lifetime. If you are after a less expensive alternative to Oak then Pine is for you, both woods are beautiful in their own unique way, and the best wood for your furniture depends on your own needs.

In summary, Pine is a strong, lightweight wood which absorbs stains beautifully and creates great chunky rustic tabletops, sideboard tops and shelves. Pine is the more budget friendly out of the two and can be refinished as needed over the years.

Oak is a heavier, durable wood which has a unique straight grain and is easy to spot repair.

We also supply our Rubio Monocoat Oak care products here. Whichever choice you make, both oak and pine are perfect to create beautiful furniture.


Furniture - Top Tips

What Size Dining Table Should I Buy?

Size is one of the most important things you need to consider when ordering a new dining table.

Of course, style, wood finish and paint colour are all important, however you need a dining table that works with your home and fits with your lifestyle.

Luckily, dining tables come in all shapes and sizes! All our furniture can be made bespoke to ensure that you have the perfect fit, but how do you know what size dining table is right for you?

The first question you must ask yourself is, how many people does my table need to sit on a regular basis? When hosting Christmas and parties will I need to seat more?

When purchasing a table, you need to consider how many chairs comfortably fit between the table legs. All our dining tables have the distance between legs in the product description here. For the best fit, measure the widest part of your chairs (usually the backs or arm to arm if they are carvers) and account for 3-4cm between chairs to allow for elbow room. Work out the distance between the table legs and divide that measurement by your chair width to see how many seats can fit. Below is an approximate guide of how many people a standard dining table with standard chairs can seat, if you are unsure please contact us here and we would be happy to assist you:

If you’re tight for space, a round dining table may be a perfect fit to seat more people without taking up too much room. Here’s our guide on how many people can sit at our round dining tables (we offer 2 styles of bases for our round tables -for small tables up to 120cm our Farmhouse Pedestal Table can seat up to 5 people (chair dependent) and our Heritage base is used for large tables measuring 120cm-190cm which can seat up to 9 people (chair dependent)):

As well as seating, you need to consider how you would use your dining table. Do you love a standout centre piece? Do you often dine buffet style? Do you only need extra seats a few times a year?

If you need extra space for centre pieces or buffet platters, it may be worth considering increasing the width of your table from our standard 87cm to 100cm (bespoke widths are all possible for a small surcharge). You could also increase the width further to seat 2 chairs at end of the table which is a possibility on most of the products in our range, just get in touch for a bespoke quote.

If you only need to seat extra people on a few occasions a year, you may consider adding extension leaves and storing them elsewhere when not in use. If you’d like a quote to increase your width or add an extension leaf to your table prior to ordering, just get in touch.

The final thing to consider, but by no means the least important, is how your table will make it inside your property. Your table can only be as wide as your door! Think about access to the property, whether your table can fit through the front door, or down the side of the house and fit into your chosen room. The majority of our tables arrive with the legs detached to assist with delivery of your table inside its new home however please check the product description on your chosen product, our drivers can help assemble the table on delivery if requested.

Shop our wide range of dining tables here. If you’re ever in doubt on what size you need, get in touch!


Furniture - Top Tips

So, you’re looking for some new furniture?

Looking for bespoke solid wood furniture?

You’re in the right place! We are Made in the Cellar, a family run furniture business made in Sheffield, UK. We specialise in dining tables and bespoke furniture for your home. You can customise your order from a selection of oak or pine finishes, any paint colour matching to Farrow & Ball’s range and a wide selection of handles. 

Our close-knit team in the office are available from 9-5 to offer design support and help you choose the best style and finishes for your home. Once you have placed your order with us, our skilled craftsmen will manufacture your furniture, right here in the heart of Sheffield.

5 things to think about when buying new furniture for your home




If you have just moved into your new home, before rushing to fit it all out, spend some time thinking about your day to day life. What furniture will fit your lifestyle best? If you love to host, a large dining table is going to be the heart of your home. If you need lots of storage, consider our large sideboards or dressers. Look at our product catalogue here






The second thing to consider is what size will suit your space best. How many people do you want to sit at your dining table? If you are looking for storage solutions, do you want a product to hold specific objects? If you are struggling to find the perfectly sized piece, we make all our furniture to order. This means you can have whatever bespoke size you want. Nothing is ever too big or too small for us. Get in touch to discuss your ideas here






What materials do you have in your home already? Think about your flooring and other pieces of furniture you own. If you like a natural rustic feel then Pine or Oak are for you. If you want something contemporary, sleek and clean, Quartz would the perfect choice. Concrete would be the ideal choice if you like an industrial style, full of character but a bit rough round the edges.






Make it your own way by choosing an oak or pine finish, paint colour and handles. Choosing Made in the Cellar means you can make your furniture your own. No need to compromise on your aesthetic when you can pick a wood finish that suits your home, a bespoke paint colour matched to Farrow & Ball’s range and handles from our carefully curated selection.

Take a look at our our bespoke options on our website here







Getting what you want within a tight budget can be difficult. However, at Made in the Cellar, we aim to keep our products as accessible as possible. We offer a range of styles to fit within your budget. If you are a brand new customer, sign up to our emails to receive a 10% welcome discount* on standard website orders over £100. This is a little gift to say thank you for choosing us.

Sign up for the discount here