We talked to Jennifer Burns who is in charge of collections at the High Point Museum in High Point, North Carolina. The city is known as the furniture-making center of the United States.
Ms. Burns says throughout American history, furniture makers have used “just about any kind of wood you can think of.” These include oak, walnut and cherry. She says the kind of wood used depended on the area where the furniture makers worked. She says “they made what they needed with what was around them.”
Today, Americans have tables and chairs in their kitchens and dining rooms that are usually made of wood. People also have large wooden cabinets in their dining rooms to hold dishes. Americans also have wood furniture in their bedrooms. This includes large dressers to hold clothing. And they may have bookcases and cabinets to hold televisions and other electronic equipment in rooms where the family gathers.
Americans have other kinds of furniture in their living rooms and family rooms. Jennifer Burns says most of the sofas and chairs in these rooms are upholstered. They are made of cloth or leather material and have padding and springs. So they are more comfortable to sit on than wood furniture.
Throughout American history, most furniture was made of wood and had a traditional design. But that is changing. There are many different kinds of materials and styles used to make furniture. Many Americans still choose traditional furniture made of wood. Some people like to have antique furniture that is very old. Others like very modern furniture made of metal and glass.