Quick Introduction and Guide to Contemporary Teak Furniture


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With its light golden brown color, beautiful grain and smooth feel under your feet, teak conjures up images of relaxing tropical resorts. This quick introduction and guide to contemporary teak furniture aims to help the growing number of home owners who are recreating that chill-out vibe by decking their homes in teak furniture.

First, you need to know there are generally two types of teak available: plantation and recycled. Recycled teak is taken from disused railway tracks, doors, windows, ceiling beams, and floor boards of old houses in Indonesia. It has a more worn look.

Fans of this type of teak will appreciate the seasoned appearance of the wood as well as the stories behind the pieces. For example, an acquaintance’s dining table used to be the floorboard of an old house while her side table was once an old window frame. The environmentally-friendly will also like this type of teak as it means not cutting down new trees.

Price-wise, plantation and recycled teak are the same and the former is grown in government-owned plantations and new trees are replanted after logging. There is also teak grown by villagers and sold to suppliers. However, there is less quality control for village teak.

Teak (tectona grandis) is a tropical hardwood native to Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Teak trees normally have a lifespan of 75 years but a tree must be at least 50 before it is considered mature enough for furniture.

Due to its hardness, it’s resistant to termites and dents, It does not rot easily too. This makes it suitable as indoor and outdoor furniture. With age, teak turns from a light golden yellow to a richer tone. The only downside is its heavy weight, which can make moving teak furniture difficult. However, its durability means it can be passed down from one generation to the next.

To cater to the demands of today’s younger home owners, contemporary teak furniture designs have gone minimal and simple – featuring clean lines that will fit into most interiors and bring out the contemporary tropical resort interior. If you like, it can be stained in other color so as to match the color scheme of your home interior. For example, if you’ve got teak parquet flooring, you may want your teak furniture to be in walnut stain to provide contrast against the floor.

To complete the tropical resort interior, consider tropical plants such as bamboo or frangipani as well as accessories like candles and tealights.

Lester Fong



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