Our Furniture


Our furniture is built from wood that is sourced in the United States, and whenever possible, Maine. Our building partners make every effort to use sustainably harvested wood. 

WOOD SPECIES

Cherry 

Cherry is a durable, fine-grained hardwood, with pink undertones that may occasionally contain natural brown pith flecks. The coloring of the heartwood will eventually darken with exposure to light, giving the surface a rich and satiny patina. The sapwood is noticeably whiter than the heartwood and does not typically darken as much over time. Builders with whom we work make every effort to work with heartwood for all prominent surfaces.

Some of our building partners apply a toner before finishing in order to diminish any disparities between heartwood and sapwood that might be visible on their pieces. This toner results in a slightly "aged" look on the cherry, as if it has already been exposed to light over time and developed a natural patina. Such furniture is available without toner, if requested.

White Oak

The sapwood of oak is white to light brown. Heartwood is light to dark brown. Oak has a course, distinctive grain which is heavy and straight. It is recognized as a strong hardwood. 

Quartersawn Oak

"Quartersawn" grade is specially cut white oak lumber where logs are quartered and sliced across the grain resulting in a tight, straight grain pattern, quieter on the face than plain sawn oak. It is exceptionally strong and stable and less prone to cupping and contraction than plain sawn oak. It was commonly used by Arts & Crafts builders in the early part of the 20th century.

Maple

Hard white maple has a fine, uniform texture with curly grain, sugar streaks, occasional mineral streaks and pin knots. It is heavy, stiff, and resistant to shock. The clear white sapwood is the prized portion of this tree. It comes from the sugar maple tree, which is the same tree that produces that most delightful nectar, maple syrup! Used often by our builder partners to contrast cherry, its consistently light color imparts a clean, fresh look.

Brown Maple

We use brown or "soft" maple in some cases, including our Cottage Line, where the piece will be painted. Brown maple is softer than hard white maple but is hard enough to offer good resistance from scratches and dents. It also takes paint extremely well. It comes from the Red or Silver maple tree. 

Walnut

Walnut is a heavy, strong wood that ranges in color from off-white to dark brown. It can have curly grain, streaky color and occasional mineral and pin knots. Its heartwood is prized for its rich, intensely dark chocolate appearance.

Pine

Pine is generally known as a softwood. It is white or pale yellow in appearance and lacks a lot of figuring on its surface. Pine was one of the woods most commonly used by the Shakers since it could be harvested locally. We offer a modest selection of finished and unfinished pine pieces in order to meet the needs of the most price conscious customers. Pine is perfect for children's rooms and cottage decor. As a softwood, it is common for pine pieces to contract and expand with changes in the weather. All unfinished pine furniture should be finished immediately to reduce the likelihood of such expansion and contraction and minimize checking, cracking, warping, or discoloration. Some amount of these changes will inevitably occur and should be embraced as this will add to the character of your piece.

Ash

White ash is a hardwood that has a high strength to weight ratio and shock resistance, making it the most popular choice for wooden baseball bats. It has a pronounced grain and was used for years as a substitute for golden oak. The sapwood is creamy white and the heartwood is a grayish brown. It is currently under attack in this country by an invasive beetle called the emerald borer beetle.

FINISHES

Our building partners finish most of our furniture without any stain. In most cases, the top coat is a durable pre-catalyzed lacquer finish, resistant to water stains. Chilton also offers a number of pieces with a hand rubbed oil and wax finish, painted finishes and in some cases a combination of paint and stain. We are also proud to offer a water-based finish option for many of our pieces. Please call us during business hours at (866) 883-3366 to discuss this option if you are interested in an environmentally gentler alternative. Wood is a natural product, so please expect some variation in stain absorption and in the grain of each piece.

Joinery

Shaker craftsmen were noted for their fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. Dovetailed corner joints provide exceptionally strong drawers that are also attractive in appearance. All of our drawer boxes are dovetailed. We also offer a number of options in drawer design, including inset, overlaid, pocket, and tapered. We can provide metal drawer glides or construction that is more traditional.