HomeCultureThe South’s Long Furniture History

The South’s Long Furniture History

The South has a long and storied history of making furniture. Until the 1990s, North Carolina was the main hub for furniture making in the country. An endless supply of wood from the Appalachians was used to make tables, chairs, sofas and whatever else customers needed to furnish their homes and businesses. These days, North Carolina is still home to High Point Market, which is like the fashion week for home furnishings, even though the state’s industry is not what it once was.

The latest craze in furniture making in the South has to do with where we sit to eat and drink. Restaurant furniture is becoming increasingly popular, and the South has no shortage of restauranteurs in need of custom furnishings.

It is essential for any business to have a good sense of current trends and fashions so they can adequately use furniture to achieve a certain style.
Furniture is needed for both commercial and residential purposes. Commercial-grade furniture is used and manufactured to set up a certain look in an eatery, including booths, cabinets, tables, chairs, etc.

Residential grade furniture is used and manufactured for houses or residential purposes like beds, sofas, dining tables, etc. Though each furniture can be used for dual purposes, still they are different in their specific functions.


Southerners like their legacies and their furniture to last forever. It’s not uncommon for dining room sets or armoires to be passed down from generation to generation. The durability factor must be considered when differentiating between commercial and residential grade furniture.

It could be argued that commercial grade furniture needs to be more durable because it will be used on a regular basis and can’t be changed on a whim. On the contrary, residential grade furniture can be chosen more for aesthetics and comfortableness. Companies dealing in residential furniture often give less attention to durability, but Southerners are known for using local makers and local products to acquire one of a kind pieces for their homes.

Customized & Creative

Southerners are creative and like to have their furniture customized to their personal taste and space. Places like shops, offices and restaurants also need customized furniture to satisfy both owners and customers. Everything from lighting to art to community tables can make or break the dining experience in a restaurant.

It’s not uncommon to visit a home or business and hear the owner say they had this or that piece made especially for a certain room or spot. Antiques are always preferred in the South, but Southerners know how to combine old with new.


Creativity and innovation sometimes come with a higher price in furniture, but not in the South. The cost of furniture varies from purpose to purpose and place to place. Commercial furniture is more expensive due to its customized needs. Fitting charges and manufacturing costs occur differently as per the demand of the buyer and requirement of the vacant space.

On the other hand, residential furniture can be a mix of some high-end pieces with garage sale or flea market finds.

In North Carolina, the furniture business is slowly returning and makers are doing everything they can to keep costs down for customers.

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