The Studio

What Quality Means at Maiden Home

10/16/2018

At Maiden Home, we began our journey as outsiders so we experienced how overwhelming furniture choices can seem. The hardest part? Spending a chunk of change on something without the confidence of knowing you’re getting a great product at an exceptional value.

So we dove into the details, learning everything there is to know about how real artisans build quality furniture. We realized that the furniture industry has too long benefited from the fact that people only buy furniture a handful of times in their lives, and so tend to have less information to go on when they make their decisions.

This didn’t feel fair to us when we were on the buying side of the equation, so we set about building a different approach to buying furniture that puts the power back into the hands of you, the customer. Armed with good information, you can make great choices.

Our business model allows us to maintain a competitive price while improving the quality of your furniture - often by a multiple of three or more! This means dollars in your pocket and truly exceptional furniture in your home. Seem like a good deal? We think so too.

The Skill:

North Carolina is home to the world’s premier furniture craftsmen, and they are the magic behind every Maiden Home piece. Each of our pieces is still handmade to order, using techniques that have been passed down through generations and developed long before Ford invented the assembly line. That’s why you’ll find unique, handcrafted details on our products, like the fan-pleated roll-arm of the Carmine sofa or the carved wood arms of The Leroy chair, that have long been stripped out of mass produced furniture. We design each piece in our collection to celebrate the skill of our partners who craft them with such care.

Compare to: Most big-box retailers have shipped their production overseas to places like China and Vietnam where furniture can be produced cheaply, but at a disappointing quality standard. The workers building this furniture aren’t skilled enough to execute those perfect rows of tufting or that hand-carved wood arm. This is why you’ll find pared-down, generic design and quality that will consistently let you down (and probably already has).  

The Frame:

We precision-cut our upholstered frames using 1” thick plywood made of kiln dried hardwood that is glued, double doweled and corner blocked for extra support. This means no warping, no cracking, no splitting and no faulty corners. We’re so confident in the longevity of our frames, each is covered by a lifetime warranty.

Compare to: Mass produced alternatives at our price point utilize 0.5” frames, sometimes made from particleboard, that will literally crumble over time. They might skip glue and corner blocks, using simple stapling to connect the pieces that are fundamental to the architecture of your piece. We’ve even seen so-called high-end sofas (with price tags to match) use such flimsy materials and craftsmanship.

The Springs:

Springs are the unsung hero of sofa comfort: important for both the comfort and durability of your piece, these essential building blocks need to be selected with careful consideration. This is why we’ve designed each of our sofas to utilized the perfect spring construction for the shape and comfort profile of the piece. All of our springs are covered by a lifetime warranty so that no matter how many movies you watch, forts you build, or books you read, you’ll never experience an uneven sit, loose poking springs, or sagging support.

Compare to: Buried inside the core of your piece, spring construction is a relatively easy place for other brands to cut costs without the customer immediately knowing. One of the most common offenses in lower-grade furniture is spreading out a lower number of springs–translating into a more uneven, uncomfortable sit that will degrade over time.

The Cushions:

We couldn’t find the perfect cushions for our sofas, so we designed our very own–at its foundation you’ll find an ultra-resilient, long-lasting core. Made of high-resiliency Ultracel foam, our cushions are the perfect balance of sink-in comfort and support. Each foam core is then covered in an ultra-plush microfiber or down-and-feather wrap custom designed for the silhouette of the piece. All of our foam has a density of 1.8 lbs and compression value of 21 lbs. This technical jargon just means that our cushions are going to hold their shape and comfort for years to come. And if there are any irregularities, each of our cushions is covered by a five year warranty.

Compare to: Quality cushions are not cheap, so they become enemy number one for brands looking to increase their margins. They’ll use significantly lower density and compression values and forgo any warranty at all in the pursuit of cheaper cushions. The most common frustration we hear about other brands’ cushions is that they look and feel great…for the first year. By the time you’ve realized the problem, it’s too late to return the piece. We call that a bait and switch.

The Fabric:

How you choose to cover your upholstered piece is one of the biggest costs associated with producing furniture. At Maiden Home we’ve hand selected premium materials and partnered directly with their sources to negotiate the best possible prices for you. Our model has also allowed us to defy industry standards and invest heavily in the materials we offer without sacrificing quality in other areas. Our fabric mill partners include Valdese Weavers, a North Carolina mill that’s been in operation for more than a century and produces some of the finest materials in America.  

We know that price is an important consideration, but we also know that those you care about most (from children and spouses, to friends and pets) will come into contact with your upholstered furniture, so we’ve taken great pains to make sure that each of our materials is non-toxic, and doesn’t contain flame retardants or anti-fungal treatments. Want to learn more about how we select our fabrics? Explore our process here.

Compare to: Big brands lack the agility or flexibility to bring new materials to market quickly, offer high quality fabrics at reasonable prices, or create personal relationships with regional suppliers. They are also often sourcing their materials internationally, sacrificing quality for cost yet again, meaning itchy synthetics and materials that pill more than a bargain-basement sweater. Additionally, because they are producing their product overseas and shipping their pieces internationally, each piece is sprayed with anti-fungal agents to prevent damage in the shipping container. If the feel of their fabric doesn’t give you the heebie-jeebies, that sure will.

The Details:

We go the extra mile to design simple, brilliant details that make owning Maiden Home furniture a pleasure. All our loose seat and back cushions are fully upholstered, giving you the option to remove, flip and rotate as much as you’ll like. Sofa seat cushions are also designed with hidden cushion tie-downs that ensure they don’t edge forward every time you sit down. We’ve even designed our loose back cushions, such as those seen on our Sullivan, Irving, Warren and Dune sofas, with three individually sewn channels that keeps the cushion fill from settling unevenly over time.

Compare to: Since these details are the easiest to see, an uninformed customer would think that they’re par for the course in furniture. Being an expert, you can probably guess by now that no, these details are not seen everywhere. It’s actually relatively common for sofa cushions to be backed with cheap fabric and even velcroed in place, making them impossible to flip. Some brands will even instruct you to fluff your seat back cushions as frequently as you buy groceries to maintain their shape - somehow making it your fault if cushion fill starts to settle unevenly. We just think that’s nonsense.

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We’ve designed a better way in furniture so that you can have it all: quality, comfort, and style - all at a great price. Need a place to start? Order your swatch kit here or speak to one our design advisors to get started building your perfect piece.

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