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Wooden Dining-Room TableIf you start thinking way back you can certainly remember the old, dark and bulky wooden furniture which dominated lots of the living rooms of the generation of our grandparents or even parents. Usually they were used to accommodate the exclusive china set, the crystal glasses or the sterling cutlery. Unfortunately, these pieces of furniture often turned the living-room into a dark and rather unwelcoming place and the younger generation just thought they were hideous!

Especially after the second world war, during the time of the economic boom such heavy wooden furniture was very popular. It satisfied the need for security, tradition and coziness. Besides, it was a way to express the pride of having overcome the time of austerity after the war. Nevertheless, roughly since the 1990s, there emerged a counterculture which supported interior trends determined by a lot of glass, chrome and straight-lined design. Furniture made of natural materials like wood, cork or felt were labeled as old-fashioned and unhip.

However, during the last couple of years a new movement has started which implies more naturalness and comfort concerning furniture and interior trends. This new interior concept was also presented at the international furnishing show, IMM Cologne, which took place in January 2011. Due to the climate change people tend to once again set a high value on the use of ecological materials that are not treated with toxic paint or other surface coatings. The new interior trends 2011 have melodic names like “Emotional Austerity” or “Re-Balancing” and they all focus on sustainable and natural materials, modern design and state-of-the-art technology.

Long gone are the times in which you would be embarrassed to own those pieces of wooden furniture and you felt the need to hide them!

Even the furnishing industry identified this movement and started to increase the production of wooden furniture made without dangerous substances. Instead, the manufacturers are using more often natural substances to protect the wood like linseed or citrus oil or bees wax. Those surface coatings don’t seal the natural pores of the wood and this results in a healthier and more comfortable indoor climate.

There are a lot of factors that influence the indoor climate. For instance, dangerous chemical agents or electrical radiation from household appliances can degrade the level of the indoor climate. The results are often allergies, skin irritations or sleep disorders. But also biological pollution like germ formation or even mould caused by too much humidity is harmful to an ideal balanced indoor climate. On the contrary, lots of sunlight, constant air ventilation and, of course, indoor plants are essential to create a well-balanced and healthy room climate.

Feeling comfortable and secure in the privacy of your home is an important part of your quality of life because it is the one place where you can relax from a busy work day and where you spend time with your family and friends.

So, maybe you’ll find some of your grandparents’ old wooden furniture in the attic to reintegrate into your living-room… Go for it, shabby chic is hip!

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