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Common Features Mistaken for Defects

by Nick, Digital Specialist | April 6, 2023

We have found that our guests are so excited when they pick their new set that sometimes some of the inherent features of the set are overlooked. Having not seen them or remembering them from our display model, some of these features meant to enhance the furniture are sometimes mistaken for defects.  Here are some of the most common!

Distressing on wood

Almost all of the natural wood dining room, bedroom, home office, cocktail tables, etc. have some level of distressing. This is often done to give it that old time charm, as if it’s been in the family for generations. This distressing can be very minor all the way up to intentional cracks, dings, holes and wide variations in the finish. The more natural the wood, the more distressed it can be.  Even laminates and paper finishes are made to look very distressed these days. We have featured some of our most distressed pieces here as examples of how far a manufacturer or mother nature can go to make the furniture look distressed. And again, not a defect. Wherever you get your furniture from, if you feel something is a defect or distressed beyond what you remembered seeing, your store should be able to send you pics of the display model to compare, or you can stop in for a visit yourself.


Not a defect- this rustic dresser features distressing as part of the piece!

Reclining furniture backs and seats not lining up exactly with one another

Reclining furniture inherently has to move. With all of that movement, it is not uncommon for the back and the seats to not be perfectly lined up after you get up from a reclining position, even in the highest quality of reclining furniture.  If this bothers you, you can easily get them to line up more closely with some quick shifting of the seats and backs. Still be mindful that backs and seats may not line up perfectly but you can usually get them pretty darn close. Again, not a defect.

misaligned tops
backs don't line up perfectly

Whether you're viewing from the front or the side, the backs may not line up perfectly!

New stationary upholstery features commonly mistaken for defects

Brand new seat cushions can sometimes come overstuffed since they are made to break in over time. This is called crowning. This results in some gaps where the cushion meets where they rest on also known as the seat deck.  These gaps will go away over time but are a sign of a higher quality piece. The backs have just the amount of fiber fill in them that they are supposed to have. As time goes on, the backs will flatten out a little, especially where people sit the most.  This is normal. See our blog on Regular Maintenance which shows you how to fluff those backs up back to their original puffy state. Many sofas and sectionals come with welting or piping. In 90% of the furniture out there, this welting is not totally straight. It is not uncommon for it to be a little wavy. Here are pictures of many of the typical sets showing the wavy welting. Again, a feature, not a defect. 

It is also important to note that it is normal on reclining and stationary sets to start showing more wear on the seats and backs that get the most use.  Refer to our Regular Maintenance blog for tips on how to keep that furniture looking better longer. 

These are some of the common features we get calls on. If you are unsure, your furniture store should be more than happy to take a look at some photos to assess whether it’s a feature or something that needs further attention.

cushion crown

Crowning on the top of the cushion!

wavy welt

Wavy welt!