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formaldehyde-free furniture?

about two months ago, after much searching around (we're very particular about our furniture) my husband and i bought a really nice cabinet from crate and barrel. the goal was to hold all the china, glasses, bowls, etc that we can't fit anywhere else (we have a tiny kitchen with hardly any storage)

when it arrived, i opened the box and was immediately hit by a super strong chemical smell. i'm usually not that sensitive to that stuff, but as i was putting the piece together even i started to feel a little lightheaded.

still, i figured it just needed to air out and so we kept the cabinet doors open and the window next to it open (even though it was still chilly outside) and also put the air filter directly on it. six weeks later, we finally decided it had dissipated enough to finally use the cabinet for what we needed it for in the first place, storage. however, it turns out the chemical (i suspect it was formaldehyde used in the finishing, because it had almost a nail polish like smell) was still very much there... and was seeping into EVERYTHING inside the cabinet. ugh.

so we called up crate and barrel and had the piece picked up. they were really nice about us returning it, btw, and gave us the credit without a problem. (and when they showed up, even the delivery guy noticed the smell)

so now we're back where we started and need a cabinet. i'm sick of seeing our stuff all over the table!

anyway the point of this whole story is that we need a new cabinet, and i'd like to find something with formaldehyde-free finishing, if possible. i realize the best way to go would probably be used or antique furniture, but we like modern furniture with really simple/clean lines, and on top of that most of our furniture is darker finish (almost black), and it's hard to find used furniture along those lines unless it's super high-end, and i don't want to spend another two months looking. we also don't have the space to refinish and then air out the pieces ourselves, so finding something unfinished and painting/varnishing it is out.

does anyone know of any online or ny/nj area vendors who sell chemical-free furniture?

[edit] btw, the cabinet we got was the windham low cabinet, in case anyone was wondering



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2008 01:47 am (UTC)
have you looked at ikea? A lot of their products come without a finish so you can stain it yourselves.
Apr. 26th, 2008 01:59 am (UTC)
we have looked at ikea, and i've gotten other furniture from there but unfortunately, we never found anything that was quite right as a cabinet. we really don't have a lot of room to stain something and let it cure in the apartment, although i guess if we got something nontoxic it might not be too bad. i might have to revisit that idea.
Apr. 26th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC)
Try antique stores. I have a gorgeous Depression Era cabinet from my husband's grandmother who got it from her mother who got it from HER mother.}:)
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:02 am (UTC)
it's just so hit and miss with that stuff around here, plus ridiculously expensive considering the pieces are used (i mean, i understand it if it's something special, but a lot of what i see is just old). i guess i have to just suck it up and spend more time looking. i'm SO tired of the clutter though. and we don't even have that much stuff.
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Any estate sales going on in the surrounding area? You might find something that works great that way too.
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:12 am (UTC)
i'm sure there's got to be; i'm going to have to start keeping an eye on the local paper's classifieds. i'd actually love to get my hands on an actual arts & crafts piece, but i'm not holding my breath. my friends got some nice stuff from an auction in upstate ny not too long ago, i'll have to ask them when the next one is going on and maybe make a trip out of it.
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:24 am (UTC)
And it would be a form of recycling too}:P As well as a beautiful piece of cabinetry with a history
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
really? i didn't know that. although i do have quite a few other things from there which never bothered me.
Apr. 26th, 2008 02:53 am (UTC)
I was also gonna suggest them, since being Swedish, they dont use the chemicals that the EU has banned (that the US still allows)
Apr. 26th, 2008 06:24 pm (UTC)
I never thought of that. Good to know.
Apr. 26th, 2008 12:29 pm (UTC)
Auctions might be a good place to start looking. It might take a bit longer, but you'll end up with a better quality of furniture anyway, so it's a good trade-off.
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:01 am (UTC)
Just as a future FYI, spider plants are GREAT at cleaning formaldehyde out of the air. I've got a few just because they are good air cleaners, even though I haven't the faintest clue if the house I live in has anything to be 'cleaned out' (seeing as how old it is, I'm sure it does).
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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