Hand-carved wooden furniture is far superior to laminate, which is seen in most store-bought furniture today. It has style and class that the mass-produced stuff doesn’t. In Mexico, classically-trained woodworkers produce some of the most beautiful furniture, but few get to see it due to lack of publicity.
There are different styles of Mexican-made wood furniture, from rustic to highly ornate. The skilled craftsmen use different woods such as mesquite, alder, pine and more. The craftsmanship put into each piece is outstanding. When I lived in Mexico, I was browsing shops in downtown Cancun (off the beaten path in a residential area) and came across a warehouse stacked high with furniture. Walking around in there, I was amazed to find a world of high-end artistic woodwork, reasonably priced, and carved in different traditional Mexican motifs. There were Mayan hieroglyphs carved onto doors, the Aztec calendar fancifully done all in inlaid wood for a coffee table, as well as countless other beautiful handmade cupboards, kitchen sets, armoires, tables and more. It was a designer’s fairyland, with both naturally stained wood, or painted designs, for those who like their furniture more colorful.
Each strain of designs depends on the individual craftsmen, as they all have their own styles and specialties. Many styles of work I saw depicted flowers, native Mexican history, animals, and lovely traditional European designs. Working with handed-down carving skills that most likely originated in Spain and in other parts of Europe, these craftsman charge relatively little money for all the time and work involved in their creations. Woodworking is very labor-intensive, one piece of furniture or a really ornate door can take a month or more to complete, depending on its complexity.
For the home consumer looking to buy this kind of furniture, a trip to Mexico is no longer neccessary. All you need is to search importers and stores on the internet nowadays. When searching, be as specific as possible in what you are looking for, since most Mexican furniture seen on searches is of the rustic style. Also, look at websites for the craftsmen themselves, to cut out the middlemen and deal directly with the woodworking studios yourself. Custom pieces can be commissioned this way, and prices can usually be negotiated. When I was in Mexico, I commissioned a woodworker to make me a few tables, and had to dicker fairly hard for a good price. But, the work he did for me was outstanding. When I moved back to the United States, I sold those tables for more than they cost me originally.
Even if you pay to have furniture shipped directly from Mexico, the quality of the work is worth the price. Most furniture you see in furniture chain stores in North America is mass-produced, and lacks the character and uniqueness of hand-crafted work. Before shelling out a large amount of money for an entertainment center, cabinet, kitchen table set or other furniture, contact one of the many sources for Mexican furniture. There are many options to choose from, from designs to wood choices. Fine Mexican wooden furniture is a cultural world of different designs meant for all tastes and budgets. If you buy one piece, chances are you will be hooked.