Milwaukee Edition

Recreate Comfort

Secrets to Better Furniture


A new year can prompt us to refresh the look and feel of our home. Eco-minded individuals may wish to spruce up a treasured piece of furniture or find a replacement that’s light on environmental impact.

• Consider wood furniture made from sustainably harvested forests and tree farms or reclaimed wood. Find explanations of Forest Stewardship Council certification requirements at

• Choose vintage and secondhand furniture to extend its life with a bonus of nostalgia. Avoid painted furniture from the early to mid-20th century, which may contain lead, or use a paint-testing kit.

• Look for furniture with organic substances such as natural wood finishes, naturally tanned leather or organic cotton. Look for Greenguard product certification to ensure low toxicity.

Some businesses, like Upholstery on Broadway, in Arlington, Massachusetts, conduct money-saving classes for people that want to learn to repair or restore their own furniture. Owner Kevin Kennedy finds, “People bring in their own projects, often wing chairs and side chairs, along with stray pieces of materials. As long as they have ‘good bones’ [solid wood frames], new fabric can add many years.” For those afraid of making mistakes in cutting fabric, “We help them measure carefully first, and that relieves their anxiety.” A carpenter’s rule is to measure twice, cut once.

• Get creative. cites Pentatonic, a furniture line made from 100 percent recycled materials, including glass, plastics and metals, for easy assembly without tools. Standardized components deliver efficient manufacturing and shipping; each part has an identification number with the manufacturer’s date and location, and the type of waste used in production.

• In replacing furniture, make sure the old piece gets reused, as well. Sell it via,, local classifieds or a yard sale; donate through or a local thrift store; or just give it away.

This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

A Local Author’s Journey of Healing From Grief

Wauwatosa author Mary Lou Bailey tells the tale of how she gained strength after a loss in her book, I Am My Own Rug, released this past November through Broken Wing Press.

White Conch Dharma Center Presents Tonglen Meditation Workshop

Domo Geshe Rinpoche, Buddhist Lama of the Tibetan tradition, will teach Taking Suffering into the Heart of Compassion–Tonglen Half-Day Workshop, from 2 to 5 p.m. March 10, at Unity Church, in Wauwatosa.

Sample the Area’s Best Chili While Supporting Independent Radio

WMSE 91.7 FM radio, a nonprofit, listener-supported radio service educationally licensed to the Milwaukee School of Engineering, will hold its 16th annual Rockabilly Chili Fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., March 11, at MSOE’s Kern Center.

Local Farmer Open House Educates on Farm-to-Table Agriculture

Few things are as delicious as locally grown farm-fresh food, and subscribing to a community-supported agriculture program brings that food directly from a local farmer to the table.

Drink a Little, Help a Lot Fundraiser to Help Children in Malawi

Milwaukeeans will have an opportunity to help support construction of a new school in the eastern African nation of Malawi through the Drink a Little, Help a Lot fundraiser, hosted by Milwaukee area residents Niyati Desai and Claire Lang.

Rise Yoga Studio Off ers Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for All Abilities

Paula Evans offers a flowing style of yoga that connects the movement of the body with the breath. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and Sri T. Krishnamacharya developed Ashtanga during the 20th century.

Letter from Publisher

Today Milwaukee has a diverse, sophisticated palate that includes vegetarian and vegan restaurants and a range of international cuisines that were difficult to find in the area a decade ago.

Outpost Natural Foods

Now over 22,000 owners strong, Outpost is a testament to society’s shift toward healthy food awareness.

Leafy Greens Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Teenagers that eat few leafy greens are at triple the risk for enlargement of the heart’s left ventricle, reducing blood pumping volumes, than teens that eat greens.

Physical Activity Deters Alzheimer's

Walking, dancing, gardening and other physical activities significantly improve brain volume and lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Gooseberries are Good for the Gut

Malaysian subjects with gastrointestinal problems had less pain, vomiting and sleep loss when receiving an ayurvedic remedy known as Indian gooseberry.

Saunas Lower Blood Pressure

Four to seven saunas a week halved high blood pressure risk in a study of 1,621 Finnish men.

Add your comment: