For the love of oak

Oak has a fascinating background which is connected to the very grain of British history – it’s no wonder we love it for our furniture!

The history of oak

Having helped to conquer the world and fight battles, Britain ran out of oak to build battleships.

Wood from around 2,500 trees was used to build each ship, which Britain’s tree stock couldn’t recover from by the time the First World War came around.

Generally, any oak tree you see today in England is around 300 years old as many trees before this were used in wars, construction or for firewood.

However, you can find the biggest English oak tree in Sherwood Forest - it has a girth of 33 feet and is estimated to be nearly 1,000 years old.

American white oak

As a result of all this heavy use and national shortage, the Forestry Commission was set up to protect what was left in 1919. At Cotswold Living we use American white oak for our furniture ranges.

The durability of this hard wood and the consistent grain makes it perfect for furniture. Not only will it stand the test of time – you can still pick up 17th century furniture pieces today – but it looks even better with age. Oak’s density makes it less susceptible to fungal and insect attacks, which ensures your furniture lasts for longer.

American oak is also sustainable, growing fast in the 80 to 120 years of life that these trees typically harness. It is lighter in tone than red oak, which you’ll see mainly used in hardwood flooring and railway sleepers.

The colour of oak is timeless

Earthy and clean, an oak furniture piece is a statement of interior design that many take for granted. Oak works with shabby-chic interiors and traditional cosy farmhouse styles as well as formal spaces and even modern environments.

A quality piece of oak furniture can be passed from generation to generation, taking on signs of use but looking as splendid as the day you bought it, integrating itself into everyday life.

A piece of oak furniture is more than a quick-fix item. It is an indication of British might and global conquest whilst simultaneously being homely, intimate and personal. So, for the love oak, find your piece of history and next favourite piece of furniture here - you won’t regret it.

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