Most of our favorite furniture are re-furbished old pieces. We can't use any furniture here that uses particle board as it just disintegrates. Even the expensive furniture from fine furniture stores doesn't hold up in the constant high humidity because most modern furniture uses particle board for the substrate which the laminates are applied to. And the laminates are on both sides so it is very difficult to tell. They (the furniture store people) don't usually don't let you drill holes in the furniture before you buy it although it is easy to sneak a portable drill in the store. Furniture that was made before the invention of particle board (which began to be used extensively in the 1950's) can be found in antique stores but is priced out of our budget. But we do find old pieces in thrift shops and we re-furbish them. For example, the wet bar in the villa is a mahogany credenza that was built in 1920 or so and we ripped out the insides and installed a sink in it. That mahogany credenza is one of our favorite pieces and we were able to purchase it very cheaply because the backing and pieces under the drawers was stained white pine that was riddled with termites.
When we were re-furbishing our dining room armchairs we took the seats out so Laurie could reupholster them. So the chairs were still in the kitchen and any human height animal could see that the seat was just a gaping hoop. But our household also includes dogs. One of our dogs, Lizzy, had a habit if she saw Laurie standing beside a chair where she would jump up in the chair so that Laurie would pick her up. Lizzy is a small dog. She is a ten-pound or so Silky/Yorky mix. She is also a very athletic dog and jumps very high for her size. Well Laurie was looking at the fabric on the table and she stood beside the chair while doing so. Lizzy came along and wanted Laurie to pick her up. So Lizzy leaped up very adroitly and very high. It was a perfect jump and since the chair was missing a seat it was also a perfect "swish". Lizzy went right through the loop and crashed to the floor beneath the chair. Her expression was very surprised. Laurie and I laughed about it for most of that afternoon. We haven't noticed her jumping on any chairs since.
We recently received a comment about this blog which you can read here on the Youngstown home renovation blog. And sadly to say for Laurie the dishwasher is still falling out of the wall but I will try to write more about our construction techniques as he suggested. I think that this discussion of particle board is a construction technique and I also want to say something about choosing lumber which is also a construction technique at least the first part of any construction except when you're not building with lumber (which we are usually not as houses in Puerto Rico need to be hurricane proof which means concrete). I also ordered some water-soluble oil paints for Laurie so that she can switch from water colors (which do not hold up well in the rainforest either) to oil painting. Maybe the gift will help take her mind off the falling dishwasher. My next blog entry will delve into the art of feeding termites. Our next podcast is about sailing on a Captained charter boat in the Caribbean.