You’ll Discover a Solid Quality to Unfurnished Furniture


So much of the furniture, even the pricey stuff, in today’s marketplace is made of a combination of wood and particleboard. If you want to be sure you have a solid wood piece, check the unfinished furniture sources.

With finished furniture, knots, discoloration and obvious weak points or other defects often go undetected--until the piece starts falling apart. Unfinished-furniture makers must use a higher-grade lumber (no particleboard), because they cannot hide such defects under a finish.

A new San Fernando Valley store, open only a couple of months, has furniture of many styles and sizes in pine, oak, alder and parawood (hardwood from an Asian rubber tree). The finish is up to the customer. Pop’s has its own finishers working in full view who will do a professional job for an additional one-third the cost of the piece, in most cases. A variety of finishes is on hand and you can make your selection from the samples of the wood you have chosen.

Of course, you can do it yourself and get the sense of accomplishment that comes from creating your own simple stain-and-varnish finish or a more elaborate tole-painted or stenciled finish. Complete instructions are given on the finishing products, and Pop’s personnel is most willing to share tips and answer questions.


But, whichever way you go, the basic cost of the furniture is a bargain in itself. A finished pine computer armoire was on the floor the day of my visit. Unfinished, it was priced at $588; a rustic stain done by Pop’s work crew for $194 brought the total price for the piece to $782.

The finished pieces I have checked elsewhere were not as nice, and they started at $1,000. A handsome buffet and hutch comes to $370 for the two pieces. With the custom finish of your choice, it would be $126 more, or $496.

A major plus about unfinished furniture is that it can be customized according to one’s desires. Many of the basic pieces come in several sizes. All this, and you save money too.

Incidentally, the design in unfinished furniture has vastly expanded over the years, and the pieces here at Pop’s show that it is much more stylish than several years ago.


Pop’s Unfinished Furniture, 8911 Reseda Blvd., Northridge. (818) 717-0707. Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Weekend Supersale: Starting this month, the MH Designs Fantasy World is staging a monthly price cut to the public that is 40% off regular prices. This deal will prevail on top-quality plants, flowers and floral arrangements (bring your own container, if you wish) the first Saturday of each month. 21 W. Easy St., Simi Valley, (805) 581-1227.