Truly fine furniture has always demanded painstaking attention to detail - and that's still true today. Bernhardt blends modern technology and traditional craftsmanship to carry on time-honored standards of fit, finish, hardware, and construction.


Veneers & Finishes

  • Veneer Characteristics
    Veneers have long been used in fine furniture making and are stronger and more durable than solid wood. They resist shrinking, swelling, warping, and cracking due to humidity and other environmental changes.
     
  • Veneer Selection
    Premier woods are hand-selected and matched in color and wood grain to give a consistent look to each piece while enhancing the natural beauty of the wood grain. Unusual veneers and "fancy face" patterns are often used to add decorative detail.
     
  • Finish Steps
    An extensive, multi-step finish process gives each piece of furniture depth, accentuating the wood grain pattern and producing a range of finish looks from a high sheen to a natural "aged" appearance.

Special Techniques

  • Bone Inlay
    Bone inlay is a centuries-old technique that involves considerable skill and time. Creating these artisan pieces requires meticulous detail and can take several weeks. Ethically sourced animal bone is carefully selected and hand-shaped by experienced craftsmen who cut, grind and sand each piece to fit a specific design. The pieces of bone are then adhered to the furniture using a transposed design template and colored resin is troweled over the entire surface. Once the resin is cured, the surface is sanded smooth and buffed to a shine. This handmade process and natural variations in the material make each piece uniquely beautiful. To protect the finish, wipe with a soft, slightly damp cloth. Chemicals and household cleaners may damage the surface.
  • Eglomise

    Eglomise is a decorative technique used to apply metal leafing to the reverse side of glass. The technique was revived during the 18th century by French decorator Jean-Baptiste Glomy. The French term “verre églomisé” is derived from his name and means “gilded glass.” Eglomise is used in modern furniture to provide a beautiful, mirror-like effect using paper thin sheets of silver, gold, brass or aluminum leaf. The process requires artisanal skill and meticulous attention to detail. A badger brush and static electricity are used to pick up and gently apply thin pieces of metal leaf to glass that has been washed with adhesive. Once the metal leafing is brushed flat, heat is used to dry the adhesive and then it is sprayed to create a solid seal.

  • German Silver

    German silver has been used in architecture and decor for more than 2,000 years. The material does not actually contain silver, but is an alloy made of nickel, copper and zinc. Our German silver pieces are built using a variety of woods, such as mango or reclaimed teak, meticulously carved or embossed with a unique design. The carved wood frame is then covered in meticulous detail with sheets of German silver by skilled craftsmen. The entire process can take more than a week and each piece is unique. Some pieces are finished with a high luster, while others may have an intentionally aged appearance. A protective topcoat is added to protect against oxidation and stains. If a spill occurs, use a dry cotton or absorbent cloth to wipe the liquid away. Strong chemicals or detergents may damage the finish.

  • Gypsum

    Gypsum is an abundant mineral used in construction techniques for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Today the mineral is mined or quarried and can be developed into a wide range of products. We use alabaster gypsum in the construction of our furniture, known for its soft ivory brilliance and luminosity. Each piece of gypsum is meticulously adhered by hand and a protective topcoat is added, making it more resistant to stains and spills. If a spill occurs, use a dry absorbent cloth to wipe it away. Strong chemicals or detergents may damage the surface.

  • Gold & Silver Leaf

    Gold and silver leafing techniques began as early as the ancient Egyptians and were later refined during the Renaissance. The same time-honored method is still used today. A tissue thin piece (leaf) of gold or silver is hand-applied with a soft brush to a surface sprayed with glue. Wrinkles, lines and overlapping are a natural result of the process, marking an important difference between a painted and a hand-leafed product. Details and blocks will vary, creating a unique piece unlike any other. This technique and a lacquer topcoat create furniture that is as durable as it is beautiful. To clean gold or silver leaf pieces, wipe the surface with a damp cloth.

  • Petrified Wood

    Petrified wood comes from the Greek word petro, which means “rock” or “stone” and it is literally wood turned into stone through fossilization. The transformation process begins when trees become buried in sediment. Mineral rich water passing through the sediment carries away decaying wood molecules and replaces them with minerals, usually silica. Over thousands of years, the minerals crystallize producing a metamorphic stone fossil with the appearance of wood. Our use of this unique material ranges from larger stand-alone pieces to thin slices for tabletops. Petrified wood naturally varies in color, size and shape and our pieces are collected from areas with ancient volcanic activity. This type of collecting does not damage the environment and is in compliance with all environmental regulations.

  • Teak

    Teak is a dense hardwood native to India and Southeast Asia where trees can grow to a height of up to 200 feet. Prized for its beauty, weather resistance and durability, teak has a long history in building and design. It has been widely used in India for more than 2,000 years, where beams in good condition are often found in buildings that are centuries old. Outdoor furniture made of teak became common during the Victorian era and in more recent history, the material was sought after among mid-century modern designers. The close movement of the grain and rich luster of teak lends warmth and lasting beauty to any design, from simple refined forms to sliced organic pieces. Special care should be taken to guard against marks left by liquids and the scraping of heavy items.

  • White Onyx

    Onyx is a gemstone formed by layered parallel bands of chalcedony. The bands range from white to almost every color and the use of onyx dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. It was commonly found in jewelry, but today onyx has a wide variety of uses. The onyx we use is mined from a quarry in the mountains of Torreon, Mexico, where complete blocks are cut into slabs, then hand-cut into smaller tiles and given a perfectly honed finish. The onyx tiles are meticulously adhered onto the furniture surface and a final coat of sealer helps protect the stone. Spills should be blotted immediately rather than wiped. Strong chemicals or detergents may damage the stone. This product is not suitable for outdoor use and yellowing may occur when exposed to sunlight.


Cabinetry Details

  • Mortise & Tenon
    Traditional mortise and tenon construction is used to securely fasten pieces of wood, creating a stronger joint for lasting stability.
     
  • Door & Drawer Fit
    Doors and drawers are constructed with a precise, tight fit to prevent gaps and sagging, enhancing their appearance and structural strength.

Tables

  • Table Locks & Guides
    Hidden metal locks are used to reduce gaps on tables with leaves, giving the table a clean, smooth appearance and ensuring durability over time. Premium quality table glides are used to secure the piece, reducing warping and sagging and resulting in a sturdy table frame.
     
  • Corner Blocks
    Table legs are constructed with strong corner blocks glued and screwed with lag bolts, increasing the overall strength and rigidity of each leg.

Drawer Construction

  • Materials & Finish
    All wood sides and backs with veneer bottoms are used to create a durable drawer that is less likely to warp over time and humidity changes and to produce a smoother, more consistent drawer function. Each drawer bottom is stained and sealed, creating a smooth interior that is less likely to snap or damage clothes.
     
  • Stop Blocks
    Wooden blocks are nailed and glued behind each drawer to ensure that the drawer stops solidly and in the proper position when closed.
     
  • Dovetails
    English dovetail construction is featured in the front and back of each drawer (French dovetail is incorporated where design indicates) to deliver a durable drawer box that will remain solid over time.
     
  • Drawer Stops
    Wooden stop pins are provided for each drawer with a silver tray to prevent the drawer from falling out of the case when pulled open.
     
  • Drawer Box
    A full-size drawer box is used to offer increased drawer volume and maximum storage capacity. Full-size wooden guides are also used to support more cubic feet of storage.
     
  • Silver Trays
    A silver tray with a tarnish-resistant cloth cover is custom fitted into a drawer in select dining room pieces to provide a protective, convenient space to store silverware.
     
  • Drawer Branding
    Since 1889, the Bernhardt logo has been a symbol of quality and value, and is displayed on each piece of furniture in a solid, cast metal plate.

Hardware

  • Materials
    Heavy duty solid metals are used to create hardware that adds beauty and durability while reducing rattling, rusting, and breakage.
     
  • Custom Design & Finish
    Each collection has its own signature hardware that is custom-designed and finished using a multi-step process, adding distinction and a rich appearance to each piece.
     
  • Techniques
    A range of methods such as the ancient Egyptian lost wax casting, die-casting or sand casing are used to create hardware with unique shapes, subtle markings and jewel-like details.

Design

  • Materials
    A variety of authentic, high-quality materials sourced from around the world are used to enhance the story behind each collection and create a unique design statement.
     
  • Style
    Each collection features dramatic design elements that express the story of the collection and allow consumers to reflect their own individual style.
     
  • Design Teams
    Recipients of the American Society of Furniture Designer's prestigious Pinnacle Awards, Bernhardt's design teams are among the best in the industry, creating dramatic collections for today's homes and lifestyles.
     
  • 5-year Warranty
    Bernhardt stands behind its fine wood furniture by backing it with a 5-year warranty to give consumers a feeling of confidence.

Upholstery

  • Frame Materials
    Bernhardt frames utilize engineered, multi-ply hardwood plywood as well as some 1" and 1-1/4" hardwoods. (Certain frames may also incorporate formed plywood in order to achieve certain frame contours.) All exposed wood frames employ 1-1/4" mixed hardwoods.
     
  • Sturdy Construction
    Bernhardt's artisans assemble upholstery frames using methods that ensure superior quality, such as sturdy mortise and tenon joints. Because corners are pressure points that must withstand stress and wear, Bernhardt craftsmen securely fasten corner blocks and braces to provide additional support and strength. Finally, they pre-test every frame for strength and durability.
     
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
    Bernhardt stands behind its fine upholstered furniture by backing it with a limited lifetime warranty to give consumers a feeling of confidence.