Furniture is one of the most intimate products any of us will acquire. We share  our meals around it. We rock our babies in it. We furnish the places of our  lives so our families will love returning home, so our friends will look forward  to visiting. None of us  is aching to inherit our grandmother’s car or television, but her china cabinet  would be a prized possession. Great furnitures creates, and carries, memories  across time. What makes  one piece of furniture an heirloom while another remains humdrum? Special design, painstaking craft  and construction, a history. These lend permanence and meaning to what would  otherwise be just an object.