Mod Outdoor Furniture

Your porch or patio is a great place to entertain guests, dine, and relax with your friends and family.  Even a simple backyard can be transformed into a beautiful secondary living space when designed well! Simple upgrades in your outdoor furniture, lighting, and decor can turn your space from plain to inspiring in no time!

Here are some great outdoor furniture ideas to help you plan your space:

1. Think about what you use your space for, or what you want to use your space for the most in the future. Do you want it to be a relaxing place for your family? A place to entertain friends and host parties? A nice spot to spend time alone and read? Think about what you envision the space being. This will dictate the decisions you make about your outdoor furniture & decor.

2. Draw out your space. Measuring your space is imperative in buying outdoor furniture because you need to know the exact amount of space you have available before you start buying. Go out to your space and analyze what the typical traffic patterns will be. Do you need a lot of room for people to walk around? Take notes on highly trafficked areas you’d like to keep clear.

3. Browse Pinterest & other inspiration sites for all of the elements you’d like to see on your patio space. Think about food– do you need a grill, decorative wood serving bowls, or dining tables & chairs? How about your lighting–candles are always a great option for a romantic and dreamy outdoor space. Hanging string lights are festive and bring life into the space. Get a piece of paper, browse Pinterest & take note of all of the different things you love about porch and patio decor.

4. Consider the climate. Will your outdoor furniture & decor need to be weather resistant? If your patio furniture will be exposed to harsh heat, cold, winds, rain, etc… you might want to consider products that are maintenance free and can survive throughout even the most severe weather conditions! Do a little browsing online and you’ll find great outdoor rugs to keep the floor looking stylish and resistant to the weather too! If your furniture, rugs, etc, will be exposed to rain and wetness, don’t use any fabrics that will mold or decay over time!

Euro Modern Outdoor Furniture

5. Colors. Choose color schemes that bring out the personality of your space and your home! We love the bright blue of this ultra modern outdoor furniture set–accented by the blue water of the pool. Think about your space and the feeling you want your porch or patio to give your guests, and find colorful furniture and decor to match it! Browse Pinterest for inspiration.

Stay tuned for more updates on the perfect outdoor furniture style for you & your space!

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

This craftsman style solid wood bedroom set has a modern flair
This craftsman style solid wood bedroom set has a modern, contemporary flair. It’s shown here in solid, natural cherry wood (with contrasting walnut wood drawer and door pulls) but it can also be crafted in maple or walnut.

If you’re shopping for high quality solid wood bedroom sets, I bet you’ve done a lot of research.  Bedroom furniture is a big investment and one that need only be made once in a lifetime.  So you want to do it right.  We’ve put together a few tips to help make your shopping easier and ensure you get the best value for your investment dollars.

Choose an Enduring Style

You’ve narrowed your search to a bedroom set that’s made of real solid wood, so you’re looking for a quality product you’ll have forever, right? Be sure to pick a style that’s simple and enduring.  That way you can change out your linens, curtains and other textiles when you want to indulge in design trends– with no need to re-invest in furniture.  Consider classic American bedroom furniture styles that have stood the test of time, like Shaker style, mission style, craftsman style and arts & crafts.

Solid Wood Bedroom Sets | American Handmade in Vermont
This is an American Shaker bedroom set. Shown in natural cherry wood here, it’s also available in natural walnut and maple. Construction is all solid wood except for the sides of the dresser and nightstand. Learn why this craftsman has chosen veneer for that particular application.

Go with Hardwood over Softwood

Hardwood wears better than softwood (like pine or hemlock) which typically has lots of knots and sap pockets.  If you’re investing in high quality bedroom furniture, make sure it’s made of hardwood.  We like black cherry, black walnut, hard maple and oak best.  They’re top quality North American hardwoods that we can track to make sure they’re harvested sustainably. Here are some photos and descriptions of the hardwoods we recommend.

American Made Furniture Will Long Outlast Imports

The bottom line here is that American made wood furniture is solidly manufactured by American workers with great attention to quality and durability. Not so with imports.  Sure, imports are much cheaper than American made furniture in the short run.  That’s because Chinese wages are often less than 1/10 of American wages.  And the wood used in imports is often illegal.  In the USA, wood furniture is made from sustainably harvested wood that comes from well managed American forests.  With imported furniture, the wood is typically clear cut from the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests.   Although imported furniture often carries labels that it’s made of American hardwoods like cherry, walnut, oak or maple woods, that is rarely the case.  These labels are trade names used to describe woods of suspicious origin that are stained to look like familiar American woods such as cherry and walnut.  If you want to feel good about your furniture, make sure it’s American made.

Get the Best Value and Price

Top quality solid wood furniture is inherently expensive.  It’s not just the wood… it’s the value of American craftsmanship you’re paying for.  Transforming a tree into a dresser, a bed or a dining table takes time and talent. Many people are involved in bringing you a finished piece of furniture, from the land owner where that tree grew to the professional forester who selected the tree for harvest, to the logger to the sawyer to the timber salesperson to the craftsman who builds your bed and the shipper who delivers it to you.

We’re always working on adding value to this supply chain and I can tell you that the best way to save money is to purchase your furniture as a set.  It enables an economy of scale in all those links in the chain between the forest and your home.

We’re hoping this savings will help you make the decision to purchase American made furniture that your family will enjoy with pride for generations.  Check out the many new solid wood bedroom sets Tristan has just posted online.  They’re priced with our best discounts & lowest prices ever.   Enjoy great values on best selling, high quality handcrafted, real solid wood dressers, chests, armoires, night stands and mirrors arranged in fine furniture sets to save you money. Each set is carefully handcrafted in Vermont & guaranteed for a lifetime of service.

Make Sure it’s Sustainable for Your Wallet, the Planet, and the Local Economy

Our solid wood bedroom sets are built with eco-friendly timber, making them the smart choice for your home and for the environment. An additional benefit is that by purchasing furniture from us, you are supporting the national economy and supporting American workers rather than sending your dollars overseas. Our furniture is truly all American, as it’s not only built in the United States, but it is also made with timber from sustainably harvested North American hardwoods!  You’ll be keeping the money at home, while you fill your home with furniture you’ll love.

Ready to bring a beautiful set of American made bedroom furniture into your home? Shop now, or call us at (888) 390-5571 with any questions!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Rainforest Conservation | Sustainable Furniture and Flooring

The Vermont Furniture – Rainforest Connection

Last post, I shared the mission behind our sustainable furniture company.  It’s rainforest conservation and here are a few reasons why that’s important to me:

  • Although the earth’s rainforests cover less than 2% of it’s total surface area, they are home to 50 % of the Earth’s plants and animals
  • We are losing the rainforest at a rate of 1 acre every second!
  • About 100 rainforest species are going extinct every day
  • What nature has crafted over hundreds of millions of years is being destroyed with no thought as to the consequences
  • Much rainforest destruction is a result of clear cutting huge areas of land by organized crime
  • The timber is used to supply cheap furniture and flooring to companies like IKEA and Lumber Liquidators
  • The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest, storing 1/5 of the world’s fresh water and producing 20% of the planet’s oxygen

Vermont Woods Studios is my attempt to raise awareness about the plight of the rainforest and to offer sustainable, Vermont made furniture as an alternative to illegal imports.  At VWS we share our passion with customers and support non-profits dedicated to rainforest conservation.  We also plant a tree for every furniture order we take work (through the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project).

Sustainable, Vermont made furniture as an alternative to illegal imports
Vermont Woods Studios is my attempt to raise awareness about the plight of the rainforest and to offer sustainable, Vermont made furniture (like this Cherry Moon dining table) as an alternative to illegal imports. We plant a tree for every furniture order we take work.

The Amazon is Disappearing:  How Can We Help?

I’ve always wanted to visit the Amazon rainforest to understand what’s happening there and find a way for Vermont Woods Studios to help.  But it’s a big place.  At 2.72 million square miles, the Amazon Basin is roughly the size of the United States (minus Alaska).  So where to start?

Serendipity Happens

A strange coincidence happened.  Riley (my son) took some time off from college this year to backpack through South America.  He called recently to say he’d be doing rainforest conservation work for a woman named Rosamaria Ruiz in the Bolivian Amazon.  For some reason that name rang a bell.  I pulled up Google and sure enough, Rosamaria is someone I read about in National Geographic 15 years ago (the article was written by Steve Kemper).  She’s an award-winning environmental activist who led a National Geographic team through her homeland and brought about the creation of a protected national park called Madidi.  Something else she had a hand in creating:  Vermont Woods Studios!  Her story and others like it planted the seed for our sustainable furniture company.

 

madidi-travel
Madidi Travel and founder, Rosamaria Ruiz safeguard a protected area in the Bolivian Amazon with the greatest biodiversity in the world: the Madidi National Park. Riley is currently volunteering there and Kendall and I will join him next week. 

 

Into The Amazon

So next week, Kendall (my other son) and I will be heading down to the Serere Reserve, an area of the Amazon rainforest conserved through the efforts of Rosamaria Ruiz.  We’ll meet up with Riley where he’s volunteering in the Madidi National Park*.  And we’ll ask Rosamaria and her team at Madidi-Travel what we can do at Vermont Woods Studios to support their efforts.  I’ll keep you posted.  If you’re interested to know more, check out these websites:

* Fun Fact:  The continental United States and Canada are home to about 700 species of birds.  Madidi National Park (with 1/10 of 1% as much area) contains an estimated 1,000 bird species

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/02/27/revenge-of-the-rainforest/

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

A Passion for The Rainforest

I have a confession to make.  I did not start Vermont Woods Studios because I had a deep, abiding love of handmade furniture.  Mind you, I HAVE developed a sort of reverence for it over these past 10 years, but that wasn’t the driving force for me.

It was my passion for the rainforest that got this sustainable furniture company started. 

I think it may have been Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey who initially drew me into environmental conservation in the 60s.  Or maybe it was Mom, who had us kids outdoors all the time and kept a stack of National Geographic magazines handy for the rare moments we were in the house.

Anyway, for some reason, when I lost my job in 2005 I decided to quit the corporate world and get back to my youthful aspirations of doing something “green”.  I had become convinced that our generation’s most important conservation priority was to preserve the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests. I wanted to focus the rest of my working life helping people understand the tragedy of this loss and the fact that they could do something about it.

Ken had just finished building a woodworking shop on the back of our house.  I thought maybe we could marry his woodworking background with my love of the rainforest to create a new kind of green business.  After several attempts and stumbles we came up with Vermont Woods Studios: a website where Vermont furniture makers could market and sell furniture made from sustainably harvested wood.

The company would be a vehicle to help us persuade people to stop buying furniture and flooring made with illegally harvested rainforest wood.  The plan was pretty detailed, even including a Manifesto.

 

Sustainable furniture and flooring
Global rainforest destruction is happening now at a rate of  1 acre per second. 60 seconds per minute. 60 minutes per hour, 24/7/365. It’s the greatest extinction in the history of the earth. Once the rainforest is gone, it’s gone forever.  Interested in conserving the rainforest and preserving the iconic species who’ve lived there for millions of years? Learn how your choices for furniture, flooring and other forest products can help.

Not That Easy Being Green

But soon reality hit and although I was always guided by conservation, I quickly learned that small businesses don’t have a lot of time or money for environmental projects.  We did what we could… making support of environmental non-profits (like the World Wildlife Fund, the Rainforest Alliance, Vermont Center for EcoStudies and many others in our own community) a cornerstone of our business.  We also work with The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project to plant a tree for every furniture order we take.  And a number of times we’ve traveled to the rainforests of Costa Rica and Panama where we did some volunteering.

In retrospect I can say that we have made progress on our mission.

But I feel like we’ve fallen short in getting the word out that how we build and furnish our homes has a huge impact on the future of our planet. 

We have to figure out how to spotlight the difference consumers can make by choosing sustainably harvested wood flooring and furniture as opposed to that made from illegally harvested rainforest woods (think: Lumber Liquidators and Ikea).

A Trip to The Amazon

So I’m taking a trip to the Amazon rainforest. 

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never had the opportunity.  Next post I’ll share how this trip came about and what I hope to accomplish.  I am so grateful to our customers, employees and other allies who have supported our business throughout these 10 years, thus making such an endeavor possible.

Thank You!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Everyone loves the idea of having a solid wood custom Shaker dining table handcrafted just for them. What’s not to love? Pick your favorite wood, order the table to fit perfectly into your dining room…a handcrafted dining table, made especially for you by skilled craftsmen in Vermont who use sustainably harvested hardwoods. Add in a lifetime guarantee and who could argue?

But if you have a small dining room or kitchen area, you might have some reservations. We can assure you that if you’ve been worried about finding a great round Shaker table to fit your small space, we have some wonderful options for you! These 3 round shaker tables are a handpicked selection sure to fit your unique dining room size. While most of our Shaker dining room tables are very customizable, the following picks are some of our favorites.

1. Custom Round Shaker Table

round shaker table

Our eco-friendly Vermont-Made Shaker Custom Round Table is handcrafted in Vermont by skilled artisans. Customize this round shaker table to make it perfect for your home, it is available in a number of options! Currently on sale for: $1,562.40

 

2. New England Shaker Round Extension Pedestal Table

round shaker table

This sturdy New England Shaker Round Extension Pedestal Table is a great extension table for the kitchen, dining room, or as a game table in your family room. Hand-crafted using real, solid woods in America. Currently on sale for  $1,833.30. 

3. Classic Shaker Round Dining Table

round shaker table

Our Classic Round Shaker Table features simple, modern tapered legs. Each table is handmade in Vermont by skilled craftsman using natural solid hardwoods and traditional joinery. Currently on sale for $1,096.20.

All of our round shaker tables and chairs are made by craftsmen in Vermont from sustainably harvested hardwood. A great thing about our furniture is it is made just for you! As you browse our online gallery, you will notice that most of our furniture is shown in solid cherry wood, but be sure to look at the hardwood options! You can customize most of your furniture in your choice of natural Cherry, Maple, Oak, or Walnut woods. This allows you to create your own solid wood dining set that is perfect for you and your home.

 

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.