She is a CEO who brakes for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels and spent her vacation building furniture for a rural school in Costa Rica. She believes in the future and in the people who will build it. A former distance-learning professor at Tulane University with a master’s in environmental health & safety, she turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a growing, local business. She delivers rainforest statistics at breakneck speed, but knows how to slow down and appreciate the beauty of a newly finished piece of heirloom furniture.
Nina’s been on a mission to create beautiful photos of our shaker and craftsman dining furniture for all you online shoppers out there. She’s been snapping pictures in historic buildings all over town, including our Stonehurst showroom, the Governor Hunt House, Malhana Farm, George’s Mill and even the Vernon Chapel.
Well, first we had to have that furniture crafted in studios and workshops around Vermont. And now that Nina’s finished taking photos, what are we going to do with all these tables & chairs & china cabinets? We don’t have a lot of extra room to store it, so we’ve put everything on sale!
So that’s a few of the Shaker and Craftsman style dining furniture pieces we’ve currently got in our showroom today. If you’re passing through Vermont to ski or visit friends, stop by and see us at Stonehurst. We’re on your way — just 6 miles off Interstate I 91, from the Bernardston exit # 28A. Stop by today, while everything’s on sale and take home the Vermont made dining furniture you’ve always dreamed of!
Simple, graceful, and handmade: that’s the essence of the American Arts & Crafts furniture style. The Arts & Crafts (or Craftsman) philosophy, which became popular over a century ago, grew out of a rejection of complicated Victorian era designs produced by industrial processes. People were rediscovering an appreciation for simpler, functional, handmade wooden furniture crafted by skilled artisans.
Today’s Craftsman Community in Vermont
Although the Arts & Crafts movement began at the turn of the 20th century, it’s still going strong today in Vermont! The Green Mountain State (Fine Furniture Capital of America) is increasingly recognized as our country’s leader in high quality, handmade wooden furniture, boasting over 1000 small furniture companies plus 2000 independent woodworkers operating out of studios, barns and garages.
Psst… It’s on Sale for 25% Off at Stonehurst!
Vermont craftsmen produce a diverse collection of high quality wooden furniture which has earned them a world-wide reputation for integrity, authenticity and green design. Stop by our quintessential Vermont furniture and home decor showroom at Stonehurst and save 25% on these arts & crafts bedroom furniture sets today. We’re in a 200 year old, lovingly restored farmhouse, perched atop a lost ski area in Vernon, Vermont. See photos of our unique destination shopping experience on Facebook and come celebrate natural, handmade arts & crafts furniture with us at Stonehurst.
I started Vermont Woods Studios in 2005 to promote sustainable wooden furniture. I’d been studying the impacts of illegal logging of the earth’s tropical rainforests and wondered “why isn’t anybody doing anything about this”? With the destruction being driven by demand for cheap wood furniture, I realized there was something we could do to help… even from way up here in Vermont. Thus our Vermont made furniture store was born, with the mission of raising awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuading people to buy eco friendly furniture made from sustainably harvested wood.
FSC Certification Problems
That purpose is still at the heart of our mission, although the definition of “eco friendly wood furniture” has changed. Ten years ago the prevailing thought was that the hallmark of sustainably harvested wood furniture was a formal certification by the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council.
FSC is an international not for-profit group that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. It has been considered the “gold standard” for green certification and labeling of forest products since 1993. Unfortunately, as pure as FSC’s intentions may be, the job of monitoring the entire planet’s forests has proved impossible. With so much at stake and land areas too big to monitor, organized crime has taken over the global timber industry. FSC certification is now systematically forged to the point where you cannot tell whether “certified” furniture is made from legal wood.
Illegal Wood: Not Just About Climate Change & Loss of Biodiversity
A recent article by Alexander Zaitchik titled, Blood on Your Ottoman: Your Furniture’s Link to a Murderous Logging Epidemic chronicles the September 2014 murder of Edwin Chota and 3 other indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest. The article highlights the fact that organized crime has upped the ante for illegal timber. Murder is now fair game in their book and it’s happening more than you’d like to know.
“The first thing people can do is to revisit the assumption that buying “certified” wood products absolves them of responsibility for destroying the world’s remaining primary rainforests. If you’re buying Peruvian mahogany, or Brazilian rosewood, or Indonesian teak, there’s no way to determine whether or not it came from a legal, carefully managed tract, or whether a villager was killed for trying to keep that tree standing”.
Eco Friendly Wood Furniture = American Made Wood Furniture
Our message to conscious consumers shopping for eco friendly furniture, flooring, paper or other forest products is simple: buy American made. In the United States logging is regulated and enforced. There are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, “North American forest growth has exceeded harvest since the 1940s. The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the ’50s”.
Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list, but think about it. Whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013. Not to mention more beautiful.
At Vermont Woods Studios our biggest month for crafting bookcases and other organizers is January. Could it have to do with New Year’s resolutions? Must be, but we’re getting inquiries almost every day lately. I think customers are realizing that there is a 1-3 month lead time for ordering custom bookcases. So if you’re one of those people I thought I’d offer up some tips and advice about how to choose the right set of bookshelves for your home or office.
Glass Doors, Wooden Doors or No Doors
Are you really going to use those books or movies or vases? Or will they just sit in the bookcase and collect dust? Are they beautiful? Part of your decor? Or just obligatory (someone gave them to you and you can’t seem to throw them away) and you don’t necessarily want to see them? Do you put things back neatly? Or are you always in a hurry? These are the kinds of weighty issues you’ll need to unravel before you decide whether or not to add doors to your custom bookcases. Oh… and should the doors be glass to show off your chotskies or wooden to hide the mess?
One Big Bookshelf or a Couple Small Ones?
Once you’ve decided what kind of doors are best for your bookshelves, you’ll want to measure your space and get the cabinets to fit perfectly into it. Some people love the integrated design of one big bookcase unit like the Modern Shaker Home Office Center Cabinet above (make sure you can fit something this big up the stairs and into your room!). Other people like the versatility of combining several small bookcases in different ways. One thing we always mention to customers is: if you’re getting a series of bookcases that you may want to place flush up next to each other, be sure you specify “no overhang”. That means any molding along the top will be eliminated either on one or both sides, depending on how you want to configure the bookcases.
Measure Twice and Cut Once
We try to make it easy to customize your bookcase online, but it really is a good idea to give us a call or stop by the showroom to order custom bookcases, especially if they’re over-sized or designed to sit flush against each other. We’ll help you get all the measurements right for your space so they’ll be no surprises when your furniture arrives.
We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture. It’s no wonder! When I just googled “real cherry wood” these well over 50 shades of cherry came up. Quite a variation, isn’t it?
First of all, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood. When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture to China over 30 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods (rather than import cherry from North America and then export it back to North America as furniture). So they stained these cheaper woods and gave them various trade names containing “cherry”. For example Makore, an increasingly rare African wood being illegally logged in Sierra Leone and Gabon has been sold under the trade name Cherry Mahogany, though Makore is not closely related to either cherry or mahogany. Worse yet, it is listed as an endangered species due to illegal logging and exploitation by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.
Many times customers come to us looking to buy real cherry furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes. After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their “cherry” furniture from Bassett, Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Drexel, Lane or other big “American” companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or some kind of engineered hardwood.