About Peggy Farabaugh

Peggy Farabaugh
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.

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.

Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture?
I think the best wood to use for outdoor furniture isn’t wood at all. It’s POLYWOOD, made out of recycled milk jugs and guaranteed for a lifetime of outdoor use.  Shown here is the new Bayline Dining Furniture Collection.

Tis the season for buying outdoor furniture and prepare for spring and summer!  Even in Vermont we have a couple nice days each year when everyone wants to lounge in the sun with a cold drink and a good book.

Our customers often discover us when they’re searching for American made, eco-friendly furniture.  We’ve worked in collaboration with Vermont furniture makers for many years but have stuck to selling just sustainable indoor furniture for the dining room, bedroom and home office.

So when customers began to ask for outdoor porch, pool and patio furniture we were at a loss.  What type of wood could we make it out of?  The cherry, maple, walnut and oak woods we typically use for indoor furniture won’t hold up to outdoor conditions.  Plus, we offer a lifetime guarantee on our furniture.  How would we do this for an outdoor line?

Adirondack Chairs | Polywood | Recycled Plastic
This POLYWOOD Classic Adirondack chair is made in America of recycled plastic.  We guarantee it for a lifetime of use!

American Made Outdoor Furniture

We considered many options.  Teak and mahogany are about the only types of wood that would meet our standards for weather resistance and longevity but they are both rainforest woods that are often harvested illegally and unsustainably.  Not an option.

So after researching all the alternatives we selected an American made wood-alternative material for our first outdoor furniture line. It’s called poly wood and it’s made in Indiana of recycled plastic milk jugs.  It’s not real wood, but it has the look, thickness, weight, and feel of real wood plus it’s virtually indestructible and maintenance free.  No more scraping, painting, or weatherproofing needed.  POLYWOOD recycled plastic furniture can even be left outside year round eliminating the need for seasonal storage.

So that’s what we chose for our first outdoor furniture line.  We really do feel that POLYWOOD is the best “wood” to use for outdoor furniture.  With summer being so short up here in Vermont, we want to spend it enjoying our all-weather outdoor furniture rather than maintaining it!  How about you?  Check out the POLYWOOD furniture collections we offer.  It’s eco-friendly, Made in America outdoor furniture and it comes with free shipping and a lifetime guarantee.  Pretty tough to beat, I say.

Rec ycled Plastic Chaise Lounge
This POLYWOOD chaise lounge weighs over 50# so it won’t blow away when high winds come in off the ocean.  It’s available in 12 different colors including red, yellow, blue, orange, green, black and white.

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.

Custom Built In Beds with Integrated Nightstands | Luxury Bedroom Furniture
Custom Built In Beds, integrated nightstands and built in chests and dressers are popular this year.   These night stands attach to the bed. Modular dressers and chests can be attached on the opposite side of the nightstand for additional storage.

Custom, built in beds have been a popular trend in high end furniture over the last couple years.  It used to be you had to have an architect or interior designer put together a sophisticated built in like the Modulux Bed above.  But with so many HGTV shows and interior design websites, people often prefer to craft together their own designs now.  We like Houzz, an interior design website that shows thousands of ideas when you search for “custom built in beds with integrated nightstands“.  Our friends at Birdseye Builders in Richmond, Vermont have some of the most popular luxury bedroom built ins on this site.

Moduluxe Built In Bedroom Furniture
Custom Built In Bedroom Furniture.  This is Copeland’s 29″ Low Moduluxe Collection.  Shown above in natural solid cherry wood.  It can be customized in natural walnut and maple too.  12 additional wood colors are available as stains.  Customize online or in our showroom.

If you’re looking for high end custom built ins for your home, check out our new Vermont made Moduluxe Built in Bedroom Furniture Collection by Copeland.  This is a brand new, top quality, solid wood collection of modern, contemporary bedroom furniture.  It’s designed to provide the clean, organized look of built in furniture at an affordable price.  Moduluxe is, well… modular and sectional.  You can choose from over 30 matching solid wood pieces:  platform beds, chests, dressers, desks, mirrors and integral night stands.  The furniture pieces are designed to attach to (or sit flush against) adjacent pieces.

 

Built In Bedroom Furniture | Moduluxe by Copeland | American Made in VT
Copeland’s 35″H  Moduluxe Collection is shown above in natural solid walnut wood.  Over 20 beds, chests and dressers can be mixed and matched to fit your space and provide the best storage for your needs.

Moduluxe is highly customizable online or in our showroom.  There are many different chest, dresser and night stand sizes to fit your space.  Storage beds are also available  with four 8″ inch deep, sub-mounted drawers, providing plenty of inconspicuous storage.  Customize Moduluxe in your favorite color too!  There are 3 different natural woods (American black cherry, sugar maple, and American black walnut) and 12 different stains including black and white.

If a sophisticated, clean, organized bedroom is in your future check out what Moduluxe has to offer!

 

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.

Craftsman dining furniture, American made in Vermont
This is our handmade Classic Shaker dining table, probably the most popular piece of dining furniture we sell. It’s 100% American made, right here in Vermont. You can customize it here or purchase the one we currently have in stock. It’s made of solid natural cherry wood, it measures 36″W x 30″H x 72″L and extends to 96″L.

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!

Craftsman style cherry china cabinet. American made dining furniture from Vermont.
This is our Andrews Natural Cherry Buffet & Hutch. It’s made of solid natural cherry wood and measures 62″W x 34″H x 20.5″D. Purchase the cabinet as is, in our showroom or customize one online and we’ll build it to fit your space.

 

Craftsman style cherry dining table
I love this Vermont modern pedestal table.  We’ve got a small 36″ version in solid cherry wood in the showroom.  Or customize the table online, with the size you like and in your choice of wood.

 

Mission and craftsman style dining table.  100% American made.
This Modern Mission Dining Table is in the showroom today, in solid cherry wood, size: 42″w x 60″L x 30″H plus two 18″ leaves which extend it to 96″ or 8 feet long.  Like all our mission and craftsman furniture, it’s 100% American made here in Vermont.

 

Craftsman style dining furniture, handmade in Vermont
Isn’t this a quintessential Vermont style dining table?  Nina has it all dressed up for Christmas dinner in this photo.  It’s our Reclaimed Barnwood Farm Table with Tapered Legs, measuring 42″W x 72″L with a reclaimed white pine top and cherry legs. You can also have it made to order here in the size and woods of your choice.

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!

 

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.

Arts and Crafts bedroom furniture from Vermont
This Arts and Crafts bedroom furniture set is part of our Vermont made Cherry Moon collection.  It’s in stock (along with this similar bedroom set) and on sale for 25% off!  Ready to ship or pick up today.

What is Arts & Crafts Furniture?

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.

Brandon arts and crafts style bedroom set
This Brandon arts and crafts style bedroom set is on display (and on sale) at our Stonehurst showroom today. We love it’s clean lines, gentle curves and timeless elegance.

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.

Contemporary Craftsman bedroom set
Another arts and crafts bedroom set in our showroom is this Contemporary Craftsman set.  Skillfully crafted of natural cherry wood, it features clean, smooth lines with just a hint of curve.

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.

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.