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.
It’s a beautiful, warm sunny summer day at Vermont Woods Studios which makes it hard to believe Autumn is almost here. But if the weather isn’t enough of a reminder, the annual loss of our student interns is making it all too clear.
Today we send them our heartfelt thanks for all the hard work they put in throughout the summer. Perhaps the toughest job they had was gathering, slicing and dicing 40 cords of firewood to keep the rest of us warm during the winter.
They also pitched in on many other tasks required to maintain our woodlands and keep our Stonehurst fine furniture store looking clean, green & beautiful. We wish them great success at school and in their other endeavors. Hope to see you guys back here next summer!
It’s not that easy anymore, especially if you’re shopping online. I just googled the phrase “top quality wood furniture” and came up with products like a 5 piece dining set for $356 at Target and a twin bed complete with underbed storage at Walmart for $139. Those are not products that most of us would call “high quality”.
Checking Quality in the Showroom
At Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been working for 9 years to be able to provide a showroom (Stonehurst) where customers can come and experience the beauty and honesty of true high quality wood furniture. I’ve noticed that when customers visit us, often they split up in the store. One person chats with us about their needs and the style of their home, while the other person inspects the quality of our furniture. He/she opens drawers, looks underneath table tops, moves dressers around to see how the backs are attached and so on. This is an important part of the purchase process. But what if you’re shopping online?
How to Gauge Quality when Shopping Online
Online fine furniture stores must provide enough detail via photos and articles to enable customers to judge their quality. On our website, for example we post a “Construction Details” page for every furniture collection we offer. Here you’ll find details ranging from the natural characteristics of the wood, to the type of joinery used, to instructions for care & maintenance (which are dependent on the type of wood and finish selected).
Summer in Vermont is a time to relax and enjoy the natural world around us. Visitors to our home decor showroom at Stonehurst often spend as much time outside in our meadows & woodlands as they do inside the store. Birds, bees, butterflies and bunnies are frequent visitors here, making the Laura Zindel dinnerware that bears their likeness a favorite Stonehurst souvenir.
Whether you’re looking to bring a bit of summer into your own kitchen or searching for a unique gift for someone special, check out our Laura Zindel Dinnerware Collection. Each of Laura’s designs is inspired by nature, hand drawn and then printed onto high quality handmade ceramic or china.
Laura is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design where she earned a BFA in Ceramics. Later she went on to achieve an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts. Laura’s artwork is inspired by both the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century and the “Cabinets of Curiosities” encyclopedic collections of the Victorian era. Her process of hand drawing, silk screening and enamel transfer printing shows off the intricate nature of her designs.
Ranging from Bumblebee Cereal Bowls to Large Rooster Serving Platters, Laura’s collections are bound to include the special gift you’ve been looking for. Stop by Stonehurst or purchase one of these collectibles online.
Tis the season for buying outdoor furniture. 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?
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.
When customers asked us to start carrying outdoor furniture naturally we searched for a real wood product. However, while there are weather resistant species such as cedar, teak, eucalyptus and redwood that make fine outdoor furniture, we still worried about the longevity of the furniture, maintenance, and the environmental impact. Forest conservation is at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios and is a key factor in our decision making process. While researching high end outdoor wood furniture we discovered recycled plastic lumber (RPL) made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Also know as Poly-Wood, it looks like real wood & has the heavy weight of real wood plus it’s durable, versatile and environmentally friendly.
White, Black, Blue + Many Colors & NO Painting or Scraping
If you want colors, you’ll have to paint wood furniture and re-paint it over the years. But with Poly-Wood the color is evenly mixed throughout the RPL boards so when scratches occur, they rarely show. No painting, oiling or maintenance is required other than simply washing with water. Poly-Wood tolerates harsh weather such as rain, snow, ice, and salt water and unlike wood it’s insect, mold & mildew-proof.
I love the quality and style of POLYWOOD furniture and the fact that it’s American made. But I have to confess, the biggest reason we chose this recycled plastic outdoor furniture is the environmental aspect. We are a company that works to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from. So how cool is it that with POLYWOOD our customers are not just helping to save trees in the rainforest, they’re also taking waste out of the waste stream and keeping it out of our landfills?