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.

American Made Wood Nightstands
Enhance the function and style of your bedroom with handmade, natural solid wood night stands, bedside tables and night tables. 

Whether you are just starting your American made furniture collection or you’re a seasoned fine furniture aficionado, our American made nightstands will give your bedroom the polished and traditional look you’ve been dreaming of. If you’ve already bought your bed, the nightstands are your obvious next choice. You’ll want to find something that is solidly crafted, beautifully styled, and complementary to the rest of your bedroom furniture. Your new American made nightstands will provide a sturdy and stylish place to set your glass of water, reading glasses, or your favorite book.

With most of our furniture, you will see that warm and simplistic are key characteristics, the same is true for all 5 of the American Made Nightstands featured here. Which will you choose to complete the look of your master suite or guest bedroom?

1. Modern Shaker Nightstand
Modern Shaker American Made Nighstand Bedside Table

The Modern Shaker Night Stand or Bedside Table is handcrafted by Vermont craftsmen from real solid wood. It’s built to be understated yet stylish and modern, with clean lines and a sturdy build. It features one drawer and one open shelf underneath, giving you just the right amount of storage space.

2. American Mission Nightstand
American Made Nighstand | Mission Style

This gorgeous American Mission Nightstand is finely crafted in Vermont. It’s built to be functional, while still indulging your need for style and minimal fuss (staying true to authentic Mission style design). This American made nightstand is the perfect place to store all of your bedtime necessities. Smooth, clean lines and eye catching drawer pulls make this night stand elegant, unique, and functional.

3. Holland Nightstand
Holland American Made Nightstand

Our Holland Nightstand is a new, fresh design that stays true to traditional style with a touch of eclectic flair. Fine detailing in the curved finger pulls for an easy drawer opening combined with clean, crisp edges make this piece stand apart from all others.

4. Shaker Tapered Leg Nightstand

American Made Nightstand | Shaker Style Nightstand

Staying true to the simplistic Shaker aesthetic, our American Shaker Nightstand features clean lines and elegant tapered legs. It’s minimalist and authentically inspired, making it a great fit for both traditional and contemporary homes. This piece is made of real solid wood by Vermont craftsmen who use sustainably harvested woods.

5. Cherry Moon Nightstand

Cherry Moon 1 Drawer Nightstand

This Cherry Moon 1-Drawer American Made Nightstand has a reverse tapered leg and a unique cove edge. It is made by a meticulous Vermont craftsman and is sure to be as beautiful as it is functional. Regardless of the wood chosen for the piece, walnut pulls are the standard. This unique piece would make a great fit for your high end bedroom or guest room.

Each of the nightstands featured above are crafted with care in Vermont by expert local woodworkers. Each design is simplistic and elegant with a solid wood construction–making them both aesthetically pleasing and built for a lifetime of use. Which of these top quality, Vermont crafted nightstands would you choose for your space? Let us know in the comments section below!

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.

wood dining table

Why are Wood Dining Tables a Staple of the American Household?

Inside most typical American households you will find one common item in the dining area– a wood dining table.

You could eat off a glass top table or a metal table or even a plastic table, but for some reason, wood is what we love best. So why wood?  I think for many people, wood makes an important emotional connection that maybe we’re not even consciously aware of.  A customer once told Peggy that she came to us because of the natural, organic aspect of our wooden furniture.  She said that trees are actually a source of spiritual sustenance and renewal for her. This passage about trees written by woodworker and naturalist Brian Clifford reflects this sentiment:

A tree is a thing of beauty and wonderment, huge, but full of life and movement. A deciduous tree is the embodiment of the changing seasons: a stark framework in winter, bursting life in spring, a vast green canopy in summer and the bearer of seeds and fruit in the autumn. It is the embodiment of man’s condition: birth, life, death, regeneration and rebirth.

For others, it might be that nostalgic image of a happy family gathered around the dinner table for meal time. That quality family time that was most often spent around a wood dining table– sharing stories from your day, planning upcoming family trips, and most importantly, just having real conversation with each other.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture | Handmade in VT, USA
Browse 100’s of American Made Wood Tables worth making memories around. 

With all of the distractions we have at home, from our computers to our smart phones and our TVs’, this family time spent around the table becomes more valuable than ever.

Materials like plastic might be okay for a short term table solution, but wood is the material of choice for those who enjoy enduring, American made quality. The tables we offer are the perfect solution for anyone who is looking for a beautiful piece of furniture made with quality and care. Each piece is carefully crafted in Vermont by skilled local woodworkers who have been crafting this beautiful, top quality furniture for decades.

Cherry is our customer’s favorite, but we can also build your new wood table out of Maple, Oak, or Walnut. Start browsing through our handcrafted selection and find a table you love today. Our wood tables are 100% American made, further reflecting traditional American values, and adding a lifetime of value to your purchase. Feel good knowing that by eating your dinner at an American made table, a talented woodworker is able to put dinner on the table for his family too!

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.

How do you know if
Our mission at Vermont Woods Studios is to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from.  Is Forest to Table furniture as important to you as Farm to Plate food?  Let us know why or why not on our Facebook.

Where Does Your Furniture Come From?

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”.

Learn more about American made eco friendly wood furniture on our website and find out which companies say they’re “American made” versus those that truly are.

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.

classic-shaker-round-lifestyle-1

If you are a lover of beautiful, elegantly styled Shaker furniture–you will love our Classic Shaker collection. Defined by it’s gentle curved legs, smooth edges and solid wood construction, any living room would benefit from the timeless appeal of this collection.

A Bit of History about the Shakers

Designed and built over 200 years ago by the American Shaker religious group, this simple but elegant furniture style has a truly timeless quality that makes sense for any home. Shaker furniture designs make the perfect complementary pieces for your traditional, transitional, rustic or modern living room. Shaker tables, chairs, buffets, china cabinets, beds, dressers and chests can be added to any decor to achieve the functionality you need while creating a stylish, comfortable look. Mix and match your shaker furniture with other styles for a more eclectic aesthetic.

While Shaker communities were once vibrant and thriving, there are now only 3 Shakers left. Brother Arnold Hadd and his two elderly sisters practice their faith at Sabbathday Lake’s Shaker Village in New Glouster Maine. It’s the worlds last active Shaker Community. This video of Brother Arnold describes the faith and the inspiration behind Shaker furniture design:

“That “classic” Shaker style is well represented here in strong, unassuming cupboards, tables, desks and chests of drawers; delicately crafted oval wooden nesting boxes; inviting, wide-mouthed wooden bowls; tightly woven rugs and baskets; and sprightly, no-nonsense ladder-back chairs. Made of chestnut, walnut, flame birch and bird’s-eye maple, these lightweight, sturdy chairs have rhythmically dynamic woven cane and checkerboard tape seats. They could be easily hung on wall pegs to allow for the ecstatic “shaking” dancing prayers for which the “Believers” became commonly known.”

Featured Pieces from the Classic Shaker Furniture Collection

 

Classic Shaker Oval Table1. Classic Shaker Oval Table: This oval coffee table makes the perfect base for your Classic Shaker styled living room. The curved legs and rounded top give it a soft, lightweight look while still maintaining its solid build. Made to order in Vermont, this piece can be crafted in Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut.

classic shaker round end table2.  Classic Shaker Round End Table: This lightweight, rounded end table makes the perfect accent to your living room. It’s finely crafted with premium hardwoods, and built to last a lifetime.

 

Classic Shaker Sofa Table3.  Classic Shaker Sofa Table: Our tall, narrow Classic Shaker Sofa Table with Flare Legs is perfect for your living room, den or hallway. Add luxury, style and convenience to your upscale home with extra space to place gloves or display photos, vases or artwork.

All three of these finely crafted pieces are made to order in Vermont and are sure to add warmth and sophistication to your space. While we only highlighted three in this blog, we also have a variety of other pieces in the collection for different rooms in the home. Which piece is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section!

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.