Top o’ the morning to ya! Here’s to all you Irishmen who’ll be wearing green today and perhaps breaking some soda bread, corned beef and cabbage or better yet– a pint of Guinness. I miss celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Growing up in Plattsburgh NY, as a member of the O’Neil family (I think I was named after the old Irish song: Peggy O’Neil) and attending a small school known as “The Irish”, there was no shortage of celebrations on March 17th. In fact, they used to have to cancel classes at Plattsburgh State University on St Patrick’s Day because there was an unwritten rule that students had to be downtown at the Monopole or Goobers Ragtime Bar in time for 8am lessons on drinking green beer.
But that was a long time ago and although we’ll still manage to raise a pint of Guinness this year, the main theme of our St Patrick’s Day celebration at Vermont Woods Studios will be our green message of sustainability. Check out Kendall’s newly formatted environmental section of our website where you’ll find all sorts of fun facts about where your furniture comes from, how it’s made and why you would care about all that.
And if you’re looking to honor your favorite nature-loving Irishman on St Patrick’s Day, click on over to Defenders of Wildlife and make a symbolic adoption of someone green: a sea turtle, a red-eyed tree frog or a hummingbird would do the trick. St Patrick would be proud of you!
Who doesn’t love trees? As a purveyor of natural wood furniture, we are big tree lovers. Not surprisingly, forest conservation is a big part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios. If we’re going to be providing solid wood furniture for generations into the future, we have to focus on forest conservation today.
This morning I was searching for a tree photo to help us show people how your furniture gets from the forest to your living room. I couldn’t believe how many spectacular tree photos are out there! It’s obvious we’re not the only tree fanatics on this planet.
Pinterest seems to be the keeper of some of the world’s favorite tree photos. The Pinterest “Trees” page contains boards on every tree topic you can think of, from “tree houses” to “roots”, “forests”, “tree life” and “tree tatoos”.
Then there’s another love afair with trees on a site called (pardon me) Tree Porn (somewhat akin to the website Kendall showed me called Food Porn– great food photos and recipes). 40 Nautrally Beautiful Photos of Trees is another web page showcasing amazing tree photos.
OK, now I have to get back to writing a post about how your furniture gets from the forest to your living room. But this was a fun digression.
One can only assume when I popped out, kid number 5, over 22 years ago, my mother rationalized, “That’s probably enough- one of them will keep me out of a nursing home.” Well, the results aren’t in for that prospect yet (the sanity clock miraculously ticks on), though she does occasionally reap the benefits of breeding an army. One of them- awesome Christmas presents. When we get our pockets together, the Francese kids can really rev up the opportunity to give back; this Christmas, Mom was blessed with a new coffee table.
A second-hand store enthusiast, Mom has an eclectic array of furnishings sprinkled through out her home. When it came to designing this beauty, she had a few goals in mind. First it had to match a very unique, sofa-table-esque piece she must have found at the corner of Lost and Forgotten. Of course, the sofa-table thing undeniably brings the room together but it is a one of a kind in terms of build and style. Second, it had to be large enough for five grandchildren to simultaneously play, color and read. Third, it had to withstand the sticky, smearing, careless hands of those same five grandchildren (with the inevitability of more to come).
We threw all that into the Vermont Woods Studios custom furniture crock pot and, in due time, served the beauty now resting front and center in the family room. The top is a natural Cherry with a rustic finish to match the antiquated look Mom loves so much. The base is Maple, painted black. I chose Maple for its durability and light color. Overtime, the Cherry will darken and serve a smooth transition from bottom to top. And finally the finish-a non-toxic, kid friendly and kid resistant, lacquer.
Mom is thrilled with her new coffee table and the results her small army is yielding. And next year? Her outdoor coffee table won’t last for long- why not some Polywood furniture that will last a lifetime!
It’s an exciting day for us at Vermont Woods Studios. Kendall, Neville and Loryn are very busy applying a new face to our website. They’re finally publishing the new design Kendall’s been working on for over a year. I think you’re going to love it.
The new layout makes much better use of our photos so you can get an idea of the style and quality of our Vermont made furniture. It also provides a better user experience, incorporating new menus and navigation links that require fewer clicks to find what you’re looking for. And if you’re someone who prefers to use the search box, rather then the navigation menus, Douglas says our site search is now infinitely better than before (with more improvements on the way).
The catch is that we’ll be working out bugs today so I apologize if you’re having trouble browsing or purchasing. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions (802-275-5174). Douglas, Heather, Liz and Sean are all available to help you. Heather B will be monitoring Facebook too so you can post questions there as well.
Thanks for your patience! Check back in tomorrow and let us know what you think of our new design.
Pieces like Copeland’s Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit make me think two things: how cool and when would anyone ever need that. Well the point is, you don’t need a TV Media Unit. Heck, you don’t even need a TV- any one can just grab a pencil and paper and scrawl away listening to the nearest radio frequency for entertainment. But even coming from a girl who enjoys spinning a vinyl on a Sunday morning- I want that TV and I want it on that entertainment unit.
Apparently another woman had the same thought this week- which is what brought my attention here in the first place. She loved the piece but… well there were a few changes she wanted to see.
Combination pieces, like our TV Media Units, might be a bit of luxury but they’re well worth it. Along with offering organization (especially for those pesky AV wires and extra remotes), they are beautiful works of art with the added bonus of the purpose they serve (who wants to watch TV on the floor?). Better yet, they can be crafted to match your own artistic vision. If this post has inspired you to dream up your perfect media unit- give us a call! We’d be happy to help make that dream a reality.
Usually when we see the word ‘Free’ it is associated with a couch that belonged to someone’s great aunt and is now sitting on the curb in your neighborhood hosting exposed springs and splintered upholstery. As a result of this common association, we’re apt to raise a skeptical eyebrow at the word. Is anything really free? Sure, you can take the couch at no cost, but you’ll be paying for the tetanus infection later.
Rest assured, there is one place where you can trust ‘Free’, and that’s right here at Vermont Woods Studios. Our free shipping guarantee is applicable to most locations in the lower 48 states- that means you too, California! And just because it is free does not mean it’s cheap! Nay, we only trust our furniture to ship with the best. Shipping companies and types will vary with individual customer orders and needs as we see fit, guaranteeing the best shipping match for you and your furniture.
White Glove Delivery
Our cream of the crop delivery service comes wrapped in a blanket and delivered by our go-to shipping guys- Clark & Reid. These guys know furniture- how to carry it, how to assemble it- and they do it with finesse and professionalism. For local deliveries, however, Vermont’s own Green Mountain Messenger may be the ones at the door boasting the amicable attitude that comes standard with a Vermonter.
Another noteworthy white glove shipper we place our faith in is Manna Distribution Services- another good name for them would be Road Runner (we hear that’s taken though). With them, the furniture may not come blanket wrapped but it will be there fast!
For smaller orders, like a single coffee table or nightstand, or orders from our Copeland line, our standard shipping treatment is threshold delivery. It means exactly what it sounds like- it is delivered right to the threshold of your home. This is usually done by the popular shipping guys like UPS or FedEx, though we use a few others for larger pieces. Occasionally we have a real do-it-yourself customers who insist on this sort of delivery, so they can put their new furniture together themselves.
Far Out Shipping
As I said above, free shipping only qualifies to most places in the U.S but those really determined to get a piece of the Vermont Woods Studios pie are more than welcome to contact us about shipping. We’ve successfully shipped to Hawaii, Alaska and Canada and we’re even in the process of sending a Dana Thomas Grand Extension Dining Table to Kuwait!
Vermont Woods Studios was born out of our passion for rainforest conservation. I remember when we were getting started back in 2005 we came up with a manifesto that explained the connection between wood furniture, rainforest conservation and global warming (in retrospect it looks a little too emotional, but at least I can say that it was spoken from the heart). Anyway, seven years later our passion for conservation has turned into a growing sustainable furniture business where each sale is used to help reforest the planet through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project.
I realize most people see topics like rainforest conservation as boring but the truth is that our favorite iconic species like tigers, lions, pandas and gorillas all make their homes in the forest and all are critically endangered. With rainforest destruction proceeding at the rate of 1 acre/second (every minute of every hour of every day) there’s not much time left for these species unless we take action.
We use this blog occasionally to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from and how that affects your favorite creatures of the forest. Buy imported furniture and there’s a good chance it’s made from rare woods that have been clear-cut from the rainforest. Buy American made furniture and it’s probably made from American wood that’s been harvested sustainably. There are other things you can do to help save tigers and the rainforest. When buying coffee, nuts, rubber, paper or any type of forest product, check to see if it’s been produced sustainably.
Here’s an example of how you can make a difference. It’s a project by the World Wildlife Fund where consumers are boycotting Paseo and Livy toilet paper which are made by clear-cutting ancient, old growth trees in primary rainforests of Sumatra. The boycott is working and as a result WWF is able to help conserve Sumatra’s rare tigers and orangutans. Check out WWF’s website and see what you can do to lend a hand with this important project.
And if you love tigers as much as we do, learn more about how homeowners can help Save the Tiger on our website.
If you're looking for authentic, solid walnut, fine dining furniture, have a look at Catalina. This Copeland set is 100% handmade in America– right here in Vermont.
It's designed with mid-century modern style, including clean unadorned lines and retro-modern shapes and sensibilities. Manjula has arranged our Catalina dining set to make it easy to price and purchase dozens of combinations of tables, chairs and buffets. You can use drop-down menus to price out different choices for arm chairs, side chairs, extension table versus solid top table and buffet sizes.
Customers receive free DIY shipping and discounted white glove shipping when purchasing this furniture as a set so the savings can be substantial. We also offer a lifetime guarantee and a low price guarantee. If you're considering Catalina or any other Copeland furniture I recommend you check out our Top 10 Reasons to Buy Copeland Furniture at Vermont Woods Studios. It really does make a difference where you buy.
Drop us a note below or on our Facebook to let us know how you like Catalina and the many other beautiful furniture collections Copeland crafts right here in Vermont.
Have you ever heard of TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design)? It's a series of conferences hosted by the private non-profit Sapling Foundation, to disseminate "ideas worth sharing." Ideas that can change the world.
Invited speakers are given 18 minutes to present their ideas and they compete for the best one. Speakers include Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners. Million dollar prizes are awarded and winners use them to help realize a chosen wish to change the world.
I know you don't have a lot of time to watch videos online but maybe sometime when you're in front of the computer and you start zoning out you might want to have a look. You can sort through the topics by newest release, most viewed, and those viewers rated most: jaw-dropping, courageous, fascinating, inspiring, beautiful, etc. Take time out to watch a TED video some day or just go out and change the world with your own ideas.