August 18th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Did you know that we recently painted the front doors of Stonehurst? We decided on a color that was bright, unique, and fitting to the beauty of the space. In the spirit of our newest renovation, this blog post explains some common symbolism behind several eclectic front door colors.
1. Red: In Feng Shui, a red door means “welcome!” It’s full of powerful, warm energy. According to folklore, if a weary traveler stumbled upon a home with a red door, they would stop there and surely be welcomed with a good meal and a good nights sleep. A red door is great for people who have lots of guests visiting their home, and who aren’t afraid to make a statement.
2. Blue: As you can imagine, the color blue inspires a feeling of calm and peace to those who see it, and beyond that, a blue door welcomes abundance, growth, and prosperity! Feng Shui suggests that when you walk through a blue door, you can more easily concentrate, focus on personal endeavors, and practice creativity!
3. Yellow: Yellow can cheer you up, fill you with hope, and give you enhanced mental clarity. It also has a warm, nurturing tone. Use a yellow door if you want your home to always be a happy retreat from the outside world.
4. Green: Green is representative of earth, and brings in a feeling of the natural world. Green is associated with growth, balance, and total harmony. Use a green door if you always want to feel a little closer to mother earth!
5. Purple: Purple is actually one of the most popular front door colors, surprisingly! Purple or violet hued doors are commonly associated with spiritual energy, and relaxed, meditative spaces. Sometimes purple doors are used in religious spaces like temples and churches! Purple would be an ideal color for you if you use your home as a low-energy place for quiet, spiritual contemplation, and meditation.
6. White: As you can probably imagine, a white door symbolizes purity, tradition, & freshness. It’s a color that represents things that are untouched and clean! Painting your door white is a good idea if you are someone who loves traditional style, or someone who wants to keep your home looking pristine. Some people say that if you are looking for a fresh start, or if you have just started a new phase in your life whether it be a marriage, a new baby, or a new job– to paint your door white to “start over” and reflect your new life!
Want to know which one of these colors we decided on for the front doors of Stonehurst? Keep your eye out for a new blog, coming early next week!
August 11th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Looking for top quality, craftsman furniture that’s American made? Why not start your search in Vermont? We’ve gathered up an encyclopedia of facts about Vermont craftsmanship and state’s 200+ year history as a maker of high quality, solid wood furniture. Here’s an exceprt:
Vermont is the Fine Furniture Capital of America. The Green Mountain State is increasingly recognized as the country’s leader in high quality, handmade wood furniture. Vermont boasts over 1000 furniture companies plus 2000 independent woodworkers operating out of small shops, barns and garages. They produce a diverse collection of wood furnishings for every taste and budget and together they have earned a world-wide reputation for integrity, authenticity and green design.
Craftsman furniture is a favorite style amongst Vermont woodworkers and one of my personal favorites. At Vermont Woods Studios we showcase a variety of Mission, Craftsman and Arts & Crafts Furniture designed and built by our state’s fine furniture makers.
Originally, mission and craftsman furniture was characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, heavy proportion and exposed joinery, often using medium or dark stained oak. Drawer pulls were usually simple round brass rings or rectangular back plates of solid brass with canted corners and an oval bail handle. But like all things, craftsman furniture has evolved.
Today’s Vermont made mission, craftsman and arts & crafts style furniture ranges from the traditional American Mission Furniture Collection to our Cherry Moon Furniture Collection which incorporates subtle curves in an Asian design to the modern Contemporary Craftsman furniture, also somewhat curvy but still simple and elegant. Rather than fancy, ornate scrolling or carving, craftsman furniture emphasizes fine workmanship in the form of refined style, perfect proportions, exposed joinery and top quality wood selection.
Need some ideas for how to put together your own unique craftsman style home decor? Check out this Pinterest craftsman board, or browse through Arts and Crafts. And if you’re looking for craftsman style lighting to complement your furniture, Vermont’s own Hubbardton Forge is the authority on that subject. Here’s a Pinterest board with some great lighting ideas.
August 9th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Handmade custom tables are a common request for the craftspeople at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Recently Barbara K came to us looking for custom banquette tables for her kitchen. Banquette seating is custom built, usually into a corner, along a wall or in front of a window. Depending on the design of the seating, the banquette table must be custom made too. Over the years, we’ve had many requests to customize existing tables and make them a little taller, shorter, longer, wider and so on. This type of customization is something we can do quite easily as every piece of our furniture is made to order.
Here’s an excerpt from Barbara’s feedback about her new dining table:
We just absolutely love our table. You were so nice to work with and the delivery men were just delightful. They made sure our table was level before they left. We ordered the table because we needed a certain height for the banquette. Vermont Wood Studios was the only place we found that could give us this. We would definitely recommend you!! Barbara K
If you’re searching for banquette tables and seating, have a look at these photos on Houzz, Better Homes and Gardens and Pinterest. And if you need a custom banquette table, browse through our selection of made to order dining tables and give Liz a call to discuss dimensions and pricing. Often we can customize tables like this for little or no extra charge.
July 28th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re trucking right along in our quest to transform Stonehurst from a private residence to a fine furniture and art gallery that showcases Vermont made sustainable home decor products. There are a whole host of finishing touches still in progress but I thought I’d share some before and after pictures of spaces where the renovation is pretty well complete. First up: the kitchen, my personal favorite part of the transformation. The “before” kitchen was functional but the layout didn’t provide much opportunity for windows to overlook the spectacular view out back.
Since the kitchen is the entry into the building, we wanted to treat our customers to a cheerful space where they could relax and unwind after a long trip up from the city (customers usually travel from Boston, New York, Washington DC and beyond). The wall of windows we installed puts Vermont’s green mountains and meadows front and center when customers step inside. It’s pretty clear: you’re in Vermont now. Time to slow down and enjoy nature at it’s finest.
With sustainable forestry being at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios, one of the main things we’re trying to do with Stonehurst is raise awareness about where your furniture comes from. So the view of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest often opens up a conversation about legally, sustainably harvested wood. Loryn is working on an educational display which will be installed on the sunroom wall to tell the story of how our furniture gets from sustainably-managed forests to your home.
I can’t start showing before and after photos without recognizing and thanking our architect, Jeremy Coleman of Brattleboro, VT and builder, Bob Furlone of American Construction. They have done a tremendous job, especially in facing all the realities involved in transforming and modernizing a 200+ year old farmhouse. They’ve also been really knowledgeable in helping us select all Vermont made materials whenever possible. The wall of windows shown above was custom made by Green Mountain Window in Rutland VT and the slate floor was mined locally by Vermont Slate Company.
Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments section below or on Facebook. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll post before and after photos of the:
I hope you’ll be as excited about this new Vermont fine furniture and art gallery as we are. Come and visit us to see it all up close and personal! Be sure to bring a bottle of wine and a picnic lunch so you can sit out back and enjoy the view.
July 24th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Keeping your home neat and organized can be pretty hard, especially in rooms that might not have a ton of space, but don’t fret, there is hope! With a little research and visual inspiration, I’ve compiled a list of 5 great ways to maximize space in your home. Even if your space is on the smaller, cozier side–there’s something for you!
1. Baskets. Baskets are a great way to save space in your home. Whether you are hanging them, putting them on the stairs, inside of a bookcase or hutch, or just keeping them on the floor– using baskets for storage is always a stylish and crafty solution to keep organized and utilize your space. What I love most about woven baskets is that they have a traditional country, rustic look that never goes out of “style” and is suitable for most home designs! Use baskets for kitchen organization (dishtowels, napkins, etc), for organization in the bedroom, or for any room in the home really!
2. Storage Beds. Storage beds are gaining a lot of popularity right now, and I get it. They are the perfect blend of form and function– sleek, efficient, and super helpful when it comes to storing those bedroom items that you might not have a clue where else to store! Store your socks in them, store your towels, bathing suits, old books, etc. Storage beds come in all sorts of different styles, and there is sure to be one to fit the aesthetic of any bedroom.
3. Use the wall. Rather than stuffing your cabinets full of pots and pans–hang them on the walls! Shakers would traditionally use the walls for most of their storage to create more space in the house, and it worked. Sometimes we overlook our walls as a place that can be used functionally as well as for decor. Whether you are hanging things with hooks (pans, big silverware, office supplies like scissors, etc) or using shelving, analyze your space from top to bottom when you are seeking extra space.
4. Trunks & Chests. Trunks and Chests are super versatile, as they can be used in practically any room of the home! From a bedside table, to a coffee table, to storage at the bottom of your bed… they are are an ideal storage solution for any space. Trunks are the vintage inspired older cousin of the traditional blanket chest, adding a shabby chic vibe to the home. The traditional solid wood chest is perfect for those with a more simple aesthetic taste, but still has the wonderful versatility of the trunk!
5. Shaker Boxes. Already a fan of the Shaker Style? If so, then the shaker boxes are an ideal storage solution for you. Not only are they great for looks alone, but they can be stacked on top of eachother and used to keep smaller household items such as stamps, post it notes, paper clips, etc!
If you feel like any of these ideas have inspired you (or if you have any more suggestions to add), feel free to let us know on Facebook! We’d also like to remind you to be conscious of where your home furnishings and decor pieces come from when you shop. Make sure that the pieces you buy aren’t negatively impacting the environment! Until next time, thanks for reading and have a great day!
March 25th, 2013 by Liz Francese
Recently my fellow office inhabitant, Sean Henry, began spear-heading our mission to obtain more customer photos or ‘real life’ images of our furniture. His unbroken concentration certainly lends much, sometimes unnecessary, dedication to his projects- so, as the more vocally inclined, I’ve taken it upon myself to help spread the word via VWS blog. This word is not just a want for more customer photos but the undying effort of our sales team to obtain these images.
Why customer photos? Well, the long and short of it is best told visually. This is a bedroom set:
And this is a bedroom set:
Which do you want more? And it isn’t even just the marketing power behind these inviting images but more the representational power of them. These handcrafted works of art are meant to please your eye and provide restful sleep or feed your family or hold your cable box- they’re meant for your home!
Fresh eyed and bushy tailed, Sean joined our crew only a few months ago, eager to make his mark and share his ideas (or “i-dears”, as he calls them). Though he’s tossed quite a few light bulbs around, it is really his re-kindling of the long forgotten ‘obtain customer photos’ mission that’s become his baby. Our white glove delivery crew might have barely made it out the door before the proud new furniture owner receives an email from Sean, adorned with this thoughtfully designed marquee:
So, if you’re a perspective buyer or just a handmade furniture fan- take a look at our customer photos album on Facebook or the Testimonials page on our website. If you already own a piece of Vermont Woods Studios furniture, well heck- we’d love to see it! Do it for Sean, at least.
March 9th, 2013 by Liz Francese
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!
February 24th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We work with fine furniture makers from all across the state of Vermont, representing their work for sale in our online furniture store as well as in our small Vernon, Vermont showroom. In getting to know these craftspeople and their work we’ve seen a unique “Vermont Style Furniture” emerge which is quite different from furniture made in North Carolina, Pennsylvania or any other furniture region of America.
I’ll take Vermont dining furniture for example, since it’s on sale this week. I think most furniture aficionados would categorize our dining furniture as belonging to one of these styles: Shaker, Mission, Arts and Crafts, Craftsman, Modern, Contemporary, Traditional or Transitional. In spite of the diversity of designs and the personalization that each craftsperson adds to their furniture, there are some commonalities that add up to the unique “Vermont style” that’s become so iconic.
First and foremost is the natural, wood character of the furniture. Vermont craftspeople tend to eschew the dark stains often seen on trendy furniture, preferring instead to focus on the natural beauty of the wood. Second is the embracement of simple, elegant styles such as the Shaker, craftsman and mission styles.
Whereas once fine Vermont made furniture was embellished with intricate hand-carvings, now the trend has been reversed. I think the advent of CNC routers was the main driver of this reversal. It became so inexpensive to produce carved detail with CNC machines in China that– in many customers’ minds– those details became less representative of fine craftsmanship and more indicative of mass production.
Vermont has always been about authentic craftsmanship and what we see here in the Green Mountain State is a consistent focus on quality, integrity and natural beauty. That’s what continues to set Vermont style furniture apart from products coming from other states and countries. What do you think of Vermont style furniture? We’d love to know. Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook.
January 15th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Many blogs and fashion magazines are starting to release their design trends for 2013, but how do we fit in with the trends while keeping it green? Here are some of 2013′s hottest trends and my tips for turning them green.
Taking inspiration from designers like Cath Kidston and Vera Bradley, floral patterns are making their way back into homes this year. My advice is to skip the floral upholstered sofa and try some artisan paintings in the main rooms of your home. Local artisan shops showcase beautiful paintings and photographs and buy purchasing one, you are helping to support your local economy. Plus, they are unique and it’s easy to find pictures that will match your homes existing decor.
It seems like designers are starting to take the green movement seriously. This years kitchen is all about homey, vintage designs that LOOK natural. I say, take it one step further and actually use natural materials in your kitchen. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is very interesting and would look fantastic in any kitchen or dining area. Reclaimed barnwood would also make beautiful cabinetry or recycled furniture.
This year is going to be all about the shine. Luckily, some of our furniture is available with a non-toxic, low VOC lacquer finish. Get that gloss you love without the harsh chemicals. The environment will be glad you did. Give us a call for more details.
So I know it’s not really a design, but people are craving furniture and designs that are efficient and can have multiple purposes. Maybe like a table that can be used as a chair or a footstool? Or a buffet that would also make a great media center? Don’t worry. If you’re looking for practical, Vermont Woods Studios has you covered!
So it felt a little weird putting this in here, but a trend is a trend! Apparently us women are working men a little too hard because there is a high demand for man caves this year. Treat the guy in your home with something classy for his otherwise masculine space and check out our solid wood media consoles. Perfect for storing entertainment centers, stereo systems or gaming consoles.
What trends are you seeing in the future for 2013?
January 8th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
With a new year comes new designs, fashions and ideas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be cover different trends that we’ve seen coming up for this year. First up for your 2013 Interior Design Trends: furniture!
In 2013, I think we are going to see many furniture pieces featuring simple lines and functions, much like furniture of the mid 20th century. We’ll have many retro styles making a comeback, such as metal detailing, splayed leg designs and futuristic, modular furniture. Our Moduluxe, Astrid and Contemporary Cable collections are good starting points for this look.
Unique Artisan Designs
Sometimes the best trend is not following a trend at all. Creative, one-of-a-kind designs will be big this year as people start to “de-commercialize” their lives. Whether you’re going for a modern look or a simple shaker style, artisan work is the way to go. Give us a call to discuss some custom options for your home.
Whatever look you decide to go for, make it a green one. Sustainability is starting to become a consumer standard in most industries, including food and fiber, and furniture is no different. Choose pieces that are made from sustained, American forests rather than endangered rainforest lumber. Learn more abut our sustainability standard and what we do to protect our rainforests.