Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

Interior Design

Customer Photos

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:

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set

And this is a bedroom set:

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set- Customer Photo

Cherry Moon Bedroom Set- Customer Photo

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:

Customer Photos

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.

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Inquiry of the Week | Mom’s New Coffee Table

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.

Mom’s 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).

Mom’s Small Army

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!

 

Christmas 2013?

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Vermont Dining Furniture Styles

February 24th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Dining Furniture Styles

Vermont Shaker is one of our most popular dining furniture styles.  This table is shown in solid cherry wood, with a clear natural, hand-rubbed linseed oil finish.  It’s representative of Vermont’s reputation for simple, elegant craftsmanship.

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.

Vermont Style Dining Furniture | Modern, Contemporary | All Natural Solid Cherry Wood

Although this Modern American Dining Furniture is very different in design from the Shaker furniture shown above, the both share a high level of craftsmanship, solid cherry wood construction and a hand-rubbed oil finish.  Both dining sets  represent the “Vermont style” and are guaranteed for a lifetime.

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.

 

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2013 Interior Design Trends – Sustainability

January 15th, 2013 by Loryn Dion

2013 Interior Design

 

2013 Interior Design

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.

Elegant Designs and Florals

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.

Organic Modernistic Kitchens

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.

Lacquer and Shine

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.

Practicality

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!

Man Caves?

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?

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2013 Interior Design Trends – Furniture

January 8th, 2013 by Loryn Dion

2013 interior design trends

 

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!

Futuristic 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.

Sustainable Furniture

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.

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Pinteresting Ideas For Your Houzz (Part 2)

December 27th, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton

Houzz website for interior design ideas

Houzz has become one of the top 2 social media websites for home design ideas. The other top website is Pinterest.

Websites for Interior Design Ideas

Yesterday, I acquainted you with the new trend of using social media websites for your interior design ideas. Click here to read my post about Pinterest. If you are new to the blog, here is a brief introduction on websites for interior design ideas.

2012 has been the year for finding home design ideas on the Internet. With social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz, it has become extremely easy to find interior design ideas, even if you’re not ready to refurnish your home. These websites have developed a way to virtually keep all of your home design ideas in one place, in an organized manner. The days of subscribing to home decor magazines, clipping out the pages, and scrapbooking what you like is over. These social media inspiration websites have paved the way for consumers and businesses to connect in an informal way. This opportunity allows businesses to share their work and knowledge to the consumers who are actively seeking their guidance. Not only can the consumers interact with home improvement professionals, but they can also share their home design ideas with their friends on the social media site. Pinterest and Houzz make it easy for home remodelers to share their ideas with their circle of friends, and get their feedback.

Yesterday, I discussed the virtual pinboard website, Pinterest. Today, I would like to introduce you to Houzz.

Houzz

Website For Interior Design Ideas

What is Houzz? Their website states, “Houzz is the leading online platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish- online or from a mobile device.” Houzz is similar to Pinterest in the way that you can save images you like to “Ideabooks.” Houzz makes it easy to search for specific interior design ideas and network with other design enthusiasts. Houzz is unique because it also allows you to geographically search for interior designers, architectures, and home furnishing businesses. These local professionals are sharing their “Projects” and “Ideabooks” to inspire you.

Houzz makes it easy to narrow your home design searches, by eliminating the need for a search engine like Google or Bing. The search function on Houzz brings you right to products that match your search. You will be connected right away with an image to match your design idea.

Vermont Woods Studios currently has a handful of Ideabooks on Houzz. We have organized the Ideabooks by room and style, so that you can easily save one of our images to your Ideabooks, too. Additionally, each of our images have image tags with a brief description of the piece of furniture you’re looking at, and a link of where to find it. This function helps separate and name every piece of furniture listed in the photo, and a direct way to find that piece of furniture in our online gallery.

 

Are you using inspiration boards yet?  Let us know what your favorite websites are for saving all of your home design ideas!

Follow us on Pinterest and on Houzz. Every Saturday we share our most popular pin of the week on our Facebook page.

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Pinteresting Ideas For Your Houzz (Part 1)

December 26th, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton

 

home design idea website

Pinterest has become one of the top 2 social media websites for home design ideas. The other top website is Houzz.

Websites For Home Design Ideas

2012 has been the year for finding home design ideas on the Internet. With social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz, it has become extremely easy to find interior design ideas, even if you’re not ready to refurnish your home. These websites have developed a way to virtually keep all of your home design ideas in one place, in an organized manner. The days of subscribing to home decor magazines, clipping out the pages, and scrapbooking what you like is over. These social media inspiration websites have paved the way for consumers and businesses to connect in an informal way. This opportunity allows businesses to share their work and knowledge to the consumers who are actively seeking their guidance. Not only can the consumers interact with home improvement professionals, but they can also share their home design ideas with their friends on the social media site. Pinterest and Houzz make it easy for home remodelers to share their ideas with their circle of friends, and get their feedback.

Today, I will discuss how Pinterest has changed the way we organize our remodeling ideas, and tomorrow I will introduce you to Houzz.

Pinterest

Inspiration board on Pinterest

Pinterest allows you to create several boards to store your home design ideas.

If you haven’t heard of Pinterest, it is a virtual “Pinboard.” Imagine cutting out your favorite furniture pieces from a magazine, and tacking it to a cork board. Pinterest is essentially the electronic version of that. There are three ways to pin: You can find images on the Pinterest website, and “repin” them to one of your Pinterest boards. You can also save images you like from other websites by using the “Pin It” button commonly found on websites (you will see Pin It buttons on our products in 2013). Another way to pin images you like is to install the Pin It button to your favorite browser. Then, when you find an image you like, all you have to do is hit “Pin It” from your browser, and it will prompt you to save the image to Pinterest.

Pin It button to save design ideas

The Pin It button appears on many business websites, allowing you to easily save images to your inspiration boards. Vermont Woods Studios will be getting Pin It buttons in 2013!

Pinterest makes it easy to redecorate your home!

Vermont Woods Studios is on Pinterest. We pin our furniture to organized boards, so that it is easy for you to find them and repin them! We have a variety of boards to help inspire you. We have boards ranging from Bedroom Furniture to Shaker Furniture to Cherry Wood Furniture, and everything in between. All of our images easily click through to our website so when the time comes, you know exactly where to purchase it!

Are you using inspiration boards yet?  Let us know what your favorite websites are for saving all of your home design ideas! Come back to our blog tomorrow to learn about Houzz!

Follow us on Pinterest and on Houzz. Every Saturday we share our most popular pin of the week on our Facebook page.

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How to Have a Green Holiday Party

December 18th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

green holiday partyGreen Holiday Party Tips

Now that you’re green, American-made gift shopping is almost done, it’s time to get ready for your green holiday party! Even if you are hosting a house full of people, it’s no reason to give up on your sustainable values. Here are a few tips to keep your holiday celebrations environmentally-friendly.

E-Vites!
While I’ll admit that paper invitations and Christmas cards look great and are fun to receive, think about all of the money and paper you’ll waste sending them out to your friends and family. Try looking into e-invitations this year. You’ll save time, money and paper. Plus most sites let your guests see who else is going and chat with each other about what everyone is bringing.

Buy Local!
Even though it’s the winter-time, there are still plenty of ways to shop local for your green holiday party dinner. Many towns and cities have winter markets you can visit to find fresh produce and specialty items. You can also check in to your local butcher for meats customized for the amount of guests that you have coming. He may even be willing to order specialty meats for your holiday party. Don’t forget about local spirits and craft beers! Local breweries and distilleries usually have special holiday beverages available and your guests will be impressed and excited to try something new on your drink list.

Use your Resources!
Don’t bother heading to a department store for decorations. Try finding local holly or fir boughs to create unique and lovely centerpieces and decorations. If you’re not feeling particularly crafty this year, many people sell wreaths, trees and decorations out of their homes during the holidays. Buy from a neighbor and display their hard work for your friends and family to enjoy at your green holiday party.

Save Energy!
Skip the bright overhead lighting this year and turn off your ugly, Christmas Story leg lamp (I hope that’s not just my family!). Try lighting holiday scented candles this year. Cinnamon, pine, pumpkin and vanilla are great aromas for setting the mood and the candle light will be very flattering for your home décor.

Eco-Friendly Party-ware
Try to avoid using paper plates and cups this year. While they may save you on dish-washing  they’re definitely not friends of the environment. If you must go with a paper or plastic option, try looking for green brands that make biodegradable and compostable paper-ware.

Recycle!
As always, don’t forget to recycle! Try to reuse or recycle any discarded gift-wrap, compost your meal leftovers and recycle your plates and cups, if you used them.

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A Green Wish List – Four Sustainable Gift Ideas for Your Home

December 11th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

sustainable gift

 

Sustainable Gifts for You and Your Home

Only fifteen days until Christmas! Better start making out your Holiday wish list! But what to ask for? Have Santa bring you a gift that will give back all year long. Here’s my top four sustainable gift “must haves” for any green home.

 

Energy Efficient Appliances

Appliances that are energy efficient don’t just look great in your home. They save you major cash!  You’ll also reduce air pollution as well as reduce your electric bill.  These energy efficient appliances can be any thing from a refrigerator to a new computer, so browse your options! EarthEasy.com put together a great guide on energy efficient appliances.

 

Gadgets to Help Reach your Green Goal

With Christmas on the way, people tend to forget about the new year almost on us! A great Christmas gift would be a gadget to help you live a more sustainable life throughout the next year. Try asking for a composter to be more eco-friendly or a new bicycle so you can get out of the house and cut down on your automobile use.

 

Recycled Furniture

This one is a no-brainer. Polywood furniture looks great, is low cost and is made from recycled plastic. Who can argue with this as an addition to your wish list? Even though the winter isn’t the best time to use Polywood, it’s weather resistant materials mean that you can bring them outside for next summer and never worry about them again. Talk about a gift you can use all year long.

 

Low VOC Furniture

Maybe you just aren’t ready to buy outdoor furniture yet. Our hardwood furniture is made using chemicals with virtually no VOC’s. Make sure your tables, beds and dressers are friends to the environment this Christmas. Buying sustainable furniture is the best gift you can give our environment.

 

What sustainable gifts and eco-friendly gadgets are on your wish list this year?

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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas….

December 5th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

Green Christmas Tips

 

Tips for a Green Christmas

Bing Crosby had it all wrong when he sang “White Christmas”. I’d like to think that your days will be much merrier and brighter if all of your Christmases are GREEN! Sustainably green, that is. Enjoy your holiday and give back to nature and to our economy by celebrating a “Green Christmas”.

Your Green Christmas Tree!

Ditch the artificial tree this year and opt for a natural evergreen tree. Many artificial trees are made in China, contain harmful chemicals and once they lose their shape or luster, it’s off to the landfill they go. Buying a cut tree brings a festive aroma into your home, looks better than any fake tree could ever look and acts as a natural bird feeder after the holidays are over that you can place outside. Better yet, try starting a new tradition this year and buy a potted evergreen that you can plant in your yard after Christmas!

Give Green!

Get out of those Walmart lines and support your local business! Or make your friends and family something rather than buying it. Recycled and reused gifts can also be nice ways of sharing vintage presents. You could also give a gift of membership- try a gym membership, guitar lessons, theater tickets or spa day certificates at local venues. A gift of membership saves wrapping paper and reduces driving! Any way you decide to give, just think about your gifts impact on the environment and how you can make small changes to give greener. If you’re thinking of buying American-made to support your local economy, check out our American-made Holiday Shopping Challenge.

Reuse Wrapping and Packaging Materials!

As tempting as the pretty wrapping papers at the department store may be, think about how many resources are waste by just wrapping paper and packaging materials alone. Try using old newspaper comics, fun cereal boxes or real popcorn instead of packing peanuts. Get creative!

Sustainable Decor!

Your green Christmas tree deserves some green Christmas ornaments. I found this great resource on everythingetsy filled with tutorials on making your own ornaments. Also, check out her green gift buying guide. It will certainly inspire some greener ideas for your decor and your gifts.

Let me know what your green Christmas ideas are here in the comments or on our Facebook page! And may all your Christmases be GREEN!

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