Stonehurst

Ken and I finally closed on our purchase of Stonehurst today… woohoo!

I am happy to report that Ken and I finally closed on our purchase of Stonehurst today… woohoo!  We've got much work ahead in renovating and transforming it into a fine furniture gallery, nature center and destination shopping experience but this is an exciting first step.

Today I just wanted to make a quick entry to thank all the professionals who helped us with the property purchase.  Our gratitude goes out to our wonderful real estate agent, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro, Peter Carvell our (ever so thorough) banker from, Brattleboro Savings and Loan and Rich Carroll, our attorney from Potter Stewart Law who has managed to keep us in good humor throughout the process.

We are also grateful to Elaine and Bill Ellis the people who stewarded this historic property over the last 30 years and transferred care of it to us today.  We are looking forward to the day we can welcome them back to see the renovations– hopefully in 6 months or so.

Stay tuned for periodic updates, including reports about our new friend Stoney who (we just discovered) currently resides at Stonehurst.

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.

Stonehurst-stone-wallsIt's been a long time coming and we've tried to be quiet about it… for worry about everything that can go wrong in a real estate transaction. 

But we're now in the final countdown– just 3 more days until we close on the purchase of Stonehurst, an historic circa 1800 farmhouse and former ski area located just up the road in Vernon, Vermont.

Stonehurst will be our new showroom, office space and nature center.  It's a traditional Vermont style farmhouse that sits on 109 acres of forest and meadow, overlooking the Connecticut River.  Not your typical furniture store

We're excited that we'll finally be able to show customers a wide selection of all the custom and made to order furniture our Vermont craftspeople have to offer.  Even more exciting for me personally is the idea of conserving the property and providing eco-conscious customers a chance to see and experience the land where their furniture comes from. 

Check in after we settle on Stonehurst this Thursday for more details on our plans to make it a destination shopping experience.

 

 

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.

 

Vermont-summer

This is part of the back yard of Stonehurst, the property we're trying to purchase for our new Vermont Woods Studios office and showroom.  The plan is to do a green renovation of the main farmhouse (not shown), creating a unique, luxury shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted sustainable furniture.

It's been well over a year now since we began our search for a new home for Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Our amazing realtor, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro VT has been incredibly patient and helpful.  She's showed us dozens of possible properties and lived through the whole disappointing saga of Skyline, a property we fell in love with last year which did not work out for us.

Now we're working on acquiring Stonehurst, a beautiful old farmhouse property located right here in Vernon VT (that's just part of the backyard shown on the left.  Here's a photo of the main house). It's on 109 acres of forested land with scenic views all the way down to the Connecticut River.  It used to be a ski area, Pine Top.

Our plan is to do a green renovation of the property and transform it into a luxury, destination shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted, sustainable furniture.  What do you think?  Is this the kind of place you'd be interested in if you were shopping for fine wood furniture?  Let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook.

 

 

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.

 

New-vermont-home-search

Do you think this farmhouse would make a good home for Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture?

Vermont Woods Studios is growing.  Maybe you've noticed that we have a few new faces in our small office/furniture showroom on Fort Bridgeman Road in Vernon.  There are 9 of us now, plus a couple summer interns.  Hard to believe!

Everyone's being a real good sport about the occasional crowding.  On nice days we think up excuses to work outside at the picnic (conference) table and that helps.  But clearly it's time to scout around for a new home.

This is one possibility we're looking at.  It's an old (circa 1800) farmhouse that was transformed into a local ski area in the 1940s.  Great story. 

We're looking at a number of other options as well and I'll share more pictures as we journey through the process of finding the one that works best for us.  Stay tuned and let me know what you think on our Facebook page.

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.

Skyline

 

 

Part of our feasibility study to see if the Skyline property on Vermont's Hogback Mountain would work for Vermont Woods Studios is anaylzing the possibility of co-locating a cafe or wine bar with the furniture showroom. It's not a real natural combination, is it (furniture and food)?

 

 

But two factors keep pointing to the pairing of these functions at Skyline:

 

 

  • The Skyline location, on top of Hogback Mountain, with it's 100 mile view of the Green Mountain Forest offers what I've been looking for to raise awareness about where your wood furniture comes from.  After all, you can buy imported wood furniture anywhere but it's probably going to be made from illegally harvested trees, clear-cut from the world's rapidly disappearing tropical rainforests.  Our customers are interested in acquiring heirloom quality, Vermont-made furniture that's crafted from natural, solid, wood that's been sustainably harvested from beautiful, well-managed American forests (more about green, environmental concerns here). 
  • The other factor is that:  How could  you operate ANYTHING at Skyline without inviting people to come up and enjoy the view?  It would be kinda like that commercial for Ally bank where the guy asks 2 little girls if they'd like a pony. He shows a real pony to one of the girls but only gives her a little figurine instead.  The announcer says something like:  "even kids know it's wrong to hold out on somebody."  That's how I'd feel having a business at Skyline that didn't offer people a place to relax and enjoy the view with a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

So now we're trying to figure out how to strategically pair a Vermont-made furniture showroom with a cafe or wine bar.  Allocating space is the conundrum of the day.  60% furniture — 40% cafe? Additional seasonal seating outside?  I guess the answers will reveal themselves as we do our research. 

Got ideas?  Suggestions? Interested in running an upscale cafe at Skyline?  Contact us on Facebook and jump into the conversation.  We'll be looking for local help as we navigate through the feasibility study and (hopefully) beyond.

 

 

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.