August 24th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Stonehurst has been crazy lately, and in a good way! Settling in here has been great, and quiet for a while… but for the last few days we’ve been nonstop with renovations, visitors, and new fine furniture! Woot! The showroom is starting to fill up and look more like a home, and i’m so excited to watch it progress as we move forward with the landscaping, furniture, and art! So while there isn’t too much more to say, I’m going to post some photos from the last few days so you can get a peek at whats going around the showroom.
August 21st, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
As promised in my last blog, here is the new color of the doors at Stonehurst! Blue! What is so great about it is that they aren’t a traditional door color, and we think that really fits with the personality of Vermont Woods Studios and the quirky folks who work here. While several people asked why we didn’t go with green to fit with our company colors, blue turned out to be a better fit. It brings out the natural blues of the sky and contrasts wonderfully with the white paint, plus, it’s going to look amazing once all of the landscaping and outdoor decor is in place. I’m really happy with the way the doors turned out, and I know that the rest of the Green Team is too! But we want to know what you think about them, let us know on Facebook!
August 15th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
It’s been almost a year now since we purchased Stonehurst, the 200+ year old farmhouse we’ve grown to know and love. From the beginning when we first conceptualized this showcase of Vermont’s best handmade furniture, fine art and home decor accessories we decided to renovate with local products. We worked with Brattleboro architect Jeremy Coleman and Spofford builder, Bob Furlone (American Construction) to reuse and re-purpose everything we could in an effort to keep Stonehurst authentic. And when we needed to purchase building materials new, we sourced Vermont made products where possible.
Dennis, Heather B, Kelsey and I have written many Stonehurst blog posts describing the details of how we renovated and where materials came from. But I wanted to do a final run-down to recognize and thank the Vermont companies that made Stonehurst the authentic showcase it is today. Here’s the list:
A million thanks to all of you for making Stonehurst the special place it is! I must also thank Vermont taxpayers and the people who worked on the Vermont Working Lands Grant Initiative. Earlier this year they awarded Vermont Woods Studios a $100,000 grant to help complete the Stonehurst project.
To follow through on our “all things Vermont” theme, we are now working with local artisans to adorn the inside of Stonehurst with Vermont made fine furniture, artwork and home decor items. Soon you will be able to see that, plus lighting by Hubbardton Forge, glassware and pottery by Simon Pearce and pewter by Danforth Pewter all under one roof. Come visit and enjoy!
August 10th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
OK, Sally Blakley and other dear readers: I can explain. I know I asked for your opinion on the exterior paint makeover for Stonehurst. And I know you voted overwhelmingly to keep the old barn-red color. And I loved that classic look too. But…
We have a couple things going on that swayed my decision off in the opposite direction. First of all, there’s the landscaping. You may have read about the plans we’re making with Gordon Hayward (landscape architect) and Torben Larsen (landscaper and stone mason) to add colorful lilacs, hydrangeas, peonies, lavender and all sorts of other wonderful plants to the front yard.
Second, we’ve been trying to renovate Stonehurst as authentically as possible. We’ve recycled, re-invigorated and reused existing parts and filled in with local Vermont made components whenever we needed something new.
And, well… the original color of Stonehurst back circa 1790 was farmhouse white. Lastly, there’s the matter of our green and white logo, as you can see on the sign. Don’t you think there’s some harmony going on between the sign and the white house with nature’s greenery all around?
Let me know what you think on our Facebook and we’ll duke it out there. In the meantime, if you’re interested in painting your own house, check out these 13 Dramatic Exterior Paint Makeovers on Houzz. Then post your own before and after photos for all of us to see!
August 7th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Here’s a fun set of before and after pictures of Stonehurst, taken at the “Warming Hut”. I guess this before snapshot must have been taken around 1950-1960 when Stonehurst was “Pine Top” a local ski area. At that time, before mega ski resorts came along, about 2/3 of the towns in Vermont had their own local ski area. Vernon’s Pine Top had 3 rope tows and prior to that a couple “horse tows” (isn’t that awesome– I’m trying to find a picture of that!).
Pine Top’s “tool shed” aka “warming hut” was located behind the Stonehurst house we currently occupy as Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Inside the shed there was room for a few tables and a grill where our friend, Chris Howe cooked hamburgers for hungry skiers.
Chris visited us a couple weeks ago and reminisced a bit. She and I walked out to the stone foundation where the warming hut used to be. It’s now covered with beautiful green moss. That’s Chris sitting at the picnic table, looking over the hills that she and her family used to ski through to get home after work.
What fun! Customers coming to Stonehurst to shop for fine furniture in the winter should pack their cross country skis and maybe a bottle of Bailey’s or a hot toddy. Then we’ll give Chris a call and see if we can’t tap a few more of those memories of Pine Top’s heyday.
August 6th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Well, now that the exterior painting of Stonehurst (Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery) is almost done (pictures to follow later this week), it’s time to look into landscaping. We were fortunate to be able to persuade Brattleboro’s best painters (Moe Momaney and crew) to help us out and they in turn recommended the area’s most admired landscaper. That would be Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens.
Annette, Douglas and I met with Gordon the other day and roughed out a few preliminary sketches. Boy are they different from our previous plans! Gordon got here just in the nick of time.
At the moment, designing the ADA accessible walkway into the front of Stonehurst is the main dilemma we’re facing. We all envision a lovely, traditional Vermont stone pathway, constructed by a skilled stone mason using Goshen stone. Jeremy Coleman, the Stonehurst architect has already laid the pathway foundation with the proper gentle slope to make wheelchair access easy. The problem is that in the winter, it’s hard to snow-blow a stone-inlaid path and Ken’s afraid that over time the walkway will become bumpy and difficult for wheelchair access.
Before talking to Gordon we had decided to pave the walkway and stamp it so it looks like Goshen stone. Well, both Jeremy and Gordon feel like all the work we’ve done in making sure Stonehurst is authentic will be compromised by paving the entrance. They are certain that Goshen stone can be properly laid such that it will stay level and intact for smooth wheelchair access.
What do you think? Gordon is coming over tomorrow to continue our landscaping project. You can put your 2 cents in on our Fine Furniture Facebook page. And I’ll keep you updated here on the blog.
And here’s a couple interesting links for you:
July 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Here’s an update on the exterior painting at Stonehurst. A couple weeks ago I polled you on what your preference was for the exterior paint color. The response was an overwhelming preference for RED. What’s up with that? I was hoping to restore Stonehurst to it’s former self. It was a white farmhouse for 150 years or so before it’s life as Pine Top, Vernon’s local ski area in the 1940s – 1960s.
When Moe Momaney and his crew are finished I’ll post pictures of the New Do. It’s not too late to register your vote though, if you haven’t already. Keep in mind there will be lots of flowers and landscaping in front of the house. In fact, today we’ll be meeting with Gordon Hayward, a landscape designer from Hayward Gardens in Putney, VT. I’ll report on that front later this week.
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 19th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
This farmhouse style Vermont Tavern Bench is part of a new line of furniture we’re making. It’s a unique signature collection, available only at Vermont Woods Studios. Traditionally crafted, this 2-tone bench features a 1 inch thick solid cherry wood seat, with a durable maple wood base painted with black lacquer.
Vermont farmhouse furniture is adapted from William and Mary style furniture that was popular in England around 1700 after the reign of King William and Queen Mary. These pieces are reproductions of the classic English tavern table and bench you’ll see in inns throughout the UK and New England (a few of Southern Vermont’s favorites are the Grafton Inn, Ye Olde Tavern, The Hermitage Inn).
Besides being a durable, heirloom piece– the Vermont Tavern Bench is sleek and stylish. The contrast between the traditional Cherry wood and the deep black lacquer base creates a truly unique piece that would make a great furniture addition for anyone looking to add a little flair to their dining area. Stop by our fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst and check it out!
June 25th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
The grass is finally beginning to fill in at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom. The past few months have seen a flurry of activity while Bob Furlone and American Construction finished their last few projects. This week they will complete the installation of indoor and outdoor lighting and be nearly done with renovations.
But the rest of us will still have plenty of projects left, and one of them is exterior painting. So I have an opinion question for you. In the first photos of Stonehurst which were taken in 1869, the house looked much as it does in today’s photo above, except the entire building was painted white:
Sometime-probably in the 1940s the exterior was painted barn red, when Stonehurst was transformed by Elsie and Romey Racine into the Pine Top Ski Area.
My preference is to restore Stonehurst to its original white color, but I’m getting some push back from those who have grown really fond of the familiar red color.
So what do you think? Red? Or white? And remember I’m not talking about wine. Let me know in the comment section below or on our Facebook.