December 16th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Christmas is drawing near. How did that happen so fast? If you’re like me and haven’t made much of a dent in your shopping yet, don’t panic. Stop by Stonehurst and experience the gift of “shopping relaxation”. Sounds like an oxy moron? Picture this: you get off Interstate 91 in Bernardston, MA and enjoy a scenic 6 mile drive along a lovely country road lined with old farmhouses, maple trees and scenic mountain vistas. Winding around the corner into Vernon, Vermont you come upon the snow-covered site of a lost ski area: Pine Top. It’s now the home of Vermont’s newest destination shopping experience, Stonehurst: an upscale furniture, home decor and fine arts showroom.
You turn in the driveway and tread up the entrance path to enter a 19th century homestead that’s been lovingly restored and renovated into a Vermont furniture store, showcasing authentic Vermont made home decor, gifts and artwork. Upon entry you are greeted by Liz who warmly welcomes you to Stonehurst and offers you a choice of hot chocolate, warm apple cider or a glass of chilled chardonnay. Now that’s what I call shopping relaxation.
What kind of Christmas gifts does a fine furniture store have to offer you ask? Here’s a partial list of the handmade home decor items you’ll find for sale at Stonehurst:
Take the stress out of your holiday shopping. Come shop with us at Stonehurst and remember what the holidays are really all about.
December 12th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re sending thanks out to journalist Steve Noble and publisher, Lynn Barrett of Southern Vermont Arts Magazine for their insightful articles about three Vermont woodworking businesses. Vermont Woods Studios was featured along with Charles Shackleton of Shackleton Thomas and Gail Grycel of Twin Birch Woodworking.
Steve’s article, “Three Vermonters and Their Love of Wood” explores how many of us in Vermont’s artisan community share a vision of using the timeless power of wood and woodworking to change the world:
We appreciate Lynn’s support for our craft and her help in raising awareness about value of Vermont’s fine wood furniture business. Keep up with the latest news about the Arts in Southern Vermont and these 3 woodworking businesses:
December 11th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
2013, our first year at Stonehurst gave us another reason to study and analyze what our customers’ favorite American made furniture styles are. With limited space in our showroom, we wanted to display the very best selection of Vermont furniture, as defined by customer purchases. After looking through the sales statistics, we found these Top 3 American Furniture styles, which we’ll be featuring often at Stonehurst:
This Vermont Shaker bed, nightstand and chest are pretty accurate reproductions of the original Shaker style furniture crafted by communities of the United Society of Believers starting in the late 1700′s. Born here in the Northeast, this American furniture style is a simple, utilitarian design characterized by straight tapered legs and mushroom-shaped wooden knobs. Vermont furniture makers have become today’s authority on Shaker furniture and customers seeking a simple elegant, solid wood design have grown to love their work. It’s our top seller and customers are customizing it in their choice of cherry, walnut, maple and oak woods (preference is in that order). Sometimes customers will choose two contrasting wood colors like cherry and walnut or maple and walnut to trick it out– if there is such a thing for “Shaker furniture”.
This Contemporary Craftsman Bedroom Furniture collection is a modern rendition of the American craftsman and “arts and crafts” furniture that became popular in the late 19th century and remained prevalent through the 1930s. It’s handmade of real solid cherry wood with contrasting drawer pulls in solid walnut wood and reflects the true craftsmanship of this period. The finish on this collection is a traditional hand-rubbed oil and wax. If you like this contemporary craftsman style furniture, learn more about the details and craftsmanship here.
This mission sofa table and mission dining chair have the rectilinear design and heavy proportion characteristic of Mission style furniture which became popular in the late 19 century. At Vermont Woods Studios we have a traditional American Mission Furniture collection and a Modern Mission Furniture collection, both constructed of real solid woods in your choice of traditional oak or cherry, walnut or maple woods.
Stop by our new fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst anytime to see what we’ve got on hand in our customers’ favorite furniture styles: Shaker, Craftsman and Mission furniture.
December 8th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Friday was a festive day at Vermont Woods Studios. We had our 8th annual company Christmas party and gift exchange. I picked up our tree at Rotary’s, annual Christmas Tree Sale during my Thursday night shift (the Rotary Club I belong to sells Christmas trees to raise money for it’s Gateway Scholarship Foundation). Ken brought the tree back to Stonehurst in his Beverly Hillbillies-style trailer and Douglas and our star sales staff put it up and decorated it. Looks pretty good, doesn’t it?
Of course the tree is local (from Craftsbury, VT) and it’s decorated with memorabilia from Pine Top, the lost ski area that our fine furniture and art gallery now sits upon. That’s a “rope tow” you see stretching from the bottom to the top of the tree and there are a couple stylish 1950s era skiers ascending it, courtesy of my thoughtful sister, Ann. There are also some beautiful handcrafted decorations (painted by our friend Donna Scully) which can be purchased in the showroom.
In the afternoon we had a potluck lunch with lots of delicious treats, including the most decadent brownies I think I’ve ever tasted. Following that (with a little work squeezed in between) was a Yankee swap of American made gifts (somehow Neville managed to take home the most coveted gift– a bottle of Jack Daniels).
After work we all reconvened at Terrazza Restaurant at the Greenfield Country Club in Greenfield, MA to finish off the days festivities. Does it sound like we do a lot of partying at Vermont Woods Studios? Well, we try to. Work hard, play occasionally. That’s not a bad recipe for success is it? Let us know on Facebook, what you do to celebrate Christmas with your colleagues.
November 19th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Sorry, I know I’m remiss. It’s been over a week since we officially opened our Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom and Art Gallery and you all have been very forgiving about my lapse in coming forward with a record of the event. Well, finally I’ve recruited Kelsey to help me round up some photos to happily share with you here. The ribbon cutting ceremony was by all accounts a success. Granted we never did persuade the governor to attend (I guess he does have other pressing matters) but we did have several VIPs (in our opinion) stop by including family, friends, neighbors, customers, furniture makers, artisans and other well wishers. Nina Markiw was kind enough to capture much of the activity in the images below so I’ll let them speak for themselves.
We want to thank everyone who participated, especially the good people at the Vermont Working Lands Initiative and our staff who worked so hard to pull the event off. It was not an easy feat but everything seemed to run like clockwork– even the early November weather. Let’s hope it’s a sign for the future of Stonehurst. Thanks Everyone!
November 8th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re grateful to Mike Faher (journalist), Kayla Rice (photographer) and the editors of the local paper, The Brattleboro Reformer for today’s article on our Stonehurst gallery, Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom. Mike and Kayla visited us at Stonehurst yesterday and followed up on a couple previous articles Mike had written about Vermont Woods Studios.
Today’s article focuses on the fact that besides being a fine furniture showroom and art gallery, Stonehurst is a mini Vermont welcome center, providing tourist information about the Brattleboro area and the rest of the state of Vermont. Check out Mike’s article on Reformer.com and stop by our open house and ribbon cutting ceremony tomorrow. We’ll make it worth the trip!
October 30th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Now that summer is over and the initial excitement of moving to our new space is winding down, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the progress we have made, and the extreme transformations that have occurred at Stonehurst in the last year! Stonehurst has been fully transformed from an old farmhouse, to a one of a kind Vermont made furniture and decor showroom–making the perfect place to showcase the true beauty of wood both inside and outside of the showroom. The photos you will see below document our journey at Stonehurst, with photos from before any renovation, during the construction process, and what it looks like now! I don’t want to say its the “final” look, because we are always transforming the decor and look of the space to highlight the particular furniture and art we are showcasing! You’ll just have to come see it for yourself!
Like what you see? Keep checking back for part 2 and 3 of our renovation reveal and tell us what you think on Facebook!
October 29th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
You just never know who you’re going to run into when you visit us at Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery. This morning we had a visit from Georgie Runkle and her sister. Georgie’s a plein air painter– she loves to be outside painting the scenes she comes across that speak to her heart. You may see her along Vermont’s rural by-ways painting a covered bridge, an old barn, a general store or a grand old home with rockers on a wrap-around porch.
Georgie left an original oil painting of a covered bridge with us as well as a print of a classic red Vermont barn. Both are available for purchase in our art gallery. Loryn is working on making Stonehurst artworks available in our online store as well so stay tuned. Visitors from Manhattan, Boston and beyond are always pleasantly surprised at the affordable prices they find for high end original artwork in Vermont’s art galleries.
Our neighbors, the Millers also visited us today. Paul and Mary Miller own an organic dairy farm, now being operated by its fourth generation of Millers. We can see the farm from our window– it’s a quintessentially beautiful Vermont farm, nestled along the Connecticut River. Besides Holstein cattle, the Millers raise golden retrievers. They have a well-deserved reputation for honesty, hard work and service to the community.
So don’t think you have to be shopping for furniture to stop by and see us at Stonehurst. There’s always someone interesting to talk to or a beautiful piece or artwork that will catch your eye. It’s worth the trip!
October 27th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
I received a call from Jim Westphalen last Wednesday, explaining that he’d been tasked by Vermont Life Magazine to photograph Stonehurst. Woohoo! Vermont Life is the premier advocator of our state’s culture and creative economy. It’s considered one of America’s premier regional magazines featuring “the best writing, illustration, art and photography Vermont has to offer”.
So this is pretty terrific news for us! Back in June we attended a Pitch Party sponsored by Vermont Life and Luke Stafford at Mondo Media Works in downtown Brattleboro. Such a cool idea: Editor Mary Hegarty Nowlan and her staff were traveling around Vermont inviting people to pitch their artwork, businesses, personal stories and such– for future articles. So we pitched our Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Art Gallery story and apparently they liked it.
We’re grateful to Jim Westphalen and Mary Hegarty Nowlan for their support of our green mission at Stonehurst. We’re honored that they feel it fits into Vermont Life’s mission which “celebrates the unique heritage, countryside, traditions and people of Vermont and explores issues of contemporary interest to Vermonters and visitors to the state.”
Can’t wait till the article comes out next Fall!
October 26th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Last week we welcomed Vermont woodworker, Micah Ranquist into our clan of local artisans at Stonehurst. Micah is a wood turner who crafts unique wooden pens, bowls and wine stoppers using a lathe. He works out of a small shop in Brattleboro, Vermont using local and exotic woods to create one-of-a-kind works of art.
Micah has been visually impaired since early in his life. He began slowly losing his vision at age 3 and has little vision left, but he hasn’t let that stop him from doing things he loves. He has taught himself to play several instruments including guitar, keyboard and bag pipes. When not turning wood, Micah can often be found making music or taking care of his 2 young children.
Often called a Renaissance man, Micah explains his gift for woodworking as: “I simply enjoy doing things with my hands, and things that have a great amount of history in our world”. Stop by and see Micah’s pens at Stonehurt, Vermont’s newest artisan gallery located in Vernon, VT.