Cyber Monday Fine Furniture Sale
America’s Top 5 choices for our 2014  Black Friday Fine Furniture Sale.  Save 20% on your favorite designs storewide!

Looking for the best fine furniture sale this Black Friday?  We polled our customers to find out what topped their wish list in fine furniture sales this year. The Top 5 Fine Furniture Features are listed below.  Naturally we’ve put them all on sale!  We’re offering a full 20% off* (plus free shipping) which is our best discount and lowest price ever.  So if you’re finally ready to invest in the fine furniture you’ve always dreamed of, take a serious look.  All of our real wood furniture is 100% American made, built to order right here in Vermont and guaranteed for a lifetime of service to your family.

Craftsman Style Furniture

Our customers’ favorite Vermont made Craftsman Style Furniture is the Cherry Moon Collection.   It’s contemporary Asian design has a light but grounded appearance.  Reverse-tapered legs, posts and an intricate cove under the tops round out the design to give any room a comforting and natural feeling.  Rich black walnut, half-moon drawer pulls complete the design of these natural cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood pieces.

Mission Style Furniture

Traditionally mission style furniture is characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, heavy proportion and exposed joinery.  It’s typically made with oak wood and given a medium or dark stain. Drawer pulls are often simple round brass rings or rectangular back plates of solid brass with canted corners and an oval bail handle.  But today’s Vermont made mission style furniture incorporates modern contemporary design features and is often crafted of cherry, walnut and maple wood.  You can customize it online to get whichever traditional and contemporary features you like.

Shaker Style Furniture

Vermont craftspeople have mastered the art of simple elegance in their many variations of American Shaker style furniture, ranging from a strict interpretation of the original Shaker pieces to creative versions with modern functionalities, curves and hardware.  Simple aesthetics and sturdy design remain at the heart of today’s Vermont Shaker style furniture.

Natural Cherry Wood Furniture

Natural Cherry Wood is a favorite among our customers as it develops a lustrous, rich reddish brown patina over the years.  Premium quality real cherry wood furniture is hard to find and often imitated (poorly) so don’t be fooled by the imports sporting cherry trade names.  Vermont is well established as the “go to” place to purchase real natural cherry wood furniture.

Black Walnut Furniture

American Black Walnut Wood is the only really dark North American wood. Like cherry it’s a prized, premium hardwood that carries a commensurate price tag.  Vermont woodworkers are specialists in black walnut furniture, handcrafting it from top quality solid walnut wood.

So there you have it, our customer’s Top 5 Fine Furniture Sale categories for Black Friday 2014.  Is there something here for you?  Let us know what you’re shopping for this Black Friday 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.

Quality Furniture

 

If high quality furniture is important to you, there are some things you should know before you shop!

Quality furniture might not on the top of your priority list if you are in you’re early twenties or thirties, but as you get older and start building a home you really treasure, finding quality furniture is an important step. Sleeping on hand-me-down mattresses and buying the cheapest furniture you can find, whether it be on Craigslist or at a yard sale or at a discount furniture store, at some point becomes unthinkable. And the hunt for real, high quality furniture becomes an important challenge.

So if you’re in the market for a new bed and maybe a new dresser or chest, or some new pieces for your dining room, how can you find pieces that are not only fairly priced, but built with quality as well? Well, with some research and years of experience in the furniture industry, we’ve come up with 3 steps to ensuring you are getting good quality furniture!

1. Know your wood types

If you are on the market for good quality wood furniture, it’s essential to know the difference between the different types of wood. Wood furniture typically falls into three different categories: solid wood, veneers, and particle board.

Quality solid wood furniture is usually more expensive than the other types, and for good reason. It’s sturdy, beautiful, and more natural in look and feel. It’s important to take care of your solid wood furniture, however, because they can sometimes be susceptible to wear and tear like scratches and water rings. Cherry, Oak, and Maple are always good choices for wood furniture as they all look lovely and are strong, solid woods.

Veneers have an inexpensive wood base covered by thin layers of better quality wood. The cheaper core means it’s less costly than a true solid wood piece.  While veneers are less high quality than true solid wood, that doesn’t mean it is “bad” for furniture, though it is important to find a real veneer. Cheap, low quality furniture usually features a MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) with laminate coating on the sides that have the wood grain printed on it. 

Particle Board is made from a combination of compressed woodchips and resin, often coated or veneered for furniture. It’s basically the scraps of the furniture world, making it the cheapest type of wood furniture. While it can look decent, it will not hold up for long and is not a great choice for anyone looking for true, long lasting quality.

Quality Furniture Featuring Dovetail Joints

2.  Check the Joinery

Drawers and Doors provide perhaps the quickest and easiest quality check on craftsmanship.  Make sure they are well fitted and adjusted properly.  Drawers and doors should close easily and be flush with the cabinet front.  The hardware should be substantial and adjustable in case of jostling during shipping and moving processes be sure to have your delivery crew make any necessary adjustments before they leave your home).

Dovetails: Dovetails are strong, attractive, joints that slide into one another and are noted for resistance to being pulled apart. Dovetail joints are commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners. Dovetails are harder to cut than most joints, so they are usually seen on top quality furniture pieces.  This type of joinery is so strong because of it’s unique shape, making it extremely difficult to pull them apart. It’s this incredible strength that makes them a staple of many top quality solid wood furniture pieces.

Mortise & Tenon: Simple and strong, mortise and tenon joinery has been used for millenia by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, usually when the pieces are at a 90° angle. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place. By inserting one element of wood into another, a mortise-and-tenon joint provides unshakable strength.

3. Make sure it’s made in the USA 

Besides the fact that American made furniture has a centuries old heritage & reputation for incredible craftsmanship, furniture that’s hand made in America gets an immediate gold star for integrity, just for the fact that the wood is legally and sustainably harvested (this is often not the case with imported furniture).  You  can also feel good that USA made furniture is creating American jobs and sustainable economies.  Another benefit: no worries about toxic finishes and glues (common in imported furniture) that might offgas in your home or be ingested by small children.

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.

So you’re interested in finishing up the bedroom of your dreams… Perhaps you have your brand new bed, new dressers, chests, and armoire but something seems to be missing. The beauty of your new wood furniture isn’t translating to the walls, making the space seem a little unfinished. This is where our beautiful, Vermont crafted wood framed mirrors come in. We have a great selection of hardwood mirrors, built with the same quality and integrity that you can expect in the rest of our furniture. Each of them is versatile, chic, and made from sustainably harvested wood. They are great complementary pieces to the rest of your wood furniture and make great accessories for practically every room in your home. If you aren’t sure what to choose, take a look at our handpicked selection of mirrors that you’re sure to love!

Our 5 Favorite Wood Framed Mirrors:

cherry moon wood framed mirror

1. The Cherry Moon Wood Framed Mirror: This handcrafted large Cherry Moon Mirror Horizontal features a beautiful arched hardwood frame. Makes a great dresser mirror, or accent mirror over your hutch or console table. All of our premium fine furniture is made in Vermont using sustainably harvested solid wood. It’s simplistic, beautiful, and versatile enough to switch around to any room. This wood framed mirror is a classic piece and a true must have! 

 

wood framed mirror

2.  The Contemporary Craftsman Wood Framed Mirror: Our Contemporary Craftsman Large Accent Mirror features a beautiful solid wood frame with a gentle arch and fine detailing.  It’s elegant and versatile, bringing a touch of Craftsman flare to your home. This unique mirror is built with sustainably harvested natural cherry and a walnut top.

 

wood framed mirrors

3. The Modern Shaker Full Length Mirror:  This Modern Shaker Full Length Mirror is handcrafted from solid wood in beautiful Vermont. Hang either vertically or horizontally to complement your furniture. The rectangular frame is solid wood with a bevel mirror. This piece is classic and contemporary, and could fit any home whether it is ultra modern or comfortable and traditional. It’s solidly crafted in Vermont, making it a durable and long lasting piece.

 

wood framed mirrors

4. Modern Framed Cherry Wall Mirror: Our Modern Copeland Cherry Framed Wall Mirror is handmade in Vermont of solid cherry wood. The artistic contemporary design can be customized online with your choice of 5 shades of cherry.  This piece has a sleek geometric look and would look great in any modern styled home.

 

wood framed mirror

5. Modern Shaker Wall Mirror: This Modern Shaker Wall Mirror is handcrafted from solid wood in beautiful Vermont. The rectangular frame is solid wood with a bevel mirror, perfect to hang over a dresser, buffet or accent table. Hang vertically or horizontally. Choose between a rounded or straight edge profile. For styling, hang the mirror on the wall or keep it leaned up on it for a more laid back, “Wabi Sabi” look!

Love the mirrors I mentioned in this blog? Visit our online store to see the rest of our Vermont crafted wood framed mirror collection!

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.

Today’s post is Part II of our Hardwood Furniture Buyers Guide.

Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Hardwood furniture finishes: oil, wax, lacquer or poly?
Which fine hardwood furniture finish is right for you: oil, wax, lacquer or poly (hint: got kids?  Go for the lacquer or poly)?  This cherry wood dining table is finished with a blend of hand rubbed linseed oil and Poly gel.

Waxes and oils, such as beeswax or mineral oil are often used as hardwood furniture finishes because they sink into the fibers and condition the wood. These finishes bring out the grain of the wood and create a soft, supple surface but they need to be reapplied periodically. Alternatively, lacquer, shellac, varnish, poly and other non-porous coatings may be applied just once, creating a water proof coating that is almost maintenance free.

Which is best for you?  Well if you have young children you many not have time to be oiling furniture, so lacquer may be your best bet.  On the other hand, if you adore the feel of a well-oiled natural wood surface and you don’t mind taking the time to re-oil periodically, go for the oil and wax.

Care of Fine Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Fine hardwood furniture is an investment that should increase in value over time, however that depends on how well you care for it (particularly for furniture with an oil or wax finish). If you follow the furniture maker’s instructions your wood furniture should last a lifetime and more!

Oil Finish on Quality Hardwood Furniture
This Cherry Moon Nightstand is made with cherry hardwood and finished with natural linseed oil. To keep the wood soft and supple, it is smart to re-oil it 1/month during the first year.

Protect Against Water and Humidity

Wood is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and in the moisture content of the wood in your furniture. Fine hardwood furniture that’s coated with lacquer or poly is sealed and protected from the occasional water spill.  More about care for wood furniture with a lacquer finish.

Replenish Oil and Wax Finishes Periodically

Oil and wax finishes must be replenished frequently during the first year. A rule of thumb is: clean and oil your wood furniture immediately upon delivery into you home. After that oil it once/week for the first month. Then oil 1/month for the first year. After that oil your furniture 1/year. This will result in a soft supple patina that will not only protect your furniture but add to it’s beauty and value over time. More about care for wood furniture with an oil-wax finish.

Construction Details in Fine Hardwood Furniture

Joinery

Mortise and tenon joinery illustration
Mortise and tenon joinery is often used to attach side pieces to corner pieces and legs.

Joinery speaks clearly about the craftsmanship of a piece. Be sure to inspect corners and drawers to see how they’re crafted and look for these robust and durable joints:

Mortise-and-Tenon Joint

Mortise-and-tenon joint are often used in armoires, dressers, chests, cabinets, tables, chairs, desks and bookcases. The tenon (projecting piece) on a board is inserted into the mortise (cavity) on another board, then glued. An M-T joint may be further secured with a peg inserted through both pieces.

Dovetail Joint

The dovetail joint is typically used in drawer construction. Wedge-shaped projections on one piece interlock with corresponding slots on another.

Hardwood furniture construction details
Dovetail joints are shown attaching drawer fronts to the sides of the drawers (middle photos). Quality hardwood furniture also employs sturdy hinges and finished backs on case goods.

Use of Veneers

Veneers have taken a bad rap over the past several decades because much of the cheap, imported furniture sold in big box stores is made with low quality plywood or fiber board, then covered with a thin wooden veneer. Although solid wood construction is often preferred by those seeking high quality hardwood furniture, there are certain furniture designs that require veneers, for example sleigh beds that have curved wooden panels.

Why Hardwood versus Softwood Furniture?

In the world of trees and lumber, hardwood is relatively rare. About 80% of all timber comes from softwoods like pine, hemlock, cedar, and spruce. Only 20% of our timber is from hardwood trees like cherry, maple, oak, walnut, mahogany, teak and beech. As such, hardwood is relatively rare and expensive so why choose it over softwood? Generally speaking hardwood is more dense than softwood and has a tighter grain making it more resistant to decay. The density also makes hardwood more difficult for craftspeople to work with, but the beauty of the grain and the patina that develops over time makes solid hardwood furniture a prized possession.

If you’re in the market for high quality furniture, what’s your favorite wood? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

 

 

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.

Loft Bedroom Furniture Collection

Our new Loft bedroom furniture collection is proof that simple is beautiful. It’s clean, modern design utilizes simple and straight lines to highlight the natural beauty of the wood. The crisp right angles and straight lines make this bedroom set ideal for practically any contemporary bedroom style.

The centerpiece of the Loft Collection is the ultra minimalist bed. It has quite unique legs, which draws attention to it but in a way that doesnt distract from the rest of the room. It’s bold and beautiful but not in your face. The case pieces are expertly crafted and unassuming. They are versatile enough to transform as your aesthetic tastes change.

Why we love the Loft Bedroom Furniture Collection:

-The Minimalist bed reduces clutter in your bedroom.

-It’s unique geometric look stands out from traditional bedroom furniture

-It’s perfect for both husband and wife

-It’s extremely versatile

-It’s better for the environment

-It’s reasonably priced

-It’s guaranteed for life

-It’s made in Vermont and supports the local woodworking community

-It’s just plain beautiful

The Loft bedroom furniture collection is expertly crafted in Vermont using sustainably harvested solid wood. Each piece is custom crafted to ensure the highest standard of quality. An eco-friendly, hand applied oil finish tops off the artistry of this design. If you like it as much as we do, why not make it your own? Shop it online or give us a call at 888-390-5571/contact us with your questions.

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.