Shaker End TablesShaker end tables have worldwide appeal, both as valued collectibles and as beautiful, unfussy pieces of furniture that go with anything in the home. 

Introduced over 200 years ago by the Shaker religious sect, this unfrilly furniture style has a truly timeless quality that makes sense for any style of home. Shaker end tables can accent your couch or other living room furniture with chic simplicity, and while they are not bold furniture designs, they make the perfect complementary pieces for your rustic or modern living room. Place your books, artwork, and most prized family photos atop your Shaker end table for a stylish, comfortable look. Mix and match your shaker end tables for a more eclectic aesthetic.

Shaker End Tables

Shaker end tables are light and airy, evoking a warm, country feel in any space they occupy. Traditionally, “country” style decor and furniture is sometimes seen as overly cluttered. The modern minimalism of Shaker end tables, however, is far from cluttered! Shaker style furniture is charactarized by its clean build, unassuming lines, and tapered leg shape. It’s beautiful in its simplicity and in its rich centuries old heritage.

Shaker end tables are some of the most versatile styles for your living room. So if you don’t feel comfortable committing to a certain style, this is the perfect type for you. Switch your styles around as much as you like and your Shaker end table will still look just as wonderful beside your couch or comfy living room chair.

What do you think, would you add a Shaker end table to your living room space? If not, what style do you like better?

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.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture | Handmade in VT, USA
This Woodland Table and Modern Mission Dining Chairs are made from solid cherry wood, that was sustainably harvested in North America.

We started Vermont Woods Studios out of a passion for forest conservation.  It was this one astounding statistic that really lit a fire under me:

Every second an acre of rainforest is lost forever

Along with trees, some of my favorite iconic wildlife species that live in the rainforest are being lost.  For example, all the great cats (lions, tigers, leopards, cheetas, etc) are critically endangered as are all the great apes (gorillas, chimps, orangutans, etc).  Our planet is actually losing over 100 species/day.  The cause is habitat destruction.  Rainforest trees are being clearcut for timber to make cheap furniture and flooring.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture: What It Is

So to me, eco friendly wood furniture is first and foremost, furniture that’s made from sustainably harvested wood.  More specifically, North American wood (recycled or newly milled) that’s been obtained through legitimate local partners, thus minimizing transport distances and helping regional economies (and greatly reducing fuel usage and carbon emissions).

Other aspects of eco friendly furniture relate to how a tree is transformed into, say… a table or a bed.  Vermont furniture makers use both traditional and modern methods to maximize the yield from each tree and minimize (or eliminate) wood waste. All wood processing by-products are put to some type of use here in Vermont. For example: sawdust is used by local farmers for animal bedding and wood chips are used for heating.

Non-toxic furniture finishes are also characteristic of eco friendly furniture.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture: What It Is NOT

Unlike many large American furniture companies, we do not consider imported wood furniture eco friendly.  The global timber trade has been infiltrated by organized crime to the point where illegal wood (often clear cut from the rainforest) is pervasive throughout the imported wood furniture and flooring industry.  Much of it is accompanied by counterfeit documents labeling it as green certified by the Forest Stewardship Council FSC (here are a couple articles reporting on this: Liquidating the Forests and Corruption Stains the Global Timber Trade).

National Geographic recently reported on a UN study showing that the global environmental crime industry (with illegal logging being the primary component) has now surpassed the global drug trade in terms of estimated annual revenue.  “We have regulations, but we need to inform consumers,” said Indonesian official Budi Susanti, “if buyers won’t buy the products that aren’t sustainable, there won’t be demand.”

How to Know the Difference

A google search for “eco friendly wood furniture” turns up all sorts of  questionable results from big, multinational companies that pledge to use green certified wood.  Of course your best bet would be to find something made locally from local wood.  But if that’s not possible or practical for you, any furniture that’s truly 100% Made in America is likely to be an environmentally friendly choice.

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.

Maple Shaker Furniture

A few days ago, one of our customers sent us these great photos of his new Maple Shaker furniture in his bedroom. Staying true to Shaker sensibilities, the room has an uncluttered and simplistic look; using his American Shaker bedroom furniture to accent the darkness of his walls and highlight the maple flooring. I love it!

These photos inspired me to write a bit about why Maple Wood furniture is great, and the ways it can be used to enhance your own bedroom or other home space!

Maple Shaker Furniture: For a Relaxed, Zen Style space.

Maple Shaker FurnitureMaple Wood furniture has a much more informal l look to it than say, Walnut wood, which is typically associated with bold & modern decor styles. The lightness of this wood helps to give your space a relaxed and comfortable vibe– creating an understated interior design style that fits well with traditional Shaker aesthetic.

If you don’t know much about what Shaker Furniture Style encompasses, I’ll give you an overview:

1) Its clean, simple, and unfussy

2) Its practical

3) It features smooth lines and edges

4) Historically, it wasn’t made for “prettiness,” but for use; throughout the years, however, its understated aesthetic has become one of the most popular wood furniture styles!

 

 

 

 

 

Maple Shaker Furniture

Maple Shaker Furniture: For the Gentleman & The Lady!

As you can see from these customer photos, Shaker Furniture in Maple wood is simplistic and elegant; fitting for both a feminine or masculine bedroom. Whats so great about that? Well, It’s ideal for a shared bedroom, keeping both the husband and wife happy! Doesn’t get much better than that!

Maple Shaker Furniture

Lastly, Shaker furniture made in maple wood is great because it really is beautiful and usable in practically any room in the home. Its simplicity gives it a charm that has made it a favorite of furniture lovers for decades.

If you enjoyed this brief overview of Maple Shaker furniture and all of its  characteristics; stay tuned for another blog coming soon, on how to pair maple furniture with the appropriate decor! And if you think you’re friends might like this post too… feel free to share it on Facebook or on Twitter! You’ll find our social media icons at the bottom of this post.

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.

Columbus Day Furniture Sale

Explore The World of Real Wood Furniture This Columbus Day

Columbus Day is a favorite time to shop for home decor as everyone’s beginning to realize that the holidays are right around the corner.  If you’ll be entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or another holiday you may be shopping for furniture today.  No doubt, like Columbus, you’re looking for America’s best.  So set your sails for Vermont.

In the Green Mountain State you’ll find the best real wood furniture anywhere in the USA. Vermont is home to some 2000 small custom furniture makers located throughout our state as well as several mid-size, high end furniture manufacturers.

Vermont style furniture is known for organic solid wood, clear natural finishes and fine craftsmanship.  The favorite hardwood among craftspeople and customers alike seems to be American Black Cherry as shown in the handmade Shaker dining table above, although you’ll also find a variety of other North American woods including walnut, oak and maple.

With so many American furniture brands now making their furniture overseas, Vermont has quietly become the Real Wood Furniture Capital of the USA.  I know of only one Vermont furniture company that moved its operations overseas back when the Asian exodus was taking place and that was Ethan Allen.  The other Vermont furniture businesses have continued to operate successfully in the USA, remaining true to their communities, their employees and their quality.

Enjoy 15% off with our Columbus Day Furniture Sale

The upcoming Columbus Day Weekend is commonly associated with big sales, leaf peeping, and getting a pumpkin for Halloween. Here in Vermont there are hundreds of events going on, making it the busiest weekend of the fall. If shopping is in your plans, we want to let you know about another sale. Starting today, we are kicking off our annual Columbus Day Storewide Furniture Sale. For 6 days you can save 15% off our American Made fine wood furniture, and receive free shipping!

This sale includes over 1,000 pieces of bedroom, dining room, living room, and home office furniture, all made with natural hardwood. Conveniently shop from your home this weekend on our online gallery. Feel free to use our Live Chat option from our online gallery, or give us a call at 888-390-5571 if you have any questions about our Vermont Made fine wood furniture.

Have a nice weekend!

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.