Open Ladder Bookcases | Real Solid Wood | Custom Made in America
What kind of bookcase would make your Spring cleaning easier?  If you’ve got nothing to hide maybe an open shelf workstation or ladder bookcase is perfect for you (if only I could be so neat and tidy).

Get excited about Spring cleaning!  It’s time to tear open the shutters and throw up the sash (as Clement Clarke Moore would say).  Somehow inhaling all that fresh Spring air must get people thinking about re-organizing their living rooms because we always have a high demand for custom bookcases during this season.

Big Huge Bookcases with Glass Doors

Real Solid Wood Bookcases | Big Huge Large Sizes | Cherry, Walnut Hardwood
The large Modern Shaker 2-Glass Door Bookcase (left), shown in walnut is hand made in Vermont of real solid hardwood.  Not big enough?  Up-size to our 3 piece Modern Shaker Wall Unit for the ultimate in high end storage and display furniture (our bookcases are available in cherry, walnut and maple wood and they’re on sale for up to 20% off!).

Livin large? Then you need a huge bookcase to safely store your books, media, artwork and other valuables.  The cases shown above are made in America (right here in Vermont) of real solid wood and finished with a hand-rubbed oil and wax.   You can customize them online with your choice of hardwood and edge profile (straight edge for a mission furniture style or rounded as shown above).  Or visit us at Stonehurst, our beautiful southern Vermont showroom for help with customization.

Shaker, Mission, Craftsman and Contemporary Bookcases

Tall Shaker Bookcases | Real Solid Hardwood | American Made
For me… when it comes to Spring cleaning I’ll take the shaker bookcase on the far right — with lots of shelves and a wooden door to hide the clutter & keep the dust out.  How about you?  Hop over to our Facebook page and tell us what kind of storage furniture you need to make Spring cleaning a snap.

Shaker bookcases typically have a tapered leg. Mission style: straight legs.  Craftsman and arts and crafts style legs vary in edge profile.  Modern contemporary styles often have a straight kick-board between the legs.  The tops of these bookcases have standard edge profiles consistent with the leg styles but tops can also be customized online, by phone or in the showroom.

 

Short, Tall, Glass Doors, Wooden Doors, No Doors…

What do you need to store in your new bookcase?  Books, movies, CDs?  Fragile collectibles?  Artwork?  Junk that you can’t bear to get rid of?  Some of each?  Depending on your needs you might want glass or wooden doors, or maybe doors on just the bottom half of the bookcase.  Customize to your heart’s content!  Our bookcases are all made to order (from natural hardwoods: cherry, walnut, maple or oak) and you can modify them to meet the needs and decor of your home.

  • Contemporary, Shaker, Mission, Craftsman, Mid Century Modern and transitional styles
  • Short, medium and tall sizes
  • Cherry, walnut, maple and oak hardwoods
  • Open ladder style or with sides and backs
  • Glass doors, no doors, wood doors, half-size doors
  • Standard dimensions or custom dimension

Over the years we’ve become the go-to-guys for real solid hardwood bookcases of all sorts.  You name it – we’ve got it.  And it’s all on sale for up to 20% off!  So what kind of bookcase would make your Spring cleaning a snap?

 

 

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.

An Oil Finish on Our American Shaker Wood Furniture
Our American Shaker furniture has a hand-rubbed linseed oil finish.  How does that differ from a lacquer or poly finish?

When customers walk into our fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst they often comment about how much they enjoy being greeted by the natural fragrance of wood.  That doesn’t happen in all furniture stores because wood furniture is usually sealed with a protective coating like lacquer or poly which keeps the fragrance inside.  But an oil finish is porous, setting wood’s organic aroma free to permeate your space.  And it smells wonderful!  But there are certainly pros and cons to an oil finish so we try to make sure customers fully understand the differences before they make a purchase.

What We Love About an Oil Finish

Wood furniture with an oil finish develops a deep, rich color that cannot be obtained with other finishes that don’t penetrate the grain of the wood.  Only oil brings out the depth of color and beauty of the grain that natural hardwoods are famous for. Over time, an oil finish will develop a rich, lustrous patina that’s beautiful to look at and super-smooth to touch.  And a joy to smell!  Another advantage is: if your oil finish gets scratched it can easily be sanded and re-oiled (you can do this yourself with a little 0000 steel wool – see our Furniture Care instructions).

An Oil Finish Requires More Care

than furniture with a poly or lacquer finish, but many people feel the resulting appearance is worth the effort.  How often do you have to re-oil?  Many furniture makers suggest this thumb rule:  oil once a day for the first week, once a week for the first month, once a month for the first year and once a year thereafter.  Quite honestly, most customers are just too busy for that, especially if they have a house full of furniture to oil!  Some don’t touch their furniture for years, while others choose to oil it religiously. Obviously, the more you oil the stronger and more beautiful the finish, but we know many people who only oil their furniture when the wood starts to look dry and that seems to be just fine.

Another consideration with an oil finish is that it’s not as protective as poly or lacquer sealants.   We recommend that you keep a bottle of oil and  a 0000 steel wool pad (or equivalent synthetic sanding pad) handy so you can rub out water rings from drink glasses or smooth out the end grain of a wooden table top if it becomes rough due to variations in temperature and humidity.  Here’s a downloadable pdf on caring for wood furniture with an oil finish that Liz created for you.

Comparison of Different Wood Furniture Finishes

Have a look at our Furniture Finishes and Furniture Care pages for additional information, tips and advice on how to choose the best finish for your wood furniture.  Send us your questions on Facebook, give us a call or, better yet stop by Stonehurst to see, touch and smell the beauty of a hand-rubbed oil finish.

 

 

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.

Hardwood Blanket Chests for Storing Winter Clothes

If you are anything like me, winter time usually means an excess of clutter! Call me a hoarder, but my things give me comfort through the chilly winter nights. My jackets, scarves, mittens, boots, heavy knit sweaters, wool socks and handmade hats can usually be found scattered throughout my bedroom & closet throughout the colder months– but finally, we’re starting to see signs of springtime. And finally, I can start to pack up. As I started packing away some of my winter clothes this past weekend, I realized that I didn’t really have a good place to keep everything. Do I just stuff them into a drawer or into my closet? Should I shove it all under my bed and dig it out again come next winter? None of these solutions really worked for me, as someone who favors style and organization. After lots of deliberation, I found my solution: Blanket Chests!

Hardwood blanket chests are a great solution for storing your excess winter clothes! They look beautiful & are actually very versatile. While the images shown in this blog feature blanket chests used at the bottom of the bed, they can also be used as a coffee table or large side table.

My picks for 3 hardwood blanket chests that are perfect for packing away your winter clothes and blankets in style:

 

Contemporary Craftsmen Hardwood Blanket Chest
Quick Tip:  Rotate between seasons and store your bathing suits, flipflops and shorts during the winter, and your wintery attire during spring and summer!

1. Contemporary Craftsmen Blanket Chest: Our premium quality solid wood Contemporary Craftsman Blanket Chest, with it’s gentle curves and graceful lines is the perfect complement to your contemporary bedroom. Perfect for those thick winter blankets or extra sheets. All our luxury Contemporary Craftsman collection is handcrafted to order by Vermont furniture makers in your choice of solid cherry, maple, or walnut woods with a eco-friendly non-toxic oil finish that not only protects, but enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

Quick Tip: Add your favorite decorative pillows or cushions to your blanket chest for a chic and comfortable look.

2. American Mission Blanket Chest: The wood for our American Mission Blanket Chest is sustainably harvested right here in America. Store all your comforters in this stylish solid wood blanket chest. A very high end piece of mission bedroom furniture that will become a future heirloom in your family.

Quick Tip: To stay organized, use smaller containers for your items that need to stay in pairs (heavy socks, mittens, etc) and keep that container inside of the blanket chest!

 3. Vermont Made Shaker Blanket Chest: This luxury Vermont-Made Shaker Blanket Chest lifts open smoothly to store all your blankets and necessities in style. Each chest is eco-friendly, made from sustainably harvested woods and handmade to be heirloom quality. Ceder lined bottom and the lid stays where you leave it up.

Are blanket chests part of your spring cleaning and decluttering routine? If not, what do you use to store your winter excess? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section of this blog! As always, we look forward to hearing your opinions. Stay warm and good luck with your spring cleaning, friends.

 

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.

Sustainable Eco Friendly Furniture from Vermont
With yet another snowstorm on it’s way to Vermont, my mind is longing for Spring. How about you? Perhaps a few images of green grass and the birds and the bees (courtesy of Polyvore) will hurry things along?

In Vermont the seasons are still tied to production of wood furniture.  Winter provides the best opportunity for careful logging because frozen ground is less susceptible to damage.  And Spring begins a new cycle for forest stewardship planning– a process that ensures availability of wood for future generations.  At Vermont Woods Studios that process is led by Lynn Levine (our professional forester) who helps manage the 100 acre woodland that Stonehurst sits upon.  A woodland we’re using to help people understand where their furniture comes from:  trees that are sustainably harvested.

What is Sustainable, Eco Friendly Furniture?

Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs | Recycled plastic milk jugs
These eco friendly POLYWOOD all weather Adirondack chairs are made of recycled plastic milk jugs.  Other marks of sustainability include green certifications, local responsibly harvested wood and use of non-toxic materials.

I just googled “sustainable eco friendly furniture” and came up with everything from IKEA (who was recently suspended from the Forest Stewardship Council FSC for illegally clear cutting 600 year old trees in Russia) to Pottery Barn (well known for  greenwashing campaigns like their eco chic collection). At Vermont Woods Studios  we’ve written a lot about sustainable furniture and how it’s defined.   Because we sell mainly wooden furniture we focus on responsible sourcing, green certification of wood, advantages of local and American made furniture, and the importance of recycled  and handmade furniture.  For examples of a wider variety of eco friendly furniture, check out the latest green furniture articles on Inhabitat.

Why Buy Sustainable Furniture?

“Every dollar you spend or don’t spend is a vote you cast for the world you want.” – L.N. Smith

A couple other reasons that come to mind include:

  • better health for your family (no exposure to the flammables, lead and toxic coatings that are often present in furniture)
  • less investment in furniture over the long run (sustainable furniture is built to last a lifetime so no replacements are necessary) and
  • support for local communities that produce sustainable furniture

Have some reasons of your own?  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.

 

Rustic Barnwood Furniture
Our reclaimed barn wood farm table is handcrafted in Vermont. With its traditional tapered legs this one-of-a kind farm table is a country home treasure!

Furniture is more than just something we sit on, sleep on, and eat on; our furniture becomes a part of our life story. It’s an integral piece of what makes a house a home. But for the chemically sensitive, or for those who are just serious about not bringing harsh chemicals into their homes, finding the right furniture can seem like an impossible task.

At Vermont Woods Studios, we’re dedicated to providing furniture that is good for your health, home, and the environment.

Our Wood Furniture

All of our furniture (with the exception of our Outdoor line, which is made from recycled milk jugs) is handcrafted in Vermont using real, natural hardwoods. We do not work with inferior substrates like Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), particle board, or flimsy faux wood veneers.

We work mostly with cherrymapleoak and walnut. Each board in your furniture is selected by hand, and inspected for quality, strength, straightness, grain and color. When requested, we use FSC green-certified lumber, although there is still a premium for FSC certified wood. Sometimes our artisans harvest lumber from the woods on their own property, a sustainable approach that adds another dimension to the story of your furniture!

Toxin Free Finishes

Many of our furniture makers continue to use traditional oil and wax based finishes, but even those that use more modern finishes ensure that they are non-toxic, formaldehyde-free and eco-friendly with little or no Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).

As concern over indoor air quality continues to grow, many of our furniture makers are moving towards water based finishes. Conventional petroleum based solvents contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to the atmosphere. While most of these VOCs are released at the time of manufacturing, a small amount remains on the product and can off-gas in the home. Many of our collections can now be requested in a non-emitting water-based finish.

Shopping for Organic Furniture Online

Questions to ask when making decisions on your organic wood furniture:

  • What type of wood is used?
  • Where does the wood come from?
  • How is the wood processed?  Are chemicals used in processing?  What kind of chemicals?
  • What type of finish and/or stain is used?  Is it a low VOC or no VOC finish-stain?  Can you supply an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the finish?
  • What type of glue is used?  Is it non-toxic?  Does it contain formaldehyde?  MSDS available?
  • Where is the furniture made and by whom?
  • How is the furniture packaged for shipment?

If you have any questions or want to discuss the issues of natural, non-toxic furniture, give us a call or email us at Vermont Woods Studios.  We’ll be glad to help!

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.

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.