Pieces like Copeland’s Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit make me think two things: how cool and when would anyone ever need that. Well the point is, you don’t need a TV Media Unit. Heck, you don’t even need a TV- any one can just grab a pencil and paper and scrawl away listening to the nearest radio frequency for entertainment. But even coming from a girl who enjoys spinning a vinyl on a Sunday morning- I want that TV and I want it on that entertainment unit.
Apparently another woman had the same thought this week- which is what brought my attention here in the first place. She loved the piece but… well there were a few changes she wanted to see.
Combination pieces, like our TV Media Units, might be a bit of luxury but they’re well worth it. Along with offering organization (especially for those pesky AV wires and extra remotes), they are beautiful works of art with the added bonus of the purpose they serve (who wants to watch TV on the floor?). Better yet, they can be crafted to match your own artistic vision. If this post has inspired you to dream up your perfect media unit- give us a call! We’d be happy to help make that dream a reality.
If you’re shopping for high quality wood furniture, you’re seeking craftsmanship that will be beautiful, remarkable and make your investment last a lifetime, right? It isn’t necessarily hard to find quality craftsmanship, but you’ll have to veer off the beaten big box path and steer over to the local furniture makers in your neighborhood.
Now before you get nervous about price, know that with high quality wood furniture (and most other things, I suppose), you truly do get what you pay for. A good craftsman will save you money in the long run because quality wood furniture lasts a lifetime. It’s something you can hand down to your children and grandchildren.
As you’re shopping for this investment, here are a few things to look for:
Real Solid HardWood Throughout
Top quality hardwoods that are grown in America and suitable for high end furniture include black cherry wood, black walnut wood, oak, maple, ash and birch. These wood species have high densities and tight, non-resinous grains. Plus they sand well and polish to a silky smooth and supple finish.
Hand Made in America
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.
Drawers Made of Solid Wood with Dovetail Joinery and Robust Drawer Slides
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).
Smooth and Supple Furniture Finish
When you run your hand over a piece of high quality wood furniture, it should be as soft and smooth as a person’s skin. Fine wood furniture is sanded many times and eventually with a very fine grit sandpaper. The finish is typically a traditional hand-rubbed oil finish or a lacquer.
High Quality Wood Furniture Deserves A Lifetime Guarantee
I can’t imaging getting a lifetime guarantee in a big box store but most local craftsmen are happy to give a lifetime guarantee on their handmade wood furniture.
For more tips and advice on spying good craftsmanship in high quality wood furniture, visit the Hardwood Furniture section of our blog.
Vermont’s Home to Some of Today’s Best Craftsman Furniture
Around the turn of the 20 century, Gustav Stickley was perhaps the most famous maker of craftsman furniture. But in contemporary times, you’ll find some of the best Craftsman style designers building high end furniture right here in Vermont.
Today’s Craftsman furniture retains the robust solid wood architecture and attention to detail of the originals by Stickley, Greene and Greene and others. But it often incorporates lighter, modern elements adapted from Asian furniture styles. The Contemporary Craftsman furniture shown above is handcrafted in Burlington, Vermont of solid maple wood with black walnut accents.
I think the gentle curves in the legs and drawer pulls change the personality of Craftsman furniture from HEAVY and strong to light and cheerful. This photo is one a customer kindly submitted (thanks Neil!). The pretty floral print (and adorable puppy) really tops off the modern craftsman style they’ve created for their bedroom, don’t you think?
The Cherry Moon Furniture Collection
Here’s another customer photo of what I’ll call Vermont Craftsman furniture. It’s our Cherry Moon bedroom, handmade in Montpelier, VT. This bedroom set is made of all solid cherry wood with black walnut accents (drawer pulls). Here the curves are still graceful, but in different places. This cherry wood furniture is a couple years old, so it has darkened to a rich reddish brown color. If it’s hard to see the details and craftsmanship, check out our Cherry Moon collection and click on the photos for larger images. Robin’s attention to detail creates a beautiful result: timeless furniture to enjoy for the rest of your life.
More Vermont Craftsman Furniture
We have a number of other craftsman and mission style furniture collections on our website. All can be customized with two toned wood combinations (maple and black walnut, cherry and black walnut) like those you see here. We also carry the Frank Lloyd Wright Furniture collection by Copeland Furniture and custom Craftsman Collection by Chad Woodruff of Vernon, VT.
To learn more about Craftsman Furniture, visit our showroom or check out our Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia.
We have over 70 beds in our online gallery with countless option choices. This gives our customers the ability to customize their bed to fit their bedroom style. The heart of a bedroom is, of course, the bed. Learn about the variety of bed styles we offer in our online gallery.
Slat beds have wide wood boards (slats) that are evenly spaced on the headboard and footboard. The straight slats make clean lines, creating a traditional style bed. Slat boards paired with subtle curves (as seen on the Patti Smith Wide-Slat Bed shown below) gives the bed an artistic flair.
Spindle beds can be identified by the thin pieces of wood evenly spaced on the headboard and footboard. Our online gallery features spindle beds that have footboards, and spindle beds without footboards. The spindles create a light, airy look to the bed. It is a great option for people who love the minimalistic look, but want a little bit of the arts and crafts style too. Spindle beds work both in contemporary and traditional homes.
Platform beds have a low profile because there is no need for a box spring. Stylistically, platform beds are extremely minimalistic. These modern beds have simple headboards, and most platform beds do not have footboards. These beds are perfect for a contemporary or modern home.
Sleigh beds are named exactly for how they look- like a sleigh. They are identified by the elegant slanted headboard and footboard. Our online gallery has modern sleigh beds, like the Castleton Incline Sleigh Bed and the Copeland Sarah Sleigh Beds. More traditional sleigh bed styles in our gallery include the Vermont Shaker Sleigh Bed and the Classic Sleigh Bed. The difference between our modern and our traditional sleigh beds is that the traditional sleigh beds have more dramatic curves.
Panel beds are sturdily constructed, and feature a robust styled look. Our online gallery features two types of panel beds: flat panel and raised panel. The flat panel beds feature level wood panels on the headboard and footboard. Raised panel beds feature headboards and footboards with beveled panels, creating a more 3-dimensional look. These traditional style beds are perfect for those who enjoy solid headboards and footboards.
Poster beds are identified by their distinct tall columns, and in history have been associated with royalty or wealth. We have two different four-poster beds in our online gallery: Renfrew Pencil Post Bed and Vermont Shaker Four Poster Bed. The Renfrew features slender, fluted posts that can be connected by a fabric canopy. The Vermont Shaker features clean lines with a canopy frame. The frame, unlike the Renfrew, is connected at the top. Poster beds are perfect for Colonial homes.
Beds with storage offer convenient, inconspicuous storage. The under bed storage can save some floor space in your bedroom by eliminating a dresser or chest, or the extra storage can free up a portion of your jam-packed closet. We covered storage beds in more detail in a previous blog post.
Our Bedroom Furniture Sale starts today. Choose from over 70 Vermont made beds in your choice of real Cherry, Walnut, Maple, or Oak woods. We have hundreds of solid wood bedroom furniture pieces in our online gallery, so you can mix and match the ones you like best to create the perfect bedroom set. Save 10% on one piece, 15% on two pieces, and 20% on three or more pieces of bedroom furniture.
You can securely, easily, and conveniently shop our online gallery 24 hours a day. If you need any assistance, our Vermont fine furniture specialists are available to help. You can contact them by phone (888-390-5571), by email, or by live chat. Our bedroom furniture sale ends on Thursday, January 31st at midnight.
*This sale excludes Copeland and Artisan furniture. However, Copeland Furniture carries a low price guarantee.
2013 Interior Design
Many blogs and fashion magazines are starting to release their design trends for 2013, but how do we fit in with the trends while keeping it green? Here are some of 2013′s hottest trends and my tips for turning them green.
Elegant Designs and Florals
Taking inspiration from designers like Cath Kidston and Vera Bradley, floral patterns are making their way back into homes this year. My advice is to skip the floral upholstered sofa and try some artisan paintings in the main rooms of your home. Local artisan shops showcase beautiful paintings and photographs and buy purchasing one, you are helping to support your local economy. Plus, they are unique and it’s easy to find pictures that will match your homes existing decor.
Organic Modernistic Kitchens
It seems like designers are starting to take the green movement seriously. This years kitchen is all about homey, vintage designs that LOOK natural. I say, take it one step further and actually use natural materials in your kitchen. Reclaimed hardwood flooring is very interesting and would look fantastic in any kitchen or dining area. Reclaimed barnwood would also make beautiful cabinetry or recycled furniture.
Lacquer and Shine
This year is going to be all about the shine. Luckily, some of our furniture is available with a non-toxic, low VOC lacquer finish. Get that gloss you love without the harsh chemicals. The environment will be glad you did. Give us a call for more details.
So I know it’s not really a design, but people are craving furniture and designs that are efficient and can have multiple purposes. Maybe like a table that can be used as a chair or a footstool? Or a buffet that would also make a great media center? Don’t worry. If you’re looking for practical, Vermont Woods Studios has you covered!
So it felt a little weird putting this in here, but a trend is a trend! Apparently us women are working men a little too hard because there is a high demand for man caves this year. Treat the guy in your home with something classy for his otherwise masculine space and check out our solid wood media consoles. Perfect for storing entertainment centers, stereo systems or gaming consoles.
What trends are you seeing in the future for 2013?
With unseasonably warm weather in Vermont for the past few days, I have found myself longing for summertime. On top of the weather having me think that summer is around the corner, I have also been fully immersed in Polywood Outdoor Furniture.
If you’re new to our blog or company, let me introduce you to Polywood. It is our only line of furniture that is not made of hardwood, and for good reason. Most of the outdoor furniture you see at other stores are made from teak, redwood, or cedar, because they can withstand some outdoor conditions. However, there is a better material that outdoor furniture can be made out of, and that’s recycled plastic lumber. It replicates the texture (minus the wood splinters) and beauty of real wood, but is more durable to withstand harsh weather conditions.
We normally don’t go around promoting wood alternative furniture (we are Vermont Woods Studios, afterall), but there really isn’t anything better than Polywood Outdoor Furniture. Not only can it withstand extreme weather conditions (including snow), but there is virtually no maintenance. With wood outdoor furniture, you need to reapply protective overcoats, stains, or paint, none of which you have to do to Polywood.
This week Vermont Woods Studios has been busy putting up the new 2013 Polywood pieces, sets, and collections. Polywood Outdoor Furniture Sets are brand new in 2013!
A new collection that we have added is the Polywood Coastal Outdoor Furniture. This exciting new collection is very different from our other collections of Polywood. Unique to this collection is the sling fabric chairs. The sling fabric conforms to your body with firm support. These chairs will be especially nice in the summertime, because the sling fabric allows the chairs to breathe, which means you won’t stick to them on a hot July day! The frames of the chairs are made in your choice of 7 Polywood recycled plastic lumber colors. The collection is comprised of four chairs and three outdoor furniture sets. There is the Coastal Folding Chair, Coastal Dining Chair, Coastal Counter Chair, and the Coastal Bar Chair. The new outdoor furniture sets include the Coastal 3-Piece Bar Set, Coastal 7-Piece Dining Set, and the Coastal 5-Piece Dining Set.
As you browse through our online gallery, all of our new Polywood furniture pieces will be marked by a red “NEW” sticker, like our new South Beach Ultimate Adirondack with Hideaway Ottoman and Euro SOLID Chaise.
What do you think? Will you be adding Polywood to your patio or deck this year?
We were happy to get a note from GreenPeople.org today, awarding our green furniture with their Seal of approval for the 7th year in a row. GreenPeople.org is a credible (not to mention the world’s largest) online directory of green, eco-friendly, and holistic goods, services, non-profit organizations and eco-events. They have been helping people locate authentically green products since 1998 by evaluating businesses with meaningful and consistent standards for environmental protection and social justice.
To learn more about our green furniture and why it’s eco friendly have a look at the green mission pages of our blog, browse through the environmental section of our website or give us a call to chat about wooden furniture and sustainable forestry today. If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to call or read through all that, just remember this: The most important thing you can do to be sustainable and earth-friendly when you’re buying furniture is to buy 100% American made. Learn why here.
Maple Wood Furniture on Pinterest
Heather B has posted a really nice pinterest board for our Maple Wood Furniture. Little known fact: almost everything in our online fine furniture store is available in maple wood. But unfortunately for maple lovers, most of our pictures show our furniture in natural cherry or walnut wood.
The fact is that every piece of fine furniture we make is built to order with the customer’s choice of wood. Black cherry is by far the most popular wood these days so naturally that’s what most of our pictures are of. But all of our craftspeople work in maple wood, as well as cherry, walnut and usually a couple other hardwoods native to the Northeast.
Mid Century Modern Maple Bedroom Sets by Copeland
If you’re looking for a top quality maple wood bedroom set, we have three sets photographed in maple, the:
- Astrid mid-century modern bedroom furniture by Copeland
- Harbor Island organic, green certified (by the Forest Stewardship Council FSC) bedroom furniture by Copeland
- Soho mid-century modern bedroom furniture by Copeland
Copeland is a leader in mid-century modern American style furniture and, lucky for us maple fans, they are right in the middle of Vermont maple country. Much of their maple wood is harvested right around their shop and green certified by the Forest Stewardship Council FSC.
Shaker, Mission, Modern and Traditional Maple Furniture
If Mid-century modern’s not your thing, check out our traditional handmade Shaker style furniture, mission furniture, modern furniture or traditional furniture styles. All pieces can be made to order in real maple wood. Just use the drop-down menus to customize your order or give us a call or visit us in our showroom.
And if you do order maple bedroom, dining room or home office, mind if we photograph it for our website?
Tips for Buying Fine Quality Wooden Furniture
If you’re shopping for top quality bedroom furniture sets, I’m sure you’ve noticed they’re priced considerably higher than the run of the mill sets you’ll find at Jordan’s or Bernie and Phyls. But if you want timeless, real hardwood furniture you’ll have for a lifetime, (something you’ll never have to replace) then what you’re really interested in is getting the best value, not the lowest price, right? My suggestion: first find the best quality furniture you can afford (here’s a solid wood furniture buying guide to help with that) in the style and wood species you love.
American Made or Imported?
Second, check to see where it’s made. If it’s imported furniture, you probably want to keep shopping. Honestly, I rarely hear complaints about the quality of virtually any American made, solid hardwood furniture (and the more local you buy, the better chance you have of getting the craftsperson or manufacturer to stand behind the product over it’s lifetime). On the other hand, there are dozens of consumer review sites filled with complaints about the imported furniture products found at big box stores like Ikea, Ashley and Bob’s. Quality can be quite poor and there’s little chance of getting satisfactory customer service.
How to Get the Best Furniture Value
Once you’ve found your favorite top quality, American made bedroom furniture, crafted of real solid hardwood, then start to work with the craftsman or retailer to get their best discount price. Remember however that American furniture involves using real, legal, sustainably harvested wood and American craftsmanship. Furthermore, US furniture makers don’t typically “mark up to mark down” so you’re unlikely to find “discounts up to 80%”. But often there is room for some negotiation.
Buy Top Quality Furniture in Sets to Get a Volume Discount
At Vermont Woods Studios for instance, we have a standing discount of 20% on bedroom sets* plus we offer a discount on full service white glove shipping and delivery when customers are buying 3 or more pieces. Like many online retailers, we offer a coupon code (BEDROOMSET20) for customers who prefer to purchase fine furniture online (be sure to “update cart” to get the discount). Otherwise customers can give us a call or stop by our showroom to receive the discount.
So my advice, if you’re shopping for the best price on high quality, real solid wood beds, chests, dressers, armoires, night stands, mirrors, blanket boxes and such is to focus on quality and style first. Find the American made bedroom furniture you love that will last a lifetime and then negotiate on price afterwards. My sense is that in doing the research you’ll find most USA made fine furniture is honestly priced and retailers are looking to give both you and the craftsman a fair deal.
With a new year comes new designs, fashions and ideas. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be cover different trends that we’ve seen coming up for this year. First up for your 2013 Interior Design Trends: furniture!
In 2013, I think we are going to see many furniture pieces featuring simple lines and functions, much like furniture of the mid 20th century. We’ll have many retro styles making a comeback, such as metal detailing, splayed leg designs and futuristic, modular furniture. Our Moduluxe, Astrid and Contemporary Cable collections are good starting points for this look.
Unique Artisan Designs
Sometimes the best trend is not following a trend at all. Creative, one-of-a-kind designs will be big this year as people start to “de-commercialize” their lives. Whether you’re going for a modern look or a simple shaker style, artisan work is the way to go. Give us a call to discuss some custom options for your home.
Whatever look you decide to go for, make it a green one. Sustainability is starting to become a consumer standard in most industries, including food and fiber, and furniture is no different. Choose pieces that are made from sustained, American forests rather than endangered rainforest lumber. Learn more abut our sustainability standard and what we do to protect our rainforests.