Recycled-plastic-teak Isn't it ironic that most things made of plastic are used only once and then thrown into the trash, although plastic itself is a material that lasts forever– that the Earth simply cannot digest?  In fact, scientists tell us that every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except the small amount that has been incinerated (which has become toxic air pollution).

It's probably not realistic to think we can eliminate single use plastics, like grocery bags and water, milk and soda bottles so perhaps the next best thing is to recycle them.  Can you believe this high end outdoor furniture that looks like teak wood, is actually recycled plastic?

 

 

 

Plastic-adirondack-chairsSo are these colorful, high quality Adirondack chairs.  They're made of 90-100% recycled milk jugs, while the faux teak furniture above is made from recycled plastic grocery bags.  I think they're beautiful and comfy, but the coolest thing is that they last forever.  Of course– they're plastic.  The recycled plastic is made into faux lumber that has about the same weight and strength as teak wood.  A typical chair weighs 40-60 pounds and offers unparalleled resistance to weather, mold, mildew, salt and insects.  No big surprise– have you ever seen a plastic water bottle that's been corroded or eaten by bugs?

We even give this all weather patio furniture a lifetime guarantee which is pretty much unheard of for outdoor furniture.  Check them out on our Vermont Woods Studios website, see what you think and let me know.  

 

 

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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.

Teak We’ve been carrying our new line of POLYWOOD recycled plastic outdoor patio furniture for a couple months now. We’ve got a lot of different colors and styles but the one that’s charging ahead faster than all the others is Plastiq.

Do you like teak furniture?  I love it.  I think we’ve been trained by the furniture industry to see teak as the quintessential luxury outdoor furniture choice.  But it’s popularity has come at a price:  the destruction of much rainforest land (and indigenous species) all around the tropics.

Our faux teak (aka Plastiq) furniture is designed to look just like teak, but it’s made from recycled plastic bags.  How cool is that?  A win-win.  Customers are not just helping to save the rainforest, they’re taking waste out of the waste stream and keeping it out of our landfills.

Faux-teak-chair

But we learned long ago that we have to first get the style, quality and price right before we can talk to customers about the environmental benefits of our furniture.  The quality of our outdoor furniture is commensurate with that of our indoor furniture– about as high as you will find anywhere.

With style, we’re starting with this modern look which seems to be very popular.  Do you like it?  Right now only our modern outdoor lines are available in Plastiq but I’d like to be able to offer faux teak in all of our outdoor furniture styles soon.

Now price.  It’s high, there’s no way around that.  It’s about the same as real teak furniture.  But Plastiq is something you will never have to replace.  We are so certain of this, we give it a lifetime guarantee and I’ve never seen anyone do that for outdoor furniture, have you?

 

 

Faux-teak-sampleIf you’re interested in teak furniture, give Rebecca a call and she’ll send you a free Plastiq sample.  You’ll be amazed.  I’ve never seen a faux wood this good.  It really looks and feels like teak.

But unlike real teak, Plastiq doesn’t rot, chip or degrade from sun, sand, wind, salt spray– or anything else I know of.  It’s easy to clean (just use a hose or power washer) and like the plastic bags it comes from, it will take about a million years to degrade.  That’s probably going to be long enough for most of us.

If you have Plastiq furniture, please comment and let us know how you like it.  Thanks!

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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.

Solid-cherry-wood-bedroom Furniture made of solid cherry wood is considered some of the finest furniture available in the world today.  That’s because cherry is a beautiful, stable hardwood that develops a rich reddish brown patina over the years and just keeps getting more gorgeous as time goes by.

I’m always saddened when customers tell us they’ve been searching in their local areas and online for solid cherry furniture and they haven’t been able to find the real thing.

What’s happened is that the larger furniture companies have opted for low-price over quality in their furniture designs.  They typically use cheaper, lower quality woods, stain them and then call them “cherry”.  The worst part is that the stains don’t even remotely look like real cherry wood, but this cheap furniture is so plentiful that people often think that stain is the actual color of cherry.  At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture it breaks our craftsmans’ hearts when people ask them to stain solid cherry furniture to make it match existing fake “cherry” furniture that’s in their homes.

Solid-cherry-wood bookcase Here are some examples of solid cherry wood furniture.  You’ll notice there are varying degrees of color.  Natural cherry wood starts out a light pinkish color and darkens over time with exposure to light.  Eventually it ripens to a stunning reddish brown.  You can hasten the darkening process by oiling the wood often.

If you’re shopping for cherry furniture and you have any doubts about the wood, be sure to ask the salesperson if it’s authentic cherry wood.  Ask where it’s from too.  The best cherry in the world is grown in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and because we don’t have much cherry in Vermont, that’s where we get ours from.  More on cherry wood furniture here.

 

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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.

natural cherry wood
Our American Shaker Large Sideboard in natural cherry wood.

Let’s talk about natural cherry wood furniture.

Today I wanted to provide some detail about naturally occurring mineral deposits that are a characteristic of cherry.

In cherry wood small black flecks occur in the grain where tiny amounts of sap were stored in the cherry tree.

natural cherry wood
You can see on these panels the little pockets where sap once lived.

Mineral deposits (or pitch pockets) are natural and randomly occurring.  They do not diminish the strength or quality of your furniture.  As we say: they add to its uniqueness.

The frequency of mineral deposits in our furniture varies with each tree utilized but it is largely reflected in the product photos here and throughout our website.  Like any other fine furniture maker we cannot guarantee the absence of mineral deposits in our cherry wood furniture and we cannot consider the presence of mineral deposits a reason for furniture returns, per our lifetime guarantee policy.

natural cherry wood
Our Loft Bedroom Collection in natural cherry wood. Note the mineral deposits on the two bottom left drawers of the dresser.

Looking for Cherry Furniture with Virtually No Mineral Deposits?

Most of our furniture makers are reluctant to offer cherry furniture without mineral deposits for a couple reasons. First, it is against our sustainable forestry principles.  Up to five times the number of trees need to be harvested to produce furniture with virtually no mineral deposits.  Second, the presence of mineral deposits in cherry wood can be a matter of opinion.  What one customer might feel was mineral-deposit free furniture may not be the same for another customer.

If mineral deposits are an issue for you, give us a call.  We’ll work something out… although I should mention that the price of a “virtually mineral deposit-free” piece is generally about twice that of the regular piece.

natural cherry wood

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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.

natural cherry wood furniture

Natural Cherry wood furniture is a favorite among our customers and people are always asking where the wood comes from.

We source as much wood as we can locally, preferably right here in Vermont. But cherry wood isn’t a big component of the Green Mountain Forest.

There are a few cherry trees here and there across Vermont, but Pennsylvania is really the Cherry Capitol of the world and that’s where we get most of our cherry wood. It is arguably the finest cherry wood on earth and is prized for its lovely red color, grain and luster.

At Vermont Woods Studios we feel it’s important to provide detailed information about where your furniture comes from.  We want customers to know that our wood is all sustainably harvested and that forest conservation is a fundamental part of our mission.

natural cherry wood furniture
A cherry tree in one Vermont Woods Studios staffers New Hampshire yard

Fortunately for us, in 1995 the state of Pennsylvania had the foresight to protect and preserve a great deal of their cherry wood resources.  They committed to maintaining the state forest system sustainably and began green certifying it, by the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC. FSC is considered the gold standard in third party certifications of forests so we can be confident that the forests providing our cherry wood will be around to enjoy for many generations… just like our cherry wood furniture.

natiral cherry wood furniture

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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.