Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

Vermont Travel

85 Vermont Sugar Houses in 2 Days: Is it possible?

March 20th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

maple syrup

Did you know that maple sugaring is sustainable? Tapping doesn’t hurt the tree in any way — studies have shown that the trees that are tapped year after year live just as long, and just grow ever-so-slightly most slowly than their un-harvested counterparts.

This weekend is Vermont’s Maple Syrup open house weekend! This is exciting for two reasons: 1) Maple syrup is delicious and 2) this officially marks the first weekend of Spring! Open House Weekend is your opportunity to get a first-hand look at how Vermont’s sugar makers are able to take the sap from maple trees and craft something as delicious as pure Vermont maple syrup! 85 sugar houses around Vermont will be open for touring!

The weather is up in the air, but we’re hoping for another weekend of sunshine! So make it a trip, take a visit to Vermont– and visit us at Stonehurst while you’re here!

Visit VermontMaple.Org for an interactive map with all of the different maple syrup locations in Vermont & for more information on this great weekend event!


|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.|


VT Mini Vacation Destination: Annual Vermont Chili Festival!

March 7th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Vermont Chili Festival

The crowd gathers at last years VT Chili Festival! Photo via: Farrell Distributing Company.

If there’s one thing that gets people coming from all over the Northeast to Vermont, it’s food. Well, food & beer… and furniture, because we’re fantastic at all creating the best of all three. But this blog isn’t about furniture, it’s about chili, and an entire festival dedicated to this wondrous, tasty concoction.

This weekend marks the 6th annual Vermont Chili Festival! Named one of the top 10 Winter events for the past 4 years by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. It’s a great VT mini vacation destination because Middlebury is beautiful in and of itself, and the festival has lots to do for the whole family.

There will be activities for the kids, AWARD WINNING CHILI (I repeat, some of this chili is so good it has won awards), live music, face painters, performers, and a beverage tent for the grownups! This whole event will take place on the streets of historic downtown Middlebury. Restaraunts and caterers from around the state have been fine-tuning their chili recepies all year to show it off at this festival, so it’s one not to be missed.

Chili contest starts on Saturday, March 8th, 2014 beginning at 1:00pm! Tickets are $5 for adults and children under 8 are free!

An estimated five-thousand people attended last year’s festival, with even more expected to turn out this year – I wouldn’t miss this one!

Purchase your tickets at their EventBrite page.

PS. To help keep this event as eco-friendly as possible, bring your own spoon to avoid having to use the plastic ones that will end up in a landfill!


| 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. |



Charlie Shackleton and the Naked Table Project

February 12th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Logging with Horses in Vermont | Naked Table Project | Charles Shackleton

“To fully understand the process of sustainably making furniture, you must go into the forest.   The woodlands tour describes how to identify Sugar Maples, low impact forestry principles, and demonstrations on horse-drawn logging. It will change the way you see furniture forever”   …. Charles Shackleton

Last week on my tour of luxury Vermont home decor companies I stopped to visit Charles Shackleton and his wife Miranda Thomas at their studios in Bridgewater, Vermont.  Charlie is perhaps one of Vermonts most beloved furniture makers.  He’s famous for his steadfast belief in the integrity and enduring value of true handcrafted furniture.  You won’t find cnc routers in Charlie’s shop!  Everything is traditionally carved and crafted by hand, making each piece a unique work of art. Dennis pointed out that Charlie is making the Chippendales of tomorrow.  It’s the stuff Christie’s and Sotheby’s will be competing for in years to come.

Charlie Shackleton's Naked Table Project | King Arthur Board of Directors

I arrived at Shackleton-Thomas just as a Naked Table project was beginning.  The lucky participants were the board of directors for King Arthur Flour (bet you didn’t know that was a Vermont company).  They were building tables for their conference room.

What’s a Naked Table?

“We invite businesses, friends and families to our workshops to make tables for themselves to last for ages to come. Each piece in the Naked Collection is made from the iconic Sugar Maple harvested in the forests we visit (inverse from conventional methods of deforesting and sourcing wood from anywhere in the world)…  The table has come to symbolize our community’s connection to our local environment and our ability to make something of it.”  … Charles Shackleton


Pete Michelinie os Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT

Charlie Shackleton (left) and Pete Michelinie of Shackleton Thomas Fine Furniture in Bridgewater, VT.  Pete was trained at the renowned North Bennett Street Furniture School in Boston.  He’s part of an elite team of craftspeople who create heirloom quality furniture and pottery at Shackleton-Thomas.

The Work of Human Hands

Charlie notes that humans have a natural tendency to want to make things, using their hands in particular.  “It’s a satisfying “buzz” of creativity, comparable to baking a loaf of bread from the grains of a wheat plant.  When a finished piece expresses our creativity, either through the natural beauty of the wood, the design or the marks of shaping left by the human hand, it sends a message.  In these times when so much is mass produced in factories by automated machines on the other side of the world, many are treasuring that message and the natural resources that surround it..”

Visit the Shackleton Thomas store in Bridgewater, VT or their website to learn more and shop.  Next week:  a quiz about Miranda’s pottery.  Hint: yes it is displayed in the White House and the Vatican in addition to dozens of other prestigious locations around the world.

Related posts: Touring Vermont’s Luxury Home Decor Brands    A visit to Simon Pearce

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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.


5 Most Romantic Vermont Towns

February 11th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Looking for Romantic Vermont Towns for your special Valentines Day weekend? Enjoy this post highlighting some of Vermont’s best towns for visiting couples.

Stowe Vermont Photography

‘Stowe Vermont Community Church’, by Teresa Merelman. Retrieved from Flickr. 

Stowe. Stowe is a magnificent place to visit during all 4 seasons. This quaint Northern town has a reputation for some of the best skiing in Vermont, making it an ideal place for a wintery weekend retreat with your loved one.  It’s also a hub for fun summer adventuring, with popular attractions including luxury resorts, lodges, and spas… sure to make a great midsummer date. Lodging options can range from quaint and cozy, to extravagant and fabulous– and the same can be said for the cuisine. No matter your taste, you will find something to fall in love with in Stowe. 

Champlain by Marty Desilets

‘Champlain’ by Marty Desilets, retrieved from Pinterest.

Burlington. Burlington is a truly romantic place for lovers who enjoy both the buzz of city life and the calm of Vermont’s north country. In the summer you can enjoy the beauty of the Lake Champlain as you  dine at one of Burlington’s popular waterfront restaurants, or take a ferry ride or cruise. Music, shopping, theater, and art are also some of Burlington’s staples for couples looking for a fun filled Vermont escape.

'Woodstock' by Ryan Phelan, retrieved from Pinterest

‘Woodstock’ by Ryan Phelan, retrieved from Pinterest

Woodstock. Just a quick drive through Woodstock will give you a warm, romantic feeling– even in the dead of Winter. The main street of town  is illuminated by Christmas lights, and people can always be found roaming around their eclectic gift and decor shops. Easy to access all year round, the lush summer greenery of Woodstock is unmatched. During the autumn months, Woodstock boasts some of Vermont’s most beautiful foliage.  Senator Jacob Collamer (1791-1865) confessed, “The good people of Woodstock have less incentive than others to yearn for heaven.”

Simon Pearce Restaurant

Simon Pearce Restaurant in Quechee, Vermont. Retrieved from

Quechee. The most obviously fascinating part of Quechee is the Gorge. While the gorge is visible if you drive by or stop along Rt 4, the beauty of it is best appreciated by following the trail down to the bottom. The Quechee gorge is a 3,000 foot long, 163 foot deep chasam sculped into the landscape 13,000 years ago. A truly breathtaking stop for any couple with a love for nature’s grandeur. After visiting this majestic site, you can pay a visit to one of Vermont’s most luxurious restaurants and shopping destinations– Simon Pearce.

White House Inn, Wilmington, Vermont Travel

White House Inn, Wilmington. Vermont Travel. Retrieved from Pinterest.

Wilmington. This Southern Vermont town is as quaint and compact as it gets, boasting a population of approximately 2,225 people (in 2000). Known for its severely snowy winters and hot summers, Wilmington is a lovely rural getaway for any couple looking for a sunny Vermont weekend or winter ski getaway. The Wilmington area is home to Mount Snow, one of Vermont’s best family-focused ski resorts, with famous riders including American Olympian Kelly Clark. Home to several traditional lodges, restaurants and shops– Wilmington makes a great stop along any romantic Vermont driving tour.

While these 5 towns are some of Vermont’s most romantic destinations, the entire state is filled with charming places to eat, shop, and enjoy nature. Many people believe that as soon as you cross over the border into Vermont, you can tell that you are some place truly special. Do you believe it? Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a truly magical Valentines escape, Vermont is a wonderful place to explore.

| 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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. |

*See a photo that belongs to you and want it removed? Please email and we’ll gladly take it down*



A Visit to Simon Pearce Glassware

February 9th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Simon Pearce | Handblown Glassware | Made in Vermont

Luxury home decor aficionados:  do you long for days past when real, honest, human craftsmanship was the means of producing quality, long lasting goods for your home?  Are you tired of disposable everything and looking to add authenticity and character to your home– a few things with substance that are designed to be enjoyed forever?  Well Vermont has a treat for you.  Four of America’s top luxury home decor brands are headquartered in the middle of the Green Mountain state– all within a comfortable driving distance of each other.  I made the tour myself last week, while preparing our Stonehurst gallery to begin carrying a selection of items from each company.  Here is what I found at my first stop, Simon Pearce.

Simon Pearce Glassware

With the rich history of Irish glass blower Simon Pearce behind it, this company leads the way in high end, hand blown glass and table ware.  Headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.

Simon Pearce | Glass Blower | Watch it Being Made in Windsor and Quechee Vermont

Simon Pearce high quality glass bowls, goblets and vases are hand blown by skilled artisans and designed to last a lifetime.  I took this picture in Windsor, VT but you can also see glassblowing (and pottery making) at their beautiful facility in Quechee, VT.

Simon Pearce Pottery

Simon Pearce Pottery and Stoneware

The Simon Pearce pottery and stoneware collection includes table lamps, vases, pitchers, dinnerware and gifts.  Watch it being made in Windsor and/or Quechee, VT.

Learn more about Simon Pearce, his story and products on his website.  Or better yet, come up to Vermont for a visit!  You can use Stonehurst, our fine furniture, home decor and art gallery as a launchpad to Simon Pearce and the rest of Vermont’s luxury home decor companies.

Restaurant at Simon Pearce

It takes a ton of energy to make glass so Simon Pearce located his facility on a falls and installed hydro power.  Be sure to call for reservations if you’d like to dine at that beautiful restaurant that juts out over the falls. Both food and view are spectacular.

The other three luxury home decor brands I’m thinking of?  Stay tuned, there’s more to come but you’ll find hints on Kelsey’s new Vermont luxury Pinterest board.  Let us know on our Facebook, about any other brands you’d like to learn more about.

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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.


From Lost Ski Area to Showroom for Green Home Decor

February 5th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Michelle and I are the only ones who’ve made it in to work today.  Snow is falling ever so gently, but it’s persistent!  We’ve got about 6″ and the forecast is for 6 more.  So I thought it would a good time to reprint this article that was recently published on Sotheby’s Vermont Country Properties blog.  We are grateful to President and Principal Broker Lisa Coneeny and Office Manager Melissa Olson for posting it.

Pine Top Ski Area Resort in Vernon, Vermont Circa 1960 | Now Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom

This is how Pine Top looked in 1960.  If the rope tows were still here, Michelle and I would be out there skiing today!

What to Do with a Lost Ski Area?

Jeremy Davis, author of “Lost Ski Areas of Southern Vermont” estimates there were 119 ski areas in the Green Mountain state during the mid 20th century.  It seems that 2/3 of Vermont’s towns had their own ski area!  Of course they were a far cry from today’s luxury resorts like Mount Snow, Stratton, Killington and Stowe.  But back in the day, they were the center of winter activity in the communities they served.  Now what has become of them?

A group of local enthusiasts at Vermont Woods Studios has recently transformed the former Pine Top ski area in Vernon, Vermont into a showcase for Vermont’s handcrafted, fine furniture and home décor products.  The 220 year old farmhouse that used to welcome Nordic and alpine skiers has been lovingly restored.  Known as “Stonehurst” since c1870 when it was sold to Lucretia Kendall for a sum of $2000, it is now home to a high end interior design gallery.

Stonehurst Today | A Fine Furniture Showroom and Luxury Home Decor Gallery

Here’s the same scene today.  Pine Top, the little lost ski area in Vermont is beckoning Michelle and me to bring our sleds out and play.  On days like this the mountain longs for the good old days of the 1940s, 50s and 60s when skiers packed the slopes.

“With all it’s rich history we thought Stonehurst would be the perfect place to showcase the high quality home décor products coming out of Vermont”, said Peggy Farabaugh, new owner of the property.  “The homestead is situated on a hundred acre wood with beautiful views of the mountains, forests and Connecticut River Valley.  Customers can look out our windows and see Vermont’s sustainable working lands in action.  Stonehurst gives us a way to show and tell the story of Vermont’s high quality, handcrafted products:  where they come from and how they’re made.”

The lovely view at Stonehurst | Fine Furniture and Home Decor Gallery

Here’s what Pine Top looks like today.  The farmhouse that’s been know as Stonehurst for over 2 centuries has been lovingly restored.  It now houses the finest handmade furniture America has to offer along with many luxury brands of home decor.  And everything here is made in Vermont.  Come visit us before the snow melts!

The gallery features a revolving selection of fine furniture from Vermont’s iconic brands including Copeland, Lyndon and many custom and specialty furniture makers.   Original artwork by Linda Marcille, Susan Osgood, Donna Scully, Georgie Runkle and other local artists accents the furniture and is offered for sale.

“We’re adding new products daily and hope to soon have a consummate collection of Vermont home goods with glassware by Simon Pearce, lighting by Hubbardton Forge, kitchen accessories by JK Adams, pottery by Laura Zindel and a creative selection of specialty handmade items from the area’s top craftspeople,” said Farabaugh.

Visitors are warmly welcomed at Stonehurst.  Hours of operation are 9am-5pm, Mon-Sat.  Details and directions to the gallery on Huckle Hill Road in Vernon can be found on our website.  Be sure to bring your sled, skis or snowshoes!

For more Stonehurst photos, visit our Pinterest board.

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.


Vermont Celebrates Martin Luther King Day

January 20th, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Celebrates Martin Luther King Day with African American Heritage Trail

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day with a tour of Vermont’s African American Heritage TrailLearn more and generate a google map with directions to the historical places that interest you.

Vermonters are celebrating Martin Luther King day in many ways and in many towns and villages across the Green Mountain state.  Here are a few of the many events you might be interested in.

  • The Making of A Peacemaker is sponsored by the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Clergy Association takes place tonight at the Centre Congregational Church on Main Street. A spagetti dinner at 6 will be followed by a celebration 7-8 pm with local choruses.
  • In Burlington the University of Vermont UVM is hosting an MLK birthday party, a civil rights film series, a speech by Julian Bond a special tribute to Nelson Mandela and many other events centered around the issues near and dear to Martin Luther King.
  • Yesterday Burlingtonians were treated to a speech by Sharon Robinson, the daughter of baseball great Jackie Robinson at the Unitarian Church.  Sharon shared memories of her father at a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.  She said while much has been written about her father’s career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he should be remembered for his ongoing fight for equal rights both in the baseball world and the world outside.

Did you know that Vermonters penned the first constitution in America prohibiting slavery?  The year was 1777, just one year after the American Revolution, and the place was a roadside tavern in Windsor. Preserved for visitors today, it is the Old Constitution House State Historic Site.  While a large part of Vermont’s role in our culture is widely known, it is the Green Mountain State’s place in African American history that is not as familiar to many.

Catherine Brooks of Vermont Tourism,  Curtiss Reed of the Vermont Partnership for Fairness and Diversity and Jane Beck, former director of the Vermont Folklife Center in Middlebury are trying to change that with the African American Heritage Trail.  The Heritage Trail comprises 11 sites including nine museums with exhibits featuring video, audio, and guided, or self-guided tours. It celebrates the accomplishments of Vermont’s early African-American residents and historic places that chronicle eras, people, and events significant to the journey of all African-Americans.  Learn more at

The Vermont Furniture 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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.


Vermont Included in Worlds 10 Best Cheese Destinations

January 16th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Vermont Cheese Destination

Alongside such romantic places as France, Spain, and Italy– humble Vermont stands strong as one of the top 10 destinations for cheese lovers! Like with most parts of our creative heritage, Vermont prides itself on the high quality product (in this case, Cheddars, Fetas, Gorgonzolas and more!) that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States.

Seriously, we love our cheese. So much that we have a map highlighting  45 different Vermont cheesemakers who “produce over 150 varieties of award winning artisan and farmstead cheese.”

Vermont Cheese

Starting your VT Cheese Weekend Vacation? Stop by Grafton Cheese (#14) after your visit to Stonehurst! Mention this blog & get a free cutting board (for your VT cheese!) just for visiting.

This map from illustrates the 45 Vermont Cheese Council members and their locations. Click on the map for more detail, and links to individual members!

Do you have any other cheese destinations that you think should have been included in this list? Let us know in the comments section!


Vermont Woodworking Featured in Southern Vermont Arts Magazine

December 12th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Arts Magazine Features Woodworkers, Winter 2013We’re sending thanks out to journalist Steve Noble and publisher, Lynn Barrett of Southern Vermont Arts Magazine for their insightful articles about three Vermont woodworking businesses.  Vermont Woods Studios was featured along with Charles Shackleton of Shackleton Thomas and Gail Grycel of Twin Birch Woodworking.

Steve’s article, “Three Vermonters and Their Love of Wood” explores how many of us in Vermont’s artisan community share a vision of using the timeless power of wood and woodworking to change the world:

  • Gail, a professionally trained musician who learned woodworking and built her own house, is now teaching the craft to other women.
  • Charlie, a master craftsman (who traveled to Vermont from Dublin Ireland with his friend famed glass blower, Simon Pearce) uses his world-class fine furniture (and wife Miranda’s pottery) to share his passion for authenticity, sustainability and social responsibility.
  • And Vermont Woods Studios, where we reach out across America through our website to bring furniture buyers into Vermont so they can experience the timeless quality and beauty of handmade wood furniture.

We appreciate Lynn’s support for our craft and her help in raising awareness about value of Vermont’s fine wood furniture business.  Keep up with the latest news about the Arts in Southern Vermont and these 3 woodworking businesses:




Attention Foodies: Brattleboro Featured in Real Food Travel

December 9th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton

Brattleboro Real Food Travel

I’m not sure how I didn’t catch this article sooner, but I’m glad I eventually did! This past August, the town of Brattleboro (our lively nextdoor neighbor) was featured in Real Food Travel as a great New England destination for foodies! Author AnneMarie wrote a lovely write-up about the town, noting that:

“Brattleboro, Vermont is a fascinating place. Set between the Connecticut and West Rivers at the foot of Mount Wantastiquet, Brattleboro’s beautiful scenery is the backdrop for a lively downtown full of funky shops, restaurants, and galleries. Brattleboro is known for its art scene, and it was named one of the top five best small art towns in the country. Vermont is the number one state on the Locavore Index, and Brattleboro offers lots of options for travelers looking for real food, from bakeries to restaurants to an amazing farmers’ market. Just 2 hours from the Boston area, Brattleboro is a great day trip or weekend getaway.”

Having explored the downtown area many times myself, I would have to agree that Brattleboro has a huge selection of amazing places to shop and go out to eat! From quirky sandwich shops to coffee, great pizza, and fine dining; “The One and Only Brattleboro” is truly a one of a kind place to visit (or live) for anyone who favors real local food and fresh New England Flavor.

We’d love for you to come and get to know our community and visit some of the awesome restaurant selections highlighted in the Real Food Travel blog, and while you’re here, why not take your lunch to go and visit our one of a kind fine furniture showroom!

Either way, we hope you find Brattleboro as unique and interesting as we do. See you soon! :)