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Our mission at Vermont Woods Studios is to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from.  Is Forest to Table furniture as important to you as Farm to Plate food?  Let us know why or why not on our Facebook.

Where Does Your Furniture Come From?

I started Vermont Woods Studios in 2005 to promote sustainable wooden furniture.  I’d been studying the impacts of illegal logging of the earth’s tropical rainforests and wondered “why isn’t anybody doing anything about this”?  With the destruction being driven by demand for cheap wood furniture, I realized there was something we could do to help… even from way up here in Vermont.  Thus our Vermont made furniture store was born, with the mission of raising awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuading people to buy eco friendly furniture made from sustainably harvested wood.

FSC Certification Problems

That purpose is still at the heart of our mission, although the definition of “eco friendly wood furniture” has changed.  Ten years ago the prevailing thought was that the hallmark of sustainably harvested wood furniture was a formal certification by the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council.

FSC is an international not for-profit group that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests.  It has been considered the “gold standard” for green certification and labeling of forest products since 1993.  Unfortunately, as pure as FSC’s intentions may be, the job of monitoring the entire planet’s forests has proved impossible.  With so much at stake and land areas too big to monitor, organized crime has taken over the global timber industry.  FSC certification is now systematically forged to the point where you cannot tell whether “certified” furniture is made from legal wood.

Illegal Wood:  Not Just About Climate Change & Loss of Biodiversity

A recent article by Alexander Zaitchik titled, Blood on Your Ottoman: Your Furniture’s Link to a Murderous Logging Epidemic chronicles the September 2014 murder of Edwin Chota and 3 other indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest.  The article highlights the fact that organized crime has upped the ante for illegal timber.  Murder is now fair game in their book and it’s happening more than you’d like to know.

“The first thing people can do is to revisit the assumption that buying “certified” wood products absolves them of responsibility for destroying the world’s remaining primary rainforests. If you’re buying Peruvian mahogany, or Brazilian rosewood, or Indonesian teak, there’s no way to determine whether or not it came from a legal, carefully managed tract, or whether a villager was killed for trying to keep that tree standing”.

Eco Friendly Wood Furniture = American Made Wood Furniture

Our message to conscious consumers shopping for eco friendly furniture, flooring, paper or other forest products is simple: buy American made.  In the United States logging is regulated and enforced.  There are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, “North American forest growth has exceeded harvest since the 1940s.  The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the ’50s”.

Learn more about American made eco friendly wood furniture on our website and find out which companies say they’re “American made” versus those that truly are.

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.

Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made
Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made

Getting Organized with Custom Bookcases

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list, but think about it.  Whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013.  Not to mention more beautiful.

At Vermont Woods Studios our biggest month for crafting bookcases and other organizers is January.  Could it have to do with New Year’s resolutions?  Must be, but we’re getting inquiries almost every day lately.  I think customers are realizing that there is a 1-3 month lead time for ordering custom bookcases.  So if you’re one of those people I thought I’d offer up some tips and advice about how to choose the right set of bookshelves for your home or office.

Glass Doors, Wooden Doors or No Doors

Are you really going to use those books or movies or vases?  Or will they just sit in the bookcase and collect dust?  Are they beautiful?  Part of your decor?  Or just obligatory (someone gave them to you and you can’t seem to throw them away) and you don’t necessarily want to see them?  Do you put things back neatly?  Or are you always in a hurry?  These are the kinds of weighty issues you’ll need to unravel before you decide whether or not to add doors to your custom bookcases.  Oh… and should the doors be glass to show off your chotskies or wooden to hide the mess?

Custom Bookcases, Bookshelves, Glass Doors, Wood Doors, No Doors

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list. But whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013. Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

One Big Bookshelf or a Couple Small Ones?

Once you’ve decided what kind of doors are best for your bookshelves, you’ll want to measure your space and get the cabinets to fit perfectly into it.  Some people love the integrated design of one big bookcase unit like the Modern Shaker Home Office Center Cabinet above (make sure you can fit something this big up the stairs and into your room!).  Other people like the versatility of combining several small bookcases in different ways.  One thing we always mention to customers is: if you’re getting a series of bookcases that you may want to place flush up next to each other, be sure you specify “no overhang”.  That means any molding along the top will be eliminated either on one or both sides, depending on how you want to configure the bookcases.

Measure Twice and Cut Once

We try to make it easy to customize your bookcase online, but it really is a good idea to give us a call or stop by the showroom to order custom bookcases, especially if they’re over-sized or designed to sit flush against each other.  We’ll help you get all the measurements right for your space so they’ll be no surprises when your furniture arrives.

Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

 

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.

 

Shaker Style Presidents Day Furniture Sale
Browse our collections of real Shaker Furniture with our Presidents Day Furniture sale, online 24/7. 

Shopping for the best Presidents Day Furniture Sales Online? We’ve got you covered, with  savings of 15% off (plus free shipping) storewide*!

So if you’re finally ready to invest in the fine furniture you’ve always dreamed of, take a serious look.  All of our real wood furniture is 100% American made, built to order right here in Vermont and guaranteed for a lifetime of service to your family! Hurry, this sale only runs for one week. February 19th is your last day to take advantage of this great Presidents Day Furniture deal.

Craftsman Style Furniture

Our customers’ favorite Vermont made Craftsman Style Furniture is the Cherry Moon Collection.   It’s contemporary Asian design has a light but grounded appearance.  Reverse-tapered legs, posts and an intricate cove under the tops round out the design to give any room a comforting and natural feeling.  Rich black walnut, half-moon drawer pulls complete the design of these natural cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood pieces.

Mission Style Furniture

Traditionally mission style furniture is characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, heavy proportion and exposed joinery.  It’s typically made with oak wood and given a medium or dark stain. Drawer pulls are often simple round brass rings or rectangular back plates of solid brass with canted corners and an oval bail handle.  But today’s Vermont made mission style furniture incorporates modern contemporary design features and is often crafted of cherry, walnut and maple wood.  You can customize it online to get whichever traditional and contemporary features you like.

Shaker Style Furniture

Vermont craftspeople have mastered the art of simple elegance in their many variations of American Shaker style furniture, ranging from a strict interpretation of the original Shaker pieces to creative versions with modern functionalities, curves and hardware.  Simple aesthetics and sturdy design remain at the heart of today’s Vermont Shaker style furniture.

Natural Cherry Wood Furniture

Natural Cherry Wood is a favorite among our customers as it develops a lustrous, rich reddish brown patina over the years.  Premium quality real cherry wood furniture is hard to find and often imitated (poorly) so don’t be fooled by the imports sporting cherry trade names.  Vermont is well established as the “go to” place to purchase real natural cherry wood furniture.

Black Walnut Furniture

American Black Walnut Wood is the only really dark North American wood. Like cherry it’s a prized, premium hardwood that carries a commensurate price tag.  Vermont woodworkers are specialists in black walnut furniture, handcrafting it from top quality solid walnut wood.

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.

50-shades-of-cherry
Google image search results for ‘real cherry wood”. Half of these are NOT cherry wood.  Many are illegal rainforest woods, brought to you by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

Cherry Wood: Will The Real Color Please Stand Up?

We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture.  It’s no wonder!  When I just googled “real cherry wood” these well over 50 shades of cherry came up.  Quite a variation, isn’t it?

First of all, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood.  When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture to China over 30 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods (rather than import cherry from North America and then export it back to North America as furniture). So they stained these cheaper woods and gave them various trade names containing “cherry”.  For example Makore, an increasingly rare African wood being illegally logged in Sierra Leone and Gabon has been sold under the trade name Cherry Mahogany, though Makore is not closely related to either cherry or mahogany.  Worse yet,  it is listed as an endangered species due to illegal logging and exploitation by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

Many times customers come to us looking to buy real cherry furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes.  After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their “cherry” furniture from Bassett, Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Drexel, Lane or other big “American” companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or some kind of engineered hardwood.

At Vermont Woods Studios, our cherry furniture is indeed made out of real, solid North American Black Cherry wood.  The color starts out as a light pink and slowly ripens to a rich reddish brown over time, depending on how much light the furniture is exposed to.  See various colors of cherry wood as it changes colors.

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.

Presidents Day Furniture Sale

It’s Here: Our 2015 Presidents Day Furniture Sale!

Right now you may be preoccupied placing your Edible Arrangement order or making dinner reservations for Valentine’s Day, but some of the biggest sales events of the year are on starting today! All of the big ticket items on your wish list are on sale. Presidents Day is a retail holiday only second to Black Friday (which is 9 months away).

Traditionally, many Americans take advantage of these discounts to make larger purchases like new cars, electronics and furniture. This is the first time that retailers will offer discounts on their new lines and designs. As a consumer, one of the questions you may ask yourself before you make a big purchase is, “how long will this last?” or “how long will I have this?” For many of your purchases, like a new top of the line television with a surround sound system, the answer is probably less than 5 years. Technology is rapidly changing and these types of items become obsolete almost as soon as we buy them.

Unlike cars and electronics that have new versions come out every year, the functionality and durability of hardwood furniture has remained the same for over 200 years. We know there are a lot of items to choose from this Presidents Day, but furniture is different from your other options because it is crafted to last a lifetime- it’s guaranteed. Our online gallery features dozens of fine wood furniture collections and 100’s of pieces in a variety of timeless styles. Each piece is crafted to order, so you can customize your furniture in your choice of natural Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut wood. All of our furniture is 100% American made right here in Vermont.

During our Presidents Day Furniture Sale, you can save 15% storewide* plus free shipping! This is one of the deepest discounts that we can give our customers, so we only offer it a couple times a year. We are honoring this discount for 5 days only– on our bedroom, dining room, living room, and home office furniture.

If you have any questions about our Vermont made wood furniture, feel free to contact our fine furniture specialists. They are available by live chat, phone (888-390-5571), or by email (info@vermontwoodsstudios.com).

 

*This storewide sale excludes Copeland, Polywood, Barnwood, Clearance and Artisan Furniture.

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.