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” 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 30-40 years ago they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods than cherry (rather than ship cherry wood from North America to third world factories 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.

Real cherry wood furniture looks like this
Real cherry wood furniture looks like this when it’s new but ripens to a dark reddish brown after it’s been exposed to light for a few months.

Many times customers come to Vermont Woods Studios looking to buy real cherry wood 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, as it’s exposed to light.  Nina’s photo of the rocker below shows the range of natural cherry colors after the wood’s been exposed to light.

This rocker shows the range of colors for real cherry wood
This rocker shows the range of colors for real, natural cherry wood. You can see the chair’s darker than the cherry in the photo above. Notice too, that even within the one rocking chair, there are differences in cherry wood color that are created by grain patterns and grain direction.

Are you interested to learn more?  Find tons of information and photos of American made, real cherry wood furniture on our website & send us your questions on Facebook or in the comments section below.

real cherry wood 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.

Plant a Tree | Green Furniture Store in Vermont Tries to Change the World

We Plant a Tree for Every Order

Believe it or not that’s why our small business was born. We’re not a furniture company that “went green”. Vermont Woods Studios was actually a product of my mid-life crisis/desire to make a difference in this world. Weird, right? For some people it’s all about fast cars, loud motorcycles, sex, drugs or rock & roll. For me it was about forest conservation. It’s a long story (which I did tell to Laura Dunn of the Huffington Post, in the remote case you may be interested) but the point is:

The World Is Losing It’s Forests

Many people may not see it as a big deal but if you somehow found your way to this quirky green blog, there’s a good chance you’ll be concerned about these statistics:

  • More than half of the world’s 193 countries have already lost 90% or more of their forest cover
  • Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface now cover a mere 6%, yet they are home to over half the species of plants and animals in the world
  • We are losing the rainforest at the rate of 1.5 acres every second
  • Experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be gone from this earth before you are
Is your furniture made of wood that use to provide critical habitat for animals like this tiger?
We sell furniture made of sustainably harvested North American hardwoods in an effort to keep rainforest trees in the ground and out of the timber trade. The idea is to conserve habitat for endangered species like the tiger as well as indigenous peoples.

So We’re Trying to Help

Last year we celebrated our 10th year in business. Since 2005 we’ve planted about 7500 trees, many of them through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project. More importantly we’ve kept a similar number of rare rainforest trees out of the furniture market as we’ve used only sustainably harvested North American trees. Who is responsible for this progress?  You… our customers, our readers and our partners. Your support enables us to throw our energy into environmental projects we think are important and for that we are immensely grateful.

Planting trees in Mexico to save Monarch Butterfly habitat
Monarch butterflies over-winter in oyamel trees in Mexico but illegal logging has almost entirely wiped out their forest habitat. Over the past 20 years the monarch population has declined by 90 percent. So we’re supporting LCHPP and the reforestation of monarch habitat in Mexico. It’s an exciting project which I invite you to follow on this blog.

Planting Trees in Mexico

Recently we’ve focused our support on a tree-planting project called the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program LCHPP in Michoacan Mexico. This is a reforestation initiative that I discovered during my efforts to help save the Monarch Butterfly, which is native to Vermont but it over-winters in sunny Mexico. I wrote about it recently and will be visiting LCHPP’s project in Mexico next week. Stay tuned for a full report. Anyway…

Conservation Matters To Our Customers, Partners & Staff

Does it matter to you? Post your thoughts on our Facebook or contact me directly at peggy@VermontWoodsStudios.com. I want to know what you think. Thanks for reading!

 

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.

storage beds
Our popular Copeland Dominion Storage Bed helps me introduce you to our newest collection of storage beds

Showcasing our Newest Collection of Storage Beds

When was the last time you looked under your bed? Does the thought of what might be hiding under it frighten you? Do thoughts of “so that’s where I put that” or “why is that under here” come to mind? If the time has come for you to make better use of the space under your bed  then you are in luck. We just added 4 brand new stylish & functional storage beds that offer a perfect solution for organizing the clutter that may be living under your bed.

Before I go into detail about our new storage beds though, I want to tell you a quick story. Around Christmas time I decided to rearrange my bedroom. I brilliantly thought I could move my king size bed without worrying about the contents underneath it. Boy was I wrong.

After pulling out what felt like my entire life’s contents, I realized I was in over my head. I had three long plastic bins, two filled to the brim with clothes while the other was filled with knick-knacks, stacks of newspapers from my student journalism days and tons of books. In-between the bins were stacks of even more books, boxes filled with odds and ends, electronics and wires and a stack of grad school info pamphlets and an LSAT study book I had bought in my post undergrad panic.

Needless to say, under my bed had turned into a catch all place and I needed to do something about it. Does my story resonate with any of you? If not, I envy your organization! If it did though, maybe it is time to consider a storage bed like I did.

Beds with built in under-bed storage are great for holding bed linens, clothing you don’t wear very often or even out-of-season clothing if your home is short on storage space. And, they generally deter people from tossing things under them and inevitably being forgotten about.

We have integrated storage drawers into four of our more popular styles, creating both modern and traditional designs with the added benefit of 4 more drawers of storage space.

Here are four reasons to love our new storage beds:

 

  • Form and Function: As shown with our Raised Carriage Queen Storage Bed, our storage beds are functional with added storage space while maintaining a high-end, classic design.

storage beds

  • Quality Craftsmanship: Our Andrews Spindle Queen Storage Bed exemplifies true Vermont craftsmanship. You will know when you see your new bed arrive that it was made with extreme attention to detail by local craftspeople who truly care about the quality of your bed.

storage beds

  •  Small Space Solution: If you’re short on square footage or closet space in your bedroom, our American Mission Queen Storage Bed may be perfect for you. It’s sleek, not bulky in design and takes up no additional precious square footage for storage. Keep linens or lightly worn clothes safe and out of sight.

storage bed

  • Ambiance: Nothing ruins the look of a newly renovated bedroom quicker than the sight of plastic bins under the bed. Our Patti Smith Queen Storage Bed eliminates the need for bins or boxes completely. With the added 4 drawers of storage space, this bed flows with the atmosphere of your room and won’t detract from its sophistication.

Storage Beds

While I have yet to master my underbed storage plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t! These beds and more are available at our online gallery. So save yourself from shuffling those underbed bins and boxes around and treat yourself to one of our Vermont made solid wood storage beds.

Our Vermont made furniture is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut and the wood used is sourced from sustainably harvested forests in the Northeast. If you have any questions about our furniture or mission we’re always available at 888-390-5571. Our Stonehurst Showroom is open seven days a week and we’d love to show you around.

storage beds

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.

El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve
This is the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve I’ll be visiting next week.  It’s a World Heritage Site that provides over-wintering for almost the entire gene pool of the monarch butterfly.  It is under assault by illegal loggers.  Photo courtesy of El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve.

At 7am on Sunday morning I’ll be boarding a flight to Morelia, Mexico. Woohoo! The trip evolved out of my obsession with forest conservation and the Monarch Butterfly. If you’re a frequent flyer on this blog, you’ve probably noticed we love environmental projects like this.

Monarchs roosting in oyamel trees in Michoacan, Mexico
It’s all about the forest conservation.  These oyamel trees at El Rosario are part of the last remaining habitat for Monarchs to over-winter in. We want to help protect them and reforest adjacent areas that have been destroyed.

The other day, Megan (our ace Marketing Maven) suggested I try to boil down some of my previous blogs and summarize why a Vermont furniture store would want to help save the Monarch Butterfly.  So here goes… the Top 4 reasons are:

The Environment Is Important To Us

It’s not just me.  At Vermont Woods Studios we are a community of nature lovers, idealists, world travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Most of us grew up in rural places and have had much interaction with butterflies, birds and other critters throughout our lives.  Monarchs are such a big, beautiful butterfly!  They were everywhere in Vermont.  It used to be practically a right of passage for kids to collect them and watch their metamorphosis every August.  Now they are extremely rare and we worry about that.

The Environment Is Important To Our Customers

Our customers have many options as to where they buy their furniture.  Often times they tell us that when it comes to the final decision, with all else being equal, they are looking for an environmentally responsible company.  We are trying to live up to that.

We Want to Change the World

A Vermont Furniture Store's Green Team
Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Getting a paycheck is not enough for all the hard work that goes into making this Vermont furniture store a success.  We want to feel like our efforts matter.  Like there’s a purpose behind our work.

Planting milkweed in Vernon, Vermont | Restoring Monarch butterfly habitat
Milkweed.  We’ve been restoring Monarch habitat in Vermont.  But what difference will that make if the butterflies lose their over-wintering habitat in Mexico?

Changing the world is a little hard to get our arms around though.  But we can change a little part of it:  like restoring habitat for the Monarchs.  And that’s totally possible because in Vermont, Monarch habitat is primarily one plant, milkweed.  It’s easy… we collect milkweed seeds in the Fall and plant them in the Spring.  This year we’re hoping to have a sizable plot of milkweed habitat in the backyard here at Stonehurst.

We Believe Business Has a Responsibility to Make the World a Better Place

With our business behind us (founded on the mission of forest conservation) we don’t have to stop at planting milkweed in Vermont.  We can extend our conservation efforts.  We know that Monarchs don’t spend their winters here– they migrate to Mexico and roost in evergreen (oyamel) trees in the mountains of Michoacan.  Those oyamel trees are being illegally logged and the Monarch’s habitat is disappearing.

What difference does it make if we restore their habitat here in Vermont?  The species will still go extinct if they lose their winter habitat.  So that brings me back to my trip to Mexico. I’ll be working with Jose Luis Alvarez of the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program to help conserve existing forest habitat and replant what’s been destroyed.  You can find details here in last week’s blog.  By the way, there’s still time to join me on this adventure!

Monarchs

I’d love to hear what you think about butterflies, business and changing the world.  Please comment on Facebook or in the section below.  Thanks for reading.

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.

Kyle is the guy who makes our Vermont furniture showroom look great 365 days/year
Thanks, Kyle for getting up at 3am to make this pathway into our Vermont furniture showroom safe to walk on.

If you visited Vermont Woods Studios on this icy winter day, you would notice that the beautiful stone walkway leading to our furniture showroom is clear, dry & safe to walk on.  That’s because Kyle Vinton, our new Facilities Manager was up at 3:00 this morning, snow-blowing, shoveling and meticulously sanding to keep everyone safe on their way into work.

A Man of Many Talents

Kyle comes to us with many years of experience in a wide variety of roles.  He’s a graduate of Castleton University who holds a BS in Public Relations and a minor in Business.  Kyle’s worked in areas such as event coordination, retail management, loss prevention, inventory control, landscaping, lean manufacturing, maintenance, and shipping & receiving.

As Facilities Manager, he puts this diverse set of skills to good use, as every day here at Stonehurst brings a new challenge.  Our furniture showroom sits on 109 acres of managed woodlands and Kyle is in charge of maintaining it… winter, spring, summer and fall.  We share our land with customers and neighbors so they can enjoy Vermont’s sustainable outdoor lifestyle and that involves lots of work.  Not the least of which is weeding the forest garden and feeding the outdoor wood stove to keep us warm on this chilly day!

Kyle is the New Ken

Lucky for Ken… Kyle lives just down the road from Vermont Woods Studios and has graciously agreed to handle the inevitable emergencies that come up when maintaining any Vermont home (especially in the winter).  This, I want to say, has made Ken a much more lovable person!  For that ALL of us at Vermont Woods Studios say THANK YOU, Kyle.

Kyle is the proud dad of 4 adorable little boys who have been known to give him a hand at Stonehurst now and then. Thanks guys!
Kyle is the proud dad of 4 adorable little boys who have been known to give him a hand at Stonehurst now and then. Thanks guys!

A Bonafide Vermonter & Family Guy

Born and raised a Vermonter, Kyle grew up right here in Vernon.  He is one of a small, elite group of Vermonters, who’ve achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.  He loves being outdoors and enjoys camping, backpacking and hiking (all prerequisites for this job).

Kyle and Jessica
Kyle and Jessica

Kyle and his beautiful wife, Jessica met as freshmen in college 14 years ago and have recently returned to Vernon to raise their family.  Their 4 young sons are facilities managers in training at Stonehurst (word has it they will soon be welcoming a little sister into the crew so we’re excitedly anticipating that event).  Help me extend a warm welcome to Kyle Vinton on Facebook or stop by Stonehurst, shake his hand and admire his work in person!

 

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.