Summer Lovin’ Happened So Fast…well-a well-a save big before our Summer Bedroom Sale is Gone.
It’s here people! Summer has arrived! I don’t know about you but it’s one of my favorite times of year. I love the days and nights filled with sun. I love the BBQ’s it brings family together for. The bright mornings and hot days. I love how everything is so green and full of life. Oh I could go on and on about the things I love about summer but I’ll save you from my tangent.
With so much imitation out there, we’re here to help you see what natural cherry wood really looks like
Recently our Founder and CEO, Peggy Farabaugh, wrote about what to expect with natural cherry wood furniture. One of the key pieces of information she shared is that cherry wood furniture’s color matures over time. It will start in a light pink tone and as it’s exposed to light, it will ripen into a rich reddish brown color.
I wanted to create a list featuring a variety of our products in cherry wood to showcase the different stages of maturity you’ll see with real cherry wood. (note: Our natural cherry pieces are not finished with stains or toners to alter its color, just a surface protecting finish is applied. Stains are available on some pieces if a deeper, richer color is desired)
In this picture you see both light pink and golden red coloring amongst the boards, which is not uncommon as the lumber could be coming from two different trees. Over time as the wood darkens though, the pieces should blend into the same classic rich red color.
Both of these modern designed pieces are made with real cherry wood and an oil and wax finish was used. As the picture shows, these pieces have a rich, golden-red color to them with the pink undertones still blending into the wood.
As seen here, this piece has less of a pink tone to it and more of a red/brown coloring typically seen in cherry wood furniture that has aged over time. It has turned from a light colored wood, to a classic, rich red and golden-brown hued color.
Here you see a nightstand in natural cherry wood with a lacquer finish (walnut pulls) that looks very light in comparison to the rest of the furniture I’ve shown you. But even this piece will darken the more it’s exposed to light.
By now you’re probably noticing that cherry wood furniture really can vary in wood tone even on the same piece of furniture.
Click each picture below to see more examples of our cherry wood furniture.
Natural wood furniture is truly a unique and evolving investment and we hope this two part series on real cherry wood helped clear up any uncertainty you may have had. If you have further questions about cherry wood or any of the products featured, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable sales team at (888) 390-5571. If you’re in the area, we’d love to show you around our historic Stonehurst Showroom.
Fourth of July week has become a popular time to shop for furniture. With the Made in America movement if full swing, many customers are confining their search to furniture made in the USA. Patriotism isn’t the only reason for this trend but it’s a big one. Here’s a list of what our customers tell us are their Top 5 reasons for buying American Made Furniture rather than imports.
Top 5 Reasons to Buy American Made Furniture
Quality and Craftsmanship – American made furniture is well known for it’s high quality and craftsmanship. States like Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania and Ohio have a long tradition of making heirloom quality furniture from local wood. In Vermont, fine furniture making has been a part of our heritage for over 200 years and that translates to superior quality, sophisticated style and great values in handmade furniture.
Local Jobs and Local Economies – The American furniture maker has suffered over the past 5 decades as most large, quintessentially American furniture companies moved to China, Vietnam and other third world countries. Consumers are weary of seeing their communities struggle to recover from the loss of skilled jobs. Small manufacturers like Vermont’s Lyndon Furniture, Copeland Furniture and Pompanoosuc Mills remained in the USA during the age of outsourcing and maintained their commitment to local communities. Their loyalty and integrity has not gone unnoticed by consumers.
Reliable Customer Service – Ever try getting a piece of furniture fixed after purchasing it from IKEA or Pottery Barn? Not. That furniture is more than likely going to head out to the curbside rather than get repaired. American made furniture companies stand behind their quality, with many companies offering a lifetime guarantee.
Sustainable Furniture from Well Managed American Forests – Where does your furniture come from anyway? Americans have become more aware of where their food comes from over the past couple decades. Now it’s time to learn where other things come from, including wood furniture and flooring. Kendall recently posted information about how the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests are being converted into curbside furniture. As consumers become more aware, they are seeing the value of acquiring sustainable furniture for their homes.
Healthy, Natural Furniture with Non-Toxic Finishes – American furniture companies are subject to strict laws and regulations governing product safety as well as safety and health for the craftspeople making furniture. Consumers don’t want to worry about lead based paint or formaldehyde in the coatings of the furniture. American companies are leading the way in the area of safe, non-toxic furniture finishes. Vermont Natural Coatings is one of our favorites– their furniture finish is made from a by-product of our dairy industry–whey (as in curds and…).
I hope this gives you food for thought when shopping for furniture this Fourth of July.
A cautionary note: most furniture sold in the USA is still imported. Many manufacturers will bring imported furniture to a factory in the USA to have a final step (for example application of the finish) completed so they can label the furniture Made in America. Don’t be fooled– ask your furniture sales person exactly how much of the furniture was actually made in the USA.
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”.
Forest conservation is at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios and we’re always trying to raise awareness about where your wood furniture comes from. If you’re committed to buying American made furniture— no worries. Chances are it’s made from legal wood, sustainably harvested from well-managed forests right here in North America.
But if you’re buying imported wood furniture (and according to a Washington Post article 70% of furniture sold in America is imported) then: Houston, we have a problem.
A recent Washington Post article by Brad Plumer entitled Organized Crime is Getting Rich Cutting Down the Rainforest describes how the illegal logging trade has become just as lucrative (and far more destructive) than the drug-trafficking industry. 50 to 90 percent of forestry in tropical areas is now controlled by criminal groups! “A great deal of logging simply takes place illegally — much of it in tropical areas such as the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia.” (ref: United Nations and Interpol)
The U.N. estimates that illicit logging is now worth between $30 billion to $100 billion, or up to 30 percent of the global wood trade. That illegal wood is often shipped from pristine rainforests to China, Vietnam and other third world countries where it’s fabricated into low quality furniture which is sold to US consumers. We’ve written quite a bit about the links between rainforest destruction, global warming and the furniture and flooring you choose for your home:
If you’re considering buying furniture at IKEA, Home Depot or any big box store… ask where the lumber originates and let us know what you find on our Facebook or in the comments section below. Then re-discover sustainable, American made wood furniture and join us in feeling good about your furniture and your green home.