2013, our first year at Stonehurst gave us another reason to study and analyze what our customers’ favorite American made furniture styles are.  With limited space in our showroom, we wanted to display the very best selection of Vermont furniture, as defined by customer purchases.  After looking through the sales statistics, we found these Top 3 American Furniture styles, which we’ll be featuring often at Stonehurst:

Shaker Furniture was the top selling style in 2013

Shaker Style Furniture

This Vermont Shaker bed, nightstand and chest are pretty accurate reproductions of the original Shaker style furniture crafted by communities of the United Society of Believers starting in the late 1700’s.  Born here in the Northeast, this American furniture style is a simple, utilitarian design characterized by straight tapered legs and mushroom-shaped wooden knobs.  Vermont furniture makers have become today’s authority on Shaker furniture and customers seeking a simple elegant, solid wood design have grown to love their work.  It’s our top seller and customers are customizing it in their choice of cherry, walnut, maple and oak woods (preference is in that order).  Sometimes customers will choose two contrasting wood colors like cherry and walnut or maple and walnut to trick it out– if there is such a thing for “Shaker furniture”.

Craftsman style furniture, handmade in Vermont | Stonehurst Fine Furniture Gallery

Craftsman Style Furniture

This Contemporary Craftsman Bedroom Furniture collection is a modern rendition of the American craftsman and “arts and crafts” furniture that became popular in the late 19th century and remained prevalent through the 1930s.  It’s handmade of real solid cherry wood with contrasting drawer pulls in solid walnut wood and reflects the true craftsmanship of this period.  The finish on this collection is a traditional hand-rubbed oil and wax.  If you like this contemporary craftsman style furniture, learn more about the details and craftsmanship here.

Mission Style Furniture | American Made in Vermont | Real Solid Wood | Oak, Cherry, Walnut, Maple

Mission Style Furniture

This mission sofa table and mission dining chair have the rectilinear design and heavy proportion characteristic of Mission style furniture which became popular in the late 19 century. At Vermont Woods Studios we have a traditional American Mission Furniture collection and a Modern Mission Furniture collection, both constructed of real solid woods in your choice of traditional oak or cherry, walnut or maple woods.

Stop by our new fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst anytime to see what we’ve got on hand in our customers’ favorite furniture styles: Shaker, Craftsman and Mission 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.

American Craft Week | Vermont Craft Month | Stonehurst Fine Arts Gallery
At Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Art Gallery we’re celebrating American Craft Week  and Vermont Craft Month with the help of artisans like Donna Scully (painted the watering can), Linda Marcille (painted the jazz on silk) and even our own Ken Farabaugh (carefully crafted all those colorful wooden cutting boards).

All across the USA, craftspeople and those who love their work are celebrating American Craft Week October 4-13.  In Vermont we extend our celebration to the whole month of October which the Governor has proclaimed American Craft Month.

Our friend Greg Worden at Vermont Artisans Designs on Main Street in Brattleboro was influential in making that happen.  He’s also one of the founders of Craft Retailers & Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT), the non-profit organization that sponsors Craft Week.  Members of CRAFT are dedicated to presenting artistic work with one common characteristic– it’s handmade in the USA:

“American Craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation’s economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring, so let’s tell the world!”

This seems like a good opportunity to publicly thank Greg for his leadership and tireless efforts in promoting the top artists and craftspeople in Vermont and throughout New England.  If you love high end crafts and fine art but you haven’t already been to Greg’s Vermont Artisans Designs– put it on your to do list!  Here’s a short video of Greg’s gallery.  It’s worth a trip, as testified on his website by art lovers from across America.

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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.

American Made Craftsman Style Furniture | Real Solid Wood | Vermont

Today’s Vermont made mission, craftsman and arts & crafts style furniture ranges from the traditional American Mission Furniture Collection to our transitional Cherry Moon Furniture Collection and Modern American Dining Furniture (shown above).

Looking for top quality, craftsman furniture that’s American made?  Why not start your search in Vermont?  We’ve gathered up an encyclopedia of facts about Vermont craftsmanship and state’s 200+ year history as a maker of high quality, solid wood furniture.  Here’s an exceprt:

Vermont is the Fine Furniture Capital of America. The Green Mountain State is increasingly recognized as the country’s leader in high quality, handmade wood furniture. Vermont boasts over 1000 furniture companies plus 2000 independent woodworkers operating out of small shops, barns and garages. They produce a diverse collection of wood furnishings for every taste and budget and together they have earned a world-wide reputation for integrity, authenticity and green design.

Craftsman furniture is a favorite style amongst Vermont woodworkers and one of my personal favorites.  At Vermont Woods Studios we showcase a variety of Mission, Craftsman and Arts & Crafts Furniture designed and built by our state’s fine furniture makers.

What Defines Craftsman Furniture?

Originally, mission and craftsman furniture was characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, heavy proportion and exposed joinery, often using medium or dark stained oak. Drawer pulls were usually simple round brass rings or rectangular back plates of solid brass with canted corners and an oval bail handle.  But like all things, craftsman furniture has evolved.

Today’s Vermont made mission, craftsman and arts & crafts style furniture ranges from the traditional American Mission Furniture Collection to our Cherry Moon Furniture Collection which incorporates subtle curves in an Asian design to the modern Contemporary Craftsman furniture, also somewhat curvy but still simple and elegant.  Rather than fancy, ornate scrolling or carving, craftsman furniture emphasizes fine workmanship in the form of refined style, perfect proportions, exposed joinery and top quality wood selection.

Need some ideas for how to put together your own unique craftsman style home decor?  Check out this Pinterest craftsman board, or browse through Arts and Crafts.  And if you’re looking for craftsman style lighting to complement your furniture, Vermont’s own Hubbardton Forge is the authority on that subject.  Here’s a Pinterest board with some great lighting ideas.

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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 Wood Furniture | American Made in Vermont
This Natural Wood Furniture set is part of our 100% American made Modern Shaker collection.  The wood is sustainably harvested in local and regional forests that are managed by professional foresters.  Furniture finishes are non toxic and eco friendly.

American Made Furniture vs Imports

While we’ve watched the price of most home decor items skyrocket over the last 30 years, have you noticed that the price of furniture has actually tumbled?  It’s true. For a couple centuries we Americans prided ourselves on making high quality, natural wood furniture that was coveted around the world.  North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and other New England states were leaders in the fine furniture industry.

But in the 1960’s  and 70’s many of America’s big furniture makers (like Ethan Allen, Broyhill, Thomasville and Lane) started to move operations overseas and quality took a hit (along with American jobs).  Prices fell dramatically.  Instead of preserving our grandparents heirloom quality wooden furniture for our homes, we began buying cheap, trendy furniture imports and replacing them frequently as breakage occured.

Natural Furniture for the Healthy Home

Fast forward to 2013 when home owners are getting tired of cheap imported furniture that ends up on the curbside in 5 years.  And they’re worried about the health effects of toxic flame retardants and formaldehyde that come standard with imports. Especially in households with children, it is simply not worth the risk.

Families are coming back to American made natural wood furniture with non-toxic finishes.  Yes the furniture is more expensive up front, primarily because the American worker is paid a livable wage (as compared to wages that often amount to just a few dollars/day in Asia).  But the high quality and environmental integrity of American made furniture is winning customers over.  In fact, many brands  are offered with a lifetime guarantee, indicative of the superior value of American made furniture over time.

What kind of furniture is in your home?  Where was it made?  Is it time to rediscover the real thing?  Learn more about American made, natural wood furniture on the sustainability section of our website.

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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.

American Made Furniture and Decor Featured in USA Today
Journalist, Nina Patel came across this page of our website about American Made Furniture and decided to feature our work in USA Today.  Fellow American furniture makers from El Greco, Ernest Thompson Furniture and Sittin’ Easy were also featured.

Back in January we got a phone call from a journalist, Nina Patel who was writing an article about American made furniture for USA Today’s Home magazine.  Nina had come across our website while researching USA made furniture and home decor.  She become interested in our green mission as well as our promotion of American made products through the Christmas Shopping Challenge we’ve been sponsoring the last couple years.  We chatted back and forth for a week or so and Nina gathered lots of information about Vermont Woods Studios.  I wasn’t sure which aspects would fit into her article, so we’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s publication to see what she found most newsworthy.

We were excited to see a preview of Nina’s “American Made” story in yesterday’s USA Today Weekend edition of their national newspaper.  The full length article is in the Spring 2013 edition of USA Today Home Magazine which you can find at your news stand or online.

It turns out that Nina did highlight information about our sustainable forestry mission as well as our efforts to raise awareness about where your furniture comes from.  We are grateful to her for discussing the value of American made, high quality, sustainable furniture in such a high visibility venue.  The movement is catching on!

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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.