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

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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.

Vermont Craftsman
A Vermont Craftsman at work on a furniture piece

In the world of Vermont’s Made to Order Furniture there are many advantages:  your furniture is handcrafted especially for you, you can customize it to fit exactly into your space, you can feel good about the fact that your furniture is made from trees that are harvested sustainably with respect for the forest environment, you’re helping to keep American craftsmanship alive & thriving, providing jobs and much more.  But there is one downside to having furniture built just for you:

It Takes Time

Time to Craft

Depending on who is making your furniture (we work with a dozen or so independent furniture makers), and what they’ve already got in their queue, time to complete building the furniture can vary.

The best way to find out the estimated lead times for our furniture is to check the Lead Time tab on the product’s page. You can read more general information about our lead times on our Shipping & Delivery page.

made-to-order-furniture

Time to Ship and Safely Deliver

After the furniture is built, it takes another 1-5 weeks to ship it, depending on where the customer lives.  Fine furniture cannot be FedEx’d (unless maybe it’s an end table or something that’s been designed for quick-ship).  Believe it or not, some of today’s FAST furniture delivery companies have average damage rates of up to 40%!

We’ve learned over the past 10 years of delivering furniture to homes in all 50 states that rushing an order to it’s destination is a gamble.  It might get there safely… then again it might not.  And since our customers are already waiting several weeks for their authentic, made to order furniture, we don’t want to have to call them and say, “sorry your furniture was damaged in transit and we have to re-craft it.  And re-ship it”.

Fortunately our customers understand this and are generally very patient and willing to wait for something that will one day become a family heirloom.

Keeping You Informed

Rebecca, Sean, Michelle and Loryn use a series of emails and phone calls to keep clients in the loop during the crafting and shipping process.  Right after your order, you’ll receive an email acknowledgement asking you to review the order details for accuracy & giving you an estimate of when it will be delivered.  Then when your order is half way through the process, we’ll email you again with an update.  Another communication will arrive when the craftsman has completed your order and we’ve scheduled it for pick-up with our furniture shipping specialist.  Finally when your order is in your area, we’ll connect you directly with our shipper to schedule a convenient time for delivery.  All along the way, you’ll have someone here, that you know by name, to talk to if you have any questions or concerns.  Then after delivery, we’ll email you again to make sure the delivery went well and you’re happy with your new furniture.

Quality, Made to Order Furniture that Lasts a Lifetime

In this world of instant gratification, where most furniture buyers walk into Bob’s Discount Furniture, Ikea or Ashley Furniture and walk out an hour later with something that’s substandard and unsustainably produced overseas by huge multi-national conglomerates, we find ourselves immensely grateful to our customers for their patience in waiting for the real thing.  When buying furniture that’s built to last a lifetime, we hope you’ll feel it’s worth the wait.

Read our previous article on made to order furniture & lead time.

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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.

Shaker Furniture: Moving, Shipping and Delivery
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun when this customer sent us a nice note about how her Shaker furniture was delivered so professionally by our shippers. Our shipper is an award-winning executive moving company that also ships fine furniture for Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Vermont Woods Studios. We include this service in the base price of our furniture (Free Shipping).

Last week we received an enthusiastic email from a family in California thanking us for the great job our moving company  did with the delivery of their Vermont made Shaker bedroom set:

“I wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had with your movers. I had one of your beds shipped to my vacation home in the Sierras. Because the road is very steep and winding, the shipper needed to bring the bed in a special shuttle, the cost of which they covered.  Also, I wasn’t able to be present at the house at the time a driver was available to make the delivery, and was able to arrange to have a concierge service meet the driver and let him into the house to assemble the bed. The shipper offered to reimburse me for the cost of the service (up to $75).

I was told by the concierge that the driver was very professional and efficient. He arrived on time and handled all the details of moving and assembly. It was a pleasure to purchase furniture from you and to work with such an excellent shipper.  Thank you so much!         Best Regards,   Debbie D

We love hearing your Vermont made furniture stories and reviews, whether they’re about the delivery experience or the good times you share around the dining table with family and friends.  Keep ’em coming!  You’re helping us make our systems better.  In this case, the comments went to straight to our shipper where the driver and his manager reviewed them together (maybe someone will even get a well-deserved raise).  Other comments have helped us improve the quality of our Shaker furniture and the logistics needed to get it from the forest to your living room.

So help us Movers and Shakers by sending in feedback about your new Vermont handmade furniture.  Use the comments section below, email us or connect using our Facebook.  Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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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.

Hardwood Furniture: Real Solid Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Oak Wood

Which Type of Hardwood Furniture Is Best For Your Bedroom, Dining Room or Home Office?

If you’re looking for hardwood furniture, there’s a good chance you’re narrowing your wood choices down to the most popular and plentiful species grown here in America such as cherry, maple, oak and walnut.  These prized hardwoods are grown sustainably here in the USA with Vermont and New England being a favorite source for many woods.

We like these species because they are well suited to fine furniture making by virtue of their color, strength, hardness, grain patterns and workability.  They are also readily obtainable in our local and regional area, making them a sustainable choice.  Often our furniture makers will offer two-tone combinations of these hardwoods creating a custom, artisan look and feel to your furniture.

The photo above shows Copeland Furniture’s SoHo Bedroom Set in solid maple and walnut hardwoods.  This striking two-tone wood combination has become a best seller in our metropolitan markets, particularly Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Homeowners appreciate the modern, contemporary sensibilities of the SoHo solid hardwood design as well as the fine detail and craftsmanship that goes into every custom, made to order piece.

SoHo furniture is also offered in a two-tone walnut and cherry design.  Which of these hardwood combinations would look best for your bedroom 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.

Modern, American made bedroom furniture sets, handmade in VT

The Modern American Bedroom Set is handcrafted in Burlington Vermont with real solid cherry and walnut
wood and polished with a hand-rubbed natural oil finish.

Modern Wood Bedroom Set was the Hot Ticket Last Week

This high end Modern American Bedroom Set, inspired by George Nakishima’s designs was our Best Seller last week.

The collection is handcrafted in Burlington, Vermont with real solid cherry and walnut wood.  It’s polished with a hand-rubbed natural oil finish.  Customers tell us they’re drawn to it’s distinctive mid-century modern look and feel.  The clean smooth lines are reminiscent of that retro 1950s Scandinavian style.  It’s sophisticated but totally approachable.

The bed, dressers, chests and nightstands in this furniture collection are all made to order here in Vermont and can be customized to meet your needs.  The craftsman has also provided dozens of ways to customize easily online.  You can easily select your favorite style, hardwood and drawer configuration online.  But if you’re looking for further customization give us a call or visit our showroom in Vernon, VT.  We’ll look forward to working with you to create a unique modern bedroom set you will cherish for a lifetime.

Going green?  This natural, solid wood, American made bedroom set is handcrafted in Vermont from eco-friendly sustainably harvested woods.   You can customize any piece online in your choice of solid natural cherry, maple or walnut wood or any two-tone combination of them.

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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.