September 2nd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Because this is back-to-school time, most of the furniture sold in August and September is sort of disposable… you know what I meant, right? Even Kendall (I'm embarassed to say) had to make an emergency trip to Ikea to pick up a portable bookshelf for his dorm room.
Most people just assume that the furniture they buy is going to be on the curbside in 5-10 years. It's part of the "planned obsolescence" strategy which ensures furniture stores that future sales will be strong.
So why, at Vermont Woods Studios are we selling heirloom quality, fine furniture that's backed by a lifetime guarantee? It probably seems foolish to many.
But quite honestly, here's the reason why: Heather's taken three orders today from repeat customers who love their Vermont made furniture. It's the real thing and there's nothing quite like it.
In an age when few things last for decades (let alone generations) we're proud to be selling Vermont made furniture and it seems only fair to back up our promise of quality with a lifetime guarantee.
If a lifetime guarantee on fine furniture is important to you, how 'bout letting us know on our Facebook?
August 26th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Customers often come to us because they're shopping for eco-friendly, sustainable furniture. At Vermont Woods Studios, our mission is founded on environmental and social responsibility so we find ourselves discussing FSC certification and other aspects of sustainable furniture almost every day. Here are some of the basics on FSC:
What is FSC?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent,
non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that promotes responsible
management of the world's forests. It is widely regarded as one of the
most important initiatives to promote responsible forest management
worldwide. It places a special emphasis on rainforest conservation.
L to R photo credits: Reststart Forestry, Allard Lumber, Wayne Fawbush, Ellen Kahler, Copeland Furniture, via the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.
by environmental groups in 1993 FSC manages an international standard
for well-managed forests and a process for tracking and certifying wood
furniture, flooring and other products derived from those forests. FSC
addresses numerous aspects of sustainable forestry, including ecological
issues, old-growth forests, plantations, restoration, biodiversity,
native habitat, indigenous people's rights, and sound management for
The FSC label provides certification of the
chain of links between the forest where a product originates and the
consumer. For example with wood furniture, each of the following
businesses involved in transforming a tree into a piece of furniture
would have to be FSC certified in order for that furniture piece to be
FSC certified. It's called the "chain of custody":
- Certified forest owner- Must employ a professional forester and
develop a forest management plan which meets stringent ecological and
- Certified logger and sawyer
- Certified lumber wholesaler
- Certified lumber retailer
- Certified furniture maker
- Certified furniture retailer
Benefits of FSC Certification
In my opinion, FSC provides the most rigorous certification process
available. It's widely considered the gold standard in sustainable
forestry and has moved the world forward in many areas of rainforest
Copeland's Harbor Island Furniture collection is handmade here in VT with FSC certified maple wood from local Vermont trees.
Challenges for FSC As you might expect FSC
certification involves extensive rule-making and auditing that can be
quite expensive (and controversial) to implement. It can add up to 50% to the price of the
end product although the hope is that this cost will decrease as FSC
certification becomes more mainstream. Still many small manufacturers
are unable to assume this cost and are thus not FSC certified.
challenge for FSC is the rampant counterfeiting of FSC documentation
accompanying raw lumber that is being illegally clear cut from the
Amazon and other endangered areas of rainforest. Also FSC has been
criticized for being too lenient,
particularly with their policy allowing limited old growth logging.
Should You Buy Only FSC Certified Furniture?
Authentic FSC certified furniture is a responsible choice for the
eco-conscious homeowner. However there are many genuinely responsible,
green, eco-friendly furniture makers who are not FSC certified due to
the red tape and expense involved. Conversely there is a large market of fake, FSC
labeled furniture that comes to us through layers of corruption
In Vermont, many of us who were certified by FSC for years have been moving away from it lately. Not because we don't support the ideal, but because we have so many other systems in place that effectively ensure our furniture is authentically green and sustainable. At Vermont Woods Studios not all of our furniture is FSC certified, but it is all made from sustainably harvested wood from local and regional forests.
If FSC certification is important to you, check out Copeland's Harbor Island Furniture collection. It's handmade here in VT with FSC certified maple from local Vermont trees. And let us know on our Facebook or in the comments section below how you feel about FSC certification.
August 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Yesterday I wrote about our solid cherry furniture so today I wanted to follow up with a post about the furniture we carry that incorporates cherry veneers.
Sometimes customers come to us, initially averse to veneer but once they take a closer look they often change their minds. I realize veneers have been given a negative connotation by companies that stick them on particle board to make cheap furniture.
But did you know that premium quality, high end veneers are used by some of the world's most skilled furniture makers to add artistic flair and style to their work?
This is the case with the following six high end furniture collections:
Cherry Moon Furniture
Vermont Shaker Furniture
American Shaker Furniture
Copeland Sarah Shaker Furniture
Copeland Monterey Collection
Copeland Berkeley Collection
These furniture collections are made with all solid cherry wood except for the sides and backs of case goods. Real wood veneer is used for case goods (chests, dressers, cabinets, night stands) sides and backs for esthetic and structural design reasons. The pieces are made with frame and panel type construction and the use of solid wood in this design might cause the panels to warp in conditions of changing humidity.
As solid wood furniture specialists at Vermont Woods Studios, we spend a lot of time discussing the specifics of solid wood versus veneered construction methods with our customers. Details for each of our collections are found in our Construction Details pages. We welcome your comments and questions either below, on our Facebook, by phone or in person at our Vernon VT showroom.
August 15th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
At Vermont Woods Studios beds and bedroom furniture pieces are some of the most popular pieces we offer.
Now during our bedroom sale is a great time to furnish or update your bedroom with our 100% American Made, real wood Bedroom Furniture. You'll save 10% off any single piece, 15% off two pieces or 20% off 3 or more pieces (plus Free Delivery).
Create your own bedroom set with over 40 bed style options, plus dozens of nightstand, chest and dresser options.
Classic and timeless Vermont styling, handmade with uncompromised craftsmanship, and solidly built for generations of use. Real wood bedroom furniture you will appreciate and enjoy forever. And you can sleep tight knowing your new bedroom furniture investment is backed by a lifetime warranty.
Check out our bedroom sale and get started shopping for your new bed, nightstands, chests, dressers, and mirrors securely, easily, and conveniently directly from our online store.
* Excludes Copeland, Artisan, Barnwood & Polywood furniture. This Sale ends at midnight on August 21st.
August 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.
Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.
Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland's framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.
Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.
After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We'll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.
July 29th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont craftsmen are known for their quality products and attention to fine detail. This has long been well recognized in our Shaker style furniture, but over the last 25 years Vermont has also become one of America's premiere Craftsman style furniture producers.
By way of background, Craftsman Style Furniture grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement promoted by Gustav Stickley and his family. In the early 1900s Stickley and fellow period designers like Greene and Greene, Roycroft and Limbert created a renaissance of honest workmanship and honest designs in their furniture.
In contrast to designers of the preceding Victorian era, they rejected the cheaply made, mass-produced, ornate factory furniture of the time. They believed that beauty does not come from ornamentation, but from sturdy construction, simplicity of purpose, and optimal presentation of nature’s materials.
Well, it turns out that over 100 years after the Arts and Crafts movement, Vermont furniture makers continue to remain true to it's values of simple elegance. For a look at some examples of Vermont style Craftsman Furniture, visit our website to view our Frank Lloyd Wright collection, Contemporary Craftsman Collection, Cherry Moon Furniture Collection, Copeland Berkeley Collection, Copeland Monterey Collection, Northup Craftsman Furniture Collection, American Mission Furniture Collection and Modern Mission Furniture Collection.
July 26th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
A thick, organic slab table
handmade by Dan Mosheim of solid, claro walnut wood. The end grain and live edges are characteristics of the real thing.
Walnut furniture has been one of our best sellers this year, in spite of the fact that there is a 10-30% premium on the wood. Walnut wood is becoming rare (due to a disease called Thousand Cankers) so we are super careful about making sure ours is sustainably harvested from forests where re-planting is well managed.
We use a couple different types of American walnut wood for our furniture.
For thick, organic slab tables we often use claro walnut wood from huge old (up to 100 years) shade trees that have been taken down (usually from city streets) because of safety reasons. These slabs typically have beautiful, interesting character resulting from things like burls and branches.
For modern looking furniture, customers generally do not want "character wood" so we use younger walnut trees with straight grain patterns grown in managed forests in the mid-west (since walnut doesn't grow well in Vermont). This is the contemporary SoHo walnut 4 drawer chest, made by Copeland Furniture with solid, walnut wood.
Whether you're shopping for organic, walnut slab tables or Modern walnut furniture, it's important to verify that you are indeed getting real, solid walnut wood, as opposed to cheaper woods that have been stained dark to look like walnut. Be sure to ask your salesperson to confirm the wood type and its origin before you buy. Ask if the furniture has been made from solid walnut wood or walnut veneers.
Learn more about walnut wood and see photos of beautiful walnut furniture on our website. If you take the time to find real solid walnut furniture as opposed to what most stores call "walnut" you'll probably have that furniture for a lifetime. Enjoy it!