August 10th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
OK, Sally Blakley and other dear readers: I can explain. I know I asked for your opinion on the exterior paint makeover for Stonehurst. And I know you voted overwhelmingly to keep the old barn-red color. And I loved that classic look too. But…
We have a couple things going on that swayed my decision off in the opposite direction. First of all, there’s the landscaping. You may have read about the plans we’re making with Gordon Hayward (landscape architect) and Torben Larsen (landscaper and stone mason) to add colorful lilacs, hydrangeas, peonies, lavender and all sorts of other wonderful plants to the front yard.
Second, we’ve been trying to renovate Stonehurst as authentically as possible. We’ve recycled, re-invigorated and reused existing parts and filled in with local Vermont made components whenever we needed something new.
And, well… the original color of Stonehurst back circa 1790 was farmhouse white. Lastly, there’s the matter of our green and white logo, as you can see on the sign. Don’t you think there’s some harmony going on between the sign and the white house with nature’s greenery all around?
Let me know what you think on our Facebook and we’ll duke it out there. In the meantime, if you’re interested in painting your own house, check out these 13 Dramatic Exterior Paint Makeovers on Houzz. Then post your own before and after photos for all of us to see!
August 7th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Here’s a fun set of before and after pictures of Stonehurst, taken at the “Warming Hut”. I guess this before snapshot must have been taken around 1950-1960 when Stonehurst was “Pine Top” a local ski area. At that time, before mega ski resorts came along, about 2/3 of the towns in Vermont had their own local ski area. Vernon’s Pine Top had 3 rope tows and prior to that a couple “horse tows” (isn’t that awesome– I’m trying to find a picture of that!).
Pine Top’s “tool shed” aka “warming hut” was located behind the Stonehurst house we currently occupy as Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Inside the shed there was room for a few tables and a grill where our friend, Chris Howe cooked hamburgers for hungry skiers.
Chris visited us a couple weeks ago and reminisced a bit. She and I walked out to the stone foundation where the warming hut used to be. It’s now covered with beautiful green moss. That’s Chris sitting at the picnic table, looking over the hills that she and her family used to ski through to get home after work.
What fun! Customers coming to Stonehurst to shop for fine furniture in the winter should pack their cross country skis and maybe a bottle of Bailey’s or a hot toddy. Then we’ll give Chris a call and see if we can’t tap a few more of those memories of Pine Top’s heyday.
August 6th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Well, now that the exterior painting of Stonehurst (Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery) is almost done (pictures to follow later this week), it’s time to look into landscaping. We were fortunate to be able to persuade Brattleboro’s best painters (Moe Momaney and crew) to help us out and they in turn recommended the area’s most admired landscaper. That would be Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens.
Annette, Douglas and I met with Gordon the other day and roughed out a few preliminary sketches. Boy are they different from our previous plans! Gordon got here just in the nick of time.
At the moment, designing the ADA accessible walkway into the front of Stonehurst is the main dilemma we’re facing. We all envision a lovely, traditional Vermont stone pathway, constructed by a skilled stone mason using Goshen stone. Jeremy Coleman, the Stonehurst architect has already laid the pathway foundation with the proper gentle slope to make wheelchair access easy. The problem is that in the winter, it’s hard to snow-blow a stone-inlaid path and Ken’s afraid that over time the walkway will become bumpy and difficult for wheelchair access.
Before talking to Gordon we had decided to pave the walkway and stamp it so it looks like Goshen stone. Well, both Jeremy and Gordon feel like all the work we’ve done in making sure Stonehurst is authentic will be compromised by paving the entrance. They are certain that Goshen stone can be properly laid such that it will stay level and intact for smooth wheelchair access.
What do you think? Gordon is coming over tomorrow to continue our landscaping project. You can put your 2 cents in on our Fine Furniture Facebook page. And I’ll keep you updated here on the blog.
And here’s a couple interesting links for you:
July 30th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Here’s an update on the exterior painting at Stonehurst. A couple weeks ago I polled you on what your preference was for the exterior paint color. The response was an overwhelming preference for RED. What’s up with that? I was hoping to restore Stonehurst to it’s former self. It was a white farmhouse for 150 years or so before it’s life as Pine Top, Vernon’s local ski area in the 1940s – 1960s.
When Moe Momaney and his crew are finished I’ll post pictures of the New Do. It’s not too late to register your vote though, if you haven’t already. Keep in mind there will be lots of flowers and landscaping in front of the house. In fact, today we’ll be meeting with Gordon Hayward, a landscape designer from Hayward Gardens in Putney, VT. I’ll report on that front later this week.
July 28th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
We’re trucking right along in our quest to transform Stonehurst from a private residence to a fine furniture and art gallery that showcases Vermont made sustainable home decor products. There are a whole host of finishing touches still in progress but I thought I’d share some before and after pictures of spaces where the renovation is pretty well complete. First up: the kitchen, my personal favorite part of the transformation. The “before” kitchen was functional but the layout didn’t provide much opportunity for windows to overlook the spectacular view out back.
Since the kitchen is the entry into the building, we wanted to treat our customers to a cheerful space where they could relax and unwind after a long trip up from the city (customers usually travel from Boston, New York, Washington DC and beyond). The wall of windows we installed puts Vermont’s green mountains and meadows front and center when customers step inside. It’s pretty clear: you’re in Vermont now. Time to slow down and enjoy nature at it’s finest.
With sustainable forestry being at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios, one of the main things we’re trying to do with Stonehurst is raise awareness about where your furniture comes from. So the view of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest often opens up a conversation about legally, sustainably harvested wood. Loryn is working on an educational display which will be installed on the sunroom wall to tell the story of how our furniture gets from sustainably-managed forests to your home.
I can’t start showing before and after photos without recognizing and thanking our architect, Jeremy Coleman of Brattleboro, VT and builder, Bob Furlone of American Construction. They have done a tremendous job, especially in facing all the realities involved in transforming and modernizing a 200+ year old farmhouse. They’ve also been really knowledgeable in helping us select all Vermont made materials whenever possible. The wall of windows shown above was custom made by Green Mountain Window in Rutland VT and the slate floor was mined locally by Vermont Slate Company.
Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments section below or on Facebook. Over the next couple weeks, I’ll post before and after photos of the:
I hope you’ll be as excited about this new Vermont fine furniture and art gallery as we are. Come and visit us to see it all up close and personal! Be sure to bring a bottle of wine and a picnic lunch so you can sit out back and enjoy the view.
May 4th, 2013 by Dennis Shanoff
It’s hard to believe that we are approaching the one year mark in bringing Stonehurst to it’s new life. The journey began last June when during our search for a unique and special place for our new HQ we found Stonehurst. (I am pretty certain it was love at first sight for Peggy) That was a summer of contracts and inspections plus a boat load of paperwork. But by fall we had keys in hand and so we began our search for the “just right” construction team. One that could transform our dream and visions into reality. Winter soon arrived and so did all the heavy equipment, tools, material and construction talent and work began. With Vermont winters being what they are the construction team was certainly counting the days till spring but they made great headway during a classic Vermont winter. We have now seen Stonehurst through 4 seasons, taken her apart and put her back together (well almost!) We know her so well now and our team is very anxious to make this our new home.
According to the construction timeline plan we should be ready to occupy Stonehurst on May 17th. The site is certainly active right now as the various and carefully coordinated tradesman do their thing to ensure we get in by that day. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers, painters, landscapers and a few other trades all working together and putting the finishing touches on it. Very busy indeed up there.
Then we have our work cut out for us in seamlessly moving our whole operation, fortunately and thankfully just a few miles down the road. Very fitting that Vermont Woods Studios remains in Vernon, it’s birth town. You will no doubt hear when we make the move and we will let everyone know when the new showroom is open for business. It shouldn’t be long. We hope you get the chance to visit and we hope you find Stonehurst to be a special and unique place too. We hope to see you there!
April 4th, 2013 by Dennis Shanoff
It’s officially Spring, but you wouldn’t know that from the outside temperatures this week. But, it hasn’t slowed down our remodel crew a bit. Based on our most recent construction meeting, it looks like the last hammer swing will be around the third week of May. Of course we are anxious to move in and excited to welcome our customers to our new home.
So most of the recent activity has been on the interior and the different spaces are taking shape quite nicely. One area we really love and feel our customers will love too is the customer welcome area. This space was formally a kitchen, and it never really took advantage of the gorgeous view. We decided to put in as much glass as possible to best capture this view. We think this is a perfect space for our customers to soak in the scenery. Our photo below shows the transformation of this space.
Check back soon to see this room when it is finished and see how the rest of the spaces are coming along. Looking forward to opening our doors for you this Summer.
To get caught up on the Vermont Woods Studios showroom remodel, see the Stonehurst section of our blog.
March 10th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Since the new addition was built to attach the two existing buildings, the crew has been hard at work connecting the new “L” shape structure to make everything under one roof. A key part of this project was aligning the roof lines. The detached accessory building’s roof line was substantially lower than the new addition and the main house’s roof. Another key part of this project was getting all the floors at the same level. The original flooring structure was removed and lowered almost two feet. In the “After” photo above you can see the lowered floor in comparison to the old entryway door.
This room is going to get new, larger windows in a later part of construction, in addition to a cherry wood floor and a ceiling made out of reclaimed wood boards. We aren’t certain what this floor space in our showroom will house, but we think it will display our bedroom furniture pieces.
The accessory building was last used as a studio apartment, so it needed a lot of dismantling. You can see the living room area in the “Before” photo above. On Facebook we have a Stonehurst-Before construction album, where you can see a photograph of the apartment’s old kitchen, bathroom and loft sleeping area.
Much remains to be done but the hard parts and hard weather seem to be passed us. There is still construction work being done in other areas of Stonehurst, and we will bring you up to date the next time around. We are expecting the showroom remodel to be completed in mid May!
Continue to follow our blog for construction updates on the Vermont Woods Studios Showroom, Stonehurst.
February 6th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
The last time we updated you on the progress of our showroom remodel, we were still in a demolition phase. In our post Digging Up The Future, we shared that a large hole had been excavated to make space for the new addition’s foundation. When we purchased Stonehurst, there were two buildings: the main house and the detached accessory building. In order to create our planned “L” shape showroom, we needed to build an addition to bridge the existing buildings.
It’s been an unusual winter with the grounds going back and forth between mud and frozen. Through snow, rain, and heavy winds our construction team managed to join the old with the new. The addition has been framed and roofed. It fits perfect, and we expect it to look like it has always been a part of the building. Some other exciting progress is that some floor boards have been reclaimed to become the ceiling surface in one of the rooms of the showroom.
In the next few weeks we will see windows and doors going in, siding being put up, and roofing. Once the building is weather-tight, the construction team will begin the interior work. After six weeks, we’re all excited about the progress and seeing it take shape!
Continue to follow our blog for construction updates on the this Vermont Furniture Showroom– Stonehurst.
December 30th, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton
Last week we announced that all the necessary construction permits were approved, which gave us the green light to start the renovation! We have been eagerly waiting for the day we could finally get started.
The construction team arrived the day after Christmas, and dug right in. So, we’re going to count this as our Christmas present!
There are going to be a lot of major changes, so this starts with some demolition. The construction team is only five days in, but they have already made some major demolition progress. After our first significant snow fall of the season, you would think the last thing we would want to do is remove an exterior wall. But, this is exactly what we did on the accessory building that will soon be attached to the main house. The main house saw some drastic changes too. The old kitchen and bathroom have been gutted, making way for a customer welcome area and a new ADA bathroom.
But before we get too far into the structure remodel, we do have to dig some trenches for utility connections. This part isn’t as exciting, but it is necessary.
We will continue to update you on the progress of the Vermont Woods Studios showroom here on our blog. For those of you who are just learning about Stonehurst, you can catch up by clicking here. You can also some photos of Stonehurst before construction began on our Facebook.