October 12th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Hardwood furniture is experiencing a renaissance this year. It’s always been a classic, but over the years modern materials (metal, plastics, glass, wicker, rattan, bamboo, concrete) have become popular furniture components. Looking at today’s online home decor authorities such as Houzz and Apartment Therapy however, it seems real solid hardwood furniture is making a comeback! Here’s a run-down of the Top 5 Hardwood Furniture Style Trends we’ve seen at Vermont Woods Studios this year:
August 11th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
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.
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.
April 3rd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Did you know that furniture goes in and out of fashion, just like clothing? Weird, huh? You can find out what the latest furniture styles are at any one of a plethora of fine furniture fairs in New York, Paris, Milan, High Point (North Carolina), Las Vegas and lots of other-worldly places. There’s a whole industry of consultants that (secretly) meet to decide what the next season’s styles and colors will be. Their “recommendations” are followed by all the big furniture companies and that’s why you see so much similarity in offerings from year to year.
Recently, the new furniture styles have had an ultra modern theme, with bright neon colors, lots of glass, plastic & aluminum construction and the occasional fake fur accent. So we’re pleasantly surprised to see the re-emergence of Mission and Craftsman Style Furniture in the fashion lineup. Maybe people have had enough of those interesting conversation pieces and are longing for something beautiful, comfortable and functional for their homes.
For generations Vermont has been the premiere point of origin for some of the best mission and craftsman style furniture the world has to offer. Check out the Contemporary Craftsman Furniture set shown above. The emphasis for this craftsman is simple elegance– using honest handcrafted, wooden furniture to transform a home into an authentic, relaxed, uncluttered haven for all those who enter.
In Vermont we don’t pay all that much attention to the latest high fashion trends in furniture styles. What we do focus on though, is genuine high quality, handcrafted, solid wood furniture that’s 100% USA made and guaranteed for a lifetime of enjoyment in your home. Find more mission and craftsman style furniture sets on our website, Facebook and Pinterest boards.
January 19th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Around the turn of the 20 century, Gustav Stickley was perhaps the most famous maker of craftsman furniture. But in contemporary times, you’ll find some of the best Craftsman style designers building high end furniture right here in Vermont.
Today’s Craftsman furniture retains the robust solid wood architecture and attention to detail of the originals by Stickley, Greene and Greene and others. But it often incorporates lighter, modern elements adapted from Asian furniture styles. The Contemporary Craftsman furniture shown above is handcrafted in Burlington, Vermont of solid maple wood with black walnut accents.
I think the gentle curves in the legs and drawer pulls change the personality of Craftsman furniture from HEAVY and strong to light and cheerful. This photo is one a customer kindly submitted (thanks Neil!). The pretty floral print (and adorable puppy) really tops off the modern craftsman style they’ve created for their bedroom, don’t you think?
Here’s another customer photo of what I’ll call Vermont Craftsman furniture. It’s our Cherry Moon bedroom, handmade in Montpelier, VT. This bedroom set is made of all solid cherry wood with black walnut accents (drawer pulls). Here the curves are still graceful, but in different places. This cherry wood furniture is a couple years old, so it has darkened to a rich reddish brown color. If it’s hard to see the details and craftsmanship, check out our Cherry Moon collection and click on the photos for larger images. Robin’s attention to detail creates a beautiful result: timeless furniture to enjoy for the rest of your life.
We have a number of other craftsman and mission style furniture collections on our website. All can be customized with two toned wood combinations (maple and black walnut, cherry and black walnut) like those you see here. We also carry the Frank Lloyd Wright Furniture collection by Copeland Furniture and custom Craftsman Collection by Chad Woodruff of Vernon, VT.
To learn more about Craftsman Furniture, visit our showroom or check out our Vermont Furniture Encyclopedia.