Simple, graceful, and handmade: that’s the essence of the American Arts & Crafts furniture style. The Arts & Crafts (or Craftsman) philosophy, which became popular over a century ago, grew out of a rejection of complicated Victorian era designs produced by industrial processes. People were rediscovering an appreciation for simpler, functional, handmade wooden furniture crafted by skilled artisans.
Today’s Craftsman Community in Vermont
Although the Arts & Crafts movement began at the turn of the 20th century, it’s still going strong today in Vermont! The Green Mountain State (Fine Furniture Capital of America) is increasingly recognized as our country’s leader in high quality, handmade wooden furniture, boasting over 1000 small furniture companies plus 2000 independent woodworkers operating out of studios, barns and garages.
Psst… It’s on Sale for 25% Off at Stonehurst!
Vermont craftsmen produce a diverse collection of high quality wooden furniture which has earned them a world-wide reputation for integrity, authenticity and green design. Stop by our quintessential Vermont furniture and home decor showroom at Stonehurst and save 25% on these arts & crafts bedroom furniture sets today. We’re in a 200 year old, lovingly restored farmhouse, perched atop a lost ski area in Vernon, Vermont. See photos of our unique destination shopping experience on Facebook and come celebrate natural, handmade arts & crafts furniture with us at Stonehurst.
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 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
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.
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.
Many thanks to Dave and Judy Allard of Lyndon Furniture for their newly re-vamped Vermont furniture blog and all of the rich detail within it regarding the outstanding craftsmanship at Lyndon. One of my favorite posts is the Farmer's Prayer which, I think still portrays the way of life many Vermonter's have managed to preserve:
May every blessing known in life, crown this homestead and my wife, and never any kind of harm descend upon this growing farm.
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture, we tip our hat in gratitude to all of Vermont's great farmers and their comrades who operate small farms across America. They are the unsung heros of today's society.