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, it can take anywhere from 4-16+ weeks from the day you place your order to the day it is complete. Typically the crafting time is about 8-12 weeks, but specialty items or furniture that’s being made by our most popular craftsmen can take longer.

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.

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.

Custom drawer and door pulls by Donlin Foreman
After an illustrious career in dance, Donlin Foreman is developing a business making handcrafted custom drawer pulls of unique combinations of leather, brass, bronze and iron suitable for doors, cabinets, and furniture.  You can find a selection of his work at Hanna Grimes Market Place in Keene or contact him directly through Facebook.

Last week I wrote about customizing your furniture by using unique drawer pulls.  We have many different style (Shaker, Modern, Mission, Traditional, Wood and Metal) custom drawer pulls to choose from at Stonehurst (our new fine furniture and art gallery).  But often customers want something very special and unique so we work with a variety of local artisans to serve as connectors when the need arises.

Coincidentally we had a visit yesterday from Donlin Foreman, owner of Horse Hill Handles a small business that makes custom leather, brass, bronze and iron drawer and door pulls.  You may know Donlin as a professional dancer and co-founder of On Common Ground Dance Performance and Educational Products.  He’s a “20-year veteran of the Martha Graham Dance Company and has performed with Eliot Feld Company, Jacques d’Amboise National Dance Institute, and La Scala Ballet.  He has staged works for NJ Ballet, Ice Theatre of NY, La Scala Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. As co-founder/director/choreographer of Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Donlin choreographed 25 ballets and presented six seasons in NYC at the Joyce Theater, two seasons at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the America Dancing series/Kennedy Center, the Melbourne International Festival and other international venues.

Donlin performed at the White House for President Reagan and holds numerous honors, with critical and professional acclaim. He served as Professor of Professional Practice in the Dance Department of Barnard College, Columbia University, has published a book of poetic writing, contributed to the Martha Graham issue of Choreography and Dance, Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit magazines; and for two years chaired the Dance Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts. Donlin now lives in Harrisville with his wife Jenny and their two young sons. He is on the staff at the New England Center for Circus Arts.”

After an illustrious career in dance, Donlin is developing a business making handcrafted custom drawer pulls of unique combinations of leather, brass, bronze and iron suitable for doors, cabinets, and furniture.  You can find a selection of his work at Hanna Grimes Market Place in Keene or contact him directly through Facebook.

We wish you all the best of luck with your new venture, Donlin!

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.

Buffet and Hutch
Rustic Reclaimed Barnwood Buffet with Copper Top and Hutch

It is our hope when the Googlers of the world click happen upon our site they see more than just photos of fine furniture but all of the possibilities in our product.  Try and take a pair of scissors to a shirt off the rack at the mall and you’ll see the fastest ever Segway dismount by a security guard in known history. At Vermont Woods Studios, come in with your scissors and scrapbooking supplies- we take to herding the flocks of creativity that come our way and we hope it is apparent at first glance.

Jay from Massachusetts picked up the hint we were dropping when he first made contact with us.  His dream piece began with an unusual material- copper.  Unusual, that is, if you were dealing with any other fine wood furniture retailers.  Fortunately for Jay, we knew just the guy to make his dreams come true.

One of our artisans, Mitch, has been hammering the stuff (copper) onto table tops, coffee tables, buffets, you name it, and was even open to slapping some on a  side table.  The specifications were simple: tapered legs, 24″ round and a sage green painted base.

sidetable
Sidetable with Copper Top

From the first schematic to the end product, Mitch works flawlessly.  You would’ve thought he was meant to be Jay’s fairy godmother the way he turned this little pumpkin of an idea into a side table with the grandeur of a royal chariot.

And Jay isn’t the only one bestowed with Mitch’s high end custom work.  Anne in VT was captivated by his reclaimed barnwood  masterpieces featured on our artisan page and thought ‘media center’.  What a better way to merge the history instilled in the wood with the modernity of contemporary life.

Custom Media Console with Copper Top and Reclaimed Barnwood

With extreme precision, Anne placed her custom order.  Crafting it- no sweat.  So, give us a shot- what custom furniture can you dream up?

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.

Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit

Pieces like Copeland’s Catalina Walnut TV & Media Wall Unit make me think two things: how cool and when would anyone ever need that.  Well the point is, you don’t need a TV Media Unit. Heck, you don’t even need a TV- any one can just grab a pencil and paper and scrawl away listening to the nearest radio frequency for entertainment.  But even coming from a girl who enjoys spinning a vinyl on a Sunday morning- I want that TV and I want it on that entertainment unit.

Apparently another woman had the same thought this week- which is what brought my attention here in the first place.  She loved the piece but… well there were a few changes she wanted to see.

Truth is, at Vermont Woods Studios what you see is not all you can get.  With a  combination of her vision, my knowledge of the Vermont Woods Studios inventory (not to mention, incredible talent with a Sharpie) and the expertise of our craftsman- Viola!  Mary Shelley herself couldn’t have concocted a better recipe.
Maybe it is a bit strong to suggest we ‘Frankenstein-ed’ the piece together- it comes a bit more gracefully than that- but the idea was essentially inspired from what the numerous Vermont craftsmen we  work with do every day.
Left to right, top row: New England Shaker Large Entertainment Center- Wall Unit, Vermont Made Shaker Entertainment Center 40″, New England Shaker Corner Entertainment Center #2  Bottom row: New England Shaker Media Center 57″, Retractable Pop-up TV Media Center 85″, Modern Shaker Bi-Fold Door Media Center

Combination pieces, like our TV Media Units, might be a bit of luxury but they’re well worth it.  Along with offering organization (especially for those pesky AV wires and extra remotes), they are beautiful works of art with the added bonus of the purpose they serve (who wants to watch TV on the floor?).  Better yet, they can be crafted to match your own artistic vision.  If this post has inspired you to dream up your perfect media unit- give us a call! We’d be happy to help make that dream a reality.

 

 

 

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.

Custom milling by Vince Johnson in Vernon VT
Vince Johnson of Johnson Custom Milling in Vernon, VT is milling trees at Stonehurst that had to be taken down for safety reasons. Now we can use them for future phases of construction at our new Vermont Woods Studios fine furniture showroom.

Since forest conservation is a big part of my mission at Vermont Woods Studios, it’s been a little heart-breaking for me to see some of the 100 year old trees at Stonehurst being taken down. There were a handful that were leaning over the house and garage and Ken insisted that they were a hazard and had to go.

But lucky for me, Vince Johnson of Johnson Custom Milling in Vernon, VT came to the rescue. Vince is milling the trees so we can use them for future phases of construction at Stonehurst, our fine furniture showroom. Here’s a video of his portable sawmill in operation.

Ken and Jeremy Coleman of J Coleman & Company Architects are looking into building a solar kiln to dry the wood so we can use it as soon as possible.

And Dennis has plans to siphon off some of the wood to build bluebird houses, owl boxes and such. It’s turning out to be a fun project after all. Let us know on our Facebook if you have any thoughts or advice for us as we go down this road of renovation at Stonehurst, our future fine furniture showroom. We’ll be posting photos of the transformation and announcing details of our open house as we get closer to completion.

 

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.