January 19th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
It's taken six years, but our recent sale of Custom Shaker Bookcases to a family in West Virginia finally put that state on our map as the 49th state we've delivered Vermont Made Furniture to. How 'bout that?
I think we'll have to give a prize to the person who places the first order for delivery to Alaska (that's the only state left on our list). What should it be? Maybe something to keep them warm like Vermont made Darn Tough Socks or flannel pajamas from Vermont Flannel.
Or maybe one of Ken's solid wood cutting boards. Well, Alaskans… be the first and we'll let you take your pick.
January 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
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… and so on. But there is one downside to having furniture built just for you: it takes time.
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 cue, it can take anywhere from 2-16+ weeks from the day you place your order to the day it is complete. Typically the crafting time is about 6-8 weeks, but specialty items or furniture that's being made by our most popular craftsmen can take longer.
Then 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).
So Rebecca uses a series of emails and phone calls to keep clients in the loop during the crafting and shipping process. She and a customer were talking aout it in terms of old Vermont sayings yesterday– like "slower than molasses running uphill in January" and "It takes less time to do something right than to explain why it was done wrong".
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 immensley 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.
ps– Vermonters have a bunch of other funny old sayings. If you're interested, learn what "dryer than a popcorn fart", "flatlander" and "a chewing match" mean here at Virtual Vermont.
January 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Yesterday we were discussing the different types of furniture that people call "custom wood furniture". My last post was about Made To Order Wood Furniture and Customized Wood Furniture. Today I wanted to distinguish these from true custom wood furniture and ultra luxury custom artisan furniture. Here are my thoughts:
So I hope this helps to better define "custom wood furniture" and draw a distinction between: made to order wood furniture, customized wood furniture, true custom wood furniture and ultra luxury custom artisan furniture. Customers often ask why the price of one of our pieces may be drastically different from another, when the two pieces look similar at first glance. The answer lies in the amount of time and expertise involved as well as the quality of the wood and hardware. At Vermont Woods Studios we're always happy to discuss these details and refer customers directly to our furniture makers when we've reached the limit of our own expertise. Learn more about commissioning custom wood furniture here.
January 11th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
What does "Custom Wood Furniture" mean to you? In talking to our customers, I can say that it means many different things to different people. At Vermont Woods Studios we have fine furniture that falls into varying degrees of what might be called "custom wood furniture", including:
Next Post: True Custom Wood Furniture and Custom Artisan Wood Furniture
December 11th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Over the last 30 years, almost all the big American furniture manufacturers (including La-Z-Boy, Vaughan-Bassett, Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Lane, Thomasville, Ethan Allen and so on) have moved their operations overseas to China, Vietnam and other third world countries. The result has been cheaper prices, lower quality and the emergence of what we call "curbside furniture".
But there are still many companies that make high quality fine furniture right here in the USA and Vermont has more than it's share of them. That's why we call Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America. Throughout the off-shoring movement, only one Vermont furniture company I know of moved it's operations overseas. The rest stayed here in Vermont remaining true to their values of quality, integrity, sustainability and community.
We've profiled a number of these great American furniture makers including Vermont companies like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture as well as many small, custom, fine furniture makers including Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Chad Woodruff and Greg Goodman.
Today I wanted to highlight the work of Kit Clark, a consumate craftsman who specializes in luxury custom rocking chairs. "Furniture that fits you" is Kit's mantra and he makes custom rockers much like a tailor would make a custom suit. Each rocker is designed specifically to fit its owner. Kit studies a customer's posture, records their measurements and interviews them to understand any subtleties that could be used to enhance the comfort of their rocker. Then he goes back to the shop and eventually emerges with masterpiece in hand. Stop by Kit's shop in Ferrisburgh, VT if you get a chance. I can't think of a more luxurious Made in America Christmas present than a Kit Clark Rocker.
April 28th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Recently the most popular designs for walnut furniture have been with natural, organic solid walnut slabs that are huge, heavy and thick. They make incredible dining and conference tables that are showstoppers when you walk into a room.
Our friend, artisan Greg Goodman made this custom live edge walnut slab table out of a one of the slabs to the left. I've not seen anything like it. I love the curved base– it gives it a modern contemporary look, don't you think?
We filmed Greg working on a similar slab table. If you're interested in these live edge works of art, you have to watch Greg's part in this video about Vermont Woods Studios craftsmen.
If you're pricing walnut furniture, you can count on spending about 25% more than for other woods. Sadly, walnut is becoming rare due to lack of forest management and disease. In fact a recent blight of something called "thousand cankers disease" is causing great concern about walnut trees all across the country. It seems walnut wood may not be available much longer. Same for the beloved walnut– a nut that reportedly boosts your brain power and provides powerful anti-oxidants.
The walnut trees we're using for live edge slab tables are harvested sustainably, with preservation of the species in mind. The trees are usually victims of urban development– once they were grand old sentinels along tree lined boulevards but age, concrete and road salt have taken their toll.
It's nice to see their beauty being preserved forever under the skilled and artful hands of craftsmen like Greg Goodman.
November 28th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh
How do you like this custom made mission style table crafted by Lyndon Furniture?
On the way home after Thanksgiving dinner at Gramma's, we stopped by a housewarming party in St Johnsbury, Vermont. Bill and Peggy C. have just finished a spectacular timber-frame home that's nestled into the top of a mountainside, featuring gorgeous views of the meadows below.
The view of the natural setting is breath-taking, but the scenery inside the home is also awe-inspiring. The two world travelers have assembled such an interesting collection of art from all around the world!
We were excited to see many pieces of custom furniture that we had crafted for them. This photo is an octagonal mission style table that Bill designed along with matching mission chairs.
For the custom table, we started with our American Mission Dining Table. Bill liked the base pieces so we took 3 of them and arranged them in a triangle to make his base. Then we changed the top shape from rectangular to octagonal.
I love the way it turned out! If you're looking for custom furniture at an affordable price, Lyndon Furniture should be at the top of your list. Give us a call at Vermont Woods Studios and we'll help you find (or design) exactly what you're looking for!
May 6th, 2009 by Peggy Farabaugh