Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

fine furniture

This Is Why We Do It

January 1st, 2014 by Peggy Farabaugh

Fine Furniture Store | Where Does Your Wood Furniture Come From | Stonehurst

This barred owl visited us at Stonehurst today, reminding us why we located our fine furniture store in the middle of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest, rather than on a downtown street.   We want to give customers a way to experience the beauty of the forest we’re trying to conserve through the promotion of sustainable wood furniture.  (thanks to Nina for the owl photo!)

People ask me why on earth I would put a fine furniture store in the middle of nowhere, aka rural Vermont.  Finding people who are looking to buy American made sustainable wooden furniture is hard enough.  After all, customers typically have to wait 6-12+ weeks to have their furniture custom handcrafted and specialty shipped to their homes.  Plus… compared to imported furniture, American made furniture is more expensive.  With such a small number of people fitting our customer profile (willing to wait for their furniture to be handcrafted of sustainably harvested wood by Vermonters earning a living wage), wouldn’t it be smarter to have our store on main street in a big city with maximum exposure and traffic?

I’m sure that’s true for most fine furniture stores but at Vermont Woods Studios we’re on a mission to raise awareness about where your fine furniture comes from.  Wood furniture comes from the forest and we believe the people involved in all aspects of furnishing your home have an opportunity to show you how choosing sustainable furniture makes a difference: in forest conservation, global warming, clean air, wildlife preservation and in the way you feel when you’re sharing a meal at your table.

See this barred owl who visited us at Stonehurst today?  He’s able to be here because (under the direction of professional forester Lynn Levine) we’re managing 100 acres of forest for wildlife habitat.  We believe businesses have as much obligation as governments to conserve our planet’s resources and protect endangered species.  We believe our customers support that philosophy and want to see it in action.  As we venture into the new year we extend our thanks to them and pledge our continued efforts in the area of forest and wildlife conservation.

Come visit our sustainable furniture showroom at Stonehurst.  See first-hand how your choice of furniture can make the world a better place.

 

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Cyber Monday Fine Furniture Sale: America’s Top 5 Design Choices

November 18th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Cyber Monday Fine Furniture Sale

America’s Top 5 choices for our 2013 Cyber Monday Fine Furniture Sale.  Save 20% on your favorite designs storewide!

Looking for the best fine furniture sale this Cyber Monday?  We polled our customers to find out what topped their wish list in fine furniture sales this year. The Top 5 Fine Furniture Features are listed below.  Naturally we’ve put them all on sale!  We’re offering a full 20% off* (plus free shipping) which is our best discount and lowest price ever.  So if you’re finally ready to invest in the fine furniture you’ve always dreamed of, take a serious look.  All of our real wood furniture is 100% American made, built to order right here in Vermont and guaranteed for a lifetime of service to your family.

Craftsman Style Furniture

Our customers’ favorite Vermont made Craftsman Style Furniture is the Cherry Moon Collection.   It’s contemporary Asian design has a light but grounded appearance.  Reverse-tapered legs, posts and an intricate cove under the tops round out the design to give any room a comforting and natural feeling.  Rich black walnut, half-moon drawer pulls complete the design of these natural cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood pieces.

Mission Style Furniture

Traditionally mission style furniture is characterized by rectilinear design, simple, straight construction, heavy proportion and exposed joinery.  It’s typically made with oak wood and given a medium or dark stain. Drawer pulls are often simple round brass rings or rectangular back plates of solid brass with canted corners and an oval bail handle.  But today’s Vermont made mission style furniture incorporates modern contemporary design features and is often crafted of cherry, walnut and maple wood.  You can customize it online to get whichever traditional and contemporary features you like.

Shaker Style Furniture

Vermont craftspeople have mastered the art of simple elegance in their many variations of American Shaker style furniture, ranging from a strict interpretation of the original Shaker pieces to creative versions with modern functionalities, curves and hardware.  Simple aesthetics and sturdy design remain at the heart of today’s Vermont Shaker style furniture.

Natural Cherry Wood Furniture

Natural Cherry Wood is a favorite among our customers as it develops a lustrous, rich reddish brown patina over the years.  Premium quality real cherry wood furniture is hard to find and often imitated (poorly) so don’t be fooled by the imports sporting cherry trade names.  Vermont is well established as the “go to” place to purchase real natural cherry wood furniture.

Black Walnut Furniture

American Black Walnut Wood is the only really dark North American wood. Like cherry it’s a prized, premium hardwood that carries a commensurate price tag.  Vermont woodworkers are specialists in black walnut furniture, handcrafting it from top quality solid walnut wood.

So there you have it, our customer’s Top 5 Fine Furniture Sale categories for Cyber Monday 2013.  Is there something here for you?  Let us know what you’re shopping for this Cyber Monday on our Facebook.

 

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Extreme Furniture Showroom Makeover PT 1

October 30th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton

Now that summer is over and the initial excitement of moving to our new space is winding down, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the progress we have made, and the extreme transformations that have occurred at Stonehurst in the last year! Stonehurst has been fully transformed from an old farmhouse, to a one of a kind Vermont made furniture and decor showroom–making the perfect place to showcase the true beauty of wood both inside and outside of the showroom. The photos you will see below document our journey at Stonehurst, with photos from before any renovation, during the construction process, and what it looks like now! I don’t want to say its the “final” look, because we are always transforming the decor and look of the space to highlight the particular furniture and art we are showcasing! You’ll just have to come see it for yourself!

On the left you’ll see the old apartment before renovations & on the right is during the construction process!

Above is the old apartment after the renovation. The space has been transformed into a part of the main gallery of our beautiful fine furniture showroom.

 

This was the farm house’s kitchen space before renovation (left), on the right you’ll see that we added larger windows so our visitors can experience the magnificent view outside the showroom. Our beautiful handcrafted dining room furniture in addition to the view help create an authentic Vermont Style dining room experience.

Now, this space is a wonderful place to display our fine furniture–the view outside the windows is breathtaking & is a testament to Vermont’s beauty. Through all seasons, the acres of woodland that surround Stonehurst is a sight to be seen!

Like what you see? Keep checking back for part 2 and 3 of our renovation reveal and tell us what you think on Facebook!

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Nina Markiw and Dennis Getting Snappy at Stonehurst

September 8th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

One of the challenges of running an online fine furniture store is taking enough professional quality photos to be able to accurately portray your quality and craftsmanship on the web.  At Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been collecting photos for many years but everyday there is a need for new ones.

Luckily, Stonehurst (our new fine furniture and art gallery) provides us with an ideal space for taking high quality pictures to post on our website.  Above Dennis and consultant Nina Markiw of White Blossom Art are setting up for silhouette shots– this one is of the handmade Cherry Moon vertical mirror.

Soon they’ll be photographing fine furniture vignettes throughout Stonehurst– both indoors and out.  Stay tuned for inspirations and ideas from these two creative photographers.  Our goal is not just to convey our quality but also to bring the natural beauty and tranquility of Stonehurst into your home.  And maybe even persuade you to make a trip to Vermont to see our handmade fine furniture in person.

Leaf peeping season’s not far away.  Grab a picnic basket, a bottle of wine, maybe some Vermont artisan cheese and you’ll be in the all set club.  Home decor shopping will never be the same after you’ve visited the fine furniture and art gallery at Stonehurst.

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Vermont Fine Furniture Design Competition, 2013

July 31st, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont Fine Furniture Design Competition

All entries for the 2013 Vermont Fine Furniture Design Competition are due no later than September 27.  For details and an entry form, go to the Vermont Fine Furniture and Wood Products Design Competition website.

Calling all VT Woodworkers:  it’s time to enter the 2013 Vermont Fine Furniture and Wood Products Design Competition.  On it’s 10th year anniversary, this woodworking festival can boast of being a prestigious, well-respected venue for representing woodworkers and designers throughout the Green Mountain state.

Got a  creative woodworking project you’d like to show off?  Put it out there with the best Vermont has to offer and see how it stacks up.  Entry forms are available online and fees start at just $15 (but the first one’s free for VWMA members).  What have you got to lose?  And who knows, you could be the next woodworking sensation!

Fine furniture and wooden accessories must be made in Vermont by Vermont woodworkers to be eligible.  Judging will be held on September 28 from 10-4pm with an Awards Reception at 6pm at the Union Arena in Woodstock, VT. Previous press for winners has included articles in Fine Woodworking Magazine, Furniture World Magazine, Vermont Home Style Magazine and Design New England Magazine.  You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Check out the details on the Vermont Fine Furniture and Wood Products Design Competition website.  See you at the awards reception!

 

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New Vermont Tavern Bench

July 19th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton

Farmhouse Bench | Vermont Tavern Style | Cherry Wood Top | Black Painted Base

Part of our new signature collection, the Vermont Tavern Bench has a solid cherry wood top and a black painted base with turned legs.  Handcrafted as a companion to the Vermont Tavern Table, the style is a classic English tavern table with William and Mary design elements.  Shown in our recently renovated Stonehurst fine furniture gallery.

This farmhouse style Vermont Tavern Bench is part of a new line of furniture we’re making.  It’s a unique signature collection, available only at Vermont Woods Studios.   Traditionally crafted, this 2-tone bench features a 1 inch thick solid cherry wood seat, with a durable maple wood base painted with black lacquer.

Vermont farmhouse furniture is adapted from William and Mary style furniture that was popular in England around 1700 after the reign of King William and Queen Mary.  These pieces are reproductions of the classic English tavern table and bench you’ll see in inns throughout the UK and New England (a few of Southern Vermont’s favorites are the Grafton Inn, Ye Olde Tavern, The Hermitage Inn).

 

Tavern Style Farmhouse Bench

Our Farmhouse Style Vermont Tavern Bench features a 2-tone design with a 1 inch thick solid cherry wood seat, and a durable maple wood, turned leg base painted with black lacquer. 

Besides being a durable, heirloom piece– the Vermont Tavern Bench is sleek and stylish.  The contrast between the traditional Cherry wood and the deep black lacquer base creates a truly unique piece that would make a great furniture addition for anyone looking to add a little flair to their dining area.  Stop by our fine furniture showroom at Stonehurst and check it out!

 

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Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Red or White?

June 25th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst

Which color do you like best?  Red or white?  No, I’m not talking about wine.  I need your help choosing the color of Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst.

The grass is finally beginning to fill in at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom.  The past few months have seen a flurry of activity while Bob Furlone and American Construction finished their last few projects.  This week they will complete the installation of indoor and outdoor lighting and be nearly done with renovations.

But the rest of us will still have plenty of projects left, and one of them is exterior painting.  So I have an opinion question for you.  In the first photos of Stonehurst which were taken in 1869, the house looked much as it does in today’s photo above, except the entire building was painted white:

Stonehurst, Our New Fine Furniture Showroom as it was in 1869

Stonehurst dates back to about 1790 in Vernon’s town records but this 1869 photo (given to me by Town Historian, Barbara Moseley) is the earliest photo I’ve seen.  The building was painted all white back then.

Sometime-probably in the 1940s the exterior was painted barn red, when Stonehurst was transformed by Elsie and Romey Racine into the Pine Top Ski Area.

Stonehurst was renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area

Stonehurst was painted red and renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area.  Which color do you prefer?  White or red?

My preference is to restore Stonehurst to its original white color, but I’m getting some push back from those who have grown really fond of the familiar red color.

So what do you think?  Red?  Or white?  And remember I’m not talking about wine.   Let me know in the comment section below or on our Facebook.

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Extreme Makeover: Fine Furniture Website Reborn!

June 24th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Fine Furniture Website | Best Online Furniture Store

We’re making some upgrades to our fine furniture website today so you may notice a couple outages.  Please feel free to give us a call (888-390-5571) and Liz, Sean or Douglas will help you out.  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever asap.  Oh and Kendall tells me that if you want to watch this video of his favorite dancing bear, the site should be ready by the time it’s over (no guarantee though).

Neville, Martin and Kendall have been leading an extreme makeover effort for our fine furniture website over the last 6 months (actually it’s been in the works for a couple years, but we weren’t able to really get it off the ground until Neville got here last December).  Although everyone on our staff has had an important hand in the project, it’s been the 3 geniuses in the IT/Website room that have powered the transformation.

Today we start migrating over to the new, improved website so there will be a few unavoidable outages.  In exchange for your patience we can offer you many new features that I think you will love–  like return customer rewards, more intuitive navigation, easy check-out, elegant design and straightforward pricing of furniture pieces with customized options.  Plus we have new, improved fine furniture bedroom sets and dining sets that will always be on sale for 20% off.

But if you happen to drop by while we’re offline today, please feel free to browse through our blog or give us a call (888-390-5571).  Liz, Sean or Douglas will fix you right up!  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever, as soon as possible.

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Vermont Fine Furniture Website Getting a Makeover

January 10th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Fine Furniture Website Makeover

Kendall has been upgrading our fine furniture website during his winter break from college.   He’s giving it a “new look” in response to your requests.  His project is step 1 in a larger website upgrade project that Loryn and Neville are engineering.  Check in next week to preview the new design.  Then let us know what you think!

Kendall’s been home from college during his Christmas vacation so we put him to work with Loryn and Neville re-designing the look of our fine furniture website.  Actually this is a project he started a year ago during last year’s holiday break, but it proved to be a more complex task than we anticipated.  So Kendall’s been working it on and off while at school, but in earnest these last few weeks.  We’re hoping to have the final touches put on the new website design next week.

I think you’ll like it.  Kendall has cleaned up the clutter and created more space for what our customers have said is most important: photographs of our furniture.  He’s also expanded the section of our website devoted to our green mission (forest conservation).  And we’ve tried to make it easier to navigate by placing the shopping navigation menus on the top of the screen (not on the left side anymore).  We’ve also added social media buttons (Facebook, Pinterest, Share, etc.) to help you bookmark or share the furniture you like best.

The “new look” is just a first step in responding to your requests for a better online shopping experience.  Neville and Loryn are hard at work upgrading other features of our fine furniture website, equipping it with even more photos and making it faster, easier and more intuitive to use.  Check in often over the next couple months and let us know what you think of our online upgrades.  We’ll look for your comments below or on our Facebook.

 

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Top Quality Bedroom Furniture Sets: How to Get the Best Price

January 9th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Top Quality Solid HardWood Bedroom Furniture Sets | Best Prices

This Contemporary Craftsman Bedroom Furniture Set is handmade of real, solid hardwood by Vermont craftspeople.  Customers can get a 20% discount on this top quality bed, dresser, chest and night stand when purchasing 3 or more pieces together.

Tips for Buying Fine Quality Wooden Furniture

If you’re shopping for top quality bedroom furniture sets, I’m sure you’ve noticed they’re priced considerably higher than the run of the mill sets you’ll find at Jordan’s or Bernie and Phyls.  But if you want timeless, real hardwood furniture you’ll have for a lifetime, (something you’ll never have to replace) then what you’re really interested in is getting the best value, not the lowest price, right?  My suggestion: first find the best quality furniture you can afford (here’s a solid wood furniture buying guide to help with that) in the style and wood species you love.

American Made or Imported?

Second, check to see where it’s made.  If it’s imported furniture, you probably want to keep shopping.  Honestly, I rarely hear complaints about the quality of virtually any American made, solid hardwood furniture (and the more local you buy, the better chance you have of getting the craftsperson or manufacturer to stand behind the product over it’s lifetime).  On the other hand, there are dozens of consumer review sites filled with complaints about the imported furniture products found at big box stores like Ikea, Ashley and Bob’s.  Quality can be quite poor and there’s little chance of getting satisfactory customer service.

How to Get the Best Furniture Value

Once you’ve found your favorite top quality, American made bedroom furniture, crafted of real solid hardwood, then start to work with the craftsman or retailer to get their best discount price. Remember however that American furniture involves using real, legal, sustainably harvested wood and American craftsmanship.  Furthermore, US furniture makers don’t typically “mark up to mark down” so you’re unlikely to find “discounts up to 80%”.  But often there is room for some negotiation.

Buy Top Quality Furniture in Sets to Get a Volume Discount

At Vermont Woods Studios for instance, we have a standing discount of 20% on bedroom sets* plus we offer a discount on full service white glove shipping and delivery when customers are buying 3 or more pieces.  Like many online retailers, we offer a coupon code (BEDROOMSET20) for customers who prefer to purchase fine furniture online (be sure to “update cart” to get the discount).  Otherwise customers can give us a call or stop by our showroom to receive the discount.

So my advice, if you’re shopping for the best price on high quality, real solid wood beds, chests, dressers, armoires, night stands, mirrors, blanket boxes and such is to focus on quality and style first.  Find the American made bedroom furniture you love that will last a lifetime and then negotiate on price afterwards.  My sense is that in doing the research you’ll find most USA made fine furniture is honestly priced and retailers are looking to give both you and the craftsman a fair deal.

Copeland bedroom sets are excluded from the 20% discount as they already carry a low price guarantee every day in our store.

 

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