Finding the Best Value in Solid Wood Bedroom Furniture

Handmade, real solid wood bedroom sets are a significant investment so if you’re shopping for one, you’re no doubt looking for the best overall value in terms of quality and price.  Comparison shopping is hard work.  It takes days, weeks and even (for many of our customers) months to research all the design and style choices for fine hardwood bedroom furniture sets.

And the price comparisons can really get tricky.  Pricing can initially look like it’s all over the place but once you start to narrow down the level of quality you want you begin to see that, with high end, American made furniture, the pricing falls into a very narrow range.  That’s because there’s just not a lot of room for mark-up.  Handcrafting fine wood furniture takes extraordinary amounts of time to create and when that work is done here in America (which is probably important to if you made it to our blog) it needs to be compensated with a livable wage.

So when it comes to offering the best value for American made fine furniture, retailers like us (Vermont Woods Studios) have the greatest opportunity to save you money by being smart about the way we ship furniture (it turns out that shipping 3 or more pieces of furniture isn’t much more expensive than shipping one) and do our administrative work.  With our solid wood bedroom furniture sets we’ve focused on both and are able to discount these sets a full 20%.

Just so you know, this is the best price and lowest discount we’re able to offer at anytime, all year long.  While others might mark up to mark down by 70% or so routinely, we do not.  Our prices accurately reflect the cost of creating your furniture and getting it to you safely via the best fine furniture shipping specialist in the country.  So check out our solid wood bedroom sets today and let us know what you think on Facebook.  To find out what others are saying, check out our testimonials page and the Customer Review section of our blog.

 

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.

 

Modern-american-tv-console

Shopping for high quality, handmade solid wood furniture this Labor Day weekend?   We're having a 15% Storewide Sale through Tuesday, September 4th. Check it out!

Because this is back-to-school time, most of the furniture sold in August and September is sort of disposable… you know what I meant, right?  Even Kendall (I'm embarassed to say) had to make an emergency trip to Ikea to pick up a portable bookshelf for his dorm room.

Most people just assume that the furniture they buy is going to be on the curbside in 5-10 years.  It's part of the "planned obsolescence" strategy which ensures furniture stores that future sales will be strong.

So why, at Vermont Woods Studios are we selling heirloom quality, fine furniture that's backed by a lifetime guarantee? It probably seems foolish to many.

But quite honestly, here's the reason why:  Heather's taken three orders today from repeat customers who love their Vermont made furniture. It's the real thing and there's nothing quite like it. 

In an age when few things last for decades (let alone generations) we're proud to be selling Vermont made furniture and it seems only fair to back up our promise of quality with a lifetime guarantee. 

If a lifetime guarantee on fine furniture is important to you, how 'bout letting us know on our Facebook?

 

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.

Sustainable-furnitureKendall posted a new webpage the other day on the link between your furniture, rainforest conservation and a greener, more sustainable world. It's why we do what we do at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Wood Furniture.

 

Sometimes I feel like a nutcase– living in Vermont and talking about rainforest conservation all the time.  But I can't help it.  It's one of the Top 3 environmental problems of our time, yet few people seem to know about it.

 

Check out these rainforest facts and let me know if you too see this as a matter of great urgency.

 

Rainforest-conservation-furniture

  1. 1.5 acres of rainforest are lost every second (that equates to 50 million acres a year: an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined)

  2. 54 of the world's 193 countries have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover. Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth's land surface now cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
  3. Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next 25 years due to rainforest deforestation.
  4. We are losing approximately 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
  5. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.
  6. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations
  7. There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.
  8. In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.
  9. In Indonesia, the current aggressive rate of logging could eradicate native forests within only 10 years. Unlike our temperate forests in Vermont for example, rainforests do not regenerate after they are destroyed. Once gone, they are gone forever and along with them the wonderful diversity of plants and wildlife that inhabit them.

If you've managed to read this far, you rock! Leave a comment below or check in with us now and then on Facebook to see what we're doing to to help replant the rainforest with our Plant a Billion Trees project.  Join us and together we can make a difference!

 

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.

Bob-gasperetti-furnitureSo far, in an effort to define "fine furniture" we've discussed craftsmanship and the type of wood used, so now let's talk about finish.  One thing most people are surprised to learn is that even though a piece of fine furniture is crafted and assembled it's a long way from being finished. 

I like the way Vermont furniture maker, Bob Gasperetti of Mount Tabor puts it:  "The saying that it takes 90% of the time to accomplish the last 10% of the work couldn't be more true than in handmade furniture."

He is right!  I wish you could run your hand across one of Bob's table tops right now.  After a piece is built, Bob sands the surface to 320 grit (this requires multiple sandings with increasingly fine sandpaper).  That takes forever but there is no substitute if you're looking for the kind of smooth, supple feeling you get when touching Bob's furniture.

After sanding, Bob applies multiple coats of a non-toxic, environmentally-friendly oil until the surface of his furniture feels as smooth and soft as a baby's skin.

Some people would opine that an oil finish is the only option for "fine furniture" but as someone who doesn't like to take the time to maintain (aka re-oil and it's really no big deal, but I'm lazy) an oil finish  I'll say oil is not the only option.  Vermont furniture makers offer dozens of other choices, including a blend of oil and beeswax, non-toxic lacquers and even an eco-friendly clear finish made out of whey (a byproduct of our Vermont dairy industry).  Copeland Furniture is once again leading the green furniture industry in the research and application of eco-friendly water=based lacquer finishes.  I'll write about them next time when we wrap up this disucssion of fine furniture definitions with the topic of sustainability and karma.

Anyway, no study of fine furniture finishes would be complete without a visit to the workshops of a few fine furniture makers where you can run your hands over the furniture and compare the sensations from different finishes.  Information and driving directions to the shops I've talked about (and many more) are available in the Vermont Forest Heritage brochure.  If you're coming in from Boston or New York to go skiing, you'll pass by a number of them.  So if there's no snow, or it's too cold to ski or if you're just too tired… take a day off and treat yourself to a tour of some of the world's best fine furniture workshops.

Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture

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.

Craftsmanship-fine-furnitureThe other day I noted that a customer asked us for a definition of "fine furniture" and since we could find no real consensus out there I decided to put out– well– yet another opinion, actually.  My first post was about the type of wood used for fine furniture.  I think the next aspect ought to be about craftsmanship.

I found this video by Brent and Derek Karner and their craftspeople at Clear Lake Furniture in Ludlow, VT.  It's really a great illustration of both the human and machine-driven craftsmanship that defines fine furniture.  In the video Brent shows the process of how fine wood furniture starts as trees, sustainably harvested from well managed forests.  Then he brings you into his workshop where to see his craftsmanship up close:  wood is rough sawn, planed, shaped, prepared for joinery and assembled.  He explains different types of joinery, like dovetails, mortise and tenon, splines and how they are created. 

I like Brent's discussion of craftsmanship in terms of man versus machine.  He concludes that, done properly, both methods can have excellent results although he shows that in many cases it's a blend of man and machine that's optimal.

In Vermont we have several woodworking purists who focus almost exclusively on the use of traditional hand tools, and their craftsmanship is exquisite.  One of my favorite companies working to preserve traditional handwork traditions is Shackleton-Thomas.  But the majority of Vermont's fine furniture makers do employ high precision modern machinery which not only brings the price of furniture down, but sometimes produces a more exacting result. 

The next aspect of fine furniture craftsmanship I want to mention is finish.  But let's do that another day. 

In the meantime, if you're in Vermont (which after all IS the Fine Furniture Capital of America) and you're looking to get a better understanding of fine craftsmanship, there are hundreds of small furniture makers who would be happy to introduce you to their craft.  Check out this great Vermont Forest Heritage brochure which lists furniture makers all around the state and provides a map showing where each one is and what their hours of operation are. Clearlake furniture is on the map and is on your way to Okemo Mountain.  It's open almost every day but call ahead for an appointment if you want to get a tour of their workshop and see their fine craftsmanship in motion.

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.