December 11th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Only fifteen days until Christmas! Better start making out your Holiday wish list! But what to ask for? Have Santa bring you a gift that will give back all year long. Here’s my top four sustainable gift “must haves” for any green home.
Appliances that are energy efficient don’t just look great in your home. They save you major cash! You’ll also reduce air pollution as well as reduce your electric bill. These energy efficient appliances can be any thing from a refrigerator to a new computer, so browse your options! EarthEasy.com put together a great guide on energy efficient appliances.
With Christmas on the way, people tend to forget about the new year almost on us! A great Christmas gift would be a gadget to help you live a more sustainable life throughout the next year. Try asking for a composter to be more eco-friendly or a new bicycle so you can get out of the house and cut down on your automobile use.
This one is a no-brainer. Polywood furniture looks great, is low cost and is made from recycled plastic. Who can argue with this as an addition to your wish list? Even though the winter isn’t the best time to use Polywood, it’s weather resistant materials mean that you can bring them outside for next summer and never worry about them again. Talk about a gift you can use all year long.
Maybe you just aren’t ready to buy outdoor furniture yet. Our hardwood furniture is made using chemicals with virtually no VOC’s. Make sure your tables, beds and dressers are friends to the environment this Christmas. Buying sustainable furniture is the best gift you can give our environment.
What sustainable gifts and eco-friendly gadgets are on your wish list this year?
December 5th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Bing Crosby had it all wrong when he sang “White Christmas”. I’d like to think that your days will be much merrier and brighter if all of your Christmases are GREEN! Sustainably green, that is. Enjoy your holiday and give back to nature and to our economy by celebrating a “Green Christmas”.
Ditch the artificial tree this year and opt for a natural evergreen tree. Many artificial trees are made in China, contain harmful chemicals and once they lose their shape or luster, it’s off to the landfill they go. Buying a cut tree brings a festive aroma into your home, looks better than any fake tree could ever look and acts as a natural bird feeder after the holidays are over that you can place outside. Better yet, try starting a new tradition this year and buy a potted evergreen that you can plant in your yard after Christmas!
Get out of those Walmart lines and support your local business! Or make your friends and family something rather than buying it. Recycled and reused gifts can also be nice ways of sharing vintage presents. You could also give a gift of membership- try a gym membership, guitar lessons, theater tickets or spa day certificates at local venues. A gift of membership saves wrapping paper and reduces driving! Any way you decide to give, just think about your gifts impact on the environment and how you can make small changes to give greener. If you’re thinking of buying American-made to support your local economy, check out our American-made Holiday Shopping Challenge.
As tempting as the pretty wrapping papers at the department store may be, think about how many resources are waste by just wrapping paper and packaging materials alone. Try using old newspaper comics, fun cereal boxes or real popcorn instead of packing peanuts. Get creative!
Your green Christmas tree deserves some green Christmas ornaments. I found this great resource on everythingetsy filled with tutorials on making your own ornaments. Also, check out her green gift buying guide. It will certainly inspire some greener ideas for your decor and your gifts.
Let me know what your green Christmas ideas are here in the comments or on our Facebook page! And may all your Christmases be GREEN!
October 31st, 2012 by Loryn Dion
With our fall dining sale just around the corner, I figured what better time to talk about dining tables! We have all of these shapes and sizes, but how does that apply to your dining space? What will look best in your room and will you be able to accommodate the right amount of guests? I’ll admit, it can get a little confusing trying to guess what kind of table is best for your situation. Hopefully this post can help to remove some of the mystery about what you’re getting when you order one of our fine, hardwood dining tables.
Rectangular Dining Tables
Rectangle tables are the most common dining table shape since they are ideal for accommodating large numbers of people for dinner parties and fit best in most dining rooms. Whether choosing a solid top or extension rectangle table, you’re sure to always have space for that extra guest. My favorite rectangle dining table would be the Sarah Shaker Trestle table. I love the curved leg work and simple shaker style, plus the added benefit of it being an extension table.
Square Dining Tables
Square tables create a more intimate dining experience. Perfect for small dining rooms or eat-in kitchens, a square table allows you room to entertain small dinners and conserve much needed space. My pick for a square table is our Catalina 40×40 Solid Top Dining Table. It’s elegant, simple and looks great in walnut wood. What more do you need?
Round Dining Tables
Round tables are also great for small spaces or modest dining rooms. Round tables are my favorite option for entertaining guests. A round table allows everyone to sit comfortably and also maintain eye contact with other guests. I would pick our Vermont-made Shaker Custom Round Table. It has an extension option, it is simple and durable and comes discounted in our Vermont Shaker Cherry Round Dining Set!
Oval Dining Tables
An oval table incorporates the best parts of a rectangle and round table. You can still accommodate large groups, like that of a rectangle table, while saving space with the rounded corners. An oval table can also be created by opting for a round extension table, which gives you the most versatility. I choose the Vermont Modern Wave Table. It can be dressed up or dressed down, but no matter what, it always looks classy and is sure to be a conversation piece.
One factor that all of our table shapes have in common is that they are completely green and made from sustainably harvested hardwoods. No matter what dining table shape you choose, you want it to last a lifetime and here at Vermont Woods Studios, we promise just that.
So there you have it! Our four traditional dining shapes, broken down and analyzed so you can find the perfect one for you. In addition to these, you can also find boat shape tables, live edge slab tables and glass top tables on our site, so be sure to check out all of your options before purchasing. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call our sales team and have Liz, Heather or Douglas work with you on dimensions and help you build your dream dining room.
Let us know in the comments what table shape works best for you and how it’s helped to bring your friends and family together.
October 16th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
This week in our green interior design column, we’re talking about nesting tables. Earlier this year, House and Home magazine listed nesting tables and other small accent tables as a “must-have” in their 2012 Decorating Trends issue. Not only are nesting tables trendy and unique, but they’re also great for homes with limited space. Nesting tables allow you the versatility of having three separate tables while only taking up the space of one. These tables would be great to bring out during parties as floating tables for drinks or even as a tray for food. The possibilities are endless with these magic tables.
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, you can find nesting tables that do their job as convenient space-savers and, as an added bonus, they are environmentally friendly and made right here in Vermont.
Our New England Shaker Nesting Tables are traditional and simple, designed to match any home decor. With clean lines and dovetail joinery, these tables are meant to be displayed. With your purchase, you’ll receive 3 nesting tables in your choice of cherry. maple, oak or walnut woods. I’ll also point out that with our current sale (ending today!), you’ll be able to save up to 20%*.
If you’re looking for more of a modern twist on nesting tables, check out our Copeland Coonley Nesting End Tables. With two sleek nesting tables crafted in natural cherry wood, you’ll add twice the luxury and class to any room. Part of Copelands Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, these tables embody the styling of the modern architect.
October 9th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
Interior design is not a new concept. For decades, people have been making a living by creating works of art with furniture and accessories as their palette and empty rooms as their canvas. It is probably not a surprise that fashioning the perfect design for the inside of your home is crucial to how you feel and react in your environment. Interior design is all about aesthetics. It’s about taking items that are visually appealing and combining them with your personality to create something unique and personal to you.
With consumers becoming more conscious about their impacts on our environment, it is no shock that people are starting to ask for green, eco-friendly furniture and building materials for their homes. Interior designers are capitalizing on this trend by offering environmentally friendly alternatives when creating a design for a client’s home. Now this begs the question, what exactly does sustainable interior design mean?
Basically, the difference between interior design and sustainable interior design is the difference between beauty and beliefs and how much they mean to you. Sustainable (or green) interior design can probably be broken down into 4 major components:
Air quality is very important to interior design. The biggest decision a designer has to make is choosing pieces that are free of chemicals that can make people sick or pollute our environment. This usually means watching out for volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that can be found in paints, primers, glues, ink and cleaning products. Luckily, you can now buy furniture that uses glues and finishes that contain little or no VOC’s.
The area of energy saving interior design techniques is very broad. It can mean anything from choosing light bulbs that use less energy (like LED) to choosing products that are produced in America to reduce the energy it takes to ship them.
We’ve all heard some form of “The Three R’s”. Now-a-days it feels like there are many “r” words related to conservation. When it comes to green interior design, it is important to remember to recycle, re-purpose and reuse. Choose materials that have been recycled, like furniture made from recycled plastic. Remember that there are many products that are made by re-purposing old materials, like Reclaimed Barnwood Furniture. And always keep in mind things that can be used again before you toss them out.
When you purchase items without checking where they are sourced from, you risk supporting imported goods, rather than supporting the local American worker. Always research where your furniture and building materials come from and support American jobs and our local economy by buying American-made.
Creating a sustainable interior design concept doesn’t mean that you have to be 100% green, but you can make smart choices that will benefit the environment in the long run. You also don’t have to overhaul your entire home to start a green interior design. Make small changes around your home, like opting for new cleaning products or donating that department store furniture piece and trade it in for one made in America that has little to no VOC’s. These little changes will someday make a big difference.
If you are an interior designer, check out the discounts we can offer on our Vermont-made fine furniture.