Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

green interior design

A Green Wish List – Four Sustainable Gift Ideas for Your Home

December 11th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

sustainable gift

 

Sustainable Gifts for You and Your Home

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.

 

Energy Efficient Appliances

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.

 

Gadgets to Help Reach your Green Goal

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.

 

Recycled Furniture

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.

 

Low VOC Furniture

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?

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I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas….

December 5th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

Green Christmas Tips

 

Tips for a Green Christmas

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”.

Your Green Christmas Tree!

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!

Give Green!

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.

Reuse Wrapping and Packaging Materials!

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!

Sustainable Decor!

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!

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Tips for Small Apartment Decorating

November 27th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

Small Apartment Decorating

Small Apartment Decorating 101: The Dominion Storage Bed is my first pick!

 

Within the past few years, studies have shown that the average home size is decreasing. Towards the end of the 20th century, new homes were all about being bigger and better. Now, new homes are all about efficiency and economics. Homeowners want homes that are efficient in space and energy so they can save a bundle on their bills. While people are still buying bigger homes, trends show that as people move closer to cities for work, average home size will continue to go down as people purchase small apartments and condos. Here are a few furniture tips if you are looking for modest furniture for your modest space.

 

Decorating a Small Bedroom

Lacking space or storage in your bedroom? Not a problem! I suggest investing in a luxurious storage bed. While you may be thinking that a storage bed is big and heavy, which are two things you don’t want in a small apartment, think of it as one less chest or dresser that you’ll have to make room for! Store clothes, linens or other items that you want out of the way and save yourself the space in your closet. I’d also pick up some of our large wall mirrors to hang in your bedroom space. Mirrors give the illusion that your space is bigger!

 

Decorating a Small Dining Room

Check out my blog from a few weeks ago on dining table shape to see what kind of tables would fit best in your room. For most dining rooms, I’d go with an extension table. It saves space when you’re not using it, and expands when you have guests over. If you have an eat-in kitchen, which wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for the average apartment, go for a bar height table and some bar stools.

Small Apartment Decorating

Decorating a Small Living Room

Even though our homes are getting smaller, the number of electronic devices we have is, unfortunately, still getting bigger! I’d choose a low TV console to store all of your gadgets. This way, it will hold everything it should, but still leave room for a TV to sit on top or for you to mount a flat screen TV above it. You also might want to grab a storage box ottoman from our living room seating collection. Secret storage is always the answer for small space solutions.

Small Apartment Decorating

Decorating a Small Office

Skip the home office and make a DIY closet office! Also, use strategically placed custom bookcases throughout your home to hold all of your books, papers, knick-knacks or childrens toys. Our bookcases can be customized to fit any space perfectly.

 

Small Apartment Decorating

Small apartment decorating can be tricky, but if you stick to the basics, you can have a luxurious space with all the storage you need. Let us know how you decorate your smaller spaces here on the blog or on our Facebook.

 

 

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Five Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas

November 21st, 2012 by Loryn Dion

thanksgiving decorating ideas

Our Rustic Barnwood Sideboard with Ceramic Sink has an amazing history behind it, much like the Thanksgiving Holiday

 

Thanksgiving Decorating Ideas for the Green Family

Setting the perfect festive tone in your home for Thanksgiving is the best way to get into the holiday spirit. Every year, with Black Friday and Christmas just around the corner, Thanksgiving seems get overlooked. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it is so relaxed and filled with love, warmth and great food. If you are inviting friends and family over to share the day with, here are some easy thanksgiving decorating ideas sure to please everyone.

DIY Centerpieces and Wreaths - After the popularity explosion of Pinterest, doing things yourself is definitely “in”. DIY door wreaths are extremely easy and can be very inexpensive to create. Then,  skip the pre-made candle centerpiece from Walmart and make a unique table decoration to fit the theme of your home or your thanksgiving meal. Incorporate gourds, Indian corn or cranberries for a fall harvest vibe or if you plan on watching the game after dinner, opt for a sports-themed arrangement. Check out these football roses that are handmade in the USA!

Pick an Element of your Home to Highlight - Create an interesting mantle piece design, decorate your table with candles and arrangements, or display your thanksgiving cheer for your neighbors to see with fall themed porch decor. Don’t overdo it with your decorations or it can be overwhelming to guests. Highlight your favorite features of your home and let visitors enjoy.

Give Thanks – Incorporating the message of Thanksgiving is chic and classy. Display crafts and art made by your children, hang thanksgiving cards from friends and family or create festive collages of photos and things you and your family are thankful for. I saw a cute idea for a “thankful tree” centerpiece in Pinterest (of course) that would make a great Thanksgiving tradition. Every year, everyone hangs the things they are thankful for on the tree. This is a great way to celebrate the holiday with your family.

Showcase Reclaimed Furniture – The Thanksgiving holiday is historically significant and has a rich story behind it. Traditional reclaimed barnwood furniture also has a historically significant background and story to tell, plus they are sustainably crafted. Reclaimed barnwood is full of warmth, charm and history, making a great decorative piece for Thanksgiving. Check out our reclaimed barnwood dining tables and reclaimed barnood buffets and be enchanted by their elegance. Reclaimed barnwood is the perfect solution for the environmentally conscious family

Leave Christmas Decorating for December – Let your guests give thanks in November and worry about decking the halls in December. There are many great ways to decorate the interior and exterior of your home with fall hues and harvest idols without having to bring out the red and green. I love Christmas as much as the next person, but  let me enjoy Thanksgiving first.

Be sure to check out our Black Friday sale (after you’ve finished eating and giving thanks for the things you already possess of course) going on tomorrow through Monday. We’d love to hear your Thanksgiving decorating ideas. Let us know how you decorate for Thanksgiving here in the comments or on our Facebook.

 

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Selecting the Right Dining Table Shape for your Home Décor

October 31st, 2012 by Loryn Dion

Dining Table Shape

Our Sarah Trestle Dining Table is a great choice for a rectangle dining table shape!

Selecting the Right Dining Table for your Home Décor

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.

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A Stylish, Sustainable, Space Saving Solution: Nesting Tables!

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.

Check out more of our coffee tables, end tables, sofa tables and accent tables. Call us with your customization ideas to create a table that is perfect for your homes’ interior design.

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Trend Alert: What is Green Interior Design?

October 9th, 2012 by Loryn Dion

What is Sustainable Interior Design

 

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
  • *Energy Efficiency
  • *Building Materials and the Three R’s (Recycling, Re-purposing, Reusing)
  • *Economic Impact

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.

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