December 31st, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
Now that the holidays are behind us and a fresh new year lies ahead, I can’t help but start thinking about my new years resolutions and the ways in which this year will be different. I’m not one for hoping to lose weight or become rich in the new year, but rather, I hope to make small behavioral changes that can improve communities and help change lives. Shopping small and buying handmade products is one way in which I hope to make a difference this year as someone who loves to shop!
There are many different reasons why shopping handmade is important, and could make a great resolution for you too! It’s important to note that there is no WRONG reason, and that each of us has our own connection with the idea of shopping small.
1) Community: By buying something handmade, you might feel a special connection to the place where you bought it from. That feeling of camaraderie makes your purchase that much more special and important, because you know you are supporting a real person and place and that the maker deeply appreciates creating something special for you.
2) Mindful Spending: A phrase I’ve heard a lot recently is “every dollar you spend is a vote.” This has greatly influenced the way I see my spending, as the things we buy can certainly be seen as an extension of our selves.
3) Love: Buying handmade is a wonderful way to show love and support for a local artist, craftsman, local business, etc.
4) Originality: No two items are ever exactly the same when you buy handmade. Besides being able to customize your item to your liking, you can feel good knowing that your purchase was really made just for you.
5) Eco-Friendly: Shopping small and handmade is usually an indication that you are making a sustainably responsible purchase; many crafters use mostly locally sourced materials and do their best to ensure that their creations don’t have a negative impact on the environment.
Shopping small is important to each of us at Vermont Woods Studios, and its a central part of our mission. By making small changes in your shopping habits, you can be a part of a huge movement to support what matters… the people.
Wishing you a very happy new year filled with love, prosperity, and health!
April 2nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Just a quick reminder that our store wide furniture sale ends in a couple days– April 4th. What we have is our Create Your Own Furniture Set Sale. Buy 3 or more pieces of any kind and you’ll save 20% plus free shipping. It doesn’t get any better than this.
Choose from the largest selection of Vermont made solid wood furniture you’ll find anywhere in the world. Mix and match! With this sale, you can get furniture pieces for every room in the house: Dining Furniture, Bedroom Furniture, Home Office Furniture or Living Room Furniture.
Browse our online gallery or stop by our small showroom for the 100% American made solid hardwood furniture you’ve been looking for. It’s all backed by a lifetime guarantee. And each piece is built to order just for you, so it can be customized in your favorite wood: natural Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut.
November 7th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I made a visit to our local Vernon History Museum last weekend to learn more about Stonehurst, the 200 year old farmhouse property we recently purchased as the future home for our Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom. I was lucky enough to run into Peggy Frost, Nancy and Dale Gassett and a few other volunteers who were working in the museum’s gardens. Peggy knew just where the old photos of Stonehurst were stored so we went inside the museum and spent a few hours pouring through them.
The original Stonehurst farmhouse was built circa 1800 but I can only find photos going back to 1870 or so. Near as I can figure, the shot above would have been taken around the time that Stonehurst was sold by Noyes and Theresa Streeter to Lucretia Kendall for a sum of $2000.00. That was recorded on March 9, 1868.
Stonehurst had a very different life from the 1940s to the 1960s when it operated as a ski resort named Pine Top. You can see from the photo below that the house looked essentially the same through the ages. At some point it was painted red over the original white. And the horse barn-woodshed to the left of the house was converted to a dormitory for overnight skiers.
After talking with Barbara Moseley, our Vernon Town Historian, I learned that Pine Top was owned by Romey and Elsie Racine, a couple that moved to Vermont from New Jersey. “The Racines hosted vacationers and skiers in their welcoming lodge and operated a 3 run ski area with warming hut, equipment rentals and ski patrol. It was all staffed by local families.” Pine Top was set up to lodge up to 26 guests, often accommodating families of students from nearby boarding schools, Northfield Mount Hermon and Deerfield Academy.
Happily, Stonehurst looks pretty much the same today as it did 70 years ago when Pine Top was operating. The property was sold to Bill and Elaine Ellis after Pine Top closed and the Ellis’ transferred it to Vermont Woods Studios in August of this year. We’re now working with J Coleman + Company Architects and Bob Furlone of American Construction to transform the property into a Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom. The goal is to create a relaxing destination shopping experience for our customers who journey here from all around the Northeast and beyond.
Stonehurst, with it’s beautiful vistas and 100 acres of forested land provides a venue for us to convey our environmental mission and show people where sustainable, handmade furniture comes from. Stay tuned for progress reports and a grand opening for Stonehurst next Summer.
October 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you’re looking for hardwood furniture, there’s a good chance you’re narrowing your wood choices down to the most popular and plentiful species grown here in America such as cherry, maple, oak and walnut. These prized hardwoods are grown sustainably here in the USA with Vermont and New England being a favorite source for many woods.
We like these species because they are well suited to fine furniture making by virtue of their color, strength, hardness, grain patterns and workability. They are also readily obtainable in our local and regional area, making them a sustainable choice. Often our furniture makers will offer two-tone combinations of these hardwoods creating a custom, artisan look and feel to your furniture.
The photo above shows Copeland Furniture’s SoHo Bedroom Set in solid maple and walnut hardwoods. This striking two-tone wood combination has become a best seller in our metropolitan markets, particularly Manhattan, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Homeowners appreciate the modern, contemporary sensibilities of the SoHo solid hardwood design as well as the fine detail and craftsmanship that goes into every custom, made to order piece.
SoHo furniture is also offered in a two-tone walnut and cherry design. Which of these hardwood combinations would look best for your bedroom furniture?
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.
October 8th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Columbus Day is a favorite time to shop for home decor as everyone’s beginning to realize that the holidays are right around the corner. If you’ll be entertaining family and friends for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or another holiday you may be shopping for furniture today. No doubt, like Columbus, you’re looking for America’s best. So set your sails for Vermont.
In the Green Mountain State you’ll find the best real wood furniture anywhere in the USA. Vermont is home to some 2000 small custom furniture makers located throughout our state as well as several mid-size, high end furniture manufacturers like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture.
Vermont style furniture is known for organic solid wood, clear natural finishes and fine craftsmanship. The favorite hardwood among craftspeople and customers alike seems to be American Black Cherry as shown in the handmade Shaker dining table above, although you’ll also find a variety of other North American woods including walnut, oak and maple.
With so many American furniture brands now making their furniture overseas, Vermont has quietly become the Real Wood Furniture Capital of the USA. I know of only one Vermont furniture company that moved its operations overseas back when the Asian exodus was taking place and that was Ethan Allen. The other Vermont furniture businesses have continued to operate successfully in the USA, remaining true to their communities, their employees and their quality.
You can arrange a tour to visit the best of our Vermont furniture makers and see the difference that real wood and authentic American craftsmanship make. Columbus Day is a great time to make the trip! Start here with this Map of Vermont Master Furniture Makers and maybe swing by our Vermont Woods Studios Furniture Showroom in Vernon VT on your route. Then let us know if you too, see Vermont as America’s best place to shop for the real thing in USA made furniture.
October 5th, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton
The upcoming Columbus Day Weekend is commonly associated with big sales, leaf peeping, and getting a pumpkin for Halloween. Here in Vermont there are hundreds of events going on, making it the busiest weekend of the fall. If shopping is in your plans, we want to let you know about another sale. Starting today, we are kicking off our annual Columbus Day Storewide Furniture Sale. For 5 days you can save 15% off our American Made fine wood furniture, and receive free shipping!
This sale includes over 1,000 pieces of bedroom, dining room, living room, and home office furniture, all made with natural hardwood. Conveniently shop from your home this weekend on our online gallery. Feel free to use our Live Chat option from our online gallery, or give us a call at 888-390-5571 if you have any questions about our Vermont Made fine wood furniture.
Have a nice weekend!
September 14th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Manjula just finished posting eight new fine wood bedroom furniture sets in our online store at Vermont Woods Studios. Customers have been asking for customizable, solid wood bedroom sets and we've done our best to make them available online at affordable prices.
If you're shopping for this type of furniture, here are 3 questions to ask your retailer before you make a purchase:
* Is this bedroom furniture made from real solid wood? Authentic fine furniture is handcrafted from genuine solid wood, not mdf or particle board covered with wooden veneers. Most of what you see in America's "fine furniture" (aka Big Box) stores like Ashley or Bob's is made with inferior substrates rather than real wood, although it's often hard to tell if you're not familiar with traditional craftsmanship. Be sure to ask your furniture salesman what type of wood your furniture is made with and whether that wood is a veneer or solid wood.
* Where is this bedroom furniture made? American furniture craftsmanship is considered the gold standard worldwide. Thirty years ago states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania were the fine furniture capitals of the world but then the global market place began to change that. American furniture icons like Ethan Allen, Lane and Thomasville moved their operations overseas and quality plummeted. Luckily there are a number of small American furniture companies who steadfastly remained in the USA with quality and community remaining at the core of their identities. Today these businesses are the world leaders in fine furniture, with Vermont's companies leading the way. They are the only companies you will find that offer a lifetime guarantee on their furniture.
* Can this bedroom furniture set be customized to meet my needs? Most furniture sets consist of 5 items– take it or leave it. Well, I say if you're investing in fine wood furniture that you're going to have for many years you ought to be able to select the exact pieces you need for the space and decor of your bedroom. Make sure your furniture salesperson is flexible so you can purchase all of the pieces you need and no extras (that you'll have to find space for in another room).
And here's a bonus tip: ask for a volume discount. At Vermont Woods Studios we've put together 16 different handmade, solid wood fine furniture sets for your bedroom– all 100% Made in America, fully customizable and on sale for 20% lower discount prices. Have a look and if you don't see exactly what you need, give us a call. We want you to have the high end, fine solid wood furniture you've always dreamed of. You deserve it!
September 12th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Remember that movie, "A River Runs Through It" with Brad Pitt? Well that pretty much sums up the story of Wall Goldfinger a year ago when Hurricane Irene ravaged through Vermont devestating hundreds of homes and businesses.
WallGoldfinger sat along the Dog River which jumped it's banks, blew out their back door and filled the shop with 7 feet of water in just 10 minutes. Imagine a river– all of a sudden being re-routed through your workshop!
So today we're sending congratulations out to our friends and fellow furniture makers at this premier luxury office furniture company in Randolf, Vermont. They have risen from the ashes and emerged bigger, better and stronger than before. How inspiring!
Editor's note: If you're looking for high end office furniture but you're not calling from the White House or Wall Street, you might have a look at the luxury home office furniture collections at Vermont Woods Studios. Here you'll find the same impeccable Vermont craftsmanship but on a decidedly smaller scale.