October 12th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Hardwood furniture is experiencing a renaissance this year. It’s always been a classic, but over the years modern materials (metal, plastics, glass, wicker, rattan, bamboo, concrete) have become popular furniture components. Looking at today’s online home decor authorities such as Houzz and Apartment Therapy however, it seems real solid hardwood furniture is making a comeback! Here’s a run-down of the Top 5 Hardwood Furniture Style Trends we’ve seen at Vermont Woods Studios this year:
July 19th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
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).
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!
June 29th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh
Hardwood bedroom furniture is one of Vermont’s specialties. The Green Mountain State has been famous for high quality, handcrafted wooden furniture for over 200 years and the tradition remains alive and well today. Our most popular hardwood is black cherry but Vermont craftspeople often work with sugar maple, black walnut, oak, ash and a number of other hardwoods as well.
The styles of Vermont made bedroom furniture are even more varied than the woods our craftspeople work with. Above you’ll see a couple examples of Shaker, Arts and Crafts, Modern, Contemporary and Mid-Century Modern (MCM) style furniture. From top left they are:
This is a traditional, handmade bedroom set crafted out of solid black cherry wood. It features straight lines that are clean, simple and elegant. Perfect proportions, carefully-selected extra-wide boards, tapered posts and legs, straight aprons with top and bottom cove moldings and traditional, chamfered edges, round button Shaker knobs yield a delicate appearance that belies their sturdy construction.
Fusing Arts & Crafts and Asian design, Copeland’s Berkeley Bedroom is both sophisticated and practical with under bed storage design that elegantly saves space in the upscale urban home. Crafted in natural cherry hardwood with American black walnut accents.
This high end, ultra-modern, Astrid Bedroom Furniture Collection by Copeland is always on sale at our Vermont Fine Furniture Store. Crafted in maple, cherry or walnut hardwood and made to order, you may customize it with your choice of five finishes and a variety of knob or pull options.
And on the bottom row from left:
Mid century, modern, 1950s American design is what the Copeland Catalina bedroom and home office furniture collection is all about. Handcrafted in Vermont and made to order, in natural solid black walnut or maple hardwood. Customize with your choice of finish and a variety of knob or pull options.
Our Contemporary Cable Collection blends elegant craftsmanship and contemporary, industrial flair to create a distinctive design that will transform any bedroom. Pieces in this modern craftsman style collection feature solid hardwood construction, traditional joinery and unique cable style drawer pulls. An eco-friendly, non-toxic, handrubbed oil finish tops off the artistry of this design.
Our Vermont Shaker furniture (above) is a sister collection to this one, with the main difference being a straight apron in contrast to the arched apron of the American Shaker Collection.
March 8th, 2013 by Kelsey Eaton
What do our best selling pieces have in common? They’re all Shaker style! For every room in the house, our Shaker furniture pieces always come out on top. Our Shaker style furniture ranges from traditional styles featuring elegant straight lines to more modern shaker furniture that incorporate contemporary round lines into the design. Shaker furniture has been made since the 1700′s, and our craftsmen have dedicated themselves to keep the same simplistic, functional, and sturdy design in every piece of Shaker furniture they craft.
Our online gallery features almost 100 pieces of Shaker style bedroom pieces. Although it’s a close tie between pieces that are most popular, the Vermont Shaker Moon Bed is our best selling bed. The Vermont Shaker Moon Bed features traditional tapered legs and gorgeous arching curves in the headboard and footboard. Like most pieces of Shaker furniture, this bed is most popular in natural cherry wood.
It’s easy to see why the Vermont Made Shaker Custom Dining Table is most popular among our customers. It is simple in design, sturdily built for years of use, and is built to order so it can perfectly match your kitchen or dining room. Like it says in it’s name, this dining table is customizable. What does that mean? Customize your table size in 12 solid top sizes and 18 extension table sizes. Customize your table top shape to be rectangular, oval or boat shaped. Customize your table in natural cherry, maple or walnut wood.
Shaker furniture, renowned for it’s sturdy design, is a perfect style for living room furniture. When putting your life collection of books or antique display plates on a bookshelf, it’s important to feel confident that it will remain sturdy. Our Shaker style hardwood bookcases are crafted to last a lifetime (guaranteed). They will remain strong for years to come, so you can feel certain that your precious belongings will be safe. Our most popular bookcase is the Vermont Shaker Bookcase. It is crafted in a small workshop near Vermont’s state capital, Montpelier, using sustainably harvested hardwoods with a non-toxic finish.
The Classic Shaker Writing Desk is our most popular piece of home office furniture. It is available in three distinct leg styles: flair (shown as the product’s main image), tapered or mission style. You can see these three styles by clicking the gray question mark next to the leg style option. Further customize this piece by choosing from three sizes, and three drawer options. This shaker style desk is a great option for a home office or business.
All of our Shaker style furniture is on sale! You can buy our best selling pieces at a great price. The more you buy, the more you save. Take 10% off one piece, 15% off two pieces, or 20% off three pieces. It’s the perfect excuse to buy a bed and nightstands; dining table and chairs; bookcase and end tables; or a desk with a few file cabinets. All of our furniture is handcrafted in Vermont with natural wood. Receive free shipping and a lifetime guarantee during this sale! Copeland Furniture is an exception to this Shaker furniture sale; however, the Copeland Sarah Shaker Collection is always priced with a low price guarantee.
Start browsing our online gallery today. If you have any questions our fine furniture specialists are available by phone, live chat, or email.
November 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
I’ve been looking for a widely accepted definition of “solid wood furniture“. I’m finding the same thing as when I looked for a definition of “American made furniture”. Anything goes. Here’s an example of what I found on a popular reference website (About.com),
”Solid walnut wood furniture means that all exposed parts of the piece are walnut. But the frame and inner parts may be of other, less-costly wood. Thin layers of fine, decorative wood can be bonded to the face of low cost wood pieces. This is called veneering.”
Now does that sound like solid wood furniture to you? I don’t think so. If you’re shopping for high quality furniture and solid wood construction is important to you, try asking your salesperson these 5 questions to help clarify things:
When you take a look at the edge of a solid wood tabletop you can see if the graining on the top carries through on the edge – the way marbling does in a piece of steak. If this is not the case, you are looking at the “banding” on a veneered piece. Another way to tell solid wood is to look at the underside of the piece. Does the grain look like the same as the wood on the table top? If not, then it’s probably veneered.
In North America, typically the best quality solid wood furniture is made of native hardwoods, such as cherry, walnut, maple, oak, ash and birch. Although hardwood is more expensive than softwood, it has a higher density and is therefore usually harder and heavier. Hardwood grain is closed, tight and non-resinous as opposed to softwood grain that’s loose and resinous, thus it splits easy.
You can buy plenty of solid wood furniture that’s of poor quality. For example, I just searched for “solid hardwood furniture high quality” and Google shopper’s first result was a solid wood bed for $68.98. What good does it do to have solid wood construction when poor workmanship is going to limit the life of a piece to a couple years? Check for solid craftsmanship, top quality joinery and meticulous finishes in your furniture. A salesperson should be able to show and tell you about construction details such as mortise and tenon joints, dovetails, miter joints, finger joints, splines, biscuits, dowels, butts, dados, rabbets, tongue and groove and more. Durable, robust joinery is critical to the life and usefulness of a piece.
Finish is important too. Most imported furniture is finished with cheap coatings that contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene) which can cause asthma and allergies especially in young children. Ask your salesperson to explain what’s in the finish and how many coats have been applied to protect the furniture over time.
Are you wondering why imported furniture is so much cheaper than American made furniture? It’s not just that Chinese wages are about 1/10 of American wages. It’s about where the raw materials come from. In the USA, wood furniture is made from sustainably harvested wood that comes from well managed American forests. With imported furniture, the wood is typically clear cut from the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests. Although imported furniture often carries labels that it’s made of American cherry, walnut, oak or maple woods, that is rarely the case. These labels are trade names used to describe woods of suspicious origin that are stained to look like familiar American woods such as cherry and walnut.
Top quality solid wood furniture is inherently expensive, so you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best value and price. Find a local craftsman or retailer you can trust. Try to purchase your furniture as a set, rather than piece by piece if possible. Purchasing furniture sets not only creates efficiency in the craftsman’s workshop, it also saves money in shipping and delivery.
For more tips on purchasing top quality solid wood furniture with the best value and price, visit our Facebook and join the conversation.
October 29th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
High quality, real solid hardwood furniture is expensive, no doubt about it. It’s not for everyone. College students are more likely to find suitable furniture at IKEA- that’s for sure. But if you landed on this blog post, you’re probably a homeowner looking to feather your nest for the long term, right? Well we talk to people like you everyday and so we’ve learned a few things about why our customers are looking to buy hardwood furniture.
Check out our cherry and walnut hardwood bedroom furniture set. You just don’t get this kind of smooth, refined patina on pine, spruce or other soft wood furniture. When hardwoods are sanded properly and finished with a clear, non-toxic lacquer or hand-rubbed natural oil, you can run your hands over the wood and it almost feels like skin. No softwood, metal or plastic furniture can give the same tactile sensation that high quality, handmade hardwood furniture does.
Hardwoods like cherry, walnut, maple and oak wood are from deciduous trees that grow slower than coniferous softwood trees like pine, spruce, larch and fir. Thus hardwoods are typically more dense, heavy, durable and, well… hard. They also are fairly non – resinous and close grained so they don’t leak sap and split like pine does. If you take care of your hardwood furniture it will hold up beautifully for many years, even many generations. We are confident enough in our hardwood furniture to back it with a lifetime guarantee.
Many people, especially those with young children are looking for natural, organic furniture to be a part of their healthy homes. They often talk to us about where their furniture comes from too. Hardwood furniture that’s made in America is typically built with wood that’s sustainably harvested from well-managed American forests. Families enjoy breaking bread over a dinner table that’s made in harmony with nature.
OK, I said Top 3 Reasons, but here’s a fourth that I just can’t walk away from. In the long run, high quality hardwood furniture is cheaper to buy than other types of furniture– even IKEA’s. Consider how many times you’ll have to buy a bedroom set or dining furniture over your lifetime if you’re always buying something cheap. We’ve had lots of customers who tell us they’ve been sleeping on a mattress on the floor for a few years while they save up to buy a high quality hardwood bed. I can relate to that.
What are your reasons for searching for hardwood furniture? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook!
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?
August 31st, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton
Labor Day was created to honor the achievements of American
workers. This national holiday is a
perfect time to celebrate the hard work that Americans do every day.
At Vermont Woods Studios, we are constantly amazed at the
dedication and hard work that goes into handcrafting fine wood furniture. It is a skill that has been handed down to
Vermonter's for over 200 years, and for many of our craftsmen, the technique is virtually unchanged. The furniture
at Vermont Woods Studios is 100% American made furniture with sustainably
harvested American hardwoods. Our furniture makers carefully select only the
finest solid cherry, maple, walnut, and oak woods to ensure that they make the
highest quality furniture that is intended to last for many generations. It is even backed by a lifetime guarantee.
For Labor Day we are putting our gifted furniture maker's
pieces on sale, so that you can honor these American craftsmen, too. With a lot
of Labor Day events, we know that this is a busy weekend. So, we're having our
Labor Day furniture sale run five days, from Friday, August 31st until Tuesday,
September 4th. This allows you the time to fit in fun and relaxation, plus take
advantage of our holiday sale. During our Labor Day furniture sale, you can
save 15% storewide (plus free shipping), and conveniently shop 24 hours a day on our
Whether you're traveling, socializing, shopping or relaxing we hope
that you have a wonderful weekend!
August 22nd, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton
the recent cooler nights and the realization that Labor Day is less than 2
weeks away, we're beginning to feel that summer's end is near…well, at least
in Vermont. While we know that Labor Day doesn't technically signal
the end of summer, for many it's a symbolic end as minds begin shifting to the fall.
Before we know it, the feasting holidays will soon be here! If you're
like most, this can be the time of year where you might find yourself doing a
lot of hosting, especially in the dining room. So, perhaps it's time to think
about how to make your home feast-ready for the holidays, and it's also a good
time to consider other home improvement projects.
Since dining room furniture gets
the most use and attention during the feasting holidays, this room may be a
primary focus. In between choosing, crafting, and delivering fine wood
furniture, many weeks can slip by. Crafting fine furnishings takes time, so
planning for Thanksgiving at the end of August is actually the perfect amount
While your furniture is being
crafted perhaps there are other things that you would like to do to get your dining
room ready. For instance, painting, refinishing floors or replacing carpet,
makes sense to do before your new furniture arrives.
So we at Vermont
Woods Studios Furniture have decided to put our fine wood dining room furniture on sale now
through August 30th! If it’s high quality, American Made, real wood furniture
you are considering then the next week is the best time to buy and save up to
20% (plus Free Shipping)! Our heirloom quality furniture features timeless
styling and sturdy construction which you can enjoy holiday after holiday with
your family for generations. Browse our online dining furniture gallery to see our
large selection of wood dining tables, dining chairs, sideboards, hutches and
buffets. Ordering now will ensure delivery before Thanksgiving and allow you
time to enjoy it before the crowds arrive!
January 10th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Many thanks to Dave and Judy Allard of Lyndon Furniture for their newly re-vamped Vermont furniture blog and all of the rich detail within it regarding the outstanding craftsmanship at Lyndon. One of my favorite posts is the Farmer's Prayer which, I think still portrays the way of life many Vermonter's have managed to preserve:
May every blessing known in life, crown this homestead and my wife, and never any kind of harm descend upon this growing farm.
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture, we tip our hat in gratitude to all of Vermont's great farmers and their comrades who operate small farms across America. They are the unsung heros of today's society.