(Black Friday Sale runs Nov. 21-Nov. 28 2015)

Vermont Woods Studios is having an extended Black Friday Furniture Sale!

Ever wonder how Black Friday started? As someone who has never really participated in this massive day of shopping, I was curious this year to find out how it all began and how it got to be so big.

We all know how Thanksgiving started-Pilgrims and Native Americans came together in Plymouth, MA to celebrate a successful harvest after the harsh winters had claimed many of the unprepared colonial settlers lives. It wasn’t until 1863 and the end of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday.

(Photo Credit: The Smithsonian)

If we flash forward to 1939, we learn that after being petitioned, President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress declared Thanksgiving be held on the fourth Thursday in November. This move would ensure shoppers and retailers a longer holiday shopping season.

The term “Black Friday” originates from the actions of two infamous and vilified “robber barons” Jay Gould and James Fisk, who in 1869 are credited with the gold market crash. From there, we have two explanations for the term. The first being that police officers in Philadelphia coined the term from all the smog and congestion shoppers created and the second being that during the holiday season, retailers operated at a profit known as “being in the black.” It wasn’t until the 1990s though that Black Friday became a nationwide term.

As the years have progressed, the day has clearly become the mark of the commercial holiday season, with many retailers even opening their doors on Thanksgiving to get an edge on their competition. While we here at Vermont Woods Studios will be enjoying stuffed turkey and mashed potatoes with our family and friends on Thanksgiving, we will be hosting a Black Friday Sale from Saturday, November 21st through Saturday, November 28th.

During that time you will be able to save 20% off hundreds of our high quality, solid wood furniture pieces.We have a large selection of Bedroom, Living Room, Dining Room  and Home Office furniture that is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak or Walnut woods. All of our furniture is handmade by local Vermont Craftsmen and is customized to fit your space and needs. Plus, you’ll receive a lifetime guarantee!

(Simon Pearce and JK Adams home decor pieces easily and effortlessly enhance any space)

Shop our fine wood furniture easily and conveniently from our online store or visit our showroom in Vernon, Vermont. If you prefer to call and talk with one our team members, you can contact us at 888-390-5571. Our team is always here to help you with any questions you may have about our wood furniture or to place an order over the phone.

This holiday season, while enjoying time with your family and friends and giving thanks, we encourage you to support local businesses and American made products.

*Sale excludes Copeland, POLYWOOD, Artisan, Barnwood, Custom, Clearance, In-stock and home decor items

*$1,000 minimum order to qualify for sale prices



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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.

Shaker Desk and Bookcase
Modern Shaker 2-Glass Door Bookcase and Campaign Desk both in Walnut)

Use Bookcases to Showcase More Than Just Your Encyclopedia Collection!

One of the things I love about visiting other people’s homes is seeing what statement they’re making about their personality. Are they sentimental, creative or conservative? Do they like to display a lot of personal items or keep things more uniform? The spaces I enjoy the most are the ones that tell a unique story. From the layout, color and material of the furniture to the number of pictures hanging on the wall, you want your space to represent you.

I like to think of a design space with the same mindset I think of my wardrobe. I dress a certain way to portray an image that is representative of my personality.

As Coco Chanel said, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

That saying is true when you’re decorating your home, too. We’ve all been to one of those houses where you walk in and you’re instantly overwhelmed because it’s covered head-to-toe with “stuff”. To avoid doing that (or simply over decorating) you can focus your collection of home goods and keepsakes to designated areas.

Instead of using up precious table and counter space, a unique way to showcase your collectibles is with a bookcase. It’s also a nice way to break up your space and can compliment your other furniture. We have a variety of beautiful, handcrafted bookcases, filing cabinets and occasional tables and during our Home Office & Living Room Furniture Sale*, the time has never been better to shop and save.

I’ve included a sampling of bookcases from our collection to highlight the different ways you can furnish your space to tell your story.

Cherry Moon Bookcase in Cherry

Cherry Moon Bookcase- This bookcase with its open display, is great for both organizing and showcasing keepsakes and artwork. It features the signature Cherry Moon reverse tapered legs and gentle arching curve on the bottom. It is available in a variety of heights and adjustable shelf options and can be made in Cherry, Maple and Walnut woods.

Custom Shaker Bookcase with Full Glass Doors in Cherry

Custom Shaker Bookcase Full Glass Doors- If your keepsakes and artifacts are a bit more fragile, this may be the bookcase for you. The double, glass panel doors protect your collection while allowing you and your guests to admire the display. This piece is customized to fit any space and features adjustable shelf options. It is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut woods with a variety of Finishes.

Solid Wood Bookcase with Panel Doors

Solid Wood Bookcase with Panel Doors-This versatile bookcase allows you to display artwork, books and keepsakes as well as serve as a storage space, featuring panel doors on the bottom third of the unit. Show what you want and hide what you don’t! This case is customizable to fit for your space and has adjustable shelf options. It is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut woods with a variety of Finishes.

Ladder Style Bookcase in Cherry

Ladder Style Bookcase- If you’re going for a modern minimalist style, this may be the piece for you. This bookcase offers 5 hand-crafted shelves in an open design allowing you to display your books, artwork and collectables. In addition to the standard case size, this piece can be customized and is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut woods.

If you’re not sure where to start or what your looking for, use the wardrobe analogy: When I’m looking to refresh my wardrobe, I often pick a theme or style as a starting point, do the same for your space. Is it organization that you’re in need of, protection for fragile artifacts or storage space? Once you’ve determined your need, pick a bookcase or cabinet and go from there.

Our friendly team is always available for any questions you may have about our solid wood furniture, contact us toll free at 888-390-5571. Shop for your living room and office furniture securely and conveniently from our online store, order by phone or stop into our Vernon, VT Showroom.

*$1,000 minimum order to qualify for sale prices

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.

Maple and Walnut Wood Furniture | 2 Tone Combinations
This modern 2 tone combination of walnut and maple wood furniture is offered in the SoHo collection.  Made by Copeland Furniture, SoHo provides many options for customizing the combination of light maple and dark walnut wood tones.

Maple furniture is making a comeback!  For many years, cherry has been our customers’ favorite hardwood but in 2015 we’re seeing that maple wood is giving cherry a run for the money.  This is a welcome trend for those of us in the Vermont forestry community since maple is a hardwood that grows extremely well in the Green Mountain state (indeed maple is the Vermont state tree).  It’s sustainably harvested nearby, making it a great choice for eco-friendly furniture.

Although maple furniture is beautiful on it’s own, many customers are dressing it up with walnut or cherry wood accents.  One example of this design is in Copeland Furniture’s Modern SoHo bedroom furniture collection.  The picture above shows SoHo in maple and walnut wood but it is made to order and can also be customized in all maple wood.

Maple Furniture with Walnut Wood Accents
This Classic Shaker huntboard was customized in light maple wood with a dark walnut top and walnut drawer pulls.  Thanks to Margot G in Knoxville, TN for sending us her photo!

Nearly all of our furniture at Vermont Woods Studios can be customized in maple wood, regardless of the wood it’s shown in on our website.  This photo was sent to us by Margot G in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Margo created her own unique version of our Classic Shaker Hunt Board by choosing maple wood (rather than cherry) and accenting it with a walnut top and walnut drawer pulls.  It’s beautiful, don’t you think?

Astrid furniture is made in Vermont by Copeland Furniture
Astrid modern bedroom furniture is available in maple wood (as shown) as well as cherry and walnut.  It’s hand made in Vermont by Copeland Furniture.

Another example of modern maple furniture is the Astrid bedroom furniture collection (shown above).  Astrid is dramatic and sophisticated.  It’s been a favorite of contemporary urban dwellers from Manhattan to Los Angeles.

Check out our website for more examples of modern maple furniture.  Use the drop-down menus to customize your wood choices online.  If you don’t see exactly what you want, give us a call and we’ll talk about further customization.  It’s more affordable than you might think.

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.

Astrid Bedroom Set | Solid Wood Furniture | Black Walnut | American Made in VT
This top quality solid wood furniture set is handmade of real solid American black walnut wood.  To get the best price, shop for Astrid bedroom furniture as a set and save on white glove shipping and delivery.

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 (,

”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:

Is This Real Solid Wood Furniture or Veneered?

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.

Is this Furniture Made Of Hardwood of Softwood?

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.

Is the Craftsmanship Top Quality?

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.

Is This American Made or Imported Furniture?

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.

Am I Getting The Best Value and Price?

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.

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.

Today’s post is Part II of our Hardwood Furniture Buyers Guide.

Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Hardwood furniture finishes: oil, wax, lacquer or poly?
Which fine hardwood furniture finish is right for you: oil, wax, lacquer or poly (hint: got kids?  Go for the lacquer or poly)?  This cherry wood dining table is finished with a blend of hand rubbed linseed oil and Poly gel.

Waxes and oils, such as beeswax or mineral oil are often used as hardwood furniture finishes because they sink into the fibers and condition the wood. These finishes bring out the grain of the wood and create a soft, supple surface but they need to be reapplied periodically. Alternatively, lacquer, shellac, varnish, poly and other non-porous coatings may be applied just once, creating a water proof coating that is almost maintenance free.

Which is best for you?  Well if you have young children you many not have time to be oiling furniture, so lacquer may be your best bet.  On the other hand, if you adore the feel of a well-oiled natural wood surface and you don’t mind taking the time to re-oil periodically, go for the oil and wax.

Care of Fine Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Fine hardwood furniture is an investment that should increase in value over time, however that depends on how well you care for it (particularly for furniture with an oil or wax finish). If you follow the furniture maker’s instructions your wood furniture should last a lifetime and more!

Oil Finish on Quality Hardwood Furniture
This Cherry Moon Nightstand is made with cherry hardwood and finished with natural linseed oil. To keep the wood soft and supple, it is smart to re-oil it 1/month during the first year.

Protect Against Water and Humidity

Wood is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and in the moisture content of the wood in your furniture. Fine hardwood furniture that’s coated with lacquer or poly is sealed and protected from the occasional water spill.  More about care for wood furniture with a lacquer finish.

Replenish Oil and Wax Finishes Periodically

Oil and wax finishes must be replenished frequently during the first year. A rule of thumb is: clean and oil your wood furniture immediately upon delivery into you home. After that oil it once/week for the first month. Then oil 1/month for the first year. After that oil your furniture 1/year. This will result in a soft supple patina that will not only protect your furniture but add to it’s beauty and value over time. More about care for wood furniture with an oil-wax finish.

Construction Details in Fine Hardwood Furniture


Mortise and tenon joinery illustration
Mortise and tenon joinery is often used to attach side pieces to corner pieces and legs.

Joinery speaks clearly about the craftsmanship of a piece. Be sure to inspect corners and drawers to see how they’re crafted and look for these robust and durable joints:

Mortise-and-Tenon Joint

Mortise-and-tenon joint are often used in armoires, dressers, chests, cabinets, tables, chairs, desks and bookcases. The tenon (projecting piece) on a board is inserted into the mortise (cavity) on another board, then glued. An M-T joint may be further secured with a peg inserted through both pieces.

Dovetail Joint

The dovetail joint is typically used in drawer construction. Wedge-shaped projections on one piece interlock with corresponding slots on another.

Hardwood furniture construction details
Dovetail joints are shown attaching drawer fronts to the sides of the drawers (middle photos). Quality hardwood furniture also employs sturdy hinges and finished backs on case goods.

Use of Veneers

Veneers have taken a bad rap over the past several decades because much of the cheap, imported furniture sold in big box stores is made with low quality plywood or fiber board, then covered with a thin wooden veneer. Although solid wood construction is often preferred by those seeking high quality hardwood furniture, there are certain furniture designs that require veneers, for example sleigh beds that have curved wooden panels.

Why Hardwood versus Softwood Furniture?

In the world of trees and lumber, hardwood is relatively rare. About 80% of all timber comes from softwoods like pine, hemlock, cedar, and spruce. Only 20% of our timber is from hardwood trees like cherry, maple, oak, walnut, mahogany, teak and beech. As such, hardwood is relatively rare and expensive so why choose it over softwood? Generally speaking hardwood is more dense than softwood and has a tighter grain making it more resistant to decay. The density also makes hardwood more difficult for craftspeople to work with, but the beauty of the grain and the patina that develops over time makes solid hardwood furniture a prized possession.

If you’re in the market for high quality furniture, what’s your favorite wood? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.



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.