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.
It's been well over a year now since we began our search for a new home for Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Our amazing realtor, Suzanne King of Masiello Realty in Brattleboro VT has been incredibly patient and helpful. She's showed us dozens of possible properties and lived through the whole disappointing saga of Skyline, a property we fell in love with last year which did not work out for us.
Now we're working on acquiring Stonehurst, a beautiful old farmhouse property located right here in Vernon VT (that's just part of the backyard shown on the left. Here's a photo of the main house). It's on 109 acres of forested land with scenic views all the way down to the Connecticut River. It used to be a ski area, Pine Top.
Our plan is to do a green renovation of the property and transform it into a luxury, destination shopping experience for customers seeking Vermont's handcrafted, sustainable furniture. What do you think? Is this the kind of place you'd be interested in if you were shopping for fine wood furniture? Let me know in the comments section below or on our Facebook.
Earth Week seems like a good time to roll out Copeland Furniture's new collection of high end, eco-friendly solid wood dining chairs.
This one is Copeland's ultra minimalist (that's an oxymoron, isn't it?) Catalina Estelle chair in solid walnut wood. It brings you back to that mid century modern style of the 1950's with it's clean, simple lines and retro design.
All of Copeland's furniture is made right here in Vermont from sustainably harvested wood. Many Copeland items are available in FSC green-certified wood. You can read more about Copeland's green furniture and the many prestigious awards they have won for sustainability on our website.
Stay tuned for the roll out of additional brand new Copeland dining furniture pieces in the coming weeks. If you're looking for authentic green luxury you can't overlook Copeland. And their furniture is 100% American made. As we see all the big furniture companies talking about bringing their operations back to the USA from Asia due to global economics, it's good to know about Copeland Furniture– one of the few American furniture makers that stayed in the USA remaining true to their values of quality, sustainability and community throughout the mass exodus to China.
Remember when you used to clean up your bedroom by hiding everything under the bed? Well now you can do that in style! Luxury solid wood platform beds with underbed storage drawers are best sellers at Vermont Woods Studios this year.
Metropolitan apartment dwellers trying to make the most of furniture for small spaces are finding that underbed storage drawers can elegantly replace the need for chests, dressers and armoires.
Storage beds can also provide space for shoes, seasonal clothing, blankets and linens. This one is the Harbor Island Platform Storage Bed and it's shown here in solid natural maple wood, although you can customize it online with dark wood colors too.
The matching nightstand is designed to let you pull out the storage drawers easily. There's another Harbor Island nightstand with a drawer if you prefer, but you'll have to move it aside to open the storage drawers.
All of our storage beds are 100% made in America (right here in Vermont actually) of sustainably harvested wood with family-friendly non-toxic finishes. Check them out!
Over the last 30 years, almost all the big American furniture manufacturers (including La-Z-Boy, Vaughan-Bassett, Broyhill, Drexel Heritage, Henredon, Hickory Chair, Lane, Thomasville, Ethan Allen and so on) have moved their operations overseas to China, Vietnam and other third world countries. The result has been cheaper prices, lower quality and the emergence of what we call "curbside furniture".
But there are still many companies that make high quality fine furniture right here in the USA and Vermont has more than it's share of them. That's why we call Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America. Throughout the off-shoring movement, only one Vermont furniture company I know of moved it's operations overseas. The rest stayed here in Vermont remaining true to their values of quality, integrity, sustainability and community.
We've profiled a number of these great American furniture makers including Vermont companies like Copeland Furniture and Lyndon Furniture as well as many small, custom, fine furniture makers including Steve Holman, Dan Mosheim, Chad Woodruff and Greg Goodman.
Today I wanted to highlight the work of Kit Clark, a consumate craftsman who specializes in luxury custom rocking chairs. "Furniture that fits you" is Kit's mantra and he makes custom rockers much like a tailor would make a custom suit. Each rocker is designed specifically to fit its owner. Kit studies a customer's posture, records their measurements and interviews them to understand any subtleties that could be used to enhance the comfort of their rocker. Then he goes back to the shop and eventually emerges with masterpiece in hand. Stop by Kit's shop in Ferrisburgh, VT if you get a chance. I can't think of a more luxurious Made in America Christmas present than a Kit Clark Rocker.
“Whether people are fully conscious of this or not, they actually derive countenance and sustenance from the ‘atmosphere’ of the things they live in or with. They are rooted in them just as a plant is in the soil in which is planted.”
-Frank Lloyd Wright
Showcasing the grandeur of America's best prairie-style architecture, Copeland's Frank Lloyd Wright® Furniture reflects Wright's love of nature and the timeless beauty of his artistry.
Each piece of this high end collection is based on an original that was (and still is) seen in Wright’s Prairie Houses. Copeland starts with Wright’s designs, solid hardwoods, and superior upholstery; then employs traditional craftsmanship and state-of the-art technology to create these authentic, signed and numbered, heirloom- quality pieces for your home.
If you're all about natural, organic purity in your luxury home furniture, you can't help but fall in love with this classic collection. The pieces have a certain gravitas that's compelling in even the most posh, luxurious setting. Or as Wright put it,
“It opens, we enter, and an atmosphere of quiet strength and well-ordered repose envelops us, refreshes us, and gives us confidence in the personality of the “owners,” assures us of depth, warmth, and simplicity.”
By Guest Blogger: Erik Braunitzer
Furniture makers like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture are doing their part to improve their carbon footprint. Extensive documentation on their website or even a quick phone conversation with Rebecca or Shannon puts families at ease knowing the company is serious about their environmental, health and safety mission.
But simply seeing furniture in a store with a green stamp of certification label isn't always helpful when you're not familiar with the background of the stamp. So it’s important that we realize just how green furniture is made, along with the environmentally friendly materials that are used.
Furniture companies using wood and recycled materials generally have the smallest carbon footprint. Other materials would include concrete, plastic, aluminum, brick, glass, fiberglass and more. Now it’s been said that there isn’t one individual item or sustainable material, but a handful that share sustainable characteristics, including recyclables.
Furniture can also include the following:
· Paint Strippers
· Particle Board
Many of these substances are classified as volatile chemicals. Furniture made with these volatile chemicals can result in offgassing, which is evaporation at normal atmospheric pressure. Offgassing can be reduced or eliminated altogether by using stains, finishes or paints that are non toxic such as those made by Vermont Natural Coatings and AFM Safecoat.
Transportation is another part of the carbon footprint for furniture, as wood and other materials have to be extracted from the environment, shipped to distributors, transported to furniture makers, then sent off to the retail store and customers. The sustainability of a particular piece of furniture is dependent upon a couple of factors including:
· Durability– The longer the piece of furniture, the more sustainable it becomes.
· How it’s useful– Multifunctional furniture saves money and yields greater sustainability.
Learning where to buy this type of furniture can be quite a daunting task, as it’s not always portrayed clearly exactly what materials are used, and the percentage of each. In order to fully lead a responsible lifestyle, we should understand just how to look for green furniture. Here are a few tips:
Look for Sustainably Harvested Wood – Translates to the sustainability of ecosystems and natural forests.
Avoid Tropical Woods Like Mahogany and Teak - these woods are often illegally clearcut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
Ensure FSC Certification – for tropical woods, if no substitution can be made
Reclaimed Wood Furniture (RWF) – More or less, RWF is a recycled piece of furniture.
Non-Toxic Finishes – Keep your air clean and help protect your children from health issues.
Buy locally – Locally purchased items are always more sustainable as transportation costs are cut.
Clearly, Furniture making using sustainable materials is very important to the health of the overall environment. Similarly, it reduces waste and influences the vintage market. By following a few simple rules and clearly understanding how green furniture is made, you can make a difference in improving your carbon footprint. Next time you’re in the market for a table or chair, be sure to inquire about sustainable practices before purchasing.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York Luxury Rentals.
As we close in on the first phase of adding new luxury patio furniture to our online store, customers are often surprised to learn that these outdoor pieces are not made of real wood. Naturally we wanted to look for a real wood product when we decided to start carrying outdoor patio furniture.
But, while there are weather resistant species such as cedar, teak, and redwood that make fine outdoor furniture, we still worried about the longevity of the furniture, maintenance, and forest conservation.
We made the choice to go with a luxury line of recycled plastic lumber (or poly wood) furniture in place of real wood due to several environmental advantages:
- It reduces the amount of plastic going in our landfills by diverting plastic containers into recycle
- Because polywood is so durable, this furniture will last for many years, unlike much outdoor furniture that goes to the landfill in 5 years or less (in fact, we back our polywood furniture with a lifetime guarantee).
- Polywood furniture reduces the demand on tropical rain forests which are the source for teak, mahogany, eucalyptus and ipe outdoor furniture
- Polywood doesn't require maintenance other than the occasional cleaning with soap and water, resulting in a reduced demand for harsh cleaning chemicals.
But, eco-friendliness aside, we also think our luxury polywood furniture is some of the most beautiful and well-designed furniture available anywhere. Have a look and tell us what you think!
What are you planning for Valentine's Day? No–you can't count on the recession for an excuse to lapse or forget. Here's a link to World Wildlife Fund's FREE Valentine's email cards to help you out in recognizing all the special green people in your life.
And for those on a more generous budget,you can still surprise the love of your
life with the gift of our ultra luxury Heart-Shaped Valentines Chairs handcrafted by Steve Holman.
This figured maple chair with velvety red upholstery can be
customized to include your names, date or other creative personal touches. Like
your enduring devotion, these heirloom chairs will be around forever – or at
least for generations!