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Speaking of organic, did you know that Vermont is also famous for it's organic furniture?  Last count there were some 2000 small wood furniture makers scattered across Vermont.  Although the styles and methods of craftsmanship are quite varied, these furniture makers have in common a deep respect for the forest where their wood furniture originates.

 

I haven't been able to find a definition for organic furniture yet but I do think Vermont would logically be the place to start.  Vermont woodworkers have a long history of sustainable woodworking, sourcing their wood from our local forests abundant in native hardwoods like maple, oak, ash, cherry and birch.  And we avoid the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in Vermont's sustainable forests, relying instead on Mother Nature to regenerate after careful selective harvesting.

When it comes to applying a finish to Vermont's furniture, you'll be hard-pressed to find harsh chemicals with high levels of VOCs or formaldehyde.  Instead furniture makers use natural linseed oil finishes, clear non-toxic lacquers and even a natural coating made from whey (a recycled byproduct of our dairy industry).

Yesterday I wrote about organic food in terms of where it comes from and how it's grown.  The organic food movement has been around for over a century but has picked up more steam in the last 20 years as people become more aware of where their food comes from.  I think the next step for the organic movement is into the world of organic furniture.  And Vermont will lead the way.

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.

 

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Naturally, as wood furniture makers, we at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture have to be concerned about forest conservation.  It's the foundation of our company's viability.

Although our Green Mountain Forests in Vermont are healthy and sustainable we know that, from a global perspective deforestation is the Number 1 environmental problem on our planet today.  Deforestation is a huge contributor to global warming, climate change, air pollution (carbon and other emissions from slash and burn practices), habitat loss, biodiversity loss, pollution of marine habitats (due to run-off from pesticides and fertilizers used to transform diverse forests into mono-cultured plantations) and more.

So at Vermont Woods Studios, we are working with The Nature Conservancy in support of their Plant A Billion Trees project.  We plant one tree for every order we fulfill and we support many non-profits dedicated to forest conservation.

We appreciate your concern for the environment.  When you buy wood furniture from us, you can rest assured that the forest where your furniture began it's life, will still be around for generations to come.  As will your furniture!

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.

 

natural cherry wood color
Our Contemporary Craftsman bed that has darkened over time to a rich golden red.

Big box furniture stores have tricked us into thinking natural cherry wood is a different color-we’re here to set the record straight.

I was working with one of our Vermont Woods Studios customers yesterday who was looking for a natural cherry bed to match existing cherry furniture in his bedroom.  He’s had the existing furniture for about 10 years and now it’s a lovely, rich reddish brown color.

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Our Cherry Moon Bedroom set is a nice rich reddish brown tone from being exposed to light over time.

The problem is that natural cherry starts out a much lighter wood, usually with a color similar to this Cherry Moon Bed and it takes time to darken as it is exposed to light.  The length of time to go from this light color to the darker color above varies with the amount of light in the room and can take anywhere from a few months to a number of years.  Most customers, however report that their furniture darkens within 6-12 months.

natural cherry wood color
Our Raised Panel Carriage Bed in natural cherry wood. You can see on the footboard one panel slightly lighter than the others to show the variation in tone of natural cherry wood.

Customers often ask if there is a way to speed up the process and the consensus among our craftspeople is that the best solution is just to expose the furniture to as much light as possible. Adding a dark stain is also a possibility but woodworkers always plead with us to have patience and wait it out instead.  For most customers, the result truly is worth waiting for, especially since our furniture is purchased for a lifetime of use. Check out more photos of our natural cherry furniture in the Cherry Moon Collection, Vermont-Made Shaker Collection and throughout our website.

natural cherry wood

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.

Sustainable-furnitureKendall posted a new webpage the other day on the link between your furniture, rainforest conservation and a greener, more sustainable world. It's why we do what we do at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Wood Furniture.

 

Sometimes I feel like a nutcase– living in Vermont and talking about rainforest conservation all the time.  But I can't help it.  It's one of the Top 3 environmental problems of our time, yet few people seem to know about it.

 

Check out these rainforest facts and let me know if you too see this as a matter of great urgency.

 

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  1. 1.5 acres of rainforest are lost every second (that equates to 50 million acres a year: an area the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined)

  2. 54 of the world's 193 countries have lost 90 percent or more of their forest cover. Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth's land surface now cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years.
  3. Nearly half of the world's species of plants, animals and microorganisms will be destroyed or severely threatened over the next 25 years due to rainforest deforestation.
  4. We are losing approximately 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year.
  5. As the rainforest species disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. Currently, 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide come from plant-derived sources. While 25% of Western pharmaceuticals are derived from rainforest ingredients, less that 1% of these tropical trees and plants have been tested by scientists.
  6. Most rainforests are cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires for its timber value and then are followed by farming and ranching operations
  7. There were an estimated ten million Indians living in the Amazonian Rainforest five centuries ago. Today there are less than 200,000.
  8. In Brazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 1900's. With them have gone centuries of accumulated knowledge of the medicinal value of rainforest species. As their homelands continue to be destroyed by deforestation, rainforest peoples are also disappearing.
  9. In Indonesia, the current aggressive rate of logging could eradicate native forests within only 10 years. Unlike our temperate forests in Vermont for example, rainforests do not regenerate after they are destroyed. Once gone, they are gone forever and along with them the wonderful diversity of plants and wildlife that inhabit them.

If you've managed to read this far, you rock! Leave a comment below or check in with us now and then on Facebook to see what we're doing to to help replant the rainforest with our Plant a Billion Trees project.  Join us and together we can make a difference!

 

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.

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“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

 We are delighted to announce our newest addition to Vermont Woods Studios online Furniture Store and that's Copeland Furniture's ultra-luxury Frank Lloyd Wright® Collection

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Barrel-Chair-Copeland-Frank-Lloyd-WrightEach 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.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

 

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.