Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture


Recycled Plastic Makes Durable, All Weather Outdoor Furniture

April 26th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Recycled-plastic-teak Isn't it ironic that most things made of plastic are used only once and then thrown into the trash, although plastic itself is a material that lasts forever– that the Earth simply cannot digest?  In fact, scientists tell us that every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists, except the small amount that has been incinerated (which has become toxic air pollution).

It's probably not realistic to think we can eliminate single use plastics, like grocery bags and water, milk and soda bottles so perhaps the next best thing is to recycle them.  Can you believe this high end outdoor furniture that looks like teak wood, is actually recycled plastic?




Plastic-adirondack-chairsSo are these colorful, high quality Adirondack chairs.  They're made of 90-100% recycled milk jugs, while the faux teak furniture above is made from recycled plastic grocery bags.  I think they're beautiful and comfy, but the coolest thing is that they last forever.  Of course– they're plastic.  The recycled plastic is made into faux lumber that has about the same weight and strength as teak wood.  A typical chair weighs 40-60 pounds and offers unparalleled resistance to weather, mold, mildew, salt and insects.  No big surprise– have you ever seen a plastic water bottle that's been corroded or eaten by bugs?

We even give this all weather patio furniture a lifetime guarantee which is pretty much unheard of for outdoor furniture.  Check them out on our Vermont Woods Studios website, see what you think and let me know.  




Plastique Outdoor Patio Furniture: Faux Teak That’s Better Than the Real Thing

March 26th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Teak We've been carrying our new line of polywood recycled plastic outdoor patio furniture for a couple months now. We've got a lot of different colors and styles but the one that's charging ahead faster than all the others is Plastique. 

Do you like teak furniture?  I love it.  I think we've been trained by the furniture industry to see teak as the quintessential luxury outdoor furniture choice.  But it's popularity has come at a price:  the destruction of much rainforest land (and indigenous species) all around the tropics.

Our faux teak (aka Plastique) furniture is designed to look just like teak, but it's made from recycled plastic bags.  How cool is that?  A win-win.  Customers are not just helping to save the rainforest, they're taking waste out of the waste stream and keeping it out of our landfills.


But we learned long ago that we have to first get the style, quality and price right before we can talk to customers about the environmental benefits of our furniture.  The quality of our outdoor furniture is commensurate with that of our indoor furniture– about as high as you will find anywhere.

With style, we're starting with this modern look which seems to be very popular.  Do you like it?  Right now only our modern outdoor lines are available in Plastique but I'd like to be able to offer faux teak in all of our outdoor furniture styles soon.

Now price.  It's high, there's no way around that.  It's about the same as real teak furniture.  But Plastique is something you will never have to replace.  We are so certain of this, we give it a lifetime guarantee and I've never seen anyone do that for outdoor furniture, have you?



Faux-teak-sampleIf you're interested in teak furniture, give Rebecca a call and she'll send you a free PlasTeak sample.  You'll be amazed.  I've never seen a faux wood this good.  It really looks and feels like teak. 

But unlike real teak, PlasTeak doesn't rot, chip or degrade from sun, sand, wind, salt spray– or anything else I know of.  It's easy to clean (just use a hose or power washer) and like the plastic bags it comes from, it will take about a million years to degrade.  That's probably going to be long enough for most of us.

If you have PlasTeak furniture, please comment and let us know how you like it.  Thanks!


Kids Furniture: Health and Safety Considerations

March 14th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh



Traditionally, we've only sold Vermont-made, solid wood furniture at Vermont Wood Studios.  But when customers asked us to carry a Kids Furniture Collection, we decided to research an innovative new recycled plastic furniture called "polywood". 

After evaluating many different lines of children's furniture lines, we settled on polywood because we liked the environmental aspect (taking plastic out of the waste stream), but even more– we were sold on the excellent safety rating, strong and sturdy design and the non-toxic nature of the furniture.  

Kids have special needs and vulnerabilities and we feel polywood addresses them better than all the other alternatives. Most children’s furniture found in American stores today is imported from overseas where there is little regulation of health, safety and toxicity.  That’s why we see product recalls for things like toxic lead and cadmium levels in paint finishes and failure of cheap moving parts.  





At Vermont Woods Studios we wanted to carry an American made collection of kids indoor-outdoor furniture that would exceed US health and safety regulations.  Our Poly Wood Kids Furniture Collection has several advantages other than health and safety:  it is well-designed, sturdy, colorful, weatherproof, maintenance-free and stylish. Polywood Childrens’ Adirondack chairs and picnic tables can be customized online in a variety of 12 vibrant colors and carry a lifetime guarantee as well as a low-price guarantee.  Check them out and let us know what you think!


More about health and safety considerations with children's furniture and toys.


Outdoor Furniture, Made in America – Think Spring, Summer, Vacations – Anything But Winter

March 7th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

A warm* rain has finally come to Vermont to wash away some of the 4 feet of snow that's been piled in my front yard for the longest time.  I can't remember ever having such a snowy Febuary… and it was great fun for awhile. 

But now I'm ready for Spring, and leafing through the photos of our new line of poly wood outdoor patio furniture is lifting my spirits.  Manjula and Dennis are finishing putting the final touches on the outdoor furniture section of our website even as customers start receiving our first deliveries of Polywood chairs, tables and chaises.

Polywood furniture is 100% made in America and we are the only company I know of that offers a lifetime guarantee on it. 

Besides the fact that it's made out of recycled plastic, I love the aspect that we no longer have to clear-cut the rainforest for tropical woods like teak and mahogany that were once the only real choice for durable outdoor furniture.   It's a win-win:  we're taking waste out of the waste stream and we're conserving forestlands at the same time.  Not to mention the fact that it's beautiful and durable.

Check out this very cool outdoor patio furniture today.  Even if you're not shopping, just looking at the pictures will help lift you out of the winter doldrums… and make you start to Think Spring.  Or summer.  Or maybe even a tropical vacation…



*In Vermont, at this time of year we can define "warm" as anything above 32F  :)


Kids Furniture: Pint Size Picnic Tables and Adirondack Chairs

February 23rd, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Kids-furniture As a kid I remember asking Santa for my own pint-size kitchen set every year.  I wanted a colorful little table with matching chairs and a sink, cupboards and oven.  Guess what he brought me instead?  An Easy Bake.  Remember those?

Anyway, I've gotten over it since ;)) but if I was 2 or 3 feet tall now, I do think it would be very cool to have one of these polywood kids Adirondack chairs or children's picnic tables or kid's dining tables.

They're made of recycled poly wood plastic.  They're easy to clean,  require no special maintenance and even have a lifetime guarantee and a low price guarantee.  Best part– they come in 12 bright colors: blue, teak, tangerine, red, sand, mahogany, lime, lemon yellow, green, black, aruba blue or white. What kid wouldn't want one?


Our New Luxury Patio Furniture: It’s Eco Friendly Too

February 21st, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Luxury-outdoor-furniture 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!


Snowpocalypse, SnowZilla, Snowlapaloosa…

February 2nd, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

OK, I've lived in Vernon Vermont almost 15 years and I can't remember ever getting so much snow in such a short amount of time.  I'm the only one in the office at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture today as my commute is pretty short. 

Riley just got in from snowblowing– he said there was an additional 8 inches of snow  on top of the 7 or 8 inches we plowed out of yesterday.  Annette, our local weather-woman says not to put the snow blower away.  There's more coming… so I decided to spend my day working on getting our new line of summer outdoor furniture up on the website.  Snow-weary Northerners: check out the pictures– they'll make you feel better.



Eco Friendly Outdoor Furniture Coming to Vermont Woods Studios

January 7th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh

Vt-patio-furniture For five years our customers have been asking us to offer eco-friendly outdoor furniture that meets the same high quality standards that our handcrafted, Vermont made indoor furniture does.  I'm sorry for the delay… we weren't ignoring you.  We just had a lot of research and soul searching to do.

The issue with outdoor furniture is that the really high quality, solid wood furniture we were considering is of questionable origin.  Teak and mahogany are about the only types of wood that would meet our standards for weather resistance and longevity but they are both rainforest woods that are often harvested illegally and unsustainably.  Our company mission is founded on forest conservation principles and we've made the decision not to offer outdoor furniture made of rainforest woods.

Patio-furniture After researching all the alternatives we selected a wood-alternative material for our first outdoor furniture line.  It's called poly wood and is made of recycled beverage containers.  Instead of clear-cutting engandered rainforests to make our furniture, we're taking plastic out of the waste stream.  We see that as a WIN-WIN situation for the customer and the environment. 

Have a look at our new outdoor patio furniture collection as it comes online.  We're just starting the process of getting everything ready for the Spring season, but you can still get a good idea of what's to come.  Let me know what you think of poly wood and whether you would consider it for your outdoor patio, deck or garden.  It's not real wood, but it wears even better than wood– so well, that we're able to give it a lifetime guarantee just like our indoor furniture.  It's good stuff– check it out!