Natural cherry beds are our most popular item at Vermont Woods Studios so I guess it’s no surprise that our Best Seller last week was the Cherry Moon Bed. Actually this bed is a frequent flyer on the Best Seller list. I think that’s because it’s such a good example of what’s best about Vermont style furniture.
The Cherry Moon Bed is handmade in Montpelier of solid natural cherry wood. It has simple elegant lines like Vermont’s iconic Shaker furniture. But it’s refined curves and reverse-tapered legs add a modern Asian flair. The finish on this bed is a hand-rubbed natural oil that brings out the beauty of the cherrywood grain. If you re-oil the bed every year it develops a rich patina that gives it even more depth and character over time.
At Vermont Woods Studios you can always save 20% buying cherry beds or most any other furniture as a set. We save on shipping when we ship multiple pieces so we pass that on to our customers. Shop for discount sets on these pages:
If you don’t see the exact combination of furniture pieces you’re looking for in one of our sets, give Liz, Sean or Heather a call. They’ll take your order over the phone or in person and make sure you get the set discount if it’s available.
I just did a Google search for “cherry furniture” and above are the products that came up on Google’s sponsored ads. Guess how many of these pieces are actually made of real cherry wood? None. Hard to believe isn’t it? Not a single one of these pieces looks even remotely like cherry. I can’t figure out why furniture makers get it so wrong but the error is absolutely pervasive in the world of imported furniture. In fact, many times when customers come to us for real cherry furniture, they ask us to apply a dark stain to our natural cherry products to make them match their imported “cherry furniture” (Vermont furniture makers actually break down and cry when we ask them to stain cherry wood, by the way).
So I thought I’d post a couple photos so you can see what real, natural cherry wood furniture looks like. Below is our American Shaker Bedroom Furniture Collection. You can see that the wood color is much lighter than any of the imported fake cherry furniture shown above. Why is that?
Well, cherry wood actually changes color! It darkens with age. Below is of a brand new natural cherry wood bedroom set.
Quite a difference isn’t it? Both beds have the same coating– it’s a hand rubbed natural linseed oil finish. It’s the exposure to sunlight that darkens (or ripens) cherry and transforms it from a light color to a rich, dark reddish brown.
Another way to tell if your furniture is made of real organic cherry is to look for mineral deposits. These are small black flecks in the grain where tiny amounts of sap were stored by the tree. Mineral deposits (or pitch pockets) are natural and randomly occurring. They are part of what makes each cherry piece unique. Many times, imported furniture that’s called “cherry” is made with inferior woods that undergo a multi-step chemical process of bleaching, texturizing and staining in an attempt to achieve the classic ripened cherry color. Even if the color does come out close to real cherry, the wood will be absent of cherry’s characteristic mineral deposits– the telltale sign of a fake.
So which do you prefer? New cherry, ripened cherry or fake cherry? Let us know in the comments section below or weigh in on our Facebook.
Dennis took this picture of a black cherry tree on his property in New Hampshire. Our cherry wood furniture typically comes from PA though, which has soils and climate more ideally suited to growing black cherry trees.
Heather Barrett mentioned the other day that many customers are coming
to us by way of Google when they're searching for answers to questions
like "where does cherry wood come from"?
We source as much wood as we can locally, preferably right here in Vermont. Cherry wood
however isn't a big component of the Green Mountain Forest. There are a few
cherry trees here and there across Vermont, but Pennsylvania is really
the Cherry Capitol of the world and that's where we get most of our
cherry wood. It is arguably the finest cherry wood on earth and is
prized for its lovely red color, grain and luster.
Fortunately in 1995 the state of Pennsylvania had the foresight to protect and
preserve a great deal of their cherry wood resources. They committed to
maintaining the state forest system sustainably and began green
certifying it, by the Forest Stewardship Council, FSC.
FSC is considered
the gold standard in third party certifications of forests so we can be
confident that the forests providing our cherry wood will be around to
enjoy for many generations… just like our cherry wood furniture.
At Vermont Woods Studios, solid cherry furniture has always been our specialty. Although most of our craftspeople routinely work in walnut, maple and oak too, cherry continues to be the favorite wood among our customers. And many are specifically looking for all solid cherry wood, rather than cherry with veneers.
For those customers I thought it might be helpful to compile a current list of some of our most popular collections we offer in solid cherry wood.
Each of these collections is handmade here in VT with solid wood throughout (except the backs of some case goods*). Sometimes our photos show the furniture in walnut or maple, but you can use the drop down menus to select cherry wood. Details regarding how these furniture sets are built can be found on our Construction Details pages where you’ll find specifics on joinery, drawer slides, hardware options, premium wood selection, finishing methods, etc.
* The backs of case goods in some of these collections are made of furniture grade plywood. This choice is based on the stability of plywood, versus solid woods which expand and contract with varying humidity levels. There are many structural and design details involved in a craftsman’s decision to use solid wood versus plywood. Please check our Construction Details pages for specifics.