Typically Vermont furniture can be distinguished from other American made furniture or imported furniture by the extensive use of real, solid wood. American Black Cherry is the wood most often used in Vermont furniture although sugar maple, black walnut, oak and other local species are also popular.
At Vermont Woods Studios we represent woodworkers and fine furniture makers from all across the Green Mountain State so our furniture reflects a wide variety of styles, designs and crafting techniques. Some of our furniture makers work exclusively with all solid wood construction and others employ the use of veneers. So customers often ask us about the difference between the two techniques.
Honestly, with all of our handmade furniture, heirloom quality is the bottom line and that can be achieved using all solid wood construction or with the incorporation of premium quality, high end veneers.
Although Vermont is best known for our all solid wood construction, we have several craftsmen who prefer to incorporate high quality veneers into their designs. This is done when veneers are the best choice for a particular design, rather than simply the most economical choice. For instance, the curved back panel of the Copeland Catalina Bed must be a veneer because it would be structurally impossible to build it out of solids. Copeland's framed panels, that is panels surrounded on all four sides, are often made of high grade, veneered plywood because in these instances, a solid panel would have the potential to expand and break the frame apart during periods of high humidity.
Plywood is considerably stronger than solids of equal dimension and some furniture makers choose them for Case Backs and Drawer Bottoms for that reason. On each of our furniture product pages you will find a link to the construction details for that product. We urge you to read through the information presented and give us a call with your questions. For the furniture on our website, you will find that when veneers are used, they are the the best choice for the design.
After all this discussion about veneers however, I can say that most of our furniture is still designed and constructed with all real solid wood, sustainably harvested in Vermont or neighboring states. If this is an important feature for you, give us a all and let us know. We'll help you find the right handmade solid wood furniture for your home.
When I started Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture I was working out of my home office and seven years later I still spend a good part of my workday here. So I'm always interested to see what new furniture is coming out for home offices.
Copeland Furniture has recently brought out a couple new workstations: the Sarah Modular Corner Desk with Rolling File and Return and the Berkeley Desk w/ Organizer & Return shown here.
These solid wood workstations are designed in an "L" shape to fit in a corner space but they are modular and versatile so you can change them around as your needs change. I've seen the return desk used as a sofa table and it worked beautifully.
Check them out. A handmade, solid wood workstation in your office upgrades the whole experience of working at home.
Yesterday I wrote about Vermont's Lyndon Furniture, one of America's most admired green furniture companies– and one that has remained in America throughout the offshoring exodus of the last 40 years.
Lyndon's owner and founder, Dave Allard is shown here in Vermont's Green Mountain Forest with some of his hardwood creations.
We interviewed Dave yesterday to learn more about why Lyndon Furniture is considered one of America's greenest furniture companies and here's the second half of Dave's response:
Sustainably Harvested Hardwoods – Lyndon furniture is made with choice hardwoods such as natural Cherry, Maple, Oak, or Walnut which are harvested through sustainable forestry practices. The predominant method is Single Tree Selection where trained foresters select individual trees for harvesting. The cut logs are then removed with the least disruption to the surrounding environment. This method creates openings in the forest canopy allowing more precipitation, sunlight, and nutrients to reach the forest floor ensuring the health of other trees. Responsible forest management takes into consideration long term timber production, while addressing water quality, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, forest aesthetics and recreational opportunities. The same can’t always be said for Asian or Rainforest woods where responsible forest management practices often take a back seat to maximizing profits.
Green Furniture Finishes – Lyndon's furniture finishes and stains are all made in Vermont. Vermont has some of the strictest environmental laws in the country which coincide with our views and respect of nature. Consequently our finishes have far lower VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) and HAPs (Hazardous Air Pollutants) than current American industry standards, and far exceed the standards of imported products.
Sustainable Manufacturing – Lyndon Furniture has an extensive recycling program. We recycle paper, cardboard, metal and wood waste. Most materials (with the exception of the wood waste) are picked up by our local recycling center for proper material reintegration. Wood scrap is utilized as a biomass heating source (which has allowed Lyndon to drastically reduce oil usage) while sawdust is used by local farms for animal bedding. We have also made significant investments in energy efficiency to reduce our costs, and more importantly our carbon footprint.
At a time when it seems every furniture company is "going green" it's nice to know that Lyndon Furniture and their fellow Vermont furniture makers actually have a history of using green practices from the start.
We've been carrying the entire line of Vermont made Copeland furniture for several months now. Although the new, modern mid-century styles are very popular, especially with families in metropolitan areas, it was the traditional, Shaker Style Sarah Bedroom Collection that weighed in as this week's best selling furniture.
This 100% American made furniture is handcrafted right here in Vermont and features clean Shaker style lines and balanced proportions. The beds are handmade of solid natural cherry hardwood.
The bed shown here is a romantic raised panel sleigh bed but the Sarah collection also includes a Shaker-style spindle bed and a number of variations of the two, with choice of low and high footboards. You can customize everything online, including the wood which comes in 11 finish options. There's even a custom two-tone variation of solid maple and cherry wood bedroom furniture that's getting popular.
The Sarah set offers matching cases too: dressers, chests, lingerie chest, armoire and night stands. Check them out today along with the Top Ten Reasons To Buy Copeland Furniture From Vermont Woods Studios. Why wait?
The pieces are made in a small workshop in Burlington, VT by a team of about 10 craftsmen.
Each piece is made to order with sustainably harvested solid wood and finished with a hand-rubbed natural oil finish. The TV-Media center shown is made of American Black Walnut wood, which is the only North American wood with a dark chocolate brown color. Two other American woods are also available: Black Cherry and Sugar Maple. The furniture can be customized online in your choice of wood or in 2-tone combinations of available woods. We can also customize the size so the furniture fits exactly into your space.
Many times customers come to us because they are looking for a natural organic, oil and wax finish like the one that's hand-rubbed into these pieces. It's a traditional finish that requires a lot of sanding, but the process really brings out the natural beauty of the wood. Craftsmen take special care in selecting and matching wood color and grain for these pieces, so what you get is truly an heirloom that will remain beautiful and useful for generations.
If you are thinking about this kind of organic, solid wood furniture, be sure to check out our furniture care instructions for natural oil finishes. An oil finish doesn't take a lot of time to maintain, but if you do oil it several times during the first year or so, you'll get a great return on your investment of time as it ages. There is nothing quite like natural wood furniture with an oil finish.
Do you find yourself eating dinner in front of the fireplace or TV more these days? One of the Top 10 Trends in Furniture for 2012 is the move towards large custom coffee tables. Why is that?
I know at my house, if the boys are home, we eat at the kitchen table. But if it's just Ken and me we sit down on the couch and use the coffee table instead. It's casual and comfy and relaxing.
The large square coffee tables can fit up to 6 or 8 people around them. They're great for playing cards or setting drinks and snacks on or even just putting your feet up on after a long day.
Check out some of the new coffee tables we've recently added to our store. Most are available in solid cherry, maple, walnut, oak or reclaimed barnwood and can be customized to fit your space– large or small. Give Rebecca and Shannon a call to learn more.
Cherry, cherry cherry. Over half the furniture we sell at Vermont Woods Studios is made of beautiful, lustrous cherry wood from the American black cherry fruit tree. Often customers come to us a little bit suspicious about whether our handmade furniture is made of real solid cherry wood.
Well, it's no wonder! Most furniture that's sold as cherry isn't cherry at all. Hard to believe isn't it? So I thought we would publish a few tips for determining if the cherry furniture you're looking at is actually made of real cherry.
Here are 3 things to look for:
What color is the wood? OK, this is a trick question. Freshly harvested cherry wood is a light pinkesh color but as cherry ages or ripens in the presence of light, it gets darker and eventually reaches a rich reddish brown. So when you're shopping be sure to ask if the furniture is brand new or if it's been in the showroom for a number of months.
The Cherry Moon bed above is about a month old so it has ripened some but in another few months (depending on the amount of ambient light) it will be as dark as the bed at left. Eventually all natural cherry furniture will end up about this same color. Often customers will request a dark stain on cherry to "hurry-up" the process. If you just can't wait we can usually convince our furniture makers to stain cherry but most of them would rather plead with customers to be patient and wait for the real thing.
What does the grain look like? Cherry has a simple, fine, closed grain, much like that of maple. You can see the grain pattern pretty well in the Cherry Moon bed above. Fake "cherry" wood often has little or no grain pattern. It's made by taking a cheaper wood, bleaching it, texturizing it with chemicals, then staining it with a "cherry" stain.
Are there occasional black flecks and black streaks in the wood? Real cherry has beautiful markings (from gum streaking, mineral deposits and pin knots). Fake cherry looks entirely uniform in grain due to the chemical processing mentioned above. It's unlikely you'll ever find black flecks or streaks in faux cherry woods.
by Dennis Shanoff
I feel the unseasonably warm weather this month in Vermont has lulled us into a false sense of distance from the holidays. But low and behold next week is indeed Thanksgiving! And all the chaos that seems to go with that. Traveling, preparing for guests & visitor’s and of course all that cooking… Oh yeah, and not to mention getting up at 5:00 am the next morning to be first in line for all those “Black Friday” deals! Retailers have really created such a sense of urgency and drastic savings around this event that you almost feel silly doing any holiday shopping on any day but “Black Friday”! But we now also have a “Cyber Monday” for those that prefer to skip the lines and traffic and do their bargain hunting online from the comfort of their home or office. So is this our second and final chance at big savings?
Well our idea for this years Black Friday savings event was to give you more time… more time to preview our fine wood furniture and more time to shop. To do this we have created a “Black Friday Plus” sales event and what is different about this event is that we are giving our customers 4 days to preview and 6 days to shop! The actual sale kicks off Wednesday November 23rd at 8:00 am and runs through midnight on Cyber Monday, November 28th. So that’s 6 days for you to save 20% on furniture storewide, plus free delivery!*
So you can take your time the next few days to browse our online fine furniture gallery and preview at your convenience (remember to bookmark your favorite pieces). Of course our online gallery is available 24/7 so when there’s a break in your potentially hectic schedule you can still easily catch the sale! If you happen to have questions and want to speak to our team, the only days the office will be closed will be Thanksgiving Day and the following Sunday– otherwise we are open 9am-5pm. But knowing our team I am sure someone will give at least a quick check into our emails those days! So welcome to our fine wood furniture store and Black Friday Plus event.
Here's wishing you and your family a relaxing Happy Holiday (to the extent that's possible)!
* Excludes our one of a kind custom artisan furniture and Everwood outdoor furniture which is always on sale with a low price guarantee
My favorite 4th of July event in Vermont has always been the Vermont Symphony Orchestra (VSO) concert. In Southeastern Vermont the concert is on July 3 this year at Grafton Ponds. It's an incredibly lovely, typically Vermont setting where you can stretch out with your finest picnic wares and enjoy wine, cheese and other favorite delicasies. For those in the northern part of the state, the VSO concert will be at Shelburne Farms on the 4th.
Lots of other fun events are going on this Independence weekend and one of the best places to scope them out is Vermont Vacation. Many Vermont State Parks have fireworks, free entry and later hours on the Fourth. Another favorite activity, especially for families is the Old Vermont 4th at the Billings Farm & Museum, a working dairy farm where they have historic debates, wagon rides, a spelling bee, an egg toss, and more.
And of course, at Vermont Woods Studios we're celebrating America’s Independence with a 4th of July, USA Made Furniture Sale. While you’re traveling to Vermont’s music festivals, concerts, fireworks displays, parades, carnivals or fairs– stop in and see our solid wood furniture. Or shop online or by phone to save time and make the most of your outdoor events schedule.
In honor of our nation's Revolutionary heros, we're offering 20% off every piece of our 100% American made, solid wood furniture storewide. This is huge because as you may know, we offer this big discount only twice a year. We have a Black Friday sale at Thanksgiving and one other storewide sale, which is usually in the summer. This is it! These are the best prices we can offer — it's a great time to finally buy the authentic, USA made handcrafted solid wood furniture you've been longing for. Give us a call today with your questions or customizations. We look forward to serving you.
All of our Vermont made Dining Room Furniture is on sale starting today and going through next Tuesday, June 21.
Just in time for summer! Take a few minutes out of your busy BBQ, pool-side and tanning schedule to check the sale out.
Now is the perfect time to order handmade, heirloom quality dining room furniture as it takes about 6-10 weeks to build. While you're outside enjoying the sun, we'll be crafting your furniture and then delivering it just about when you're moving dinner from the picnic table to the dining room.