Copeland's Frank Lloyd Wright® Coonley Coffee Tables
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 pinkish 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.
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?
Solid cherry wood has a simple, fine, closed grain, much like that of maple. 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.
Do you have any other questions about solid cherry wood that hasn’t been answered on our Cherry Wood info page? That’s okay-give our knowledgeable sales team a call at (888) 390-5571, live chat during business hours or stop into our historic Stonehurst Showroom in the hills of the Green Mountains.
Our furniture is handcrafted of sustainably harvested solid wood, ie., the wood is harvested in America from local and regional forests that are professionally managed such that they will still be around for generations.
Why do we care?
We actually got into this business as an offshoot of a non-profit I started 10 years ago, Kids Saving the Planet KSP. It's a project designed to make environmental education fun and engaging. I soon learned though, how difficult it is to secure funding for non-profits so I started to think about creating a business that would one day be able to significantly contribute to KSP. Vermont Woods Studios is what evolved. The common thread is sustainable forestry– what I feel is one of the top 3 most important environmental issues of our time.
Now you're entered to win one of Ken's handmade cutting boards. They're getting pretty popular actually and we're hoping to give away or sell enough to keep Ken out of trouble… haha! The boards are made of natural native and exotic hardwood scraps from Ken's shop.
Depending on what he has on hand, you can expect to see a colorful assortment of natural Maple, Cherry, Oak, Walnut, Purple Heart, Padauk, Fir and Mahogany.
A customer remarked the other day that she could not possibly use one for a cutting board because she didn't want to mark it up. She decided to use it as a cheese board instead. Ken was so happy.
Recently the most popular designs for walnut furniture have been with natural, organic solid walnut slabs that are huge, heavy and thick. They make incredible dining and conference tables that are showstoppers when you walk into a room.
Our friend, artisan Greg Goodman made this custom live edge walnut slab table out of a one of the slabs to the left. I've not seen anything like it. I love the curved base– it gives it a modern contemporary look, don't you think?
We filmed Greg working on a similar slab table. If you're interested in these live edge works of art, you have to watch Greg's part in this video about Vermont Woods Studios craftsmen.
If you're pricing walnut furniture, you can count on spending about 25% more than for other woods. Sadly, walnut is becoming rare due to lack of forest management and disease. In fact a recent blight of something called "thousand cankers disease" is causing great concern about walnut trees all across the country. It seems walnut wood may not be available much longer. Same for the beloved walnut– a nut that reportedly boosts your brain power and provides powerful anti-oxidants.
The walnut trees we're using for live edge slab tables are harvested sustainably, with preservation of the species in mind. The trees are usually victims of urban development– once they were grand old sentinels along tree lined boulevards but age, concrete and road salt have taken their toll.
It's nice to see their beauty being preserved forever under the skilled and artful hands of craftsmen like Greg Goodman.