Reclaimed-Barn-Photo-Table-Before-After

Here's a familiar site in Vermont and throughout New England… a beautiful old barn that's finally beginning to cripple under the stress of Mother Nature's 100+ years of wind, rain, snow, hail and other weather events (like hurricane Irene in this case).

 

But lucky for us, Vermont craftsmen are giving these beloved ancient structures a new lease on life– as rustic, reclaimed barnwood furniture.

We're amazed at the amount of work involved in rescuing old lumber from the floors, walls, beams and siding of these fallen soldiers.  Craftsman pick through a great deal of unusable lumber in order to find pieces suitable for furniture. 

Once sorted, the wood must then be tested with a metal detector and de-nailed, before milling.  But once that is done, an incredibly beautiful patina often emerges that can go on to become a unique piece of heirloom furniture, rich with our American history.

 

 

Recycled-reclaimed-barnwood-tables

Here's an example of a reclaimed barnwood table we crafted and sold lately.  This one even made it into Yankee Magazine as part of an article called, Reclaimed Style.

 

If you're looking for reclaimed barnwood furniture, give Rebecca or Shannon a call.  They work closely with our craftsmen to customize these pieces with your choice of antique wood.

Just as an aside, did you know that only 50 years ago about half of Americans were living in rural areas or on a farm? Today less than 2% of the American population is involved in farming.  In Vermont that number is 50% higher… still only 3%.  Perhaps that's why there are so many old barns that have fallen into disrepair.  Sad, but nice to have a way to recycle them and re-capture their story.

Many thanks to Picture Ninja for the use of their photograph of this forlorn old Vermont barn.

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.

Wood-tablesWood dining tables are our most popular, best selling pieces at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture.  Most customers come to us for solid cherry wood tables, but we also build a good number of tables in maple, walnut and oak wood too.  Occasionally we get a custom order for wood tables made out of other woods, like the reclaimed barnwood farm table that Yankee Magazine is featuring in their March/April issue this year.

So why wood?  I mean you could eat off a glass top table or a metal table or even a plastic table.  I think for many people, wood makes an important emotional connection that maybe we're not even consciously aware of.  A customer recently told me she came to us because of the natural, organic apsect of our wooden furniture.  She said that trees are actually a source of spiritual sustenance and renewal for her. I was thinking about that and came across this passage about trees written by woodworker and naturalist Brian Clifford:

A tree is a thing of beauty and wonderment, huge, but full of life and movement. A deciduous tree is the embodiment of the changing seasons: a stark framework in winter, bursting life in spring, a vast green canopy in summer and the bearer of seeds and fruit in the autumn. It is the embodiment of man's condition: birth, life, death, regeneration and rebirth.

I'm not sure people choose wood for their dining and kitchen tables for reasons quite that deep, but I love reading Brian's thoughts and philosophy about the relationship between trees and man.  He notes that our ancestors evolved in trees:

The period our ancestors spent in the trees was of great formative importance; this was the environment in which man's basic structures, brain, sense organs, limbs and reproductive system, evolved. In response to the exigencies of living in trees the animal's paws were modified into members able to grip: the claws atrophied, the digits lengthened, and an opposed thumb developed. The eyes became larger and moved towards the front of the head providing three-dimensional vision. In concert with these bodily changes, and their application in confronting the dangers in the tree tops, the creature's brain developed new features and increased in power.

Ha!  It seems we owe our brain power to trees.  I bet you never thought of that as the reason you were shopping for a wood dining table today.

 

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.

Yankee-magazine

 

Keep an eye out for the March/April issue of Yankee Magazine.  One of our reclaimed barnwood benches will be featured as part of an editorial on rustic barnwood furniture.

We extend our thanks to Heather Marcus, Photo Editor of Yankee Magazine for including us in this article and will look forward to reading it. 

Check back in March and we'll post a link to it here.

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.

Walnut-wood-slab Walnut wood is one of our customers' favorite woods at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture.   It's a strong, durable, dark chocolate-colored wood with fascinating grain– like swirls, curls and burls. 

 

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. 

 

 

 

 

Walnut-tableIf 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.

 

 

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.

Modern-shaker-bedroom-furniture Winter has arrived and with the snow comes our handmade, solid wood Shaker Style Furniture Sale! Whether readying your home for the upcoming holidays or looking for the perfect pieces to complement your Shaker Style decor we welcome you to browse and shop our Vermont Woods Studios Online Furniture Gallery.

Here you will find Vermont made solid hardwood Shaker Furniture for every room in your home. Available in natural cherry, maple, oak and walnut woods and traditionally crafted one piece at a time. Take 10% off any single piece or add more pieces and receive 15% off each piece. (plus Free Shipping and White Glove Delivery and set-up in your home).

Shaker-office-furniture Shop for your new Shaker bedroom, dining room, living room, or home office furniture securely, easily, and conveniently from our online store. Or if you prefer, contact us  at 888-390-5571 to order by phone or discuss your questions about our Vermont made, solid wood Shaker furniture. Hurry! This Sale ends at midnight on December 28th.

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.