Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made
Bookcases | Real Solid Walnut Wood | Shaker Style | USA Made

Getting Organized with Custom Bookcases

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list, but think about it.  Whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013.  Not to mention more beautiful.

At Vermont Woods Studios our biggest month for crafting bookcases and other organizers is January.  Could it have to do with New Year’s resolutions?  Must be, but we’re getting inquiries almost every day lately.  I think customers are realizing that there is a 1-3 month lead time for ordering custom bookcases.  So if you’re one of those people I thought I’d offer up some tips and advice about how to choose the right set of bookshelves for your home or office.

Glass Doors, Wooden Doors or No Doors

Are you really going to use those books or movies or vases?  Or will they just sit in the bookcase and collect dust?  Are they beautiful?  Part of your decor?  Or just obligatory (someone gave them to you and you can’t seem to throw them away) and you don’t necessarily want to see them?  Do you put things back neatly?  Or are you always in a hurry?  These are the kinds of weighty issues you’ll need to unravel before you decide whether or not to add doors to your custom bookcases.  Oh… and should the doors be glass to show off your chotskies or wooden to hide the mess?

Custom Bookcases, Bookshelves, Glass Doors, Wood Doors, No Doors

Custom bookcases might not be on the top of your Christmas list. But whether you have a home office or you’re trying to tidy up and organize your books and media, custom bookcases could make your life easier and more efficient in 2013. Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

One Big Bookshelf or a Couple Small Ones?

Once you’ve decided what kind of doors are best for your bookshelves, you’ll want to measure your space and get the cabinets to fit perfectly into it.  Some people love the integrated design of one big bookcase unit like the Modern Shaker Home Office Center Cabinet above (make sure you can fit something this big up the stairs and into your room!).  Other people like the versatility of combining several small bookcases in different ways.  One thing we always mention to customers is: if you’re getting a series of bookcases that you may want to place flush up next to each other, be sure you specify “no overhang”.  That means any molding along the top will be eliminated either on one or both sides, depending on how you want to configure the bookcases.

Measure Twice and Cut Once

We try to make it easy to customize your bookcase online, but it really is a good idea to give us a call or stop by the showroom to order custom bookcases, especially if they’re over-sized or designed to sit flush against each other.  We’ll help you get all the measurements right for your space so they’ll be no surprises when your furniture arrives.

Learn more and shop for solid wood bookcases with full length glass doors, half length glass doors, full length wooden doors, half length wooden doors or no doors on our website.

 

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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.

Before & After
While the old vintage chairs are  charming, our Vermont made Shaker Style Ingrid dining chairs are sumptuous and chic.

We’re always happy to see the transformation of our customers homes. It’s exciting because there’s more to it than just the furniture. Seeing their progress reveals a little bit about their own story, and we’re flattered to be a part of that story!

The photos above show a before and after by our customer & new friend, Alice D. After falling in love with her Vermont Made Shaker Table, she decided to add our elegant Ingrid Cherry chairs. We love the way the new chairs have added a feeling of sophistication to the dining space. 

The Shaker Style Ingrid chair in Cherry Wood is a wonderful choice for anyone looking to make their dining space more chic and classy. It’s a modern take on traditional Shaker style furniture, as it uses the same balanced proportions and clean lines but modernizes it with the luxurious upholstery.

The chairs shown in the photo feature American Cherry hardwood with plush Celedon Microsuede fabric seating. Ingrid chairs have a comfortable open back, with the option for side or arm chair style. This chair style is designed to wear well, and the polyester fabric is durable enough to be used by your whole family.

As the centerpiece of the room, the handcrafted Custom Vermont Shaker Dining Table is one of our most popular dining tables. People love it because while its beautiful and luxurious looking, it’s meant to be used. You can feel comfortable seating your friends and family around it! It’s a highly customizable piece and can be built to fit practically any dining room size.

These hardwood cherry furniture pieces add style and sophistication to this already beautiful space. We’re so happy to be a part of it and look forward to seeing more transformation!

What do you think? Do you like the dining room with the vintage furniture or the Vermont Furniture? Let us know in the comments section of this blog! 

 

 

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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.

Vermont Furniture Blog - Celebrating 1000 Posts
Celebrating 1000 blog posts about Vermont furniture makers, green interior design, sustainable forestry and endangered forest species, Vermont travel and the crazy, quirky people that make our company tick.

Today we’re celebrating this 1000th blog at Vermont Woods Studios! And that’s only back as far as August of 2007. I started blogging in 2006 but on a different platform and at a time when I didn’t know how to transfer stories from Typepad to WordPress.

Haha… a lot has happened since then. We’ve gone from a 1 woman operation in the corner of a bedroom to a dozen of us firmly ensconced inside Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom, at Stonehurst. And now instead of just reading my daily drivel, you get the inside scoop from other quirky VWS personalities like Dennis Shanoff, Loryn Dion, Liz Francese, Kelsey Eaton, Michelle Rooks and Sean Henry.

We’re always brainstorming ways to make our blog more interesting and useful for you.  The hidden agenda is to get you excited about Vermont’s sustainable way of life and peak your interest enough to persuade you to join us in our mission.  We report on green festivals and events in VT as well as the vibrant (not to mention affordable) arts and crafts scene.  We take you inside the workshops of Vermont’s finest furniture makers and showcase the benefits of buying American made products that support local economies.

What else would you like to see on our blog?  Let us know on Facebook and we’ll serve it up!

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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.

Stonehurst | Renovation of Vermont Furniture Showcase
We’ve been careful to restore, reuse and re-purpose as much as we could from the original Stonehurst farmhouse. Where we needed new materials for the renovation, we sourced local Vermont made products whenever possible. This is a Vermont Castings stove, made in Bethel VT. It’s sitting on a Vermont slate hearth stone mined in Poultney VT. The mantle was made by a craftsman in Walpole NH (oops.. just across the border, though) from Vermont cherry wood. Chairs in the foreground are made by Jim Geier of Vermont Folk Rocker in Starksboro VT.

It’s been almost a year now since we purchased Stonehurst, the 200+ year old farmhouse we’ve grown to know and love. From the beginning when we first conceptualized this showcase of Vermont’s best handmade furniture, fine art and home decor accessories we decided to renovate with local products. We worked with Brattleboro architect Jeremy Coleman and Spofford builder, Bob Furlone (American Construction) to reuse and re-purpose everything we could in an effort to keep Stonehurst authentic. And when we needed to purchase building materials new, we sourced Vermont made products where possible.

Dennis, Heather B, Kelsey and I have written many Stonehurst blog posts describing the details of how we renovated and where materials came from. But I wanted to do a final run-down to recognize and thank the Vermont companies that made Stonehurst the authentic showcase it is today. Here’s the list:

  • Windows were custom handcrafted to match original designs, by Green Mountain Window in Rutland, VT
  • The maple and cherry hardwood in our floors was harvested and milled locally by Kerber Farms Mill and Lumber in Guilford, VT. Joe Dhembe in Newfane, VT installed the floors.
  • Original wood floors were too fragile to reuse, but Bob Furlone’s American Construction crew (Scott Strong Superintendent, Martha Ratcliff, Chuck Johns, Patrick Devens, Howard Bassett, Ketch Greene) were able to salvage, clean and re-purpose them as beautiful rustic ceilings
  • Interior painting and some exterior painting was done by W R Painting Inc in Ashulot, NH
  • Exterior painting was also done by Moe Momany Painting in Brattleboro, VT
  • Slate floors were mined in Poultney, VT and installed by Albert diBiccari of AD Ceramic Tile, Marlborough NH
  • 2 gas stoves and a wood stove were made by Vermont Castings in Bethel, VT
  • Custom steel railings for the stairwell were period designed and handmade by Richard Crawford of Vermont Steelcraft
  • Jeremy’s decorative porch rafters and the cherry fireplace mantle were crafted by Walpole Cabinetry in Walpole NH
  • We left original beams in place wherever possible, but some new beams were needed. They were sustainably harvested and hand-hewn by Vermont Timberworks in Springfield, VT
  • Brattleboro’s engineering firm, Stevens and Associates designed the site plan
  • Local excavator, Carey Tyler of Tyler Excavation did all the site work
  • A handful of trees had to be taken down because they were leaning over the building. Turner and Renaud Tree Service fell the trees and local sawyer, Vince Johnson brought his portable sawmill over to slice and dice the wood. That wood has been used in construction where possible. The black locust in this post will be used to make a deck behind Stonehurst.
  • Carroll Concrete of Vernon VT poured the new concrete foundation which shores up the old stone foundation
  • Masonry, stone wall repair and construction of the new stone wall along our ADA accessible ramp out front was artfully performed by Scott Sartoria of SKS Masonry in Keene, NH
  • A new standing seam metal roof over the renovated sections of Stonehurst was installed by Rohr Cook of Chester, VT. Soon Rohr will be repairing the old slate roof on the other side of Stonehurst
  • Landscaping is being designed now by Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens in Putney, VT.  Torben Larsen of Windham Growers in Putney VT will be installing stone pathways, trees, shrubs and gardens.  Our fabulous crew of summer interns have been helping with landscaping.  They are Jimmy Mills and Douglas’ children– Trenton, Taegen and Tristan Fletcher.

A million thanks to all of you for making Stonehurst the special place it is!  I must also thank Vermont taxpayers and the people who worked on the Vermont Working Lands Grant Initiative.  Earlier this year they awarded Vermont Woods Studios a $100,000 grant to help complete the Stonehurst project.

To follow through on our “all things Vermont” theme, we are now working with local artisans to adorn the inside of Stonehurst with Vermont made fine furniture, artwork and home decor items. Soon you will be able to see that, plus lighting by Hubbardton Forge, glassware and pottery by Simon Pearce and pewter by Danforth Pewter all under one roof. Come visit and enjoy!

 

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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.

President Obama's Limo | Handmade in Vermont
President Obama’s personalized Presidential Limo handcrafted in Vermont by Maple Landmark of Middlebury.  Congratulations to Mike Rainville and his staff for the impressive feat of producing 500 of these 2013 inauguration souvenirs in record time.

President Obama’s Limos

Does this seem excessive?  President Obama was presented with 500 personalized, limited edition limousines on his inauguration day, January 21, 2013.   Each handmade automobile was carefully crafted in Vermont by our friend (and leader of Vermont’s Wood Manufacturers Association VWMA) Mike Rainville and his staff at Maple Landmark Toys.

Dennis and I were lucky enough to see the limos last week at the annual VWMA meeting which was held in Middlebury, Vermont at the headquarters for Maple Landmark.  Actually, the toys were purchased by President Obama’s Inauguration Committee for resale as part of a fundraising activity to defray the cost of inauguration activities.  The cool thing is that there are still a couple of these keepsakes left and you can buy a limo online for $20.  Obama fans: hurry and scoop up this Vermont made souvenir before the secret gets out!

Mike Rainville, Leader of Maple Landmark and VWMA

On another note, I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank Mike Rainville for his leadership and dedication to our Vermont made furniture and woodworking industry.  As president of our industry group he’s been volunteering huge amounts of his time (for many years!) to promoting our craft and building synergy amongst our members.  As owner and founder of Maple Landmark he acts as an ambassador showing customers all across American and around the world the beauty and quality of Vermont made wood products.

Mike Rainville of Maple Landmark Toys | President Obama's Limos
Mike Rainville gave us a tour of Maple Landmark Toys.  His traditional wooden toys and trains are handcrafted one by one in Middlebury Vermont by Mike, his family members and a dedicated group of 30 employees.  Mike started the toy factory in his parent’s basement (when he was 14) using scraps from his grandfather’s carpentry projects.

Last week Mike told us the story of how President Obama’s inauguration staff phoned him on December 28 to ask if he could design, produce and deliver the limos to Washington for the January 21 event.  Less than a month’s time and during the holidays (a toy makers busiest season) too!  But Mike and his staff were happy for the opportunity and pulled out all the stops to get the job done.  He said the biggest challenge was getting timely government safety ratings and approvals but I guess the mention of his client might have greased the skids a bit on that.  Great job, guys.

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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.