October 23rd, 2012 by Loryn Dion
I have a small confession to make. I, Loryn Dion, am a Pinterest addict. Every time I have a spare minute, I find myself flipping through DIY projects and cooking recipes on my laptop, Kindle, cell phone and even on my TV. It’s a very big problem. One of my favorite ideas that I’ve seen pop up on Pinterest in the last few weeks, and you’ve probably seen it too if you’re an avid Pinterest user like me, is the DIY closet office.
Basically, the closet office is exactly what it sounds like. For modest homes that do not have the luxury of having a separate room for an office, you take a large closet or nook space, outfit it with a desk, chair, filing cabinet and a plethora of shelves and organizers, a little paint and voila! A secret office space that can be closed up when you’re done.
There are a few versions of the office that link to pages telling you about chairs and desks from Ikea or Pottery Barn that would fit perfectly in your spare closet. While it may be true that these pieces will fit in your closet now, in 5-10 years you’re going to be tossing out that “disposable” desk to replace it with a new “disposable” desk that will just fall apart in another 5 years. Plus, these pieces are no friends to the environment. So I’m here to tell you that you can get that dream closet office space with our lifetime guaranteed, eco-friendly, office furniture.
First, I suggest starting with our Cherry Moon Writing Desk. I think it has a nice mission-flair that works well with many styles and has a unique, two-toned drawer pull option. This desk also comes in 5 different sizes to fit whatever shape your closet space is. Also check out our Vermont-Made Shaker Writing Desk if you like these options but prefer a more traditional shaker style.
Next, pick up our Cherry Moon 2-Drawer Vertical File Cabinet for additional, under-desk storage (Or our Vermont Shaker 2 Drawer File Cabinet, if you like the shaker option). If you have the room, browse our customizable book shelves to find a bookcase that will fit in nicely with the style of your closet office.
Now, you can decorate how you’d like (If you’re choosing cherry wood, I would suggest earth tone colors. They look great with cherry wood no matter what age it is) and fill up your space with supplies and appliances (I love thegreenoffice.com. They have some great deals on office supplies that are green and energy efficient).
There you have it! A quick guide to an environmentally-friendly closet office. If you have a closet office or have some great ideas for one, tell us about it in the comments or show us your pictures on our facebook page!
October 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Last week we received an enthusiastic email from a family in California thanking us for the great job our moving company (Clark and Reid) did with the delivery of their Vermont made Shaker bedroom set:
“I wanted to let you know what a wonderful experience I had with your movers. I had one of your beds shipped to my vacation home in the Sierras. Because the road is very steep and winding, Clark and Reid needed to bring the bed in a special shuttle, the cost of which they covered. Also, I wasn’t able to be present at the house at the time a driver was available to make the delivery, and was able to arrange to have a concierge service meet the driver and let him into the house to assemble the bed. Clark and Reid offered to reimburse me for the cost of the service (up to $75).
I was told by the concierge that the driver was very professional and efficient. He arrived on time and handled all the details of moving and assembly. It was a pleasure to purchase furniture from you and to work with such an excellent shipper. Thank you so much! Best Regards, Debbie D
We love hearing your Vermont made furniture stories and reviews, whether they’re about the delivery experience or the good times you share around the dining table with family and friends. Keep ‘em coming! You’re helping us make our systems better. In this case, the comments went to straight to Clark and Reid where the driver and his manager reviewed them together (maybe someone will even get a well-deserved raise). Other comments have helped us improve the quality of our Shaker furniture and the logistics needed to get it from the forest to your living room.
So help us Movers and Shakers by sending in feedback about your new Vermont handmade furniture. Use the comments section below, email us or connect using our Facebook. Thanks in advance for your feedback!
October 16th, 2012 by Loryn Dion
This week in our green interior design column, we’re talking about nesting tables. Earlier this year, House and Home magazine listed nesting tables and other small accent tables as a “must-have” in their 2012 Decorating Trends issue. Not only are nesting tables trendy and unique, but they’re also great for homes with limited space. Nesting tables allow you the versatility of having three separate tables while only taking up the space of one. These tables would be great to bring out during parties as floating tables for drinks or even as a tray for food. The possibilities are endless with these magic tables.
Here at Vermont Woods Studios, you can find nesting tables that do their job as convenient space-savers and, as an added bonus, they are environmentally friendly and made right here in Vermont.
Our New England Shaker Nesting Tables are traditional and simple, designed to match any home decor. With clean lines and dovetail joinery, these tables are meant to be displayed. With your purchase, you’ll receive 3 nesting tables in your choice of cherry. maple, oak or walnut woods. I’ll also point out that with our current sale (ending today!), you’ll be able to save up to 20%*.
If you’re looking for more of a modern twist on nesting tables, check out our Copeland Coonley Nesting End Tables. With two sleek nesting tables crafted in natural cherry wood, you’ll add twice the luxury and class to any room. Part of Copelands Frank Lloyd Wright Collection, these tables embody the styling of the modern architect.
October 15th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Copeland Furniture will be rolling out their new products for 2013 this week at the Highpoint Furniture Market in North Carolina. Each year at the Fall Market Copeland announces which products are being changed, discontinued and added to their luxury line of Vermont made furniture. Dennis and Heather are analyzing Copeland’s changes now and we’ll highlight them over the next few weeks.
One thing I wanted to mention right away though, is that the Copeland Lily Collection is being discontinued as of December 1, 2012. I know many of you have previously purchased Lily beds, dressers, chests and nightstands for your bedroom and if you’re looking to complete your set, now is the time to make your move.
We hate to see Lily go as this natural maple, transitional Shaker style furniture has been a favorite among our customers. But there is an upside for you. Typically when fine furniture collections like this are discontinued, their value is increased as they become more rare and unique over time. Your Vermont made bedroom set may one day be a collector’s item and you can hand it down through your family for generations. Give Liz and Heather a call today or complete your Lily bedroom furniture set by ordering it online through our secure server.
August 31st, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton
Labor Day was created to honor the achievements of American
workers. This national holiday is a
perfect time to celebrate the hard work that Americans do every day.
At Vermont Woods Studios, we are constantly amazed at the
dedication and hard work that goes into handcrafting fine wood furniture. It is a skill that has been handed down to
Vermonter's for over 200 years, and for many of our craftsmen, the technique is virtually unchanged. The furniture
at Vermont Woods Studios is 100% American made furniture with sustainably
harvested American hardwoods. Our furniture makers carefully select only the
finest solid cherry, maple, walnut, and oak woods to ensure that they make the
highest quality furniture that is intended to last for many generations. It is even backed by a lifetime guarantee.
For Labor Day we are putting our gifted furniture maker's
pieces on sale, so that you can honor these American craftsmen, too. With a lot
of Labor Day events, we know that this is a busy weekend. So, we're having our
Labor Day furniture sale run five days, from Friday, August 31st until Tuesday,
September 4th. This allows you the time to fit in fun and relaxation, plus take
advantage of our holiday sale. During our Labor Day furniture sale, you can
save 15% storewide (plus free shipping), and conveniently shop 24 hours a day on our
Whether you're traveling, socializing, shopping or relaxing we hope
that you have a wonderful weekend!
October 27th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
In the furniture world, High Point, North Carolina is the place to be in October. All the big, multi-national furniture wholesalers are there at the Annual Furniture Market selling to retailers from across America.
For the past 30-40 years these companies have been manufacturing their furniture in China, Vietnam and other third world countries. They moved there from places like North Carolina and Virginia in the 70s and 80s to take advantage of cheap labor, illegally harvested wood and lax safety and health regulations.
Well, now that wages and safety are both on the rise in China, the furniture companies are moving back to the USA. This year they are pushing two new over-arching sales themes at the High Point Market: American Made Furniture and Eco-Friendly, Green Furniture.
Hmmm. That sounds familiar, doesn't it? In Vermont our furniture makers have embodied these themes throughout our history. Vermont furniture has always been true to its American heritage, American quality and American jobs. And our states' furniture craftspeople have consistently used eco-friendly, sustainably harvested wood and non-toxic finishes for their work.
From the small custom shops that make one of a kind studio furniture to our medium and large scale furniture makers like Lyndon Furniture, Copeland Furniture, Pompanoosuc Mills, New England Woodcraft, Vermont Furniture Designs and Maple Corner Woodworks, Vermont craftsmen have been authentically American and eco-friendly throughout our history. It's not just a passing fad in Vermont and you can rest assured that we will be providing heirloom quality, natural, handmade furniture for generations to come.
October 22nd, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
We've been working hard to promote American Made products lately, in support of American workers who need jobs. All of our furniture is 100% American Made (100% Vermont made actually– well OK, I think we have a few chairs that are made in Massachusetts) but we wanted to do more. Dennis started our "Made in America" Holiday Gift Challenge event last month asking people to purchase "American Made" holiday gifts. We've got about 46 takers so far and you can add your name to the list if you're on Facebook.
Well, more and more with each passing day, it seems that buying American isn't just a patriotic thing to do– it's an economically smart strategy. In his Harvard Business Review column, Harold Sirkin sees a resurgence of USA manufacturing coming in response to changing economics. Chinese workers are starting to fight for higher wages at the same time that the cost of fuel and shipping from China to the US are also on the rise. Companies like Volkswagen are noticing– they recently opened a new $1Billion factory in Tennessee.
Now what will the big so-called "American" furniture companies do… like Furniture Brands International, the huge multi-national company that's bought out many of our iconic American furniture companies (Broyhill, Lane, Thomasville, etc.) over the last 30 years? Well they anticipated this years ago and have moved many of their overseas operations from China to Viet Nam where wages are still deplorably low and regulations are even more non-existent than in China. But that's for another day and another discussion.
The good news is that there is still plenty of American made furniture being built in the USA and the best of it is right up here in Vermont!
October 6th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Remember this photo? Well, I mentioned in the summer that Ken and I were looking to purchase a property that Vermont Woods Studios Furniture could call home.
This week we signed an offer to purchase the old Skyline Restaurant property on Route 9 in Marlboro, Vermont (across from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum and Giftshop). It's just a first step and there are many hurdles to be jumped before a sale can happen but even so, we're pretty excited about it. And nervous.
We looked at dozens of properties throughout southern Vermont (courtesy of Suzanne King at Masiello Real Estate) and liked this one best because of its beautiful location in the foothills of the Green Mountain National Forest. We wanted a place where we could welcome customers and let them experience the link between Vermont's handmade wood furniture and the forest where it comes from.
So today starts our journey to take Vermont Woods Studios to the next level. We'll keep you posted as to how things go. We were lucky enough to persuade Brattleboro's best architect (J Coleman and Co) and engineer (Stevens and Associates PC) to help us out by doing some initial feasibility studies to see if the (distressed) Skyline property and existing building are up to the task of renovation and re-birth. We'll be immersed in that assessment for probably the next couple months. We'll be asking your opinion as we go– either through the comment link below or on our Facebook or preferably over a glass of wine in our kitchen.
We're looking to make this a green project that produces a showroom worthy of the elegant handmade furniture inside and the incredible natural beauty of the Green Mountains outside. Check back in now and then and give us your thoughts and advice.
October 2nd, 2011 by Dennis Shanoff
The 2011 Solar Decathalon final judging results are in and Vermont's own Middlebury College Team came in Fourth overall in a world-class line up of contestants.
Congratulations from all of us at Vermont Woods Studios!
The team cam in FIRST place in the areas of Communications, Home Entertainment, and Market Appeal. Learn more about the brilliant, hardworking students who made it happen.
The sustainable, energy-efficient home Middlebury students designed and built was filled with Vermont made furniture and accessories, including the Cherry Moon Dovetail Bed we donated. Great job guys!
September 26th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
I'm really not an early Christmas shopper. In fact I'm not a shopper at all. When the kids were little they used to like to holiday shop at the local craft fair… that was fun. But the boys are teenagers now and I can't imagine getting them to do that anymore. A couple times in recent years, I was able to convince Ken and the boys to make an overnight holiday shopping trip to Boston where we wandered around downtown and at the Wrentham Mall picking up a few gifts. I enjoyed that but the kids seem to have outgrown any kind of activity that involves parents.
Anyway… yesterday in the office, Dennis floated the idea of buying only American made things for Christmas presents. Pretty cool idea, don't you think?
But the thing is, this is shopping we can't leave till the last minute. It will take a bit of research and planning. Isn't it ironic that many American made gifts would have to be purchased online and shipped here from across the country, whereas imports are available anytime, in every store in town, at a moment's notice?
So at Vermont Woods Studios we'll plan to start our shopping now and share our research with you as we go. Saturday I tagged along with Annette at the Brattleboro Farmer's Market. That's probably a reasonable place to start… maple syrup, handmade pottery, wooden bowls.
Why not join us in our "Buy American Made" Holiday Gifts Challenge? If you have gift suggestions, pass them along in the comment section below or send photos and links and we'll post here or on our Facebook page.
They say that if each of us in the USA spent just $3.33 on American made goods, that would generate 10,000 jobs… a pretty decent Christmas present in itself, I say.