July 29th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont craftsmen are known for their quality products and attention to fine detail. This has long been well recognized in our Shaker style furniture, but over the last 25 years Vermont has also become one of America's premiere Craftsman style furniture producers.
By way of background, Craftsman Style Furniture grew out of the Arts and Crafts movement promoted by Gustav Stickley and his family. In the early 1900s Stickley and fellow period designers like Greene and Greene, Roycroft and Limbert created a renaissance of honest workmanship and honest designs in their furniture.
In contrast to designers of the preceding Victorian era, they rejected the cheaply made, mass-produced, ornate factory furniture of the time. They believed that beauty does not come from ornamentation, but from sturdy construction, simplicity of purpose, and optimal presentation of nature’s materials.
Well, it turns out that over 100 years after the Arts and Crafts movement, Vermont furniture makers continue to remain true to it's values of simple elegance. For a look at some examples of Vermont style Craftsman Furniture, visit our website to view our Frank Lloyd Wright collection, Contemporary Craftsman Collection, Cherry Moon Furniture Collection, Copeland Berkeley Collection, Copeland Monterey Collection, Northup Craftsman Furniture Collection, American Mission Furniture Collection and Modern Mission Furniture Collection.
July 26th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Walnut furniture has been one of our best sellers this year, in spite of the fact that there is a 10-30% premium on the wood. Walnut wood is becoming rare (due to a disease called Thousand Cankers) so we are super careful about making sure ours is sustainably harvested from forests where re-planting is well managed.
We use a couple different types of American walnut wood for our furniture.
For thick, organic slab tables we often use claro walnut wood from huge old (up to 100 years) shade trees that have been taken down (usually from city streets) because of safety reasons. These slabs typically have beautiful, interesting character resulting from things like burls and branches.
For modern looking furniture, customers generally do not want "character wood" so we use younger walnut trees with straight grain patterns grown in managed forests in the mid-west (since walnut doesn't grow well in Vermont). This is the contemporary SoHo walnut 4 drawer chest, made by Copeland Furniture with solid, walnut wood.
Whether you're shopping for organic, walnut slab tables or Modern walnut furniture, it's important to verify that you are indeed getting real, solid walnut wood, as opposed to cheaper woods that have been stained dark to look like walnut. Be sure to ask your salesperson to confirm the wood type and its origin before you buy. Ask if the furniture has been made from solid walnut wood or walnut veneers.
Learn more about walnut wood and see photos of beautiful walnut furniture on our website. If you take the time to find real solid walnut furniture as opposed to what most stores call "walnut" you'll probably have that furniture for a lifetime. Enjoy it!
July 18th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
If you're looking for luxury custom bedroom furniture that's uniquely yours but you're shopping on a budget, you probably ought to have a look at our new Vermont made Copeland Dominion Bedroom Set.
Dennis, Manjula and Kendall designed this bedroom set page so you can customize your own style, color, drawer pulls, dresser and chest size, bed type and more online. Or you might prefer to stop by or give us a call for help with all the choices:
There are four cherry colors to choose from: light colored natural cherry to the dark smoke cherry stain shown here. The bed headboard can be customized to feature panels, spindles, slats or even genuine leather upholstery. Underbed storage can be added too.
The dresser and chest can be customized to the size (3, 4, 5, 6 or 8 drawers) that best fits your space and there are 2 choices for customizing the shape of the tops on each piece.
We figured if you looked at all the possible combinations for customizing this collection there would be about 64,000 so little chance anyone else will have the same thing! If you like it and need help sorting through all the choices, give us a call. This is a brand new bedroom set for us but we're already seeing a lot of interest. I'm eager to hear what you think. Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook!
As with all of our furniture, this bedroom set is 100% made in America (right here in Vermont actually) with real wood, sustainably harvested from local and regional forests.
July 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont is America's "go to" store for authentic Cherry Wood Furniture. Cherry has been the wood of choice for hundreds of Vermont craftsmen for decades.
Whereas most of the big "American" furniture companies have outsourced their wood furniture manufacturing to Asia and Latin America, Vermont companies (with the exception of Ethan Allen, unfortunately) have remained here in the USA.
Vermont cherry furniture is made to a higher standard and it's still made from real, solid American black cherry wood. In contrast, many of the well known "American" furniture companies from North Carolina now use Asian woods like rubberwood which they stain and call "cherry".
So it's no wonder that customers come to us with many questions as they seek to find and purchase authentic American black cherry wood furniture. I thought I'd round up five of our previous blog posts written in response to customer questions about "cherry wood furniture" in hopes of streamlining your research on the subject. Feel free to post your own questions and comments below or on our Facebook.
July 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but it's still frustrating to see people take your work, copy it and sell it as their own. Unfortunately the Internet has made that a full time job for many companies around the globe.
The latest copycat we've come across is a company calling themselves American Eco Furniture. See any similarities in our logos? Our Vermont Woods Studios logo (above) has three trees made with thumbprints to signify the handcrafted nature of our furniture. The trunk on each tree is unique to convey that our furniture makers are independent, with their own styles, designs and crafting techniques. Our American made furniture is carefully handcrafted in Vermont of solid, sustainably harvested wood. It's guaranteed for a lifetime. It truly is the real thing.
By contrast, most of the furniture sold by this company is neither American made nor eco friendly.
It turns out that we can have attorneys go after this company (and the many others like it) but I'm not sure we can afford to take our focus off making Vermont Woods Studios best in it's class– in order to chase them down. It's kind of like that "Whack-A Mole" game. New scams just keep popping up.
I can't help humming that old song by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Remember it? Ain't Nothin Like The Real Thing, Baby.
So I just have to hope consumers aren't getting us confused with the fly-by-nights. In talking with our customers we've learned they typically spend 3-4 months shopping and researching before they make an investment in American handmade furniture. I think that's what it takes anymore to make sure you're getting the real thing.
What do you think? Drop us a line in the comments section below or on our Facebook. We love hearing from you!
July 11th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Our friends at Copeland Furniture in Bradford, Vermont have come out with what I think is America's best selection of storage beds. Apparently our customers agree because these platform beds with under-bed storage were our best sellers last week.
Perfect for apartment or condo living Copeland's modern beds are designed for both comfort and style. This one, the Horizon Bed is shown in a dark chocolate stain over maple wood although several lighter stain colors are also available.
Each piece in the Horizon bedroom furniture collection is handmade in Vermont with solid, sustainably harvested maple wood and carries our Vermont Woods Studios Lifetime Guarantee.
Copeland offers several other storage bed designs including the Berkeley Storage Bed, the Monterey Storage Bed, the Dominion Storage Bed and the Harbor Island Storage Bed. These American made platform beds literally do the heavy lifting when it comes to under-bed storage and customers appreciate the high quality and craftsmanship that's become synonymous with Copeland Furniture's brand. We think you will too!
July 5th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
Calling all Vermont woodworkers and fine furniture makers. The 9th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture & Wood Products Design Competition wants YOU. The festival which has been dubbed one of Vermont's Top Ten Fall Events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce is a great opportunity to gain recognition and notoriety for your work.
Join some of the world's finest woodworkers and furniture designers and compete for best:
There is also a special category where students and apprentices can compete. The Woodworking festival takes place September 29-30, 2012 in Woodstock, Vermont and the Design Contest entry forms are here. If you're not already linked into the Vermont woodworking community, we recommend you become a member of the Vermont Wood Manufacturing Association, VWMA first. That gets you a discount on entry fees and insider info on all things wood in Vermont. We hope you join with us, VWMA and the "best of the best" woodworkers who are letting the world know that Vermont's the Fine Furniture Capital of America.
July 3rd, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
All of us here at Vermont Woods Studios are wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July.
The staff is taking today off to enjoy with their families but our 4th of July Furniture Sale is on 24/7 if you would like to shop or make a purchase. We'll be back in the showroom tomorrow to work with you directly and answer any questions you may have.
Happy Fourth and thanks for your continued support of our work!
June 16th, 2012 by Peggy Farabaugh
We're wishing all you fathers out there a very happy and healthy Father's Day! Here in Vermont the weather is absolutely beautiful so if you're not already at the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival, gather up the golf clubs or fishing poles, grab the kids and go make some memories.
Oh… and don't forget the camera!
Happy Father's Day from your friends at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture