Vermont Woods Studios Handmade Furniture

wood furniture

5 Simple Things That Will Make Your Bedroom Feel New Again

March 5th, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Accessory Furniture Pieces

Make your room feel new again, by adding one or all of these great accessories!

 

To make your bedroom feel new again, you don’t need to hire a designer and do a total makeover. There are several fun and simplistic things you can do to give your bedroom that freshness you’ve been craving!

1. Decorative pillows: Prices can range from super high end to nice and affordable. My favorite place to shop for new decorative pillows is the local thrift store. Mix & match for an eclectic look, sure to bring new life into your space.

2: Plants: Literally bring life into your bedroom! When things are feeling a little dull and uninspiring, introduce your favorite houseplant to your bedroom. They’re nice to look at, and many are super good for your health!

3. Accessorize with wood furniture: There’s a lot of wood furniture than can be used in a variety of different ways. This beautiful Copeland dining chair is very versatile, and would nicely complement your bedroom furniture! Put a pillow on top of it or leave it on its own, the beauty of this chair speaks for itself and makes a truly stylish accent piece.

4. Change your hardware: Are you currently using regular, cheap hardware for your windows & etc? Switch over to something a little more stylish! There are many options for high quality curtain rods & accessories.

5. Temporary Wallpaper. From bold and daring to modest and traditional, there is a temporary wallpaper for you. Add a statement wall or use it all across the entire bedroom to give you a totally new look without much cost or effort!

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The Estelle Chair: Beyond Dining Room Seating

February 23rd, 2014 by Kelsey Eaton

Estelle Midcentury Modern Chair

The Estelle chair is an ultra modern, geometrical chair that highlights the minimalist beauty and style of mid-century modern furniture. Sculpted in solid American Walnut wood, this side chair has a slender, vertically split back and finely sculpted seat for the ultimate in comfort. Rounded, angular tapered legs complete the stunning contemporary design. 

The Estelle chair is unique in it’s versatility– making any room instantly more chic and well styled. This elegant chair has made its rounds on Polyvore, with dozens of people creating  stunning sets using it as an accent to their dream rooms & decor. What struck me is how these sets really bring out the ways in which the Estelle chair can be used, and the variety of rooms it will fit in.

Some of our favorite Polyvore sets featuring the Estelle chair include:

 

Copeland Modern Dining Room Chair

 

Copeland Modern Dining Room Chair

Copeland Modern Dining Room Chair

Copeland Modern Dining Room Chair

Copeland Modern Dining Room Chair

 

Can you imagine this beautiful midcentury modern chair in your home?  Register for Polyvore and start making your sets now! You’ll find the Estelle chair on Polyvore here. Create other cool Polyvore sets and share them with us! Post your set to our Facebook page, the comments section of this blog, or email them to kelsey.eaton@vermontwoodsstudios.com

 

| 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, a 200 year old farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. |

 

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American Made and Affordable Gifts – Candles!

December 24th, 2013 by Michelle Rooks

This coffee table with reclaimed wood top and steel legs is protected from any overheating of the glass candle jar with a slate coaster. Both the table and the coasters are available for purchase in our showroom!

We in southern Vermont are very lucky in that we live very close to several popular candle makers. Half an hour away is the Yankee Candle flagship store in S. Deerfield, MA and in less than fifteen minutes you can get to Kringle Candle in Bernardston, MA. Vermont is full of smaller artisan candle makers. Wilmington Candle Company makes soy based candles and Vermont Honey Lights specializes in beeswax candles.

You can find candles in bright colors or bright white, tiny tea lights to massive multi-wicks. They are used for aromatherapy or setting a mood, come with subtle scents of botanicals, bold tones of aftershave, your favorite foods or no scent at all. The best part of all is that they’re made right here in New England. And you can’t beat candles for an affordable, Made In America holiday gift perfect for teachers or as hostess gifts.

While candles are very popular, they can also be very dangerous. No matter what sort of candle you like, there are certain rules you should always follow when burning:

  • Always trim the wick to a height of approximately ¼” – make sure to remove any of the wick debris from the wax pool. Trimming helps keep it from flickering and smoking, which can cause soot buildup on the container
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended
  • Make sure the candle is sitting on an even surface that won’t be damaged if the container should get too hot – we’d hate to see your beautiful Vermont made hardwood furniture marred!
  • Keep away from any flammable objects
  • Keep out of reach of pets and children

For a full list of tips, visit the National Candle Association web site.

Here’s one more tip: If your candle is nearing the bottom of its container and you don’t want to throw the container away, simply place it in your freezer for about 20 minutes, take it out and shake out the leftover wax. This only works if the sides of the container are straight, not contoured. Now you can reuse it!

A candle reflects serenely in this beautiful stained glass window — one of the many features that make Vermont Woods Studios such a unique shopping experience.

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Hardwood Furniture: Top 5 Style Trends in 2013

October 12th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Wood Furniture | Top Style Trends | American Made in Vermont | Cherry, Maple, Walnut, Oak

Some examples of hardwood furniture style trends in 2013:  from left, a Shaker Library Desk handcrafted of solid walnut hardwood, the Contemporary Cable Bedroom Collection crafted with solid cherry hardwood and stainless steel cable accents, the Vermont Shaker Custom Oval Dining Table in black cherry wood and the Cherry Moon Large TV and Media Console in black cherry with walnut accents.

Hardwood furniture is experiencing a renaissance this year. It’s always been a classic, but over the years modern materials (metal, plastics, glass, wicker, rattan, bamboo, concrete) have become popular furniture components.  Looking at today’s online home decor authorities such as Houzz and Apartment Therapy however, it seems real solid hardwood furniture is making a comeback!  Here’s a run-down of the Top 5 Hardwood Furniture Style Trends we’ve seen at Vermont Woods Studios this year:

Mission Furniture

Mission Style Sofa Table | Hardwood Furniture Made in America

This Mission Style Sofa Table that Douglas uses to display hardware is one of our top sellers this year.  Straight, simple lines and solid hardwood construction characterize Mission style furniture.  Similarly styled mission dining room and bedroom furniture, built by the same furniture maker has also experienced renewed popularity.  Instead of the traditional oak wood, many customers are customizing their mission furniture in cherry and even walnut wood.

Shaker Furniture

Shaker Furniture Trends in Home Decor

This Classic Shaker Huntboard is another customer favorite at Stonehurst.  Cherry is the wood of choice for  Shaker style furniture in 2013.

 

Arts and Crafts and Craftsman Furniture

Arts and Crafts and Craftsman Style Furniture

This Cherry Moon 7 Drawer Dresser shows off it’s Arts and Crafts and Craftsman Style roots in our showroom at Stonehurst.  Made in a small workshop just north of Montpelier, the Cherry Moon collection is so popular this year that the craftsman now has a lead time of 4 months!

Modern Hardwood Furniture

Modern Hardwood Furniture by Copeland

Copeland’s new Kyoto Dining Collection is a modern version of 20th century, mid-century modern MCM design.  It’s minimalist, uncluttered look with clean, straight lines is highly sought after by our interior design friends in Boston and New York.

Looking for more inspiration?  Check out additional hardwood furniture style trends on House Beautiful and Houzz.

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Wood Furniture Care: Tips on Climate Control

September 21st, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Solid Wood Furniture:  Tips on Climate Control and Humidity

We received this beautiful picture of our Cherry Blossom Single Pedestal Table from Mary M in Palm Desert, CA.  I love how she blended a relatively modern cherry dining set with what looks like a 16th century Baroque painting, a Colonial American corner cabinet and a collection of vibrant patchwork quilts.  But it was her combination of different woods that reminded me to talk about wood movement today.

Mary’s M’s cherry dining furniture (shown above) was made in Vermont (a relatively humid place, especially in the summer) and shipped to the desert of Arizona. Since we ship a lot of Vermont made wood furniture to desert locales in California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and elsewhere, I thought I’d post a few tips on humidity and climate control.

Wood Furniture Moves in Response to Changes in Humidity

When wood is part of a living tree, water moves up the trunk, from the ground and through the pores and fibers of the wood, as it travels out to the leaves.  After a tree is cut and sawn into lumber, water continues to move back and forth through the wood fibers until the wood’s moisture level reaches equilibrium with its environment.

The job of woodworkers is to design and build furniture with a thorough understanding of the characteristics of wood movement.  But in spite of their advanced knowledge and skills, no woodworker is able to create wood furniture that is completely unresponsive to temperature and humidity in your home.  So here are a few climate control tips from our Furniture Care section to ensure that your wood furniture will remain beautiful and structurally sound for generations of enjoyment.

Climate Control Tips

  • Keep your home around 70°F-72°F with a relative humidity of about 50-55%
  • This often requires a humidifier in winter and an air conditioner in summer
  • Place your furniture away from heat sources such as radiators, heat runs or fireplaces
  • Store table leaves as close as possible to the table so they adjust to the same humidity conditions
  • Use a dehumidifier during wet, rainy times and in damp rooms to remove excess moisture from the air
  • For wood furniture with an oil finish, re-oil it frequently to create and maintain a patina.  A rule of thumb is to oil your furniture:
    • Immediately upon receipt
    • Once/week during the first month
    • Once/month during the first year
    • Once or twice/year after that

Normally if you’re comfortable with the temperature and humidity in your home, your wood furniture will be comfortable as well.  It’s designed to be durable and to accommodate normal changes in climate so most homeowners need not worry.   Relax and enjoy it.  Given reasonably good care your wood furniture will last for generations.

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Natural Wood Furniture: American Made For Healthy Homes

May 9th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Natural Wood Furniture | American Made in Vermont

This Natural Wood Furniture set is part of our 100% American made Modern Shaker collection.  The wood is sustainably harvested in local and regional forests that are managed by professional foresters.  Furniture finishes are non toxic and eco friendly.

American Made Furniture vs Imports

While we’ve watched the price of most home decor items skyrocket over the last 30 years, have you noticed that the price of furniture has actually tumbled?  It’s true. For a couple centuries we Americans prided ourselves on making high quality, natural wood furniture that was coveted around the world.  North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and other New England states were leaders in the fine furniture industry.

But in the 1960′s  and 70′s many of America’s big furniture makers (like Ethan Allen, Broyhill, Thomasville and Lane) started to move their operations overseas and superior quality became a thing of the past (along with hundreds of thousands of American jobs).  Prices fell dramatically.  Instead of preserving our grandparents heirloom quality wooden furniture for our homes, we began buying cheap, trendy furniture imports and replacing them frequently as breakage occured.

Natural Furniture for the Healthy Home

Fast forward to 2013 when home owners are getting tired of cheap imported furniture that ends up on the curbside in 5 years.  And they’re worried about the health effects of toxic flame retardants and formaldehyde that come standard with imports. Especially in households with children, it is simply not worth the risk.

Families are coming back to American made natural wood furniture with non-toxic finishes.  Yes the furniture is more expensive up front, primarily because the American worker is paid a livable wage (as compared to wages that often amount to just a few dollars/day in Asia).  But the high quality and environmental integrity of American made furniture is winning customers over.  In fact, many brands  are offered with a lifetime guarantee, indicative of the superior value of American made furniture over time.

What kind of furniture is in your home?  Where was it made?  Is it time to rediscover the real thing?  Learn more about American made, natural wood furniture on the sustainability section of our website.

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Is Your Wood Furniture Brought to You by Organized Crime?

April 17th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Luxury Furniture | Avoiding Global Rainforest Destruction | Choosing Sustainable American Made Furniture

Organized crime is currently responsible for an unprecedented rate of rainforest destruction.  Unchecked illegal logging is rampant in tropical countries too poor to effectively monitor and enforce conservation regulations.  You can help save the rainforest by avoiding the purchase of imported forest products like wood furniture and flooring.

Forest conservation is at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios and we’re always trying to raise awareness about where your wood furniture comes from.  If you’re committed to buying American made furniture– no worries.  Chances are it’s made from legal wood, sustainably harvested from well-managed forests right here in North America.

But if you’re buying imported wood furniture (and according to a Washington Post article 70% of furniture sold in America is imported) then: Houston, we have a problem.

A recent Washington Post article by Brad Plumer entitled Organized Crime is Getting Rich Cutting Down the Rainforest describes how the illegal logging trade has become just as lucrative (and far more destructive) than the drug-trafficking industry.  50 to 90 percent of forestry in tropical areas is now controlled by criminal groups!  “A great deal of logging simply takes place illegally — much of it in tropical areas such as the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia.” (ref: United Nations and Interpol)

The U.N. estimates that illicit logging is now worth between $30 billion to $100 billion, or up to 30 percent of the global wood trade.  That illegal wood is often shipped from pristine rainforests to China, Vietnam and other third world countries where it’s fabricated into low quality furniture which is sold to US consumers. We’ve written quite a bit about the links between rainforest destruction, global warming and the furniture and flooring you choose for your home:

If you’re considering buying furniture at IKEA, Home Depot or any big box store… ask where the lumber originates and let us know what you find on our Facebook or in the comments section below.  Then re-discover sustainable, American made wood furniture and join us in feeling good about your furniture and your green home.

 

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Shaker Furniture: What’s the Wood of Choice?

March 14th, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Shaker Furniture:  The wood of choice is cherry

Back in the 19 century, the original Shakers built their furniture with woods harvested from their own land, including maple, walnut, oak, cherry, beech, poplar and ash.  What’s your favorite wood species for Shaker style furniture?

We’re in the middle of a Shaker furniture sale and I can’t help but notice that almost all the pieces customers have bought have been of a single wood species.  We offer a choice of four woods on most of our furniture:  maple, cherry, oak and walnut.  Which one do you think is the favorite?

Back in the 19 century, the original Shakers built their furniture with woods harvested from their own land.  According to Nancy Fischer of BuildDirectBlog, “In the east, this included pine, maple, ash, birch, cherry, hickory and butternut. In the west, walnut, cherry, beech and poplar were used”.

Today’s most popular wood (amongst our customers, anyway) for Shaker furniture is indeed one of those nine woods used 150 years ago.  Hint:  it’s the wood shown in the photo.  OK, it’s cherry wood.  I’m not sure why cherry has stormed itself to the top of the best seller list so forcefully but it is a beautiful wood.  Woodworkers love it because it’s easy to work with, stains and finishes well with natural oil, and ages beautifully.

Customers love cherry’s  clean grain and reddish-brown color that develops a rich patina over time.  The fact that cherry wood lasts forever (as demonstrated by some of the valuable antique Shaker furniture originating in Vermont and New England) doesn’t hurt either.

Which wood do you like best for Shaker style furniture?  Let us know on our Facebook or comment below.

 

 

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Forests, Furniture and the Future

January 22nd, 2013 by Peggy Farabaugh

Forests, Furniture and The Future

Check out The Nature Conservancy’s info-graphic to see where your furniture, flooring, coffee, paper and other forest products come from and learn what you can do to help save the rainforest.

Our sustainable furniture company was founded in 2005 on a mission of forest conservation.  I had been studying rainforest conservation for years and wanted to see if I could do something to help change this startling statistic:

Every second of every minute of every day…

We lose over 1 acre of rainforest.  Permanently.

Several years prior to starting Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture I had formed a non-profit corporation with the same mission (rainforest conservation) but I was never really able to get the funding I needed to lift it off the ground.  So our wood furniture company was built as a for-profit corporation to help accomplish the same goals.

It’s not always easy to explain why a Vermont based fine furniture company is so committed to rainforest conservation.  When I saw this info-graphic, Forests and the Green Economy (courtesy of The Nature Conservancy) I thought it might help.  Here are a few rainforest facts that might surprise you:

  • More than half of the planet’s species live in the rainforest even though the rainforest only occupies about 2% of the earth’s surface
  • Many of our favorite iconic species are critically endangered due to deforestation, including all species of big cats and all species of big apes
  • An estimated 137 species of plants and animals are driven into extinction every day due to deforestation
  • Rainforest deforestation contributes as much to global warming as the sum of all the cars, trains and planes in the world
  • Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover <6%
  • If deforestation continues at this rate, the rainforests could be gone in < 40 years and once they’re gone, they are gone forever.  Rainforests do not regenerate the way our Northern temperate forests do

The Nature Conservancy summarizes this and other compelling facts about the rainforest in their info-graphic.  Along with the World Wildlife Fund they are among the world’s best hopes for saving the rainforest.  Check out their info-graphic and learn about ways you can help everyday through your choices of food, paper, furniture, flooring and other forest products.

At Vermont Woods Studios we donate $1 for every sale to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project and run occasional benefits to support non-profits that work to save the rainforest and it’s inhabitants.  Learn more about our work in the Mission section of our blog and website.

 

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12 Days of Savings

December 19th, 2012 by Kelsey Eaton

real hardwood furniture sale

Storewide Hardwood Furniture Sale

Storewide year-end sales are commonly associated with large clearance discounts because the products do not pass a necessary quality check. Another reason stores have sales at the end of the year is because they need to clear out their merchandise to make room for next year’s style.

The Vermont Woods Studios Winter Holiday Storewide Sale is a little different from your average year end sale. We are not putting our furniture on sale because they are “seconds.” From January 1 to December 31 each year, we sell heirloom quality wood furniture that is crafted to last for generations of use (backed by a lifetime guarantee). That being said, we also aren’t trying to make room in a warehouse for next years style. We actually don’t have a warehouse, because each piece of furniture you buy is crafted just for you! As for style, Vermont fine furniture is timeless. It is naturally beautiful, and will never go out of style.

Discounts, Discounts, Discounts

As our holiday gift to you, we are giving you 12 days to save on our solid hardwood furniture. You work hard all year long, and this is the time to treat yourself to the furniture you’ve been longing for. Save up to 20% on your purchase during our Winter Holiday Sale. This is a storewide sale, so you can find furniture for your bedroom, dining room, living room, or home office! Whether you are buying just one piece of wood furniture, or furnishing an entire room, you are getting a great deal. Take 10% off one piece, 15% off two pieces, or 20% off three or more pieces of our real wood furniture (plus free shipping)!

Your new hardwood furniture is crafted right here in Vermont just for you, so your furniture can be crafted in your choice of natural Cherry, Walnut, Maple, or Oak woods. Customize your furniture to fit your needs by using the drop down options in our online gallery.

You can securely, easily, and conveniently shop our online gallery 24 hours a day, but don’t wait until the last minute! This discount is only offered for 12 days!

If you need any assistance during our Winter Holiday Storewide Sale, our Vermont fine furniture specialists are available to help. You can contact them by phone (888-390-5571), by email, or by live chat (located in the top right corner of our gallery).

This sale ends on Sunday, December 30th at midnight!

*Copeland Furniture and Polywood Outdoor Furniture pieces are not included in this sale, but they do carry a low-price guarantee. Custom artisan and reclaimed barnwood items are also excluded. 

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