October 3rd, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Normally, the beginning of the work week for any nine-to-five worker goes the same way: coffee, exhaustion and melancholy over the end of the weekend. This week was different. I felt quite rejuvenated and ready for the week ahead. Why, you ask? During the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this past weekend in Woodstock, Vermont (blog post to follow soon) I was able to stay at the lovely Fan House, a bed and breakfast in Barnard, Vermont.
Now, I should say that with being an FFA member, I am well-versed in hotel stays. I actually enjoy staying in hotels and take pleasure in having a little break away from my own bed. But this was my first time staying at a B&B, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Do I have to check in? (you don’t.) Should I bring my own towels? (You don’t.) What I received was much better than anything I could have hoped for. Beautifully decorated rooms, luxurious linens, countless amenities and locally-sourced, delicious meals in the morning make the Fan House the perfect getaway for a weekend in the Green Mountains. Or should I say colorful mountains because with fall foliage just beginning, the hills surrounding Barnard were alive with shades of red, orange and yellow.
Sara Widness, steward of the Fan House, was welcoming and kind, a great example of Vermont hospitality that I’ve come to love. I grew up in the city, so being welcomed into a strangers home for the weekend and having them make my bed and serve me meals was a very new experience. Sara was a pleasure to talk with in the morning during breakfast and had great knowledge about the “must-see” places in the area. The Fan House felt like being at home. It was comfortable and peaceful, which was exactly what I needed this weekend.
Each room has it’s own antique feel with comfy quilts, artfully-aged furniture and subtle decor. The three upstairs bedrooms each have their own private bathrooms so I slept peacefully through the night without any interruptions. Each morning during our planned breakfasts, I met and conversed with people who were all travelling to Vermont for different purposes. One morning we sat and enjoyed Sara’s wonderful corn pancakes and oatmeal with yogurt and then ventured outside to enjoy the sun rising over the red hills. I also got to meet (and play with) Sara’s canine housemate, Happy Chappy, who served as a joyous greeter to The Fan House. But to all of those non-dog-lovers, Chappy stays in his own part of the house and only comes out if the rest of the guests are okay with his company.
In summary, The Fan House made a fan out of me. I don’t think I could ever look at a hotel room the same way again.
September 24th, 2013 by Loryn Dion
Happy Autumn VWS blog followers! Sunday was the first day of fall and we’re already starting to see the leaves changing and the humidity leaving. It looks like we are going to have a beautiful weekend here in Vermont, so you may be looking for some activities to get you out of the house and enjoying all of Vermont’s offerings. Why not try heading to Woodstock, VT for the Tenth Annual Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival this September 28th and 29th.
There will be entertainment for all at the festival this year. Named a Summer/Fall 2013 Vermont Vacation Guide’s Picks for Kids by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the festival offers live music, local food, Vermont furniture & wood products for sale, and demonstrations from the areas most talented woodworkers. The show began as a simple idea to showcase the world-class talent and skill in the woodworking industry right here in Vermont. Beginning as a simple woodworking competition in 1996, the Vermont Fine Furniture Festival has grown into a full-scale show, now celebrating its tenth year.
The main theme this year is “From Vermont’s Working Landscape to Your Home”. If you think about it, that’s exactly what we offer here at Vermont Woods Studios and what we showcase at Stonehurst. Beautiful, handcrafted furniture made from Vermont’s working landscape to brighten and liven up your home.
The festival also joins with the annual forest festival where you can make your own walking stick, take a horse drawn carriage ride through the forest, hike through the woods with a park ranger, tour the mansion and gardens and watch woodcraft demonstrations.
Douglas and I will be at the Vermont Fine Furniture and Woodworking Festival at booth 15, talking about our furniture and showcasing a few of our pieces. Stop in and say hello or come and learn about what Vermont Woods Studios can offer you!
October 18th, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
Vermont is home to some of the best fine furniture makers in America, and indeed the world. Last month Vermont Woods Studios attended the annual Fine Furniture Festival and Design Contest in Woodstock, Vermont and it was bigger and better than ever. I wanted to recognize the winners and share a few photos of their work with you.
Brent Karner of Clear Lake Furniture was awarded First Place in the Production Furniture category for his beautiful custom wall unit with bookcases, media storage and a fireplace mantle.
Johns Congdon took First Place in the Custom and Studio Furniture category for his Alienor Writing Desk.
Mario Messina's Abacus Table took Second Place in the Custom and Studio Furniture category.
David Hurwitz's State of Craft Table took tThird Place in the Custom and Studio Furniture Category.
Congratulations to everyone on your impressive achievements! See more photos on our Facebook.
September 21st, 2011 by Peggy Farabaugh
I can't believe it's leaf-peeping season already… an annual outdoor extravaganza that comes with great ambivalence among Vermonters. Most of us are not really ready to think about the winter ahead yet, but on the other hand, Fall is pretty spectacular up here in New England.
It's an annual gathering of Vermont's fine furniture makers– undoubtedly some of the best, most meticulous craftspeople in the world. Here you'll get to see, feel and sit in beautiful, handcrafted solid wood furniture that's unlike anything you've seen in the stores. You'll get to chat with craftsepople whose pieces live in luxurious penthouses and mansions around the world. And you'll find that they are approachable, down to earth and passionate about the integrity of their work.
Honestly, if you're interested in furniture with authentic old world craftsmanship and/or creative modern style, Woodstock is the place to be. And acquiring this kind of heirloom furniture is not out of reach– not when you're shopping in Vermont.
OK, it's a totally different product than what you'll find in "luxury furniture stores" like Restoration Hardware or Crate and Barrel. It's American made with sustainably harvested wood and it's made (and usually guaranteed) to last a lifetime so naturally the price will be higher than the imported furniture you're used to seeing in stores.
But if you're looking for value, you won't find a better opportunity than this. You'll be purchasing direct from the furniture makers and your solid wood furniture will be made to order just for you. Shipping is no problem either. These professionals have been shipping their work around the globe for years and they know how to do it right.