In case you haven’t heard, this Saturday is International Coastal
Clean-up Day, organized by the Ocean Conservancy. This year marks their 27th
anniversary of celebrating this initiative and they don’t look to be slowing
down anytime soon. In 2011, almost 600,000 volunteers worldwide collected more
than 9 million pounds of trash from our oceanic ecosystems. These trash items,
such as cigarette butts, plastic bottles and bags and food wrappers, are
responsible for polluting our waters and endangering our wildlife.
Vermont Woods Studios makes every effort we can to support initiatives
like that of The Ocean Conservancy. In many areas of our company, you can find examples of how we support the preservation of our environment. We donate to local and national
environmental organizations, we “green-up” our office space and we even sell
Our Polywood Outdoor Furniture is the perfect addition to
any green home. Made from more than 90% post-consumer recycled containers like
milk or detergent bottles, these pieces are constructed using a process that
makes them look and feel like real wood. That’s right. Durable, beautiful
furniture that doesn’t harm our environment and actually helps to keep plastic
out of our oceans. How much better can you get?
Here in the office, we decorate our “beach” area with
Polywood and enjoy it all year long. We also have BIG plans for Polywood at our
new Stonehurst home. Because that’s the thing about Vermont Woods Studios:
While we are a fine, hardwood furniture company, VWS is built on sustainability
and on protecting our environment.
This weekend, make plans to do something to support our
oceans. Find a beach clean-up site near you, start or improve a recycling
resolution in your home or office, or relax in a luxurious Polywood Adirondack
Chair. However you choose to help, you’ll be glad you did!
Loryn Dion is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont's finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.
Before you buy a bedroom furniture set
, ask if it's made from real solid wood. Is it made in America? And can it be customized to meet your needs? Oh yes… and always ask for a volume discount.
Manjula just finished posting eight new fine wood bedroom furniture sets in our online store at Vermont Woods Studios. Customers have been asking for customizable, solid wood bedroom sets and we've done our best to make them available online at affordable prices.
If you're shopping for this type of furniture, here are 3 questions to ask your retailer before you make a purchase:
* Is this bedroom furniture made from real solid wood? Authentic fine furniture is handcrafted from genuine solid wood, not mdf or particle board covered with wooden veneers. Most of what you see in America's "fine furniture" (aka Big Box) stores like Ashley or Bob's is made with inferior substrates rather than real wood, although it's often hard to tell if you're not familiar with traditional craftsmanship. Be sure to ask your furniture salesman what type of wood your furniture is made with and whether that wood is a veneer or solid wood.
* Where is this bedroom furniture made? American furniture craftsmanship is considered the gold standard worldwide. Thirty years ago states like North Carolina and Pennsylvania were the fine furniture capitals of the world but then the global market place began to change that. American furniture icons like Ethan Allen, Lane and Thomasville moved their operations overseas and quality plummeted. Luckily there are a number of small American furniture companies who steadfastly remained in the USA with quality and community remaining at the core of their identities. Today these businesses are the world leaders in fine furniture, with Vermont's companies leading the way. They are the only companies you will find that offer a lifetime guarantee on their furniture.
* Can this bedroom furniture set be customized to meet my needs? Most furniture sets consist of 5 items– take it or leave it. Well, I say if you're investing in fine wood furniture that you're going to have for many years you ought to be able to select the exact pieces you need for the space and decor of your bedroom. Make sure your furniture salesperson is flexible so you can purchase all of the pieces you need and no extras (that you'll have to find space for in another room).
And here's a bonus tip: ask for a volume discount. At Vermont Woods Studios we've put together 16 different handmade, solid wood fine furniture sets for your bedroom– all 100% Made in America, fully customizable and on sale for 20% lower discount prices. Have a look and if you don't see exactly what you need, give us a call. We want you to have the high end, fine solid wood furniture you've always dreamed of. You deserve it!
Vermont company, Wall Goldfinger is America's premier luxury office furniture maker, supplying custom desks (averaging $200,000 each) to the most powerful board rooms in the world, from the White House situation room to the New York Stock Exchange.
Remember that movie, "A River Runs Through It" with Brad Pitt? Well that pretty much sums up the story of Wall Goldfinger a year ago when Hurricane Irene ravaged through Vermont devestating hundreds of homes and businesses.
WallGoldfinger sat along the Dog River which jumped it's banks, blew out their back door and filled the shop with 7 feet of water in just 10 minutes. Imagine a river– all of a sudden being re-routed through your workshop!
So today we're sending congratulations out to our friends and fellow furniture makers at this premier luxury office furniture company in Randolf, Vermont. They have risen from the ashes and emerged bigger, better and stronger than before. How inspiring!
Check out Wall Goldfinger on the web or view a video about their story on Vermont's WCAX TV.
Editor's note: If you're looking for high end office furniture but you're not calling from the White House or Wall Street, you might have a look at the luxury home office furniture collections at Vermont Woods Studios. Here you'll find the same impeccable Vermont craftsmanship but on a decidedly smaller scale.
Lyndon's craftspeople are committed to preserving the heritage of American furniture
making by combining the best of old world construction techniques and new world precision.
Lyndon Furniture has been crafting beautiful fine furniture from real, solid hardwoods for over 30 years and it's become one of our "best value" lines at Vermont Woods Studios. Customers looking for honest, hand crafted furniture that's made of all real, solid wood (without veneers) are drawn to Lyndon.
Their craftspeople are committed to preserving the heritage of American furniture making by combining the best of old world construction techniques and new world precision. What they achieve is an authentic product that's stylish, affordable and designed to last a lifetime.
Lyndon works with local and regional hardwoods, primarily cherrywood, maple, walnut and oak. In addition to making their tables, chairs and beds with all solid wood, Lyndon also constructs their case goods (china cabinets, bookcases, dressers, chests, nightstands and armoires) with solid wood, whereas most manufacturers use veneers on case sides. The only place you'll find veneer on Lyndon pieces is on the backs of case goods and bottoms of drawers– that's to provide for wood movement during changing humidity.
If all solid wood construction is important to you when shopping for handmade furniture, check out Lyndon Furniture on our website. We carry the full line of their products, including customizations and complete custom design. We welcome your questions and specialty orders.
A customer purchased this Copeland Horizon bed
over the weekend, but when he gets it, the bed will look very different. That's because he customized the finish and changed it from the dark chocolate stain shown to a natural maple color which is very light (see below).
Have you been looking everywhere for the perfect hardwood furniture to fit precisely into your dining rom or bedroom space? If you're still coming up short, maybe think about customizing!
We had a customer purchase this Copeland Horizon bed over the weekend, but when he gets it, the bed is going to look very different than it does here. That's because he customized the finish and changed it from the dark chocolate stain shown to a natural maple color which is very light.
I love working with customers who have the vision (and courage!) to imagine how customized furniture will look in their homes. Maybe he'll send us a photo once it's installed in his bedroom so I can share it with you. I hope so.
The Horizon bed
above is made of solid maple hardwood and can be customized in 8 of these finish colors: natural maple (no stain) or white maple, cocoa maple, dark chocolate
maple, dark honey maple, chestnut maple, black maple or slate maple.
At Vermont Woods Studios we customize furniture routinely. Customization can be as straight-forward as changing the stain or substituting different drawer pulls. Or it can be substantial for instance modifying dimensions, leg style, configuration of drawers-doors, adding inlays and more.
We've tried to build our fine furniture website so you can use pull-down menus to see possibilities and prices for popular customizations.
What many people don't realize is that customizations are often free! Or in this case, it was two hundred dollars less to customize the bed in natural maple, as opposed to having the dark stain.
So if you're still searching for that custom dining set or bedroom set for your home, check out our furniture at Vermont Woods Studios and give us a call to see how easy it can be customized to meet your needs.
It's been a long time coming and we've tried to be quiet about it… for worry about everything that can go wrong in a real estate transaction.
But we're now in the final countdown– just 3 more days until we close on the purchase of Stonehurst, an historic circa 1800 farmhouse and former ski area located just up the road in Vernon, Vermont.
Stonehurst will be our new showroom, office space and nature center. It's a traditional Vermont style farmhouse that sits on 109 acres of forest and meadow, overlooking the Connecticut River. Not your typical furniture store!
We're excited that we'll finally be able to show customers a wide selection of all the custom and made to order furniture our Vermont craftspeople have to offer. Even more exciting for me personally is the idea of conserving the property and providing eco-conscious customers a chance to see and experience the land where their furniture comes from.
Check in after we settle on Stonehurst this Thursday for more details on our plans to make it a destination shopping experience.
Because this is back-to-school time, most of the furniture sold in August and September is sort of disposable… you know what I meant, right? Even Kendall (I'm embarassed to say) had to make an emergency trip to Ikea to pick up a portable bookshelf for his dorm room.
Most people just assume that the furniture they buy is going to be on the curbside in 5-10 years. It's part of the "planned obsolescence" strategy which ensures furniture stores that future sales will be strong.
So why, at Vermont Woods Studios are we selling heirloom quality, fine furniture that's backed by a lifetime guarantee? It probably seems foolish to many.
But quite honestly, here's the reason why: Heather's taken three orders today from repeat customers who love their Vermont made furniture. It's the real thing and there's nothing quite like it.
In an age when few things last for decades (let alone generations) we're proud to be selling Vermont made furniture and it seems only fair to back up our promise of quality with a lifetime guarantee.
If a lifetime guarantee on fine furniture is important to you, how 'bout letting us know on our Facebook?
Robin's luxurious, natural cherry, American Shaker Furniture Collection was last week's best seller at Vermont Woods Studios. Design features include straight and curved Shaker lines, perfect proportions, carefully-selected extra-wide boards, 2-sided tapered posts and legs, eased edges, beveleled tops and traditional, mushroom-shaped Shaker knobs.
Pieces are available in natural solid cherry, walnut or maple wood and they are 100% USA made, Vermont made actually.
Robin also offers a sister collection to this one called the Vermont Made Shaker Collection. There are a couple subtle differences between the two collections. The American Shaker Furniture has arched curves along the bottom of the bed headboard and foot board and matching arched aprons along the bottom of the dressers and chests, whereas the Vermont Made Shaker Furniture has no curves or arches– all the lines are pure, traditional straight Shaker lines.
Another subtle difference is in the detail on the tops of dressers, chests and tables. The Vermont Made Shaker Collection features straight lines and edges along the tops of these pieces, whereas the tops of American Shaker Furniture pieces have cove moldings.
When shopping, purists will typically choose the straight lines of the Vermont Made Shaker Collection while customers wanting to imbue a slightly modern flair are more apt to go for the American Shaker Style. Last week the modernists came out ahead.
Which Shaker style do you like best: traditional or modern?
Customers often come to us because they're shopping for eco-friendly, sustainable furniture. At Vermont Woods Studios, our mission is founded on environmental and social responsibility so we find ourselves discussing FSC certification and other aspects of sustainable furniture almost every day. Here are some of the basics on FSC:
What is FSC?
The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an independent,
non-governmental, not-for-profit organization that promotes responsible
management of the world's forests. It is widely regarded as one of the
most important initiatives to promote responsible forest management
worldwide. It places a special emphasis on rainforest conservation.
L to R photo credits: Reststart Forestry, Allard Lumber, Wayne Fawbush, Ellen Kahler, Copeland Furniture, via the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund.
by environmental groups in 1993 FSC manages an international standard
for well-managed forests and a process for tracking and certifying wood
furniture, flooring and other products derived from those forests. FSC
addresses numerous aspects of sustainable forestry, including ecological
issues, old-growth forests, plantations, restoration, biodiversity,
native habitat, indigenous people's rights, and sound management for
The FSC label provides certification of the
chain of links between the forest where a product originates and the
consumer. For example with wood furniture, each of the following
businesses involved in transforming a tree into a piece of furniture
would have to be FSC certified in order for that furniture piece to be
FSC certified. It's called the "chain of custody":
- Certified forest owner- Must employ a professional forester and
develop a forest management plan which meets stringent ecological and
- Certified logger and sawyer
- Certified lumber wholesaler
- Certified lumber retailer
- Certified furniture maker
- Certified furniture retailer
Benefits of FSC Certification
In my opinion, FSC provides the most rigorous certification process
available. It's widely considered the gold standard in sustainable
forestry and has moved the world forward in many areas of rainforest
Copeland's Harbor Island Furniture collection is handmade here in VT with FSC certified maple wood from local Vermont trees.
Challenges for FSC As you might expect FSC
certification involves extensive rule-making and auditing that can be
quite expensive (and controversial) to implement. It can add up to 50% to the price of the
end product although the hope is that this cost will decrease as FSC
certification becomes more mainstream. Still many small manufacturers
are unable to assume this cost and are thus not FSC certified.
challenge for FSC is the rampant counterfeiting of FSC documentation
accompanying raw lumber that is being illegally clear cut from the
Amazon and other endangered areas of rainforest. Also FSC has been
criticized for being too lenient,
particularly with their policy allowing limited old growth logging.
Should You Buy Only FSC Certified Furniture?
Authentic FSC certified furniture is a responsible choice for the
eco-conscious homeowner. However there are many genuinely responsible,
green, eco-friendly furniture makers who are not FSC certified due to
the red tape and expense involved. Conversely there is a large market of fake, FSC
labeled furniture that comes to us through layers of corruption
In Vermont, many of us who were certified by FSC for years have been moving away from it lately. Not because we don't support the ideal, but because we have so many other systems in place that effectively ensure our furniture is authentically green and sustainable. At Vermont Woods Studios not all of our furniture is FSC certified, but it is all made from sustainably harvested wood from local and regional forests.
If FSC certification is important to you, check out Copeland's Harbor Island Furniture collection. It's handmade here in VT with FSC certified maple from local Vermont trees. And let us know on our Facebook or in the comments section below how you feel about FSC certification.
Maybe it's because this is "back to school" season — I'm not sure, but we seem to be selling a lot of home office desks and workstations lately. This Copeland Sarah Desk, Organizer and Return is the week's best seller.
A couple customers have asked "what's a return?" Good question. It's the smaller desk that's lined up at a right angle with your main desk to form an "L" shape so it fits nicely into a corner space.
So why is it called a "return"? I've looked everywhere and can't really find a good explanation for that. The best I've found is this by JBENZ of Askville:
It comes from architecture. A "return" is a portion of a building that sits at right angles to the main part of the structure, what is usually called a "wing" or an "L". Hence the added on part of the desk where the typewriter or computer sits. Why they call it that is beyond me. The word itself is from an old French word that meant to "turn on a lathe".
Well, sorry I can't come up with more detail than that but maybe one of you can. I welcome your input in the comments section below or on our Facebook. Thanks!
Oh… and for more desks and returns, check out our Copeland Berkeley Workstation with desk, return & organizer or give us a call to order a custom return for any of our Vermont made desks and workstations.
One more thing: if you're ordering a return, be sure to specify whether it's to be aligned on the left or the right side of your desk. Otherwise you won't be able to open the pencil drawer on the return.