the recent cooler nights and the realization that Labor Day is less than 2
weeks away, we're beginning to feel that summer's end is near…well, at least
in Vermont. While we know that Labor Day doesn't technically signal
the end of summer, for many it's a symbolic end as minds begin shifting to the fall.
Before we know it, the feasting holidays will soon be here! If you're
like most, this can be the time of year where you might find yourself doing a
lot of hosting, especially in the dining room. So, perhaps it's time to think
about how to make your home feast-ready for the holidays, and it's also a good
time to consider other home improvement projects.
Since dining room furniture gets
the most use and attention during the feasting holidays, this room may be a
primary focus. In between choosing, crafting, and delivering fine wood
furniture, many weeks can slip by. Crafting fine furnishings takes time, so
planning for Thanksgiving at the end of August is actually the perfect amount
While your furniture is being
crafted perhaps there are other things that you would like to do to get your dining
room ready. For instance, painting, refinishing floors or replacing carpet,
makes sense to do before your new furniture arrives.
So we at Vermont
Woods Studios Furniture have decided to put our fine wood dining room furniture on sale now
through August 30th! If it’s high quality, American Made, real wood furniture
you are considering then the next week is the best time to buy and save up to
20% (plus Free Shipping)! Our heirloom quality furniture features timeless
styling and sturdy construction which you can enjoy holiday after holiday with
your family for generations. Browse our online dining furniture gallery to see our
large selection of wood dining tables, dining chairs, sideboards, hutches and
buffets. Ordering now will ensure delivery before Thanksgiving and allow you
time to enjoy it before the crowds arrive!
Everyone has been asking me to keep them posted about when the Vernon, Vermont segment of ABC's Made in America Christmas Shopping Challenge is going to air. I just spoke to Christine Brozyna, the producer from ABC World News. Vernon's segment is tentatively planned for next Monday or Tuesday, Dec 12 or 13. If they can't fit it in then, Christine said they'll probably push it back– to the following Mon or Tues, Dec 19 or 20. No promises on the schedule though.
If you live in Vernon and want additional information, check our Vermont Furniture Facebook. We hope to see you on TV! Keep you fingers crossed for Monday or Tuesday.
Thanks To Vermont Craftsman Chad Woodruff: Maker of Mission, Arts & Crafts and Stickley Style Furniture
Once again we'd like to say thanks to one of our favorite Vermont fine furniture makers: Chad Woodruff of Woodruff Custom Furniture in Vernon, Vermont. Chad was kind enough to join us on Tuesday when ABC World News came to town. He and his quintessential Vermont workshop (located in an historic, old red barn) were featured in a film segment for the Made in America Shopping Challenge. I can't wait to see that part of the video because Chad speaks about his craft so beautifully and powerfully– straight from the heart.
Chad specializes in building Arts & Crafts style pieces, inspired by craftsmen like Stickley, Roycroft, and Limbert. Each piece Chad crafts has a simple beauty and an honest solid construction. His furniture is made by hand from rough board to fine finish.
Quartersawn White Oak is the wood of choice for most of Chad's customers although he is happy to customize his furniture to meet your specific needs and preferences. He offers 4 stain choices: a classic mission finish with a medium brown stain with strong orange and golden highlights, a light mission stain, a dark mission stain and a fumed oak finish.
Chad's quality is impeccable, his customers are raving fans and we are very proud to be able to represent him at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture. Check out some of Chad's Mission, Arts and Crafts and Stickley Style Furniture on our website or give us a call to learn more about his work and how to bring it into your home.
We finally managed to get everybody on our staff together for a photo in our office-showroom at Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture. Well, most of us anyway. The student interns (aka our children) were all attending high school and college at the time. But tthey are an important part of our success so hopefully we'll be able to take another snapshot during Christmas vacation and update you then. For now, your Sustainable Furniture Team consists of:
First row from left: Rebecca, Peggy, Manjula, Shannon
Second row from left: Douglas, Ken, Dennis
We were coming home from Greenfield MA on Sunday after Riley's basketball game and decided to travel home along Route 5, through Bernardston. I was surprised to see how much progress they've made on the new Kringle Candle Company– where the old Harley Davidson shop used to be.
It is beautiful! We had been through the candle shop last year but now there are several additional shops across the street– it's like a little village.
The old farmhouse that sits south of the Harley shop has been transformed into an elegant Farm Table Restaurant that extends to outdoor eating areas filled with Polywood Euro Furniture and decorated with colorful Fall mums and pumpkins.
In their brochures they note that Mike and Mick Kittredge founded the company on green principles:
- The restaurant serves all local organic foods
- The candle containers are designed for re-use
- Product packaging is environmentally friendly and recycled when possible
That's where there is some commonality between the Kringle Candle Company and Vermont Woods Studios– in our shared green philosophy. Our vision for our new location (be it Skyline or elsewhere) is one that honors our natural world and serves to raise awareness about the green causes we have always been passionate about: forest conservation and wildlife protection. I think Kringle Candle is an appropriate benchmark for us. We could learn a lot from these folks.
Can you believe this? I leave the office for a few hours and Douglas and Manjula immediately break out the booze. Pretty sad state of affairs at Vermont Woods Studios, isn't it?
You'll notice Rebecca and Dennis aren't too impressed.
OK, actually we were celebrating meeting an impossible goal we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year, so we thought we would indulge in a little champagne that day. And some key lime pie that Dennis's wife, Susan kindly made for us (thank you Susan).
Now it's back to work and I have to say that for the most part, we have fun doing it. I'm so impressed with our team (Douglas, Manjula, Rebecca, Dennis, Shannon). They are brilliant and creative and determined — so much so that I feel certain we'll have another reason to be drinking on the job again soon. Thanks, Everyone!
Oh… I guess I should say that if you look real close, you'll see the second bottle in the photo is sparkling grape juice… just so I don't get any of our teatotalers in trouble )
This past weekend was the most beautiful Columbus Day I can remember. After suffering through the wake of Hurricane Irene, Vermonters really deserved a break. And we got one. Temperatures were around 80F and the sun shined all weekend.
Ken and I ventured out to leaf peep and give his new hip a whirl. He's still a bit wobbly, but he generally gets where he wants to go.
This photo was taken at the property we're researching to buy for Vermont Woods Studios. It's the old Skyline Restaurant on Hogback Mountain in Marlboro VT on Route 9 between Wilmington and Brattleboro.
After a morning of traipsing around Skyline looking at heating, ventillation, air conditioning and plumbing systems we headed into Brattleboro, stopped at Grafton Cheese and landed at The Marina for lunch. Can't think of a better place to be on a day like that.
More pictures of our leaf peeping adventure on Facebook.
Last Saturday we ran a promotion at Vermont Woods Studios Furniture to raise money for local Vermonters who lost their homes and businesses in the floods that resulted from Hurricane Irene. We promised to donate 100% of our profits to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund that the United Way set up for our area.
Happily we had a couple nice sales Saturday and I can report that we raised $306 for the Fund. That amount was matched 50% by local employer Entergy. I guess it's a small amount when you're looking at a disaster of such enormous proportions but the truth is most businesses in Vermont are small, just like us. But we're banding together and it's amazing to see the recovery take shape as a result.
Manjula and Dennis are cooking up additional fundraisers and planning to run them about once per month throughout the next year. Stay tuned for updates. That's Manjula delivering our donation to Carmen Darby, the Windham County United Way Director. Thanks to both of you for all the good work you do for our community.
By Guest Blogger: Erik Braunitzer
Furniture makers like Vermont Woods Studios Furniture are doing their part to improve their carbon footprint. Extensive documentation on their website or even a quick phone conversation with Rebecca or Shannon puts families at ease knowing the company is serious about their environmental, health and safety mission.
But simply seeing furniture in a store with a green stamp of certification label isn't always helpful when you're not familiar with the background of the stamp. So it’s important that we realize just how green furniture is made, along with the environmentally friendly materials that are used.
Furniture companies using wood and recycled materials generally have the smallest carbon footprint. Other materials would include concrete, plastic, aluminum, brick, glass, fiberglass and more. Now it’s been said that there isn’t one individual item or sustainable material, but a handful that share sustainable characteristics, including recyclables.
Furniture can also include the following:
· Paint Strippers
· Particle Board
Many of these substances are classified as volatile chemicals. Furniture made with these volatile chemicals can result in offgassing, which is evaporation at normal atmospheric pressure. Offgassing can be reduced or eliminated altogether by using stains, finishes or paints that are non toxic such as those made by Vermont Natural Coatings and AFM Safecoat.
Transportation is another part of the carbon footprint for furniture, as wood and other materials have to be extracted from the environment, shipped to distributors, transported to furniture makers, then sent off to the retail store and customers. The sustainability of a particular piece of furniture is dependent upon a couple of factors including:
· Durability– The longer the piece of furniture, the more sustainable it becomes.
· How it’s useful– Multifunctional furniture saves money and yields greater sustainability.
Learning where to buy this type of furniture can be quite a daunting task, as it’s not always portrayed clearly exactly what materials are used, and the percentage of each. In order to fully lead a responsible lifestyle, we should understand just how to look for green furniture. Here are a few tips:
Look for Sustainably Harvested Wood – Translates to the sustainability of ecosystems and natural forests.
Avoid Tropical Woods Like Mahogany and Teak - these woods are often illegally clearcut from the world's rapidly disappearing rainforests.
Ensure FSC Certification – for tropical woods, if no substitution can be made
Reclaimed Wood Furniture (RWF) – More or less, RWF is a recycled piece of furniture.
Non-Toxic Finishes – Keep your air clean and help protect your children from health issues.
Buy locally – Locally purchased items are always more sustainable as transportation costs are cut.
Clearly, Furniture making using sustainable materials is very important to the health of the overall environment. Similarly, it reduces waste and influences the vintage market. By following a few simple rules and clearly understanding how green furniture is made, you can make a difference in improving your carbon footprint. Next time you’re in the market for a table or chair, be sure to inquire about sustainable practices before purchasing.
Courtesy of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, New York Luxury Rentals.
Vermont is struggling to maintain its rural character. You probably see this if you live in Vermont or vacation here. Fifty years ago, 50% our state's land was in farms. Today that number is only 20%– our farmland has dropped by almost 60% since 1960!
While agricultural lands are disappearing we are also seeing a decline in our forest products business. Conversly, the amount of developed land in our state is growing rapidly (it increased 42% between 1982 and 2003).
At Vermont Woods Studios Furniture we're committed to helping steward our state's rural, agricultural and forested character. Like so many other sustainable Vermont businesses, our future depends on it. We applaud the Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) and their efforts to maintain Vermont's natural beauty and rural character. We've joined their Vermont Working Landscape Partnership and are asking you to sign up too. It only takes a minute to sign on to the partnership and there's no obligation or fee. Add your voice and help shape the campaign for Vermont's Working Landscape!