VWMA Visits Stonehurst as Part of “From Forest to Furniture Tour”

Last updated on November 13th, 2017 at 03:57 pm

The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association stopped by Stonehurst today on their Forest to Furniture tour. Peggy gave them a tour around Stonehurst and told the story of how this property transformed from an old ski area to the perfect place to display Vermont Wood Furniture. The tour included a guided walk through the showroom with Peggy, as she talked about all of the unique furniture, art, and decor pieces we have on display.

From the showroom we gathered outside, introduced ourselves, then trecked into the forest for a conversation about responsible forest and land management. We learned about the problems with our deer population, responsible forestry, buffer zones, and so much more!

Thank you, VWMA, for a great day!

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

We Adopted a Barred Owl!

Last updated on May 1st, 2018 at 04:15 pm

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Photo courtesy of Vermont Institute of Natural Science.

I love the view from my desk. Every so often a barred Owl will swoop by and perch on the tree directly outside of my window. If you keep up with us on Facebook, you’ve probably seen a few photos of him throughout the year. The marketing department has grown so fond of our new feathered friend that we’ve decided to Adopt a Barred Owl through VINS ‘Adopt a Raptor’ program. This program supports Barred Owls by helping to provide the specialized care needed by these unique creatures who live at VINS Nature Center.

About the Barred Owl

This owl is highly vocal, giving a loud and resounding call, which is often phrased as “Who, cooks, for-you? Who, cooks, for-you, all?” Like some other owl species, Barred Owls will call in the daytime as well as at night. Mates will duet, but the male’s voice is deeper and mellower. Many other vocalizations are made which range from a short yelp or bark to a frenzied and raucous monkey-like squall.

Pairs of Barred Owls mate for life, and territories and nest sites are maintained for many years. They also care for their young for at least 4 months, much longer than most other owls. -VINS

 

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Outdoor Dining Furniture: Our New Bayline Collection

Last updated on May 28th, 2019 at 09:12 pm

Outdoor Dining Furniture

The Bayline Outdoor Dining Furniture collection is our newest collection from POLYWOOD. We just launched it last week and we’re so excited about this new addition. It’s sustainable, casual, and the perfect outdoor dining furniture solution for the contemporary design lover. This Outdoor Dining Furniture collection incorporates modern styling with several bold, summery colors. The chairs feature a slender profile made of weather-resistant aluminum, paired with a selection of durable weather-resistant outdoor fabric options.

The sleek look of the Bayline collection and the usage of metal + fabric provide a chic alternative to POLYWOOD’s typical furniture styling. Four frame options are available in textured or satin finishes, with side and arm chair styles in two height choices for dining and bar usage. The arm details offered are plastique or solid.

This collection can easily accommodate any outdoor space style and layout. It’s an ultra versatile set, especially when complemented with the popular Euro outdoor dining table.

Bayline Outdoor Dining Furniture Color Options:

Outdoor Dining Furniture

While most of POLYWOOD’s eco-friendly outdoor furniture comes in a variety of colors, this collection is striking in the use of colorful Sunbrella fabrics rather than RPL (recycled plastic lumber). This gives the collection a more modern, fresh look while still maintaining durability and weather resistance.

Bayline Outdoor Dining Furniture Frame Options:

Outdoor Dining Furniture

Elegance, cool sophistication, and a fresh simple look are just a few ways to describe the new Bayline Collection from POLYWOOD. Pair with our Euro style table, and you’ve got the perfect outdoor dining furniture setup for your porch, patio, or other outdoor space. This luxury collection is part of a new era of light-weight outdoor dining furniture that is sure to create the perfect focal point for your outdoor space.

What do you think about this new Outdoor Dining Furniture collection? Let us know in the comments section or share this on Twitter or Facebook!

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

A Visit To The Windham County Humane Society!

Spending 8 hours a day at a desk can be tough. No matter how awesome I think my job is (I get to share the story of an eco-friendly, Vermont business via social media–how cool is that?) there are some days when sitting in front of a computer screen is just plain hard. And then there are days that remind me of why I decided to apply at Vermont Woods Studios in the first place, and yesterday was certainly one of them.

We love animals. We really do. From the creepy crawly ones that spend their time sitting in murky pond water, to the fuzzy ones you cuddle up with on your couch. We love to support the organizations that work to give them better lives too! Earlier in the year several of the Green Team members attended the Windham County Humane Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Wags to Riches. We even had a few donated items up for auction at the fundraiser! Fun was had and animals were helped and all in all we had a great time.

So when we saw that the Windham County Humane Society was in real need of food for the animals who stay at the shelter, we were more than eager to help out. With Peggy’s help buying a few extra bags, Nina and I gathered up some kibble and headed over to WCHS. I try not to go there too often, because I might end up coming home with something, like a new puppy, but the WCHS staff was happy and helpful and it was a great visit!

 

Windham County Humane Society
This is me, looking silly next to my boyfriend’s car. +10 points if you can guess what his favorite coffee shop is?
Windham County Humane Society
This kibble was heavy. Real heavy. Thankfully I had Nina there to do the heavy lifting. Thanks Nina! 
Windham County Humane Society
See, I told you Nina is strong! That bag is half her size. Anyway, the WCHS staff members make great models (and check out their new T-shirts!)

If you’d like to see more of what we do around the community, check out our new community involvement page. We’re always working on some new project to make the world a brighter and better place!

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Introducing Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware to Stonehurst

Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware

It’s looking like an all hands on deck operation right now in the showroom as we organize and unload our first shipment of Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware. We have been looking forward to this day for quite a while, and are more sure than ever that these beautiful heirloom glass designs will  make the perfect accessory to our handcrafted Vermont furniture. Although currently only available in our showroom,we plan to eventually have Simon Pearce glass available online as well!

Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware

Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware

Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware…crafted to last a lifetime.

If you are a luxury home decor aficionado who gets nostalgic about the days past when real, honest human craftsmanship was the norm for decorating and furnishing your home, we hope this is a great treat for you. Simon Pearce glass is built to last a lifetime, and it has the authenticity and character you may have been craving.

The company’s founder, Simon Pearce himself, began glass blowing in the seventies in Ireland and then moved his work to the United States–the town of Quechee, Vermont– in 1981. The glass blowers at Simon Pearce spend years mastering the art of glass blowing before they begin producing hand-blown glass for the company.

Now headquartered in Windsor Vermont, Simon Pearce creates glass and ceramic “products that are beautifully designed, produced with premium quality materials and time-honored techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use”.

At Stonehurst, this expertly hand blown glass decor will complement our fine Vermont made wood furniture. The naturally beautiful wood paired with the sleek, heirloom glass makes for a picture perfect match. We love what we see already, and we haven’t even finished unpacking yet.

Simon Pearce Luxury Glass

 

Simon Pearce Luxury Glassware

If you’d like to see what we have at Stonehurst, or get a look at Simon Pearce luxury glassware in person… we invite you to visit us at Stonehurst.

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Birds, Bees, and Butterflies: Creating their Home at Stonehurst

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After this long, harsh Vermont winter–the small joys of springtime, like gardening, are cherished. Nina has been outside all morning planting Cosmos for our butterfly garden. Cosmos are annuals that are known for their showy, colorful flowers. They are treasures to look at but we adore them for another reason, because they attract birds, bees, and butterflies. We are trying to create a natural landscape that is both beautiful and wildlife friendly, as our showroom sits on more than one hundred acres of woodland and meadow; Land that many species call home.

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Liz, our company green thumb, wanted in on some of the planting and came down to assist Nina. While most of the time Liz is on the phone or computer chatting with our customers, there are some days where we just have to make time to get out in the radiant Vermont sunshine. Today is one of those days. Fotor0610132621

While the garden is just getting started, there is still a lot of beauty to be seen at Stonehurst. We’d love to invite you to visit our charming country showroom where the forest serves as the backdrop to some of Vermont’s finest natural wood furniture.

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See you soon! 🙂

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Stonehurst Renovations: Making Space for Guests, Butterflies, and Sunflowers Pt 1!

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One of my favorite things to do around Stonehurst is to find interesting spots & perspectives. When you allow yourself to slow down a bit and really take in your surroundings, it’s easy to find beautiful scenes in unexpected places. I liked this view of our little Polywood circle & firepit!

The Green Team is hard at work clearing space to make a sunflower garden and a butterfly garden behind our showroom. With all of this land, we want to make it as beautiful and as inhabitable as possible for our friends in the forest. 

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Here is Dennis being extra careful to make sure no critters are injured in the making of this garden!
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Nina, our photographer extraordinaire, jumped at the opportunity to get outside and rake the weeds… Any excuse to get outside in this beautiful Vermont weather, right? 🙂
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Landscaping…more fun than it looks!

To make Stonehurst more visitor friendly, we’re also making new paths for hiking & walking around the property. Our Stonehurst renovations will provide a more pleasing experience for our guests who want to see more than just the inside of the showroom.

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We’d love for you to stop by and visit us. The back of the building is a work in progress, but it’s still as beautiful as ever! See our exquisite Vermont handcrafted furniture and explore the lush woodlands right in our backyard.

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture: Our Top 4 Picks

Last updated on May 28th, 2019 at 08:10 pm

5 Best Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture Designs
There’s something striking about reclaimed and live edge furniture—it’s imperfect but refined, aggressive but complementary. Perfect additions to any space needing a pop of organic style. Adored for its rustic charm and adaptability, reclaimed and live edge furniture has been a major trend in 2014.

 

1. Reclaimed Barnwood Farm Table With Tapered Legs

5 Best Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture Designs

Our Reclaimed Barn Wood Farm Table is handcrafted in Vermont. With its traditional tapered legs this one-of-a kind farm table is a country home treasure! Table top is custom made in Vermont from high quality antique white pine or chestnut from reclaimed and recycled antique doors, floor boards, siding and other original components of historic New England barns.

 

2. Sutton Platform Bed with Reclaimed Headboard

5 Best Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture Designs

Our Sutton Platform Bed with a Reclaimed Wood Headboard is a unique new addition to our line of handmade, solid wood beds. Each bed is built to order in Vermont using sustainably harvested woods.Contemporary clean lines and a platform base make this antique looking bed stylish for any bedroom. This bed is also available with a regular solid wood headboard.

 

3. Classic Country Buffet in Reclaimed Wood

5 Best Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture DesignsHistorical romance embodies our Classic Country Buffet in reclaimed white pine or chestnut wood. Classic American country features blend with modern styling to make for a wonderful addition to any country home. This heirloom quality buffet is handcrafted from rare recycled antique doors, floor boards, siding and other original components of New England’s historic barns & wood structures. Reclaimed wood (either White Pine or Chestnut) is used for the top, drawer fronts and door panels, while the rest of the piece can be in your choice of Cherry, Maple or Oak.

 

4. Natural Live Edge Bench

5 Best Reclaimed & Live Edge Furniture Designs

 

Our Natural Live Edge Bench brings the beauty of the forest into your home. The base of this natural, eco-friendly bench is made from vertical slabs of whole trees. This process leaves virtually no waste. Handcrafted in Vermont, this live edge furniture piece is sure to make a subtle statement in any home.

Which piece of reclaimed or live edge furniture is your favorite? Let us know in the comments section! If you’re feeling inspired, feel free to browse our collections of reclaimed barnwood furniture.

 

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

From Forest (creatures) to Furniture: Our Salamander Story

Last updated on May 27th, 2018 at 05:16 pm

This photo was taken by Lori S. of Georgia, Vermont who shared this photo on the Vermont State Parks facebook page!

Picture this: It’s past 10pm and Peggy is outside in her rainboots, a bright yellow raincoat, and some reflective gear. She has a bucket on her arm, a flashlight in one hand, and a big spotted salamander in her other hand. It’s cold and raining and way past her bedtime but dozens of these local amphibians need her help! Yep, It’s salamander migration season! For the past 15 years Peggy has been helping these Spot-tacular salamanders make it across busy roads towards the vernal pools they use for breeding. With the help of great organizations like BEEC, we’ve saved hundreds of salamanders from being run over by cars (and depending on the amount of traffic, this can result in huge dents in the salamander population)!

Helping Salamanders at Stonehurst
Smile, you’re on Salamander camera! These little guys were making moves right around Stonehurst. 

You may be wondering why the owner of a furniture company is spending her free time helping frogs and salamanders cross the roads.  I can assure you that it’s actually very relevant and important work, and it’s quite symbolic of the exact reason she started Vermont Woods Studios in the first place.

Our forests are so much more than just trees. When Peggy started Vermont Woods Studios in 2005, she  was inspired to help save disappearing animal habitats by promoting sustainable forestry. Did you know that almost every species of large primate & big cat are endangered? While these salamanders aren’t endangered (at least not yet), we want to make sure it stays that way! These salamanders have been following the same migration patterns for hundreds of years, way before roads and cars and all of the man-made things that put them in danger. On nights where we might have missed them crossing, there is evidence left on the roads of the threat to the survival of these crawly creatures that cars pose.

The least we can do is help these slow movers make it to where they’re headed.

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Here’s my #NatureSelfie! That’s Peggy in the background making her way to check up on the salamander eggs.
Salamander photos
You can find many different types of eggs in local Vernal pools. Can you guess which ones are Spotted Salamander eggs?

After the salamanders have crossed and made it to the vernal pools, we visit them to see how many egg clusters we can find. This helps us keep track of the success of the salamanders each year and assures us that our efforts are making a difference!

All in all, we take care and keep track of the success of the salamander migration because we care about our environment– even the smallest parts! If you’re interested in learning more about helping salamanders, check out the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center website.

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

IKEA Cuts Down 600 Year Old Trees, Suspended From FSC

Last updated on March 18th, 2019 at 10:03 am

Intact old-growth forest on land leased by IKEA/Swedwood in Russian
Intact old-growth forest on land leased by IKEA/Swedwood in Russian Karelia. Photo © Robert Svensson, Protect the Forest 2011.

 IKEA: A Trusted Sustainable Furniture Source? Not so quick.

While furniture giant IKEA has been leading campaigns for their use of sustainably sourced cotton, and promoting LED lighting & solar panels in their stores– they apparently made the mistake of not paying attention to where their wood comes from. Already criticized for their staggering wood usage (IKEA uses a whopping 1% of the entire earths forests for their furniture), they are  now facing harsh criticism for cutting down old growth trees in Karelia, Russia.

Swedwood, IKEA’s forestry subsidiary, was given lease to log 700,000 acres of Russian forest as long as they avoided old growth trees and trees in specified protected areas. A recent audit done by the Forest Stewardship Council revealed “major deviations” from regulations, including cutting down 600+ year old trees.

Environmental organizations had been voicing their concern about IKEA’s logging practices in Karelia for years– PFS (Protect the Forest, Sweden) apparently handed Swedwood over 180,000 signatures and a joint statement with criticisms of their forestry practices and demands to transform their habits to protect the valuable old growth forests over a year ago.

 

Protestors with a sign in Swedish that reads: "Hello, our furniture is made of old-growth forests. At IKEA you get low prices at any cost." Read more at http://news.mongabay.com/2012/0530-hance-ikea-fsc-logging.html#eUSKYJMi98gOhYLu.99
Protestors with a sign in Swedish that reads: “Hello, our furniture is made of old-growth forests. At IKEA you get low prices at any cost.”

IKEA’s infraction resulted in the Forest Stewardship Council temporarily stripping them of their certification. Despite the withdrawal of IKEA’s FSC certification for their illegal logging, insufficient dialogue, lack of environmental consideration and work environment issues– many believe that FSC is not addressing key issues.

According to Linda Ellegaard Nordstrom, “The report raises several deficiencies, but does not describe the main problem, which is that pioneer exploitation, with fragmenting and breaking into the last intact forest landscapes and tracts, does not fit to FSC’s principles and criteria. Thus we believe that the FSC label is still far from being a guarantee for sustainable forestry, Together with Russian environmental organizations we have suggested to IKEA that they, as an influential multinational corporation, should set a good example by announcing that they will no longer log or buy timber from intact old-growth forests, whether the forests are certified or not.”

An Ikea spokeswoman told The Sunday Times: “We see the suspension of the certificate as highly temporary. The deviations mainly cover issues related to facilities and equipment for our co-workers, forestry management as well as training of our forestry co-workers,” claiming that they have already corrected most of the violations.

While IKEA announced plans to stop operations in Karelia in 2014, it’s important for consumers to be critical of all businesses claiming to practice sustainability. IKEA is a leader in the furniture industry, using resources unimaginable to a small  business like Vermont Woods Studios. We would love to see them take true accountability for their actions.

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Destroyed old-growth forest with piles of timber on land leased by IKEA/Swedwood in Russian Karelia. Photo © Robert Svensson, Protect the Forest 2011. Retrieved from MongaBay.

 

 

 

Responsible forest management is at the heart of our mission as the devastating loss of these old trees is irreversible, and we can only hope that more furniture companies will take note of the criticism that IKEA is facing and take steps towards sustainable forestry. It’s up to consumers to make informed decisions about where they buy the products that ends up in their homes. If certification can’t stop this type of thing from happening, then people must be more careful than ever in picking a company that they care about and trust.

What are your thoughts? Leave us a note in the comments section, or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter!

[Sources: Sustainable Brands, Triple Pundit]

 

 

|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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.|

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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, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.