Landscaping Stonehurst with Gordon Hayward

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:25 pm

Stonehurst Landscaping | Gordon Hayward | Fine Furniture Gallery
Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens sketches out a few landscaping ideas for Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery.  Our pal Annette Roydon has volunteered to be our on-site advisor.

Well, now that the exterior painting of Stonehurst (Vermont’s newest fine furniture and art gallery) is almost done (pictures to follow later this week), it’s time to look into landscaping.  We were fortunate to be able to persuade Brattleboro’s best painters (Moe Momaney and crew) to help us out and they in turn recommended the area’s most admired landscaper.  That would be Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens.

Annette, Douglas and I met with Gordon the other day and roughed out a few preliminary sketches.  Boy are they different from our previous plans!  Gordon got here just in the nick of time.

At the moment, designing the ADA accessible walkway into the front of Stonehurst is the main dilemma we’re facing.  We all envision a lovely, traditional Vermont stone pathway, constructed by a skilled stone mason using Goshen stone.  Jeremy Coleman, the Stonehurst architect has already laid the pathway foundation with the proper gentle slope to make wheelchair access easy.  The problem is that in the winter, it’s hard to snow-blow a stone-inlaid path and Ken’s afraid that over time the walkway will become bumpy and difficult for wheelchair access.

Before talking to Gordon we had decided to pave the walkway and stamp it so it looks like Goshen stone.  Well, both Jeremy and Gordon feel like all the work we’ve done in making sure Stonehurst is authentic will be compromised by paving the entrance.  They are certain that Goshen stone can be properly laid such that it will stay level and intact for smooth wheelchair access.

What do you think?  Gordon is coming over tomorrow to continue our landscaping project.  You can put your 2 cents in on our Fine Furniture Facebook page.  And I’ll keep you updated here on the blog.

And here’s a couple interesting links for you:

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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.

Momany Painters Hard at Work at Stonehurst

Last updated on August 8th, 2013 at 10:29 am

 

Moe Momaney, Painter | Brattleboro Vermont | Stonehurst Before and After
Moe Momaney, a Painter from Brattleboro, Vermont and his crew are painting the exterior of Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest Fine Furniture and Art Gallery.

Here’s an update on the exterior painting at Stonehurst.  A couple weeks ago I polled you on what your preference was for the exterior paint color.  The response was an overwhelming preference for RED.  What’s up with that?  I was hoping to restore Stonehurst to it’s former self.  It was a white farmhouse for 150 years or so before it’s life as Pine Top, Vernon’s local ski area in the 1940s – 1960s.

When Moe Momaney and his crew are finished I’ll post pictures of the New Do.  It’s not too late to register your vote though, if you haven’t already.  Keep in mind there will be lots of flowers and landscaping in front of the house.  In fact, today we’ll be meeting with Gordon Hayward, a landscape designer from Hayward Gardens in Putney, VT.  I’ll report on that front later this week.

 

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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 Before and After: Kitchen to Sunroom Makeover

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:20 pm

Vermont Furniture Showroom | Before the Renovation
The country kitchen at Stonehurst, as it was for many years.  Traditional pine cupboards and appliances were perfect when Stonehurst served as a farmhouse, boarding house, four seasons resort, ski area and private residence. 

We’re trucking right along in our quest to transform Stonehurst from a private residence to a fine furniture and art gallery that showcases Vermont made sustainable home decor products.  There are a whole host of finishing touches still in progress but I thought I’d share some before and after pictures of spaces where the renovation is pretty well complete.  First up:  the kitchen, my personal favorite part of the transformation.  The “before” kitchen was functional but the layout didn’t provide much opportunity for windows to overlook the spectacular view out back.

Vermont Furniture Showroom | Stonehurst Before and After
Now Stonehurst is a fine furniture and art gallery, showcasing Vermont made sustainable home decor products, so no kitchen is needed.  We replaced the cabinets and appliances with windows and an open atrium to take advantage of the view.

Since the kitchen is the entry into the building, we wanted to treat our customers to a cheerful space where they could relax and unwind after a long trip up from the city (customers usually travel from Boston, New York, Washington DC and beyond).  The wall of windows we installed puts Vermont’s green mountains and meadows  front and center when customers step inside.  It’s pretty clear:  you’re in Vermont now.  Time to slow down and enjoy nature at it’s finest.

Where Does Wood furniture Come From?

With sustainable forestry being at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios, one of the main things we’re trying to do with Stonehurst is raise awareness about where your furniture comes from.  So the view of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest often opens up a conversation about legally, sustainably harvested wood.  Loryn is working on an educational display which will be installed on the sunroom wall to tell the story of how our furniture gets from sustainably-managed forests to your home.

Kudos to Our Design and Construction Team

I can’t start showing before and after photos without recognizing and thanking our architect, Jeremy Coleman of Brattleboro, VT and builder, Bob Furlone of American Construction.  They have done a tremendous job, especially in facing all the realities involved in transforming and modernizing a 200+ year old farmhouse.  They’ve also been really knowledgeable in helping us select all Vermont made materials whenever possible.  The wall of windows shown above was custom made by Green Mountain Window in Rutland VT and the slate floor was mined locally by Vermont Slate Company.

Let me know what you think of the transformation in the comments section below or on Facebook.  Over the next couple weeks, I’ll post before and after photos of the:

  • barn–now a dining room showroom
  • boarding house– now a bedroom showroom
  • kids bedroom– now a kitchenette for our staff
  • several bedrooms– now administrative offices”
  • exterior paint color– from red to white, and
  • the parlor– which is still a parlor

I hope you’ll be as excited about this new Vermont fine furniture and art gallery as we are.  Come and visit us to see it all up close and personal!  Be sure to bring a bottle of wine and a picnic lunch so you can sit out back and enjoy the view.

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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.

Martin Corbin: Website Developer by Day, Artist and Musician by Night

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:19 pm

Martin Corbin | Website Developer by Day | Musician by Night
Martin Corbin, website developer extraordinaire: with Stephanie Salasin (left), and performing on the mandolin (right).  Martin is our newest member of the IT/Website group at Vermont Woods Studios.

Selling handmade furniture online is considered preposterous by many. Fine furniture must be seen in person for one to appreciate the quality and workmanship that goes into each piece.  But at Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been hard at work making an exception to that rule for 8 years.  Much of our success is due to the talented group of web development professionals we’ve managed to persuade to join our cause– and Martin Corbin is the newest among them.

Martin’s interest in computers and digital art began when he was a young boy. As an adult, he enrolled in a PC repair course and entered the IT field, first working for a local computer shop then going freelance.  Martin enjoyed experimenting with digital art, and eventually combined his interests into designing websites.  However he hasn’t left his creativity behind.  On his personal website he shares a bit about his artistic side:

“I was raised in an artistic household and began drawing at an early age. My mother Rita Corbin was already an established artist before I was born.  I watched her work daily and used what I learned to try to make my own drawing come to life…. My approach is simple: draw or paint what I want, when feel like it, and don’t worry about how it comes out. Simple as this is, not over thinking remains a challenge. I believe this relaxed approach makes the process more enjoyable while still allowing for great results.”

Martin Corbin | Vermont Artist, Musician and Web Developer
Martin Corbin, Vermont Artist, Musician and Web Developer.  Help us welcome Martin to the Woods by giving him a thumbs up on Facebook!

I want to know how to relax and get as much accomplished as Martin has.   In addition to his expertise with computers, programming and art, he is also an accomplished musician.  We know Martin as a die hard Phish phan but I’ve recently learned that he has a long history with music.  During Brattleboro’s heyday, he was in a band called The Weld, playing acoustic, instrumental jazzgrass music at The Common Ground Restaurant and McNeill’s Brewery.  You can check out his artwork and music on his website, MartinCorbin.com.

We feel very fortunate to have Martin working with us at Vermont Woods Studios.  Stop by our fine furniture and art gallery at Stonehurst to see samples of his artwork.  And help us welcome Martin to the Woods by giving him a thumbs up on 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.

Kelsey Eaton Dances into the Woods

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 04:07 pm

Kelsey Eaton, Marketing Maven at Vermont's Online Fine Furniture Store

Finding people who want to work at Vermont Woods Studios is easy, but finding just the right person for a particular job opening is hard.  Over the last few years, whenever we’ve advertised a job opening, we’ve had 50-100 applicants express interest.  About 25% of them are excellent candidates and we usually end up interviewing about 5-10 people for each opening.

As with any employer, we’re looking for people who are smart, hard-working, driven, creative and easy to get along with.  We also consider who the new employee will be spending most of their time with and try to make sure there is a good fit between the personalities.  Beyond that though, there is something intangible involved in selecting the right person.  In Kelsey Eaton’s case it was a spirit of determination and courage and a notion that anything is achievable.  Here’s a little bit about her background:

Kelsey’s a recent graduate of Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont where she earned her BS in Communications with a concentration in Media Practices.  She is now pursuing a masters degree in Internet marketing at Full Sail University.  Kelsey’s career in marketing began at age 11 when she created an e-zine called The Underworld– a weekly email publication that featured her own original poetry and photography as well as music reviews and celebrity gossip.

While at Green Mountain College, Kelsey was selected as Art Director and Marketing Manager for the school’s monthly publication, The Mountaineer.  Besides using social media to connect with supporters, Kelsey also employed telemarketing– a feat no ordinary person could ever survive, right?

After graduating from GMC Kelsey worked her own freelance designer business, doing a variety of graphic design, writing, and photography projects, including work for Poultney’s famous Full Belly Deli.

Now she spends her time working with Dennis in our Marketing “Department” (that would be Dennis and Kelsey).  She reaches out to customers and friends, promoting Vermont made fine furniture to local, regional and national media outlets as well as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz and the Vermont Furniture Blog.  In her free time, Kelsey teaches belly dancing (Loryn and Liz are her star pupils) and enjoys music and writing.

Help us welcome Kelsey Eaton to Vermont Woods Studios by giving her a thumbs up on 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.

Top 4 POLYWOOD® Chaise Lounges

Last updated on August 20th, 2014 at 10:30 am

High End Chaise Lounges from Polywood | All Weather Outdoor Furniture
Looking for a high end chaise lounge you’ll never have to replace?  Check out POLYWOOD’s South Beach Adirondack Chaise Lounge, Nautical Chaise Lounge, Long Island Chaise Lounge and Euro Chaise.  They’re maintenance-free and come with a lifetime guarantee!

It’s summer, the sun is finally out and you’re ready to lounge by the pool in style.  Need a new chaise lounge this year?  We’ve rounded up the Top 4 POLYWOOD chaise lounges for your relaxing pleasure.  What makes them the best choice for outdoor pool, patio and beach lounges?  Well, as POLYWOOD products they all have a few things in common:

  • This high end, all weather outdoor furniture is beautiful, strong, durable and Maintenance-free
  • There’s no mold, mildew, weathering, cracking or warping as with wooden outdoor furniture
  • There’s no need for winter storage. You may leave your POLYWOOD furniture outside all winter
  • These chaises are heavy (about 50# each)!  They won’t blow away in strong coastal winds
  • POLYWOOD is a great value. It’s furniture you will never have to replace
  • POLYWOOD is available in many vibrant colors like red, yellow, blue, green and tangerine as well as traditional browns, white and black
  • You can order optional matching all weather Sunbrella cushions for extra comfort

But each chaise lounge has it’s own unique features as well.  Here’s what we like best about the:

  • South Beach Adirondack Chaise Lounge – love the modern version of Adirondack style paired with surprisingly vibrant colors: Sunset Red, Tangerine, Lemon, Lime, Aruba, Pacific Blue
  • Nautical Chaise Lounge – this chaise has wheels and is stackable so it’s a must-have for patios or beaches that have to be rearranged at night
  • Long Island Chaise Lounge – this is the true blue Adirondack design, similar to the South Beach chaise and also available in modern vibrant colors
  • Euro Chaise – I have to admit the Euro chaise is my favorite with it’s sleek, modern design.  So many choices for color combinations too!  Choose from 3 different frame colors and 14 different slat colors for a total of 42 distinct color customization possibilities.

Which POLYWOOD chaise would you choose and why?  Let us know on 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.

Vermont Contemporary Artist: Susan Osgood

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:16 pm

Vermont Contemporary Painter | Susan Osgood
Vermont Contemporary Painter, Susan Osgood Susan Osgood creates beautiful, colorful oil paintings (on paper, canvas and wood) inspired by such muses as snakes, rivers, hands and maps.

Last week Dennis and Kelsey and I went to Mondo MediaWorks in downtown Brattleboro where owner, Luke Stafford was hosting a Vermont Life Magazine Pitch Party.  Such a cool idea:  Mary Hegarty Nowlan and her staff from Vermont Life were traveling around the state inviting people to pitch their artwork, businesses, personal stories and such– for possible inclusion in future magazine issues.  So we pitched our Stonehurst Fine Furniture and Art Gallery story.  But the best part of the evening (other than free pizza, beer and wine) was getting to meet and hear the stories of many unique, talented and fascinating Vermonters.

Susan Osgood was one of them. She creates beautiful, colorful oil paintings (on paper, canvas and wood) inspired by such muses as snakes, rivers, hands and maps.  Susan showed us photos of many of her contemporary works and discussed the challenges of trying to make a living as an artist.  As with most artists, Susan has a second job.  Lucky for her (and the rest of us) it’s also in the art world.  She works for the University of Chicago’s archaeological project in Luxor, Egypt and has spent the last 25 winters there drawing the carved and painted reliefs of ancient tombs and temples.  Susan also worked on the KV 63 Tomb Project, (the first new tomb to be discovered in the Valley of the Kings since Tutankhamun’s in 1922) creating drawings of the coffins.  Wow, can you imagine being entrusted to record and interpret these pieces of human history dating back 3500 years or more?

As I listened to Susan’s presentation and that of several other artists, I was thinking of an article* written earlier this year, by Dave Ackert of the LA Times and realizing how true his words are:

“Artists are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime…. Every day, artists face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they’ll never work again. Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream. With every role, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment. With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life – the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why? Because artists are willing to give their entire lives to a moment – to that line, that laugh, that gesture, or that interpretation that will stir the audience’s soul. Artists are beings who have tasted life’s nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another’s heart. In that instant, they were as close to magic and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”

Agree?  Tell Susan thanks for all the hard work she’s put into touching our hearts, opening our minds and stirring our souls.

*  Thanks to another Vermont artist, Linda Eaton-Marcille of Crow House Studio for re-posting Dave Ackert’s article on her 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.

Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Red or White?

Last updated on May 4th, 2018 at 03:28 pm

Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst
Which color do you like best?  Red or white?  No, I’m not talking about wine.  I need your help choosing the color of Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst.

The grass is finally beginning to fill in at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom.  The past few months have seen a flurry of activity while Bob Furlone and American Construction finished their last few projects.  This week they will complete the installation of indoor and outdoor lighting and be nearly done with renovations.

But the rest of us will still have plenty of projects left, and one of them is exterior painting.  So I have an opinion question for you.  In the first photos of Stonehurst which were taken in 1869, the house looked much as it does in today’s photo above, except the entire building was painted white:

Stonehurst, Our New Fine Furniture Showroom as it was in 1869
Stonehurst dates back to about 1790 in Vernon’s town records but this 1869 photo (given to me by Town Historian, Barbara Moseley) is the earliest photo I’ve seen.  The building was painted all white back then.

Sometime-probably in the 1940s the exterior was painted barn red, when Stonehurst was transformed by Elsie and Romey Racine into the Pine Top Ski Area.

Stonehurst was renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area
Stonehurst was painted red and renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area.  Which color do you prefer?  White or red?

My preference is to restore Stonehurst to its original white color, but I’m getting some push back from those who have grown really fond of the familiar red color.

So what do you think?  Red?  Or white?  And remember I’m not talking about wine.   Let me know in the comment section below or on our 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.

Extreme Makeover: Fine Furniture Website Reborn!

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:13 pm

Fine Furniture Website | Best Online Furniture Store
We’re making some upgrades to our fine furniture website today so you may notice a couple outages.  Please feel free to give us a call (888-390-5571) and Liz, Sean or Douglas will help you out.  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever asap.  Oh and Kendall tells me that if you want to watch this video of his favorite dancing bear, the site should be ready by the time it’s over (no guarantee though).

Neville, Martin and Kendall have been leading an extreme makeover effort for our fine furniture website over the last 6 months (actually it’s been in the works for a couple years, but we weren’t able to really get it off the ground until Neville got here last December).  Although everyone on our staff has had an important hand in the project, it’s been the 3 geniuses in the IT/Website room that have powered the transformation.

Today we start migrating over to the new, improved website so there will be a few unavoidable outages.  In exchange for your patience we can offer you many new features that I think you will love–  like return customer rewards, more intuitive navigation, easy check-out, elegant design and straightforward pricing of furniture pieces with customized options.  Plus we have new, improved fine furniture bedroom sets and dining sets that will always be on sale for 20% off.

But if you happen to drop by while we’re offline today, please feel free to browse through our blog or give us a call (888-390-5571).  Liz, Sean or Douglas will fix you right up!  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever, as soon as possible.

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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.

Vermont Working Lands Grant Award

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:55 pm

Vermont Working Lands Grant Award Ceremony
Vermont Agriculture, Food & Markets Secretary Chuck Ross (far left) and Forests, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder (far right) presented Douglas and me with a Vermont Working Lands Grant Award this week. Now the heat is on (for Vermont Woods Studios) to get Stonehurst going and help rev up Vermont’s fine furniture industry.

Douglas and I drove up to Marshfield, Vermont this week to attend the Vermont Working Lands Grant Awards Ceremony.  As I mentioned in my last Working Lands post, Vermonters value their forests and farmlands so much they’ve made it a priority to invest in the sustainable development of them.  For 2013, Vermont taxpayers (through the legislature) set aside almost $1 Million in grant monies to be awarded (by competitive bid) to organizations committed to supporting our value-added farm and forest industries.  That’s extraordinary!

At Vermont Woods Studios we felt that our work in developing a destination shopping experience at Stonehurst to showcase Vermont furniture (all made from sustainably harvested wood) was a perfect fit for the grant criteria.  We spent months working on a grant proposal to illustrate how our plans were aligned with the state’s needs.  Our proposal was submitted in January along with almost 400 others.

After a challenging process of evaluating all the proposals, a Working Lands Enterprise Board selected about 40 applicants to award grants to.  We are honored to be among this group!  The whole idea behind the grant is to stimulate Vermont’s farm and forest economy, creating sustainable, green jobs.  So the heat is on to help revitalize Vermont’s fine furniture industry through the Stonehurst showcase.  And we are committed to giving taxpayers a great return on their investment.

 Read more about our Working Lands Grant in the Vermont Business Magazine and the Brattleboro Reformer.

Vermont Working Lands Grant

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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.