All Weather Adirondack Chairs

All Weather Adirondack Chairs from Vermont Woods Studios
The backyard of Stonehurst.  These wooden Adirondack chairs are longtime residents and have actually weathered quite gracefully.  But today’s POLYWOOD recycled plastic outdoor furniture lasts a lifetime…

We’re in the middle of winter here in Vermont but elsewhere in America people must be preparing for Spring.  We’re getting lots of inquiries about our POLYWOOD all weather Adirondack chairs.  It seems we’re not the only ones unwilling to haul outdoor furniture back and forth from the basement every year.

Polywood all weather Adirondack chairs | Recycled plastic milk jugs
Which Adirondack chairs do you prefer?  Wood or recycled plastic?  And which setting do you prefer?  Winter in the backyard of Stonehurst or summer on the banks of Lake Champlain?

Unlike the wooden chairs above, today’s all weather Adirondack chairs are made of recycled plastic milk jugs or POLYWOOD.  They offer the traditional design that’s proved itself comfy for generations along with new state of the art plastics technology that makes these chairs super durable. POLYWOOD holds up against harsh weather such as rain, snow, ice, and salt water.  It’s insect, mold and mildew resistant, requires no maintenance and even comes with a  lifetime guarantee.  Best of all, there are over a dozen colors to choose from and you’ll never have to touch up or paint (POLYWOOD’s color runs all the way through each recycled plastic board).

So, let us know which Adirondack chair (wood or POLYWOOD) and which seasonal setting (winter in the mountains or summer on the lake) you prefer 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.

Nesting Tables: Uniquely Versatile Furniture

Last updated on January 18th, 2017 at 01:56 pm

nesting tables

The Beauty and Simplicity of Wooden Nesting Tables

Nesting tables are one of those unique furniture pieces that don’t get a lot of attention. Which is a shame, because they are quite versatile and chic. Nesting tables are wonderful not only because of their unique look, but they are great for homes with limited space. They allow you the versatility of having three separate tables while only taking up the space of one! You can bring them out during parties as floating tables for drinks, or even as a tray for food. Use them as bedside tables or end tables in your living room. The possibilities are endless with these magic little tables.

Some key characteristics of nesting tables that make them must have’s for the modern home:

1. Simplicity. No gratuitous embellishments will be found here! Emphasis is on the natural beauty of the wood.

2.  Modern Styling. Especially in walnut, these tables are sleek and modern looking.

3.  Versatility. Use them to complement your existing modern furniture collection or use them as accent pieces alongside vintage styled decor.

4. Functionality.  They are sturdy and solidly built for everyday use!

5. Unique arrangement. Made in 3 stacks, you can use them in a ladder arrangement or use them all separately.

Here at Vermont Woods Studios, you can find nesting tables that do their job as convenient space-savers and, as an added bonus, they are environmentally friendly and made right here in Vermont.

Our New England Shaker Nesting Tables are beautiful and simple, designed to match any home decor. With clean lines and dovetail joinery, these tables are meant to be displayed. With your purchase, you’ll receive 3 nesting tables in your choice of cherry. maple, oak or walnut woods. I’ll also point out that with our current sale (ending soon!), you’ll be able to save up to 20%*.

What do you think of nesting tables? Could they fit into the decor of your home?

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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.

Maple Shaker Furniture

Last updated on November 7th, 2018 at 09:43 am

Maple Shaker Furniture

A few days ago, one of our customers sent us these great photos of his new Maple Shaker furniture in his bedroom. Staying true to Shaker sensibilities, the room has an uncluttered and simplistic look; using his American Shaker bedroom furniture to accent the darkness of his walls and highlight the maple flooring. I love it!

These photos inspired me to write a bit about why Maple Wood furniture is great, and the ways it can be used to enhance your own bedroom or other home space!

Maple Shaker Furniture: For a Relaxed, Zen Style space.

Maple Shaker FurnitureMaple Wood furniture has a much more informal l look to it than say, Walnut wood, which is typically associated with bold & modern decor styles. The lightness of this wood helps to give your space a relaxed and comfortable vibe– creating an understated interior design style that fits well with traditional Shaker aesthetic.

If you don’t know much about what Shaker Furniture Style encompasses, I’ll give you an overview:

1) Its clean, simple, and unfussy

2) Its practical

3) It features smooth lines and edges

4) Historically, it wasn’t made for “prettiness,” but for use; throughout the years, however, its understated aesthetic has become one of the most popular wood furniture styles!

 

 

 

Maple Shaker Furniture

Maple Shaker Furniture: For the Gentleman & The Lady!

As you can see from these customer photos, Shaker Furniture in Maple wood is simplistic and elegant; fitting for both a feminine or masculine bedroom. Whats so great about that? Well, It’s ideal for a shared bedroom, keeping both the husband and wife happy! Doesn’t get much better than that!

Maple Shaker Furniture

Lastly, Shaker furniture made in maple wood is great because it really is beautiful and usable in practically any room in the home. Its simplicity gives it a charm that has made it a favorite of furniture lovers for decades.

If you enjoyed this brief overview of Maple Shaker furniture and all of its  characteristics; stay tuned for another blog coming soon, on how to pair maple furniture with the appropriate decor! And if you think you’re friends might like this post too… feel free to share it on Facebook or on Twitter! You’ll find our social media icons at the bottom of this post.

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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.

Roundup: 5 American Made Shaker Desks

Last updated on November 10th, 2017 at 02:18 pm

The title of “American Made” typically ensures that what you are buying is top quality and built to last a lifetime. Our American Made Shaker Desks are just that, giving you beautiful, high quality desks that anyone would love to work around. Handcrafted in Vermont, these solid wood desks are made with the same honesty and integrity that the original Shakers were known for many years ago. This roundup includes 5 solid wood, American Made Shaker Desks that we believe would make a great base for your home office.

 

1. Classic Shaker Writing Desk

american made shaker deskThe Classic Shaker Writing Desk is as beautiful as it is elegant, bringing natural, eco-friendly solid wood to your office. It’s quite versatile as it can be crafted as a small, medium, large and custom table size. Choose a pencil drawer or a pull out keyboard shelf depending on your needs. Customize it with tapered legs to match the rest of our New England Shaker Office Furniture pieces. This cherry Shaker desk is simplistic, versatile, and traditionally crafted. We are sure you will love it as much as we do.

 

2. Modern Shaker Campaign Desk

modern shaker campaign desk

Our Modern Shaker Campaign Writing desk is made in top quality using premium solid hardwoods. This piece is crafted to last a lifetime. It’s sleek look will impress your clients, and it’s simplicity makes it easy to keep everything you need right at your fingertips.  Each desk is unique, handmade in Vermont using sustainably harvested woods by local furniture makers. Choose between a rounded or straight edge profile. All our Modern Shaker Style collection is handcrafted to order in Vermont in your choice of solid cherry, maple, or walnut woods with a eco-friendly non-toxic oil finish that not only protects, but enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

 

3. Sarah Secretary Desk

american made shaker deskOur Sarah Shaker Solid Wood Secretary Desk (or laptop work-station) features a full extension pull out keyboard tray and a classic American Shaker design. This American Made Shaker Desk can be customized online in your choice of small or large tabletop sizes and with your choice of woods. This piece is simplistic, truly Shaker inspired, and built to last a lifetime. Customize the look of your new desk in either natural cherry (no stain) or windsor cherry, autumn cherry, cognac cherry, saddle cherry or smoke cherry.

 

4. Modern Shaker Library Desk

modern-shaker-library-desk

Our Modern Shaker Writing Desk is sturdy and simplistic, taking a modern spin on traditional Shaker style. All of our Modern Shaker Style collection is handcrafted to order in Vermont in your choice of solid cherry, maple, or walnut woods with a eco-friendly non-toxic oil finish that protects and enhances the natural characteristics of the wood. Traditionally crafted for generations of use and enjoyment.

5. Vermont-Made Shaker Writing Desk

vermont-shaker-writing-desk

Simple, beautiful, and traditionally made; our Vermont Made Shaker Writing Desk features elegant tapered legs and high end, solid wood construction that will endure for years! All our wood is sustainably harvested in America, so it’s an eco-friendly writing table that you can feel good about. Customize it to be uniquely yours, perfect to get all of your work done around!

 

Which of these 5 American Made Shaker Desks do you like best? Let us know in the comments section!

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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.

Which Historic Chair is Right for Your Space: Windsor or Shaker Style?

Last updated on November 13th, 2018 at 11:05 pm

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While there are literally hundreds of different chair styles to choose from, the Windsor Style Chair and Modern Shaker Style are some of our favorites. Both of them are simplistic and stylish in their own right, and they are both staples of American history!

Lets start with the history behind the classic Windsor Chair:

According to ‘Past and Present: Windsor Chair History’ by Design*Sponge, “In North America, the Windsor chair form was first used in Philadelphia where the chair became hugely popular around the time of the Revolution. The chairs were such an important part of the life in the new country that Thomas Jefferson was said to have written the Declaration of Independence in one of these chairs and Martha Washington had needlework cushions made for her bow-back Windsor chairs.”

Wow, who knew? Even better, here’s some historical photos of these classic American chairs:

 

windsorchair_englishgarden2
“Images above, from top: This ca. 1739 drawing by Jacques Rigaud shows a lord and lady being wheeled through the garden in Windsor chairs (from The Metropolitan Museum of Art). The presentation of the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress by Edward Savage (from the Library of Congress).” (Photos retrieved from Design*Sponge)

What about Shaker Chairs in history?

According to ArtComplex.org, “The common New England slat-back chair, fashioned by the hands of a Shaker woodworker, has become an icon of American furniture design. Shaker craftsman were familiar with that furniture form. It was found in almost every eighteenth and nineteenth century rural New england home. Converts brought these chairs with them as they joined shaker communities. Shaker craftsmen produced these chairs, refining that vernacular form and creating a distinctive , well-built chair that ultimately earned them considerable renown. Chairs were made in nearly every Shaker village for use within their shops and dwellings. Some chairs were sold to outsiders. Mount Lebanon, New York, the only community to mass produce chairs for sale, sold tens of thousands to individuals, families and businesses”

Traditionally, Shaker Chairs would be hung on the walls to maximize utility and save space. Photo retrieved from: Blue Ribbons Design.
Traditionally, Shaker Chairs would be hung on the walls to maximize utility and save space. Photo retrieved from: Blue Ribbons Design.

While chair B isn’t a traditional slat back as mentioned and pictured, it still represents the simplicity of design and exquisite craftsmanship represented in Shaker style!

So, have you made up your mind yet? Both chairs have an impressive history and even more impressive design. If you don’t want to have to chose one or the other, why not both? Mix & Match for a look that is not only stylish, but has a great story.

Didn’t see what you were looking for? Shop our full selection of dining chairs.

Let us know which chair you love in the comments section of this blog, or send us a tweet!

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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.

Exploring Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:32 pm

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Clean lines, simple ornamentation, and sturdy wooden frames are the primary distinguishable features of Mission Style Bedroom Furniture. This furniture style focuses on the inherent quality of the design, the natural  beauty of the materials, and a build that is made to last for generations.

In the early 1900s, Mission style furniture was created as a reaction to the industrial revolution and the ways in which it devalued the individual worker. The bold lines and sturdy, unadorned wooden base contrasted greatly against the frilly, ornate aesthetic of the  mass produced designs of the Victorian era.

Mission Style emphasizes simple horizontal and vertical lines and flat panels that accentuate the wood grain, and is most commonly crafted in Oak with a stain finish. There is little or no decoration, though the joinery is often given a darker stain to emphasize the expert construction.

While Mission Style furniture was created as a design movement that rejected low quality, mass produced pieces, eventually Mission style was mass produced just like its predecessors, and low-quality Mission furniture was soon found everywhere.

At Vermont Woods Studios, however, our Mission Style furniture is still built with the quality and integrity that Mission Style has long represented. A focus on real quality craftmanship, built by real expert Vermont artisans.

Mission Style Bedroom Furniture

Why bring Mission Style Bedroom Furniture into your home?

As mentioned previously, Mission Style bedroom furniture is masterfully crafted to be sturdy, simple, and inherently striking. It’s perfect for a bedroom because (like all of our furniture) it’s built for a lifetime of use and if you like sleeping as much as I do, your bed gets a ton of wear over the years. You’re going to want something functional, simplistic, and built for real use.

Is Mission Style furniture bedroom furniture right for you? Check out our collections of mission furniture or contact one of our friendly fine furniture specialists to talk about crafting a custom mission style bedroom furniture piece just 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.

Furniture Ideas for Creating a Cozy Atmosphere

Last updated on November 2nd, 2017 at 11:47 am

furniture ideas
Shown in this photo is our Classic Shaker Hunt Board, complemented with Simon Pearce glassware and JK Adams kitchen accessories.

As much as I hate to admit it, it’s winter.  The sky is dreary, the wind is sharp, and icy snow covers the ground. When you get home at the end of the day, you don’t want your home environment to reflect the outside environment–you want your house to be as cozy and warm as possible! Thankfully, our beautiful cherry furniture has a natural warmth that adds cheer to any space, and when adorned with some of Vermont’s iconic home decor brands, the pairing is perfect for making a comfortable and chic shelter from the harsh weather. With the following furniture ideas, you’ll know what to do to create your winter oasis in no time:

1. Accessorize your wood furniture with blankets:

furniture ideas
Our Vermont Shaker Moon Bed elegantly shows the natural warmth of Cherry wood. The luxurious purple blanket adds just another layer of warmth and sophistication. 

Blankets are great for creating a warm atmosphere in your home. Aside from literally warming you up, they add soft layers to your decor and give it added coziness (especially when used to accent a wooden bed). Purchasing a new blanket is great, but a handmade quilt is wonderful too.

 

2. Keep candles lit around the house:

fall-lifestyle-2014-2
A toasty fire, wood furniture, and beautiful home decor… can you imagine a more perfect winter scene?

Having candles lit (safely, of course) is a simple and beautiful way to add a touch of warmth to any space. The flame of the candle is sure to make any area of your home feel more alive and more comfy. Using acorns gathered from outside, place your Simon Pearce candle holder on top of an earthy slate base for a look that is as natural as it is stylish.

 

3. Decorate with warm tones.

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Hubbardton Forge Lighting adds a whimsical yet industrial artisan feeling to your otherwise modestly decorated home.

Rather than using cool tones like blues and grays, warmer tones like brown, yellow, red and gold are great for giving the illusion of warmth. Your pillows, curtains and bedding are wonderful places to start. These colors look especially beautiful when highlighting the natural tone of Cherry wood furniture.

I hope these furniture ideas will help you  and your home avoid the dreary winter blues! What tips would you add? Let me know in the comments or send us a tweet.

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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.

Gather Around a Cherry Extension Table for your Holiday Feast

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:33 pm

 

Cherry Extension Table

Enhance your Holidays with a Cherry Extension Table!

Hosting a party or feast this holiday season? If so, it’s a great idea to consider an extension table for meals shared with large groups of family and friends! Our cherry extension tables are roomy, comfortable, and classically styled. They are wonderful both aesthetically and functionally, for years and years to come!

All of our Cherry extension tables are crafted in Vermont with sustainably harvested wood– making it the perfect choice for this traditional American holiday season! Our beautiful cherry extension tables are also guaranteed for life, giving you the confidence that this table will be one you share memories around for decades.

We think you’ll be proud to own one of these beautiful, traditionally crafted tables, and we think your friends and family will love it too.

Here are some of our favorites:

1) New England Shaker Round Extension Pedestal Table:

Cherry Extension Tablenew-england-shaker-round-extension-pedestal-table_02

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the images above you will see our New England Shaker Round table in it’s normal form and extended. On the left is the table without extension, perfect for a small family dinner or a intimate dining experience for two. On the right you will see the table after it’s been extended, an ideal table for large parties and holiday gatherings!

2)  Catalina Cherry Extension Table: 

Cherry Extension TableCherry Extension Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With our Catalina Cherry Extension table, you’ll have maximum flexibility when it comes to casual dining and entertaining guests at home for the holidays. In the above photos you can see this extension table in it’s normal form and when extended. On the left side you will see that the Catalina table regularly seats approximately 6 people. When extended, however, this beautiful table seats ten! This table is perfect for both diners with the family and large holiday festivities.

3)  Vermont Shaker Harvest Dining Table

Cherry Extension Table

Cherry Extension Table

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Vermont Shaker Harvest Dining Table is beautiful, charming, and the perfect addition to any home. Use as a regular dining table all year round, and extend the table when having guests. Bread board ends and gracefully tapered legs complete this timeless design. Easily add an extension leaf on one or both table ends for those special occasions, like Thanksgiving dinner, when you need a few extra place settings.

Which of these tables would you use for your holiday festivities? If you loved these, you’ll find dozens more tables in our online gallery!

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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.

Our 3 Step Guide to Finding Quality Furniture

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 03:52 pm

Quality Furniture

 

If high quality furniture is important to you, there are some things you should know before you shop!

Quality furniture might not on the top of your priority list if you are in you’re early twenties or thirties, but as you get older and start building a home you really treasure, finding quality furniture is an important step. Sleeping on hand-me-down mattresses and buying the cheapest furniture you can find, whether it be on Craigslist or at a yard sale or at a discount furniture store, at some point becomes unthinkable. And the hunt for real, high quality furniture becomes an important challenge.

So if you’re in the market for a new bed and maybe a new dresser or chest, or some new pieces for your dining room, how can you find pieces that are not only fairly priced, but built with quality as well? Well, with some research and years of experience in the furniture industry, we’ve come up with 3 steps to ensuring you are getting good quality furniture!

1. Know your wood types

If you are on the market for good quality wood furniture, it’s essential to know the difference between the different types of wood. Wood furniture typically falls into three different categories: solid wood, veneers, and particle board.

Quality solid wood furniture is usually more expensive than the other types, and for good reason. It’s sturdy, beautiful, and more natural in look and feel. It’s important to take care of your solid wood furniture, however, because they can sometimes be susceptible to wear and tear like scratches and water rings. Cherry, Oak, and Maple are always good choices for wood furniture as they all look lovely and are strong, solid woods.

Veneers have an inexpensive wood base covered by thin layers of better quality wood. The cheaper core means it’s less costly than a true solid wood piece.  While veneers are less high quality than true solid wood, that doesn’t mean it is “bad” for furniture, though it is important to find a real veneer. Cheap, low quality furniture usually features a MDF (Medium-density fibreboard) with laminate coating on the sides that have the wood grain printed on it. 

Particle Board is made from a combination of compressed woodchips and resin, often coated or veneered for furniture. It’s basically the scraps of the furniture world, making it the cheapest type of wood furniture. While it can look decent, it will not hold up for long and is not a great choice for anyone looking for true, long lasting quality.

Quality Furniture Featuring Dovetail Joints

2.  Check the Joinery

Drawers and Doors provide perhaps the quickest and easiest quality check on craftsmanship.  Make sure they are well fitted and adjusted properly.  Drawers and doors should close easily and be flush with the cabinet front.  The hardware should be substantial and adjustable in case of jostling during shipping and moving processes be sure to have your delivery crew make any necessary adjustments before they leave your home).

Dovetails: Dovetails are strong, attractive, joints that slide into one another and are noted for resistance to being pulled apart. Dovetail joints are commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners. Dovetails are harder to cut than most joints, so they are usually seen on top quality furniture pieces.  This type of joinery is so strong because of it’s unique shape, making it extremely difficult to pull them apart. It’s this incredible strength that makes them a staple of many top quality solid wood furniture pieces.

Mortise & Tenon: Simple and strong, mortise and tenon joinery has been used for millenia by woodworkers around the world to join pieces of wood, usually when the pieces are at a 90° angle. The joint may be glued, pinned, or wedged to lock it in place. By inserting one element of wood into another, a mortise-and-tenon joint provides unshakable strength.

3. Make sure it’s made in the USA 

Besides the fact that American made furniture has a centuries old heritage & reputation for incredible craftsmanship, furniture that’s hand made in America gets an immediate gold star for integrity, just for the fact that the wood is legally and sustainably harvested (this is often not the case with imported furniture).  You  can also feel good that USA made furniture is creating American jobs and sustainable economies.  Another benefit: no worries about toxic finishes and glues (common in imported furniture) that might offgas in your home or be ingested by small children.

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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.

Quality Hardwood Furniture Buyers Guide, Part II

Last updated on August 20th, 2018 at 02:49 pm

Today’s post is Part II of our Hardwood Furniture Buyers Guide.

Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Hardwood furniture finishes: oil, wax, lacquer or poly?
Which fine hardwood furniture finish is right for you: oil, wax, lacquer or poly (hint: got kids? Go for the lacquer or poly)? This cherry wood dining table is finished with a blend of hand rubbed linseed oil and Poly gel.

Waxes and oils, such as beeswax or mineral oil are often used as hardwood furniture finishes because they sink into the fibers and condition the wood. These finishes bring out the grain of the wood and create a soft, supple surface but they need to be reapplied periodically. Alternatively, lacquer, shellac, varnish, poly and other non-porous coatings may be applied just once, creating a water proof coating that is almost maintenance free.

Which is best for you? Well if you have young children you many not have time to be oiling furniture, so lacquer may be your best bet. On the other hand, if you adore the feel of a well-oiled natural wood surface and you don’t mind taking the time to re-oil periodically, go for the oil and wax.

Care of Fine Hardwood Furniture Finishes

Fine hardwood furniture is an investment that should increase in value over time, however that depends on how well you care for it (particularly for furniture with an oil or wax finish). If you follow the furniture maker’s instructions your wood furniture should last a lifetime and more!

Oil Finish on Quality Hardwood Furniture
This Cherry Moon Nightstand is made with cherry hardwood and finished with natural linseed oil. To keep the wood soft and supple, it is smart to re-oil it 1/month during the first year.

Protect Against Water and Humidity

Wood is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. As the weather changes, so does the relative humidity in your home and in the moisture content of the wood in your furniture. Fine hardwood furniture that’s coated with lacquer or poly is sealed and protected from the occasional water spill.

Replenish Oil and Wax Finishes Periodically

Oil and wax finishes must be replenished frequently during the first year. A rule of thumb is: clean and oil your wood furniture immediately upon delivery into you home. After that oil it once/week for the first month. Then oil 1/month for the first year. After that oil your furniture 1/year. This will result in a soft supple patina that will not only protect your furniture but add to it’s beauty and value over time.

Construction Details in Fine Hardwood Furniture

Joinery

Mortise and tenon joinery illustration
Mortise and tenon joinery is often used to attach side pieces to corner pieces and legs.

Joinery speaks clearly about the craftsmanship of a piece. Be sure to inspect corners and drawers to see how they’re crafted and look for these robust and durable joints:

Mortise-and-Tenon Joint

Mortise-and-tenon joint are often used in armoires, dressers, chests, cabinets, tables, chairs, desks and bookcases. The tenon (projecting piece) on a board is inserted into the mortise (cavity) on another board, then glued. An M-T joint may be further secured with a peg inserted through both pieces.

Dovetail Joint

The dovetail joint is typically used in drawer construction. Wedge-shaped projections on one piece interlock with corresponding slots on another.

Hardwood furniture construction details
Dovetail joints are shown attaching drawer fronts to the sides of the drawers (middle photos). Quality hardwood furniture also employs sturdy hinges and finished backs on case goods.

Use of Veneers

Veneers have taken a bad rap over the past several decades because much of the cheap, imported furniture sold in big box stores is made with low quality plywood or fiber board, then covered with a thin wooden veneer. Although solid wood construction is often preferred by those seeking high quality hardwood furniture, there are certain furniture designs that require veneers, for example sleigh beds that have curved wooden panels.

Why Hardwood versus Softwood Furniture?

In the world of trees and lumber, hardwood is relatively rare. About 80% of all timber comes from softwoods like pine, hemlock, cedar, and spruce. Only 20% of our timber is from hardwood trees like cherry, maple, oak, walnut, mahogany, teak and beech. As such, hardwood is relatively rare and expensive so why choose it over softwood? Generally speaking hardwood is more dense than softwood and has a tighter grain making it more resistant to decay. The density also makes hardwood more difficult for craftspeople to work with, but the beauty of the grain and the patina that develops over time makes solid hardwood furniture a prized possession.

If you’re in the market for high quality furniture, what’s your favorite wood? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments section below.

 

 

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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.