Putting a Passion for the Environment to Work

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:38 pm

Today’s post is part 2 of a series on Vermont Woods Studios written by Vermont author, Peggy McKay Shinn.  Peggy writes full-time and lives in Rutland, Vermont, with her husband, daughter, and one remaining cat. Visit her website and check out Peggy Shinn’s books, including Deluge: Tropical Storm Irene, Vermont’s Flash Floods, and How One Small State Saved Itself.  Find Part 1 of our story here

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Before Vermont Woods Studios took flight, Peggy Farabaugh’s career path had many twists and turns.

Raised in Plattsburgh, New York, she majored in chemistry in college and from 1980 to 2005 worked in occupational and environmental health and safety at various institutions around the country. A lover of the outdoors and a frequent hiker, her environmental interest soon extended beyond local forests thanks to her two sons. From watching educational TV (e.g., Steve Irwin’s The Crocodile Hunter), the boys became curious about the rainforest, so the family took vacations to Central America to learn about them firsthand. Farabaugh remembers being astounded when they learned that one-and-one-half acres of rainforest disappear every second.

The Farabaughs moved to Vermont in 1997 when Ken, an engineer, took a job at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant in Vernon. At the time, Peggy Farabaugh worked remotely for Tulane University in New Orleans developing an online masters program in occupational safety and health management until Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, and Tulane closed for four months.

Farabaugh lost her job and couldn’t find one near Vernon. That’s when the business idea hit her. She loved the woods, and Ken loved woodworking. In fact, he had just built a woodworking shop on the back of their house.

“You just spent all our money on this woodworking shop,” she told Ken. “I’m going to put it to work.”

They knew other local woodworkers, like Chad Woodruff in Vernon, Dan Mosheim of Dorset Custom Furniture in Dorset, and Steve Holman, who also has a studio in Dorset. Makers of stunning custom furniture from sustainable hardwood (cherry, maples, oak, and walnut, some of it grown in Vermont), they mostly sold pieces in local galleries and craft fairs. Many had their own websites, but Farabaugh thought she could bring them a wider audience. It was the beginning of Vermont Woods Studios. Or rather VermontWoodsStudios.com, a virtual furniture gallery of “really funky cool stuff” made from sustainable wood in Vermont. While her first customer was a gentleman from Indiana who was searching the Internet for eco-friendly furniture — in keeping with her mission — she soon found that it was simply too difficult to sell enough really unique furniture online to make it worth it.

“How can somebody understand why a custom, one-of-a-kind piece costs three times more when they look the same online?” Farabaugh realized.

Enter Douglas Fletcher, a Vermonter and small business consultant. He convinced Farabaugh to add manufactured hardwood furniture from Vermont companies Lyndon and Copeland to VermontWoodsStudios.com offerings. Both Lyndon and Copeland have manufactured fine hardwood furniture in Vermont and sold it at a competitive price point for over 30 years. Both companies sell furniture in stores across the United States.

With this expanded collection from which to choose, Vermont Woods Studios business began to take off. And it continued to improve thanks to social media (e.g., the company advertises sales on Facebook, and Farabaugh regularly updates a blog). To keep up with demand, Farabaugh hired new staff, people she says share her “passion for the mission.” But that mission was expanding too.

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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.

Copeland Contour Collection: Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture

Last updated on May 28th, 2019 at 09:32 pm

Heirloom Quality & Retro Design:  Our New Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture Collection

Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture fans often have a hard time finding Mid-Century pieces that are truly high quality, solid wood designs.

A simple search on google or Pinterest might bring up thousands of stores and pieces for you to sort through, but many of them are cheaply made and designed only to be used for a season or so.

For those who love the nostalgic Mid-Century style but also appreciate timeless design and craftsmanship, the search can be daunting.

Our Copeland Contour Bedroom furniture, however, is heirloom quality and built to last a lifetime. It is crafted with real solid wood, making it the obvious choice for both value and style.

The Contour Bed features a solid, continuous ribbon of walnut hardwood wrapping around the outside of the mattress and slatted headboard. Just like the Contour Bed, Contour case pieces have gracefully softened curved corners and edges–reminiscent of traditional Mid-Century Modern Bedroom Furniture. Each case piece is strikingly complete with an Opel laminated glass top which contrasts beautifully with the dark tones of the walnut wood. This entire set is finely crafted in Vermont using sustainably harvested wood.

Its exquisitely curved corners, rich American Black Walnut, and sleek, clean lines exemplify streamline Mid-Century modernism. This collection effortlessly melds contemporary style with minimalist design, providing the perfect modern-day bedroom oasis.

So what do you think? Would you add the Contour collection to your space? Let us know 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.

POLYWOOD® furniture finds a home at Tiny House Nation!

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:49 pm

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“Tiny House Nation” is a television program that features innovative Tiny Homes from across the United States. Renovation experts and hosts, John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin travel across America to explore creative small spaces and the imaginative folks who occupy them. They also help new families design and construct their own dream tiny homes! Houses can be no larger than 500 square feet, and include anything from micro-NYC apartments to caboose cars turned mini-roadtripping home. This series celebrates the Tiny House movement and its explosive growth in the United States!

We’re excited to announce that we have provided some POLYWOOD® outdoor dining furniture to the tiny home! Sustainable Living is a major part of our company, so when we saw that there was going to be an episode shot in Vermont we knew we had to get involved. Douglas and Dennis made the trip up to Montpelier to hand deliver the furniture and meet the crew. We had been waiting in anticipation to see the show on air, and we were thrilled to see the Vermont tiny home in action last night on the FYI Television network!

What do you think, could you survive life in a home less than 500 square feet?

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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.

Woodworking Network: Mass Appeal for Master Craftsmen: Vermont Woods Studios

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:49 pm

The woodworkers are part of a network cultivated by Vermont Woods Studios, a company dedicated to promoting the Vermont custom furniture industry on a large scale. Natural finishes are standard for each custom piece, along with hardwoods sourced from Vermont tree farmers and sawmill operators.

Read more:

 

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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.

Easily Buy POLYWOOD Cushions Online

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 03:35 pm

Polywood Cushions Online

 Shop for POLYWOOD Cushions Online Easily at Vermont Woods Studios

So you bought your wonderful new eco-friendly Polywood outdoor furniture, but forgot to buy the POLYWOOD cushions? No problem. We have a great selection of luxurious Sunbrella fabric cushions, specially made for your POLYWOOD pieces. Beautiful colors like Forest green, Pacific blue, Sunflower yellow and Bravada salsa are just a few of the chic and summery colors we have to choose from.

Add a little extra plushness to POLYWOOD’s already comfortable, high-quality outdoor furniture with this extensive line of durable marine grade fabric cushions. It’s weather resistant, stain and fade resistant, quick drying, and available in 12 different colors and patterns of your choice. Buy a few different cushions to mix and match as you change your decor. 

An outdoor POLYWOOD® set simply is not complete without these wonderful POLYWOOD Cushions to give your backyard patio a spa-like feel. Just kick up your feet and relax!

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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.

Style Spotlight: Mission Furniture

Last updated on July 18th, 2020 at 06:19 pm

Mission Furniture

Mission Furniture History

Mission style furniture was established during the early 1900’s during the boarder “Arts & Crafts” or “American Craftsmen” era. When the style first emerged, it was a revolutionary furniture & design movement that was created as a response to the industrial revolution and the way it devalued the individual furniture maker. This style of architecture, interior design, and decorative arts “became affordable to middle class homes built in the United States during the Arts and Crafts period between 1900 and 1930.”

The Significance of Mission Furniture

Many of the major players of the Mission Style movement including William Morris, John Ruskin, Gustav Stickley and Frank Lloyd Wright, believed that the Craftsman was being lost to the mass produced, “soulless” furniture of the Victorian Era. Mission furniture was a complete departure from the over embellished and “glamorous” furniture that the Victorian Period was known for. In the Victorian Era, “A bare room was considered to be in poor taste, so every surface was filled with objects that reflected the owner’s interests and aspirations.” Reflecting a time in society when domesticity meant absolute privacy, and when the Bourgeois existence manifested into the interior space.  The home was used as a curtained off retreat, wary of intrusion, and “opened only by invitation for viewing only on occasions such as parties or teas.”  Basically, the Victorian Home was a manifestation of upper-class values (while still using overly adorned, low quality decor and furniture). 

Mission Furniture
“The Victorian Bedroom at Dalgarven” by Roger Griffith – Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

This is what The Mission Furniture Movement rebelled against, the highly “glamorous” ideals of the Victorian Era that weren’t inclusive of the real middle class. It represented an entire shift in cultural attitudes and values. Mission furniture aimed to represent the true American worker.

Mission Furniture Features

Mission furniture

Mission furniture is bold yet simplistic, reminiscent of a traditional Rustic Farmhouse. It’s heavy in appearance and build, with emphasis on using clean lines and natural materials. Mission style typically incorporated locally handcrafted wood, glass, and metal work–bringing the artisan back into the picture and straying away from a mass produced look. Mission furniture is very sturdy, and found some inspiration from Shaker furniture with it’s aim to be usable as well as stylish. Mission style is a design that “emphasizes simple (horizontal and vertical) lines and flat panels that accentuate the grain of the wood.”  This style intends to reveal the craft of woodworking and the skill & labor of the individual craftsman. It’s unpainted and unadorned, making it fitting furniture for practically any style of home!

Our Reflection

Mission Furniture is important to us because it represents exactly why we are here, to promote the craft of fine artisan woodworking. Our culture has seen a revival of cheap, mass-produced furniture available online and in big box stores– and our furniture crafters are creating expert furniture designs with the same passion and integrity that sparked the Mission Style movement over a hundred years ago. If you’d like to see more of our collections of Mission furniture, please browse hundreds of our locally crafted and sourced pieces!

What do you think of Mission Furniture? Let us know in the comments or send us a Tweet.

Sources: (1) & (2)

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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.

5 Small Wood End Tables

Last updated on May 28th, 2019 at 09:03 pm

Tiny Tables

All of our tiny tables (end tables, side tables, smaller than usual tables) are expertly handcrafted in Vermont and guaranteed for life. These aren’t style of the moment tables, they are timeless tiny tables that are guaranteed for life and will never go out of style.

Whether you use them as a side table in your living room, a bedside table, a plant stand, or simply as an accent or accessory in any room– these 5 tables are sure to please.

1. Classic Shaker Round End Table

Classic Shaker Round End Table in natural cherry

Handmade in Vermont using sustainably harvested wood. It is an eco-friendly piece that can be customized to meet your exact needs. The subtle arches in the legs give it a whimsical feel that can bring a feeling of elegance and femininity to any space!

2. Cherry Moon End Table

Made to the highest standards, and meticulously handcrafted by skilled furniture makers. Shown in walnut wood, this ultra modern piece is versatile enough to fit practically any space. The unique styling and shape of the legs give it an eclectic charm. It’s the perfect tiny table for a craftsman style furniture lover.

3. Modern Metropolitan End Table

Features a clear powder coated steel metal base, the result is a beautiful, solid wood end table perfect for a loft or city apartment. A modern, clean and simple design that looks great in any setting. This fusion of wood and metal makes it the most industrial of the tiny tables on this list.

4. Modern Shaker Lamp Table

Can be used in almost any corner of your home or office. Use as an end table, cocktail table, lamp table, plant stand or to showcase that special work of art. Choose between a rounded or straight edge profile. eco-friendly non-toxic oil finish.

5.  French Country Round End Table

French Country End Table
Our French Country End Table in cherry wood.

Ultra curvaceous, making it the most luxurious looking of the tiny tables on the list. It’s subtle, chic, and makes the perfect accent to any french country home. 

Which of these tables do you like the best? Let us know in the comments section 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.

Top Quality Wood Furniture: A Buyers Guide

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 03:35 pm

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Shopping for Quality Wood Furniture?

It’s not that easy anymore, especially if you’re shopping online.  I just googled the phrase “top quality wood furniture” and came up with products like a 5 piece dining set for $356 at Target and a twin bed complete with underbed storage at Walmart for $139.  Those are not products that most of us would call “high quality”.

Checking Quality in the Showroom

At Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been working for 9 years to be able to provide a showroom (Stonehurst) where customers can come and experience the beauty and honesty of true high quality wood furniture.  I’ve noticed that when customers visit us, often they split up in the store.  One person chats with us about their needs and the style of their home, while the other person inspects the quality of our furniture.  He/she opens drawers, looks underneath table tops, moves dressers around to see how the backs are attached and so on.  This is an important part of the purchase process.  But what if you’re shopping online?

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How to Gauge Quality when Shopping Online

Online fine furniture stores must provide enough detail via photos and articles to enable customers to judge their quality.  On our website, for example we post a “Construction Details” page for every furniture collection we offer.  Here you’ll find details ranging from the natural characteristics of the wood, to the type of joinery used, to instructions for care & maintenance (which are dependent on the type of wood and finish selected).

Find more tips and advice on buying fine furniture here: Top Quality Wood Furniture: A Buyers Guide.

 

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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.

Create a Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set For Year Round Style

Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set

If you live in an area where the weather can be a severe and unpredictable, then you’ve likely seen outdoor furniture ruined or tarnished by the rain, snow, wind, or intense heat. Maybe the wood began to mold or crack from too much time spent outside in wet weather, or perhaps it started to fade– whatever the problem, you won’t have it with our Faux Wood Adirondack Bar set. Our Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set furniture is made from recycled plastic lumber, meaning that hundreds of discarded milk jugs were re-purposed to create this stylish outdoor furniture! It’s ultra sturdy, built to resist all weather conditions, and comes in dozens of fade resistant colors.

Our Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set is beautiful, sustainable, and built to last (so we’ve backed it with a lifetime guarantee).

Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set

If you’re going to create the perfect Adirondack Bar Set, you have two great options for seating. A) Our Adirondack Bar Height Chair, or B) The Adirondack Counter Chair. They both come in 7 earthy colors and come with lots of great features including:

  • Made from eco-friendly POLYWOOD® HDPE recycled plastic lumber and maintenance free
  • Best All Weather furniture solution, leave outside year round
  • Resists heat, below freezing cold, salt air, and corrosive chemicals
  • Premium stainless steel hardware, 18-8 commercial grade with protective xylan coating
  • 7 Fade resistant frame colors with UV protection
  • No mold, mildew, weathering, cracking or warping
  • No painting, staining, waterproofing, stripping or resurfacing
  • Great value! This is a product you will never have to replace
  • Perfect for both residential and commercial outdoor use
  • Made in the USA

Faux Wood Adirondack Bar Set

Complete your “set” with one of our bar height tables. Our Outdoor Bars and Counter Tables are super durable, maintenance free and available in many modern styles and colors! Voted best quality outdoor pool and patio bar furniture, our POLYWOOD® outdoor furniture collection brings super durable outdoor entertainment furniture that not only looks beautiful but is made to last and give you years of maintenance-free enjoyment. Pick one of these tables to accent your new Adirondack Bar Chairs, and you’ll have the elegant and eco friendly faux wood Adirondack bar set of your dreams!

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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.