Custom Drawer Pulls by Donlin Foreman

Last updated on March 18th, 2019 at 09:34 am

Custom drawer and door pulls by Donlin Foreman
After an illustrious career in dance, Donlin Foreman is developing a business making handcrafted custom drawer pulls of unique combinations of leather, brass, bronze and iron suitable for doors, cabinets, and furniture.  You can find a selection of his work at Hanna Grimes Market Place in Keene.

Last week I wrote about customizing your furniture by using unique drawer pulls.  We have many different style (Shaker, Modern, Mission, Traditional, Wood and Metal) custom drawer pulls to choose from at Stonehurst (our new fine furniture and art gallery).  But often customers want something very special and unique so we work with a variety of local artisans to serve as connectors when the need arises.

Coincidentally we had a visit yesterday from Donlin Foreman, owner of Horse Hill Handles a small business that makes custom leather, brass, bronze and iron drawer and door pulls.  You may know Donlin as a professional dancer and co-founder of On Common Ground Dance Performance and Educational Products.  He’s a “20-year veteran of the Martha Graham Dance Company and has performed with Eliot Feld Company, Jacques d’Amboise National Dance Institute, and La Scala Ballet.  He has staged works for NJ Ballet, Ice Theatre of NY, La Scala Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre. As co-founder/director/choreographer of Buglisi/Foreman Dance, Donlin choreographed 25 ballets and presented six seasons in NYC at the Joyce Theater, two seasons at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, the America Dancing series/Kennedy Center, the Melbourne International Festival and other international venues.

Donlin performed at the White House for President Reagan and holds numerous honors, with critical and professional acclaim. He served as Professor of Professional Practice in the Dance Department of Barnard College, Columbia University, has published a book of poetic writing, contributed to the Martha Graham issue of Choreography and Dance, Dance Teacher and Dance Spirit magazines; and for two years chaired the Dance Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts. Donlin now lives in Harrisville with his wife Jenny and their two young sons. He is on the staff at the New England Center for Circus Arts.”

After an illustrious career in dance, Donlin is developing a business making handcrafted custom drawer pulls of unique combinations of leather, brass, bronze and iron suitable for doors, cabinets, and furniture.  You can find a selection of his work at Hanna Grimes Market Place in Keene.

We wish you all the best of luck with your new venture, Donlin!

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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.

Cherry Furniture: The Ultimate Buyers Guide

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 03:36 pm

 

Cherry Furniture | Handmade in Vermont | Real Solid Hardwood
Dennis and Nina took this picture at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom.  It’s our Vermont Shaker Moon bed, dresser and nightstands, handmade in Montpelier of natural cherry wood.

Cherry furniture is enjoying the top spot on our customer’s list of favorite wood species again this year.   It’s been the trend for several years and no doubt 2014 will be another banner year for cherry wood.  Most Vermont woodworkers are set up to offer customers a choice of at least the Top 4 American Hardwoods used in fine furniture making, that is:  cherry, maple, walnut and oak.  But cherry has always been the favorite as far back as I can remember.

In responding to customer preferences as well as the availability of high quality, sustainably harvested cherry wood, Vermont furniture makers have become America’s authority on fine cherry furniture.  We work right alongside them at Vermont Woods Studios and have been sharing their knowledge on our website, in our blog and in a variety of articles.  As we head into the furniture buying season, I thought I’d compile some of these resources and publish them as The Ultimate Buyers Guide for Cherry Furniture.

Check it out and let us know on Facebook, if you have additional questions we can add to the 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.

Celebrate National Forest Products Week

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:52 pm

Celebrate National Forest Product Week | Vermont Wood Furniture

By Presidential proclamation, this week– October 20-26, 2013 is National Forest Products Week.  It’s a time for us to recognize the beauty of our forests, the many products that come from our forests and the people who work in and manage our forests.

At Vermont Woods Studios, our company was founded on a mission of forest conservation. Through Vermont’s beautiful, eco-friendly wood furniture, we’re trying to help raise awareness about the importance of sustainable forestry.  What’s so interesting or important about sustainable forestry?  Check out some of these fun forest facts:

  • Each year the average American uses an amount of forest products equivalent to one HUGE tree (10 stories tall and 18 inches in diameter).  That’s over 43 cubic feet of wood and 681 pounds of paper
  • More than 5,000 things are made from trees such as houses, furniture, utensils, fences, books, medicines, chewing gum, cosmetics, clothing, toothpaste, soap, varnish, Almond Joy candy bars and of course, maple syrup
  • The single oldest living thing on earth is a tree, its is 4,700 years old and is located in the US. It was growing when the Egyptians built the pyramids!
  • Forests occupy one third of the Earth’s land area– they are our greatest defense against global warming
  • As the Earth’s great air conditioners, trees rid the air of excess carbon dioxide and other pollutants to improve air quality
  • Trees filter water, trap particles to make soil and help regulate climate patterns around the world
  • Most forests are threatened by unsustainable forestry practices, development and climate change
  • Organized crime controls much of the world’s timber trade– illegal timber is the new heroin
  • An area of rainforest the size of a football field is being destroyed every second of every minute of every day
  • In less than 100 years over half of the forest has been cut and burned, leaving whole areas of the earth bare and unprotected
  • 54 of the world’s 193 countries have already lost >90% of their forests

With our mission of sustainable forestry we hope to persuade people to buy eco-friendly, Vermont made wood furniture and avoid the purchase of imported furniture that’s made from wood that’s illegally clear cut from the world’s rapidly disappearing rainforests.

Learn more about responsible forestry on the Vermont Forest Products Association website and visit us at our Stonehurst fine furniture and art gallery to experience the sustainable difference!

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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’s Audrey Modern Dining Set: Now Available in Cherry Wood

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:49 pm

Copeland Audrey Modern Dining Set | Real Solid Cherry Wood | American Made
Copeland’s Audrey dining furniture has a mid century modern (MCM) design.  It’s handcrafted in Vermont from solid cherry wood that’s  harvested sustainably.  Shown above with Copeland’s MCM Estelle chairs.

A Mid Century Modern Dining Set

Interior designers, home decorators and everyone who loves a simple, minimalist esthetic in the dining room: take notice of Copeland’s Audrey mid century modern dining set.  We rolled out this popular collection in early summer, but at the time it was only available in walnut, a dark wood.  Now it’s available in real solid cherry wood, a favorite among our customers.

Audrey has a simple, modern, utilitarian look but it’s elegant and  sophisticated at the same time.  The dining table has an “X” shaped trestle base that allows for lots of leg space.  Customize the size online to accommodate small, medium or large dinner parties.  Make your dining area more adaptable by choosing the Audrey Extension table.   You’ll love the way the butterfly-style extra leaf self stores so easily under the table top.

The Audrey table looks great with any of Copeland’s dining chairs.  It’s shown here with the Estelle chairs — very MCM and ergonomically designed for comfort.

Serious about selecting Copeland furniture for your green home?  Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Copeland Furniture at Vermont Woods Studios.  Then Go Natural and Go Green!  Copeland dining furniture is built to order in Bradford, Vermont from eco-friendly sustainably harvested wood.

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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 VWS Table Finds a Home in Middlebury College’s Solar House

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:55 pm

We would like to congratulate the Middlebury College Solar Decathlon team for their hard work and progress on their solar home! The team are currently in Irvine, California constructing InSite for the competition! We applaud the team for their efforts and dedication to creating an unforgettable eco-friendly home, and their passion for helping showcase Vermont business throughout its design!

This is our 3rd year supporting the Middlebury Team in their Energy Solar Decathalon efforts!

Eleanor Krause from the Middlebury Team expressed her excitement about bringing the home and its Vermont made contents, to a global stage. She hopes that “the heart and quality of our local Vermont products really shines through, and will hopefully inspire all who visit to think more about supporting local and sustainable business.”

Below you will find several beautiful photos of the table in the solar home. Good luck team!

For more information on the competition or the Middlebury Team, check out their Facebook, or the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 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.

Wood Furniture Care: Tips on Climate Control

Last updated on February 17th, 2021 at 05:14 pm

Solid Wood Furniture: Tips on Climate Control and Humidity
We received this beautiful picture of our Cherry Blossom Single Pedestal Table from Mary M in Palm Desert, CA.  I love how she blended a relatively modern cherry dining set with what looks like a 16th century Baroque painting, a Colonial American corner cabinet and a collection of vibrant patchwork quilts.  But it was her combination of different woods that reminded me to talk about wood movement today.

Mary’s M’s cherry dining furniture (shown above) was made in Vermont (a relatively humid place, especially in the summer) and shipped to the desert of Arizona. Since we ship a lot of Vermont made wood furniture to desert locales in California, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and elsewhere, I thought I’d post a few tips on humidity and climate control.

Wood Furniture Moves in Response to Changes in Humidity

When wood is part of a living tree, water moves up the trunk, from the ground and through the pores and fibers of the wood, as it travels out to the leaves.  After a tree is cut and sawn into lumber, water continues to move back and forth through the wood fibers until the wood’s moisture level reaches equilibrium with its environment.

The job of woodworkers is to design and build furniture with a thorough understanding of the characteristics of wood movement.  But in spite of their advanced knowledge and skills, no woodworker is able to create wood furniture that is completely unresponsive to temperature and humidity in your home.  So here are a few climate control tips from our Furniture Care section to ensure that your wood furniture will remain beautiful and structurally sound for generations of enjoyment.

Climate Control Tips

  • Keep your home around 70°F-72°F with a relative humidity of about 50-55%
  • This often requires a humidifier in winter and an air conditioner in summer
  • Place your furniture away from heat sources such as radiators, heat runs or fireplaces
  • Store table leaves as close as possible to the table so they adjust to the same humidity conditions
  • Use a dehumidifier during wet, rainy times and in damp rooms to remove excess moisture from the air
  • For wood furniture with an oil finish, re-oil it frequently to create and maintain a patina.  A rule of thumb is to oil your furniture:
    • Immediately upon receipt
    • Once/week during the first month
    • Once/month during the first year
    • Once or twice/year after that

Normally if you’re comfortable with the temperature and humidity in your home, your wood furniture will be comfortable as well.  It’s designed to be durable and to accommodate normal changes in climate so most homeowners need not worry.   Relax and enjoy it.  Given reasonably good care your wood furniture will last for generations.

Tips from Furniture Restoration Experts

Check out this furniture renovation article from our friends over at Porch.com. You’ll learn even more tricks and techniques to make you an expert in wood furniture care.

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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.

Fall Asleep in Style

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:44 pm

Copeland Monterey Bedroom Furniture | Arts and Crafts Meets Asian Style
The Copeland Monterey bedroom furniture collection fuses Arts and Crafts design elements with Asian style.

Copeland Monterey Collection. Carefully Crafted, Elegantly Styled.

After a stressful day at the office who doesn’t want to come home and melt into a comfortable cradle, drifting off to sleep in style?

Copeland’s high end Monterey Bedroom Furniture Collection updates traditional Arts & Crafts style with a modern Japanese touch. The headboard is reminiscent of a Shinto shrine’s torii gate, an icon that represents the transition from the “profane to the sacred“. Such an appropriate analogy for the transition from your day of hard work into a night of peaceful slumber!

Handcrafted in real cherry hardwood, the Monterey Bedroom set is made to order and can be customized online in your choice of natural cherry, windsor cherry, autumn cherry, congnac cherry, saddle cherry and smoke cherry wood stain. The platform bed can also be customized with an upholstered headboard in your choice of 5 different microsuedes and 3 leathers.

Storage Bed

Copeland also offers a Monterey platform storage bed which features four 8″ deep, under-bed storage drawers that provide plenty of stylish storage– now essential for small apartments. Nightstands are designed to allow easy access to the storage drawers– it’s great furniture for small spaces.

Craftsmanship and Construction Details

Learn more about the craftsmanship involved in building the Monterey bedroom collection in our construction details 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.

True to Vermont: The Story of Copeland Furniture

Last updated on March 19th, 2019 at 02:10 pm

Copeland Vermont Made Monterey Bed
Copeland’s Monterey Collection

Founded in East Cornith, Vermont, Copeland Furniture is guided by its values of preservation and stewardship. Environmentally conscious before “green” was anything other than a color, Copeland has been expertly crafting heirloom-quality wood tables, chairs, desks, beds, and case goods since the 1970s.

Copeland’s commitment to stewardship is revealed in the woods they choose – all Copeland wood comes from within 500 miles of their factory, which means less fossil fuels used and less CO2 emitted into the atmosphere. Sourced primarily from the great American Northern Forest, Copeland uses durable and beautiful hardwoods like maple, cherry, and walnut, all of which is sustainably harvested. Their sustainable harvesting practices ensure that the Northern Forest will continue to be among the healthiest forests in the world, continuously building biomass. Plus, Copeland offers a water-based finish on most pieces – these formaldehyde-free finishes are every bit as durable as a catalyzed lacquer, but with drastically reduced VOC emissions at the factory and off-gassing the home.

Copeland Furniture Catalina Collection
Copeland’s Catalina Collection

Part of their commitment to the environment includes heirloom-quality craftsmanship. In some ways, these artisanal pieces are a response against the disposable. Copeland’s promise is to build furniture with the best materials and workmanship available, beautiful pieces that will be handed down for future generations to use daily and to enjoy for years to come.

This family-owned business started out as a one-man operation in East Cornith, but has grown to become a state-of-the art manufacturing facility on the banks of the Connecticut River in Bradford, Vermont. Copeland has skillfully adapted to changes in technology and the market – they expertly combine old-world handcraftsmanship with leading-edge advances computer-aided design. They identify their design aesthetic as “transitional,” neither strictly traditional or contemporary. Design influences are drawn from the Japanese, Shaker, and Scandinavian design styles, as well as from the landscape and culture of their home base of Vermont.

Copeland's Sarah Shaker style Cherry & maple bed
Copeland’s Sarah Shaker Style Cherry & Maple Bed

Copeland has worked hard to stay true to the New England traditions of quality craftsmanship and enduring design from which it emerged. They believe that continuous improvement is ultimately what best serves the customer and work to continue to innovate, while keeping a keen eye trained on the health and well being of the earth, its resources, and its employees and craftsman. Copeland Furniture, as a company, possesses great care and respect both for the land and those of us who live and work on it.

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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.

A Comfortable Windsor Office Chair

Last updated on July 23rd, 2013 at 09:55 am

 

Windsor office chair
Our Windsor Office Chair, front and back views.

If you work a full time desk job, you are sitting down for approximately 2,400 minutes a week. Now, I think that if you’re going to be sitting for that long, you might as well sit in an office chair that is chic and comfortable. The Cherry Windsor office chair features traditional continuous arm styling on a rolling metal base. It’s wheel base spokes are capped with cherry accent pieces, and like a modern office chair, this one also swivels and has both height & tilt adjustments for the perfect fit. The Windsor style chair isn’t just comfortable.  It lends a high end, sophisticated look to the home office, whether it’s modern, traditional, or Shaker style.

Worried about sitting on an solid wood chair seat all day?  Well, the seat is scooped out for a comfy fit but if that’s not enough cush, the Vermont Country Store has a pretty good selection of chair cushions that are sure to do the trick.

Hardwood Cherry Windsor Office Chair
Loryn from Sales, enjoying our Windsor Office Chair.

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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.