Gov. Shumlin: Top 10 Reasons to Attend Our Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 12:19 pm

Stonehurst | Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom and Art Gallery
Stonehurst, Vermont’s newest fine furniture showroom and art gallery is open and ready for business. All we need now is for Governor Shumlin to come down to Vernon and cut the ribbon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm.

Dear Governor Shumlin,

We know you’re busy with economic development, health insurance and other important issues. But we’re hoping you can break free and make a quick trip to Vernon on Tuesday October 22 at 3pm for our ribbon cutting ceremony at Stonehurst, Vermont Woods Studios‘ new fine furniture showroom and art gallery.

Now I realize one might ask why such a busy man would carve time out of an already ambitious schedule to visit a small Vermont furniture business? We’ve thought of many reasons, but here are the Top 10. At Stonehurst you can:

  1. Marvel at the world class handwork of dozens of Vermont’s fine furniture makers
  2. Learn how a small Vermont business transitioned from a spare bedroom to a scenic destination shopping experience in the last 3 years
  3. See how Vermonters are marrying the best of old world craftsmanship with cutting edge communications technology to make Vermont the Fine Furniture Capital of America
  4. Visit Pine Top, a former Vermont ski area that not only showcases fine wooden furniture but also provides 100 acres of forested backdrop where customers experience the value of working lands and sustainable forest management
  5. Enjoy original artwork of talented Vermont artists like Susan Osgood, Linda Marcille and Janet Picard
  6. Check up on how we’re investing the $100,000 grant monies we were awarded by the Vermont Working Lands Initiative
  7. Experience the beautiful landscaping artistry of celebrated author/gardener/landscaper Gordon Hayward and Torben Larsen of Putney, VT
  8. See the positive signs of growth in Vernon and connect with a community that’s struggling to plan a new course for the future
  9. Witness the synergy and collaboration among Vermont’s fine furniture professionals that’s bringing our work out of the woods (so to speak) and into the homes of customers in all 50 states and several countries abroad
  10. Visit a local, green renovation project in action where great care was taken to restore a c 1790 farmhouse using Vermont made materials (local maple flooring, Vermont slate hearths, Green Mountain Windows, Vermont castings stoves and more)

If that’s not enough to convince you, how about just sitting down to relax and enjoy the view? That alone makes Stonehurst worth the trip.

Enjoy the view at Stonehurst, Vermont's newest fine furniture showroom
Sit down, relax and enjoy the view. We’ll provide the wine.

 

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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, Showroom Updates!

Last updated on September 16th, 2013 at 09:12 am

Stonehurst continues to see lots of updates and upgrades! From our beautiful walk way, to our new utility shed, to the updated deck being built outback– the improvements are coming along quickly and creating a truly picturesque place to showcase our Vermont Style Furniture.

Visit Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture Studio Stonehurst
Some updates on two recent renovations. Both are still a work in progress!
Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture Showroom
The deck in progress!

We know that a lot of our friends and customers like to keep up to date with whats happening around Stonehurst, just out of general curiosity or to find out when is the best time to plan for a visit.

And despite all of the updates going on around Stonehurst, we’re happy to have guests! The inside of the showroom looks absolutely beautiful, fully adorned with high-end decor and one of a kind art pieces from local Vermont artisans.

Here, take a peek for yourself!

Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture

Vermont Woods Studios Showroom
A peek inside part of the showroom!
Stonehurst Vermont Fine Furniture Showroom
Loving the flower arrangement!

Well, there’s a tiny peek at what the showroom looks like. We’ll save the rest for your first visit! 🙂 See you soon!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Nina Markiw and Dennis Getting Snappy at Stonehurst

Last updated on May 4th, 2018 at 03:21 pm

One of the challenges of running an online fine furniture store is taking enough professional quality photos to be able to accurately portray your quality and craftsmanship on the web.  At Vermont Woods Studios we’ve been collecting photos for many years but everyday there is a need for new ones.

Luckily, Stonehurst (our new fine furniture and art gallery) provides us with an ideal space for taking high quality pictures to post on our website.  Above Dennis and consultant Nina Markiw of White Blossom Art are setting up for silhouette shots– this one is of the handmade Cherry Moon vertical mirror.

Soon they’ll be photographing fine furniture vignettes throughout Stonehurst– both indoors and out.  Stay tuned for inspirations and ideas from these two creative photographers.  Our goal is not just to convey our quality but also to bring the natural beauty and tranquility of Stonehurst into your home.  And maybe even persuade you to make a trip to Vermont to see our handmade fine furniture in person.

Leaf peeping season’s not far away.  Grab a picnic basket, a bottle of wine, maybe some Vermont artisan cheese and you’ll be in the all set club.  Home decor shopping will never be the same after you’ve visited the fine furniture and art gallery at Stonehurst.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Forest to Furniture: Local Wood = Local Good

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:40 pm

Our friend Kathleen Wanner of the Vermont Wood Manufacturer’s Association VWMA is fond of the saying, “local wood = local good”.  It captures Vermont’s passion for supporting small, local businesses that emphasize sustainable use of the working landscape: our forests and fields.

Consider for a minute, your impact on local economies when you buy American made furniture versus imported furniture (most furniture in America is imported from Asia).  If, for example you buy Vermont made wood furniture,  you are supporting the local land owner who grew the trees, the forester who manages the land for sustainability, the logger who falls the trees, the sawyer who slices and dices the wood, perhaps a wholesaler (and/or retailer) who inventory the wood, the furniture maker who builds your furniture and (unless you buy directly from the furniture maker) the retail store that sells you the new bedroom set.  That’s why we say “local wood = local good”.

Here’s a typical Forest to Furniture scenario that happens routinely all over Vermont:

A local logging company or tree service harvests the trees.

Chuck Mayotte from Mayotte’s tree service in Guilford looks to find the highest and best use for the trees he removes.  Sometimes trees will be used for firewood, but when Chuck comes across high quality logs or those with special character, he sells them to area furniture makers.

Local sawyers cut the lumber into planks or beams.

Vince Johnson is a local sawyer in Vernon with a portable sawmill that he drives to the woodlot at harvest time.  He sawed black locust and norway spruce logs for us at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture gallery.  They are currently being used to build a deck behind our showroom.

Kerber Mills is another local sawyer with a small mill in Guilford, VT.  Clint Kerber milled the cherry and maple wood for our hardwood floors at the Stonehurst showroom.

Local furniture makers transform the wood into fine furniture.

Check out some of the specialty Forest to Furniture products that have been made by members the prestigious Guild of Vermont Furniture Makers including Richard Bissell of Putney Vermont and David Hurwitz of Randolf, VT.

So… what do you think?  Does the story (and the benefit to local economies) behind local wood furniture add enough value to sway your buying decision?  Or is imported furniture just too darned affordable to pass up? Let us know your thoughts 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.

Hardscaping Stonehurst with Torben Larsen

Last updated on August 29th, 2013 at 01:14 pm

Torben Larsen | Hardscaping | Southern Vermont
One of the many beautiful stone walls at Guilford Sound, in neighboring Guilford, VT.   Torben Larsen, of Windham Growers has been doing amazing stone work there for the past 7 years.  We are fortunate to be able to capture some of his talents at Stonehurst this month where he’ll be creating stone pathways and landscaping.

Earlier this month I posted about Gordon Hayward, the landscape architect who is helping us bring our vision for the “Stonehurst Experience” into reality.  We want Stonehurst to be a peaceful refuge where customers seeking natural, eco-friendly wood furniture can come and relax in the foothills of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest.

Beautiful, handmade furniture is just one part of the Stonehurst experience.  The other part is immersion in the lush green forest where wood furniture originates.  In order to provide access to the forest, we’ve turned to Torben Larsen of Windham Growers.  Torben is Southern Vermont’s go-to guy for top quality stonework and  landscaping.

Guilford Sound | Stonework, Landscaping and Hardscaping by Torben Larsen
Sights and sounds from the recording studio campus at Guilford Sound.  Clockwise from upper left:  a slate sphere made from recycled roof tiles by Torben Larsen of Windham Growers, the Recording Studio, an outdoor dining area and amphitheater and Torben Larsen and Gorden Hayward discussing landscape and hardscape plans for Vermont Woods Studios.

Since we don’t have photos of stonework at Stonehurst yet, I thought I’d show you some of Torben’s work at Guilford Sound, an amazing, world class recording studio, hidden in Guilford, VT the next town over.  Torben’s wife Cynthia who manages the studio at Guilford Sound was nice enough to show us the inside of the facility.  Gordon and Torben toured us through the gardens, ponds, streams and forest.  What a place!  Check them out 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.

Renovating Stonehurst with Vermont Made Products

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018 at 02:25 pm

Stonehurst | Renovation of Vermont Furniture Showcase
We’ve been careful to restore, reuse and re-purpose as much as we could from the original Stonehurst farmhouse. Where we needed new materials for the renovation, we sourced local Vermont made products whenever possible. This is a Vermont Castings stove, made in Bethel VT. It’s sitting on a Vermont slate hearth stone mined in Poultney VT. The mantle was made by a craftsman in Walpole NH (oops.. just across the border, though) from Vermont cherry wood. Chairs in the foreground are made by Jim Geier of Vermont Folk Rocker in Starksboro VT.

It’s been almost a year now since we purchased Stonehurst, the 200+ year old farmhouse we’ve grown to know and love. From the beginning when we first conceptualized this showcase of Vermont’s best handmade furniture, fine art and home decor accessories we decided to renovate with local products. We worked with Brattleboro architect Jeremy Coleman and Spofford builder, Bob Furlone (American Construction) to reuse and re-purpose everything we could in an effort to keep Stonehurst authentic. And when we needed to purchase building materials new, we sourced Vermont made products where possible.

Dennis, Heather B, Kelsey and I have written many Stonehurst blog posts describing the details of how we renovated and where materials came from. But I wanted to do a final run-down to recognize and thank the Vermont companies that made Stonehurst the authentic showcase it is today. Here’s the list:

  • Windows were custom handcrafted to match original designs, by Green Mountain Window in Rutland, VT
  • The maple and cherry hardwood in our floors was harvested and milled locally by Kerber Farms Mill and Lumber in Guilford, VT. Joe Dhembe in Newfane, VT installed the floors.
  • Original wood floors were too fragile to reuse, but Bob Furlone’s American Construction crew (Scott Strong Superintendent, Martha Ratcliff, Chuck Johns, Patrick Devens, Howard Bassett, Ketch Greene) were able to salvage, clean and re-purpose them as beautiful rustic ceilings
  • Interior painting and some exterior painting was done by W R Painting Inc in Ashulot, NH
  • Exterior painting was also done by Moe Momany Painting in Brattleboro, VT
  • Slate floors were mined in Poultney, VT and installed by Albert diBiccari of AD Ceramic Tile, Marlborough NH
  • 2 gas stoves and a wood stove were made by Vermont Castings in Bethel, VT
  • Custom steel railings for the stairwell were period designed and handmade by Richard Crawford of Vermont Steelcraft
  • Jeremy’s decorative porch rafters and the cherry fireplace mantle were crafted by Walpole Cabinetry in Walpole NH
  • We left original beams in place wherever possible, but some new beams were needed. They were sustainably harvested and hand-hewn by Vermont Timberworks in Springfield, VT
  • Brattleboro’s engineering firm, Stevens and Associates designed the site plan
  • Local excavator, Carey Tyler of Tyler Excavation did all the site work
  • A handful of trees had to be taken down because they were leaning over the building. Turner and Renaud Tree Service fell the trees and local sawyer, Vince Johnson brought his portable sawmill over to slice and dice the wood.
  • Carroll Concrete of Vernon VT poured the new concrete foundation which shores up the old stone foundation
  • Masonry, stone wall repair and construction of the new stone wall along our ADA accessible ramp out front was artfully performed by Scott Sartoria of SKS Masonry in Keene, NH
  • A new standing seam metal roof over the renovated sections of Stonehurst was installed by Rohr Cook of Chester, VT. Soon Rohr will be repairing the old slate roof on the other side of Stonehurst
  • Landscaping is being designed now by Gordon Hayward of Hayward Gardens in Putney, VT.  Torben Larsen of Windham Growers in Putney VT will be installing stone pathways, trees, shrubs and gardens.  Our fabulous crew of summer interns have been helping with landscaping.  They are Jimmy Mills and Douglas’ children– Trenton, Taegen and Tristan Fletcher.

A million thanks to all of you for making Stonehurst the special place it is!  I must also thank Vermont taxpayers and the people who worked on the Vermont Working Lands Grant Initiative.  Earlier this year they awarded Vermont Woods Studios a $100,000 grant to help complete the Stonehurst project.

To follow through on our “all things Vermont” theme, we are now working with local artisans to adorn the inside of Stonehurst with Vermont made fine furniture, artwork and home decor items. Soon you will be able to see that, plus lighting by Hubbardton Forge, glassware and pottery by Simon Pearce and pewter by Danforth Pewter all under one roof. Come visit and enjoy!

 

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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: Exterior Paint Makeover

Last updated on May 4th, 2018 at 03:49 pm

Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom | Before and After | Exterior Paint Colors
Stonehurst Fine Furniture Showroom, about a year ago in Summer 2012.  I do love the classic barn-red Vermont country look, but it was time for a change.

OK, Sally Blakley and other dear readers: I can explain. I know I asked for your opinion on the exterior paint makeover for Stonehurst. And I know you voted overwhelmingly to keep the old barn-red color. And I loved that classic look too. But…

Stonehurst Fine Furniture Gallery | Before and After Photos of Exterior Paint
The exterior paint makeover of our Stonehurst Fine Furniture Gallery restored the farmhouse to it’s original, circa 1790 white color.  We chose traditional indigo colored front doors, although I have to admit they probably weren’t that color 200+ years ago.

We have a couple things going on that swayed my decision off in the opposite direction. First of all, there’s the landscaping. You may have read about the plans we’re making with Gordon Hayward (landscape architect) and Torben Larsen (landscaper and stone mason) to add colorful lilacs, hydrangeas, peonies, lavender and all sorts of other wonderful plants to the front yard.

Second, we’ve been trying to renovate Stonehurst as authentically as possible. We’ve recycled, re-invigorated and reused existing parts and filled in with local Vermont made components whenever we needed something new.

And, well… the original color of Stonehurst back circa 1790 was farmhouse white. Lastly, there’s the matter of our green and white logo, as you can see on the sign. Don’t you think there’s some harmony going on between the sign and the white house with nature’s greenery all around?

Let me know what you think on our Facebook and we’ll duke it out there. In the meantime, if you’re interested in painting your own house, check out these 13 Dramatic Exterior Paint Makeovers on Houzz. Then post your own before and after photos for all of us to see!

 

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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: The Warming Hut

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:27 pm

Stonehurst Before and After: The Warming Hut | Fine Furniture Gallery
Stonehurst Before: The Warming Hut aka Tool Shed when this property was a southern Vermont ski area called Pine Top. Today Stonehurst has been transformed into a fine furniture and art gallery showcasing the best of Vermont’s handmade made home decor items.

Here’s a fun set of before and after pictures of Stonehurst, taken at the “Warming Hut”.  I guess this before snapshot must have been taken around 1950-1960 when Stonehurst was “Pine Top” a local ski area.  At that time, before mega ski resorts came along, about 2/3 of the towns in Vermont had their own local ski area.  Vernon’s Pine Top had 3 rope tows and prior to that a couple “horse tows” (isn’t that awesome– I’m trying to find a picture of that!).

Pine Top’s “tool shed” aka “warming hut” was located behind the Stonehurst house we currently occupy as Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture.  Inside the shed there was room for a few tables and a grill where our friend, Chris Howe cooked hamburgers for hungry skiers.

Chris Howe at the Stonehurst Warming Hut | Now a Fine Furniture Gallery
Our friend, Chris Howe at the moss-covered stone foundation that use to be Pine Top’s Warming Hut. She’s remembering her job as a cook, grilling hamburgers for hungry skiers.

Chris visited us a couple weeks ago and reminisced  a bit.  She and I walked out to the stone foundation where the warming hut used to be.  It’s now covered with beautiful green moss.  That’s Chris sitting at the picnic table, looking over the hills that she and her family used to ski through to get home after work.

What fun!  Customers coming to Stonehurst to shop for fine furniture in the winter should pack their cross country skis and maybe a bottle of Bailey’s or a hot toddy.  Then we’ll give Chris a call and see if we can’t tap a few more of those memories of Pine Top’s heyday.

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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.

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.