Butterflies on the Brink

Last updated on January 26th, 2018 at 03:51 pm

Catastrophic storm in Michoacan devastates Monarch Butterfly Population
A freak spring storm just struck Michoacan, Mexico leaving a foot of snow & putting the future of the Monarch Butterfly in jeopardy. Can the species survive the snow and cold?  Photo courtesy of Homero Gomez Gonzalez, Chairman at the el Rosario Monarch Sanctuary.

You landed on the Vermont Furniture Blog and you may be wondering why it starts with an article about butterflies.  My previous post may help:  Top 4 Reasons Why a Vermont Furniture Store Wants to Save the Monarchs.

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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 Reasons To Start Using A Desk Again

Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 01:46 pm

home-office-furniture
Our Cherry Moon Office Furniture and Guest-Style Windsor Chair all in Cherry Wood.

When did using a desk become a thing of the past?

I want you to think about the last few homes you visited. Do remember if they had an office or designated area in their home for a desk? When I think about, the majority of the homes I visit, in fact don’t have an office space and if they do, it’s seldom used.

When did using a desk become taboo? While I know we won’t come up with an exact answer here, I have a hunch that it’s related to our constant on-the-go mentality and separation anxiety from our electronics.

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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.

Work Hard, Play Harder, Relax Often

Last updated on February 24th, 2019 at 05:11 pm

home-office-living-room-furniture
A close up of our Cherry Moon Home Office Furniture

There’s a popular saying, “You weren’t born to just pay bills and die” and we agree.

When I was 20 and studying in the Netherlands, I took a weekend trip to Trapani, Sicily (those were the days) and instantly fell in love with the cobblestone streets lined with the famous stucco houses that Italy is known for. Every window it seemed had a small balcony often filled with planters full of flowers and herbs. The sky seemed bluer and the Mediterranean Sea greeted us like the North Star. Once we settled into our apartment we were renting, my friends and I went to a local market and bought enough fresh vegetables, pasta, garlic and Peroni for a feast.

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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.

Setting The Record Straight With Cherry Wood Furniture

Last updated on October 22nd, 2018 at 09:21 am

natural-cherry-wood
Our Modern American Executive Desk in natural Cherry wood

With so much imitation out there, we’re here to help you see what natural cherry wood really looks like

Recently our Founder and CEO, Peggy Farabaugh, wrote about what to expect with natural cherry wood furniture. One of the key pieces of information she shared is that cherry wood furniture’s color matures over time. It will start in a light pink tone and as it’s exposed to light, it will ripen into a rich reddish brown color.

I wanted to create a list featuring a variety of our products in cherry wood to showcase the different stages of maturity you’ll see with real cherry wood. (note: Our natural cherry pieces are not finished with stains or toners to alter its color, just a surface protecting finish is applied. Stains are available on some pieces if a deeper, richer color is desired)

Brandon Panel Bed

natural-cherry-wood
Our Brandon Panel Bed in Natural Cherry wood

In this picture you see both light pink and golden red coloring amongst the boards, which is not uncommon as the lumber could be coming from two different trees. Over time as the wood darkens though, the pieces should blend into the same classic rich red color.

Modern American Dining Table and Modern American Bench

natural-cherry-wood
Our Modern American Dining Table in Natural Cherry Wood

Both of these modern designed pieces are made with real cherry wood and an oil and wax finish was used. As the picture shows, these pieces have a rich, golden-red color to them with the pink undertones still blending into the wood.

New England Shaker Bed

natural-cherry-wood
Our New England Shaker Bed in Natural Cherry wood.

As seen here, this piece has less of a pink tone to it and more of a red/brown coloring typically seen in cherry wood furniture that has aged over time. It has turned from a light colored wood, to a classic, rich red and golden-brown hued color.

Berkeley 3 Drawer Small Chest of Drawers

natural-cherry-wood
Our Berkeley 3 Drawer Small Chest of Drawers in Natural Cherry Wood

Here you see a nightstand in natural cherry wood with a lacquer finish (walnut pulls) that looks very light in comparison to the rest of the furniture I’ve shown you. But even this piece will darken the more it’s exposed to light.

By now you’re probably noticing that cherry wood furniture really can vary in wood tone even on the same piece of furniture.

Click each picture below to see more examples of our cherry wood furniture.

Modern Shaker Glass Door Bookcase

natural-cherry-wood

Windsor Rocking Chair

natural-cherry-wood

 

Andrews Natural Cherry Buffet

natural cherry wood

Cherry Moon 6-Drawer Dresser

natural-cherry-wood

Natural wood furniture is truly a unique and evolving investment and we hope this two part series on real cherry wood helped clear up any uncertainty you may have had. If you have further questions about cherry wood or any of the products featured, don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable sales team at (888) 390-5571. If you’re in the area, we’d love to show you around our historic Stonehurst Showroom.

 

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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.

What Color Is Real Cherry Wood Furniture?

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 10:55 am

50-shades-of-cherry
Google image search results for ‘real cherry wood”. Half of these are NOT cherry wood.  Many are illegal rainforest woods, brought to you by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

Cherry Wood: Will The Real Color Please Stand Up?

We have conversations with customers every day about the color of real cherry wood furniture.  It’s no wonder!  When I just googled “real cherry wood” well over 50 shades of red, brown and even yellow came up.  Quite a variation, isn’t it? Truth be told, half of these images are NOT of cherry wood.

Natural Cherry Dining Furniture | The Brighton Collection | Lyndon Furniture
The Brighton Dining Set is shown in real, natural cherry wood. This photo was taken shortly after the set was made so the cherry is still a light color. Over time, it will darken to a rich reddish brown, similar to the color of mahogany.

When the big American furniture companies started off-shoring their furniture in the 1980s they found it cheaper to use rainforest woods than cherry. But consumers love cherry. So they stained rainforest woods and gave them various trade names containing “cherry”.  For example Makore, an increasingly rare African wood being illegally logged in Sierra Leone and Gabon has been sold under the trade name Cherry Mahogany (though Makore is not closely related to either cherry or mahogany).  Worse yet, it’s listed as an endangered species due to illegal logging and exploitation by organized crime which has taken root in the global timber industry.

The Vermont Shaker Bedroom Set | Natural Cherry Wood | Vermont Woods Studios
Our Vermont Shaker Bedroom set shows how real cherry wood furniture “ripens” to a darker hue after about a month of exposure to moderate levels of sunlight.

Many times customers come to Vermont Woods Studios looking to buy real cherry wood furniture that matches existing cherry pieces in their homes.  After discussions and emailing pictures back and forth they are shocked to find that their “cherry” furniture from Bassett, Ethan Allen or other big “American” companies is not cherry at all but rubberwood, poplar or engineered hardwood.

This rocker shows the range of colors for real cherry wood
This rocker shows the range of colors for real, natural cherry wood. The chair’s darker than the cherry in the photos above because it’s older and has been exposed to more light. Notice too, that even within the one rocking chair, there are differences in cherry wood color that are created by grain patterns and grain direction.

At Vermont Woods Studios, our cherry furniture is indeed made out of real, solid North American Black Cherry wood.  The color starts out as a light pink and slowly ripens to a rich reddish brown over time, as it’s exposed to light.  Nina’s photo of the rocker above shows the range of natural cherry colors after the wood’s been exposed to light for a few months.

Are you interested to learn more?  Find tons of information and photos of American made, real cherry wood furniture on our website & send us your questions on Facebook or in the comments section below.

real cherry wood furniture

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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.

Does Planting a Tree Matter?

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:47 pm

Plant a Tree | Green Furniture Store in Vermont Tries to Change the World

We Plant a Tree for Every Order

Believe it or not that’s why our small business was born. We’re not a furniture company that “went green”. Vermont Woods Studios was actually a product of my mid-life crisis/desire to make a difference in this world. Weird, right? For some people it’s all about fast cars, loud motorcycles, sex, drugs or rock & roll. For me it was about forest conservation. It’s a long story (which I did tell to Laura Dunn of the Huffington Post, in the remote case you may be interested) but the point is:

The World Is Losing It’s Forests

Many people may not see it as a big deal but if you somehow found your way to this quirky green blog, there’s a good chance you’ll be concerned about these statistics:

  • More than half of the world’s 193 countries have already lost 90% or more of their forest cover
  • Rainforests that once covered 14% of the earth’s land surface now cover a mere 6%, yet they are home to over half the species of plants and animals in the world
  • We are losing the rainforest at the rate of 1.5 acres every second
  • Experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be gone from this earth before you are
Is your furniture made of wood that use to provide critical habitat for animals like this tiger?
We sell furniture made of sustainably harvested North American hardwoods in an effort to keep rainforest trees in the ground and out of the timber trade. The idea is to conserve habitat for endangered species like the tiger as well as indigenous peoples.

So We’re Trying to Help

Last year we celebrated our 10th year in business. Since 2005 we’ve planted about 7500 trees, many of them through The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees project. More importantly we’ve kept a similar number of rare rainforest trees out of the furniture market as we’ve used only sustainably harvested North American trees. Who is responsible for this progress?  You… our customers, our readers and our partners. Your support enables us to throw our energy into environmental projects we think are important and for that we are immensely grateful.

Planting trees in Mexico to save Monarch Butterfly habitat
Monarch butterflies over-winter in oyamel trees in Mexico but illegal logging has almost entirely wiped out their forest habitat. Over the past 20 years the monarch population has declined by 90 percent. So we’re supporting LCHPP and the reforestation of monarch habitat in Mexico. It’s an exciting project which I invite you to follow on this blog.

Planting Trees in Mexico

Recently we’ve focused our support on a tree-planting project called the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program LCHPP in Michoacan Mexico. This is a reforestation initiative that I discovered during my efforts to help save the Monarch Butterfly, which is native to Vermont but it over-winters in sunny Mexico. I wrote about it recently and will be visiting LCHPP’s project in Mexico next week. Stay tuned for a full report. Anyway…

Conservation Matters To Our Customers, Partners & Staff

Does it matter to you? Post your thoughts on our Facebook or contact me directly at peggy@VermontWoodsStudios.com. I want to know what you think. Thanks for reading!

 

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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.

4 Reasons to Love Vermont Woods Studios Storage Beds

Last updated on September 4th, 2018 at 04:45 pm

storage beds
Our popular Copeland Dominion Storage Bed helps me introduce you to our newest collection of storage beds

Showcasing our Newest Collection of Storage Beds

When was the last time you looked under your bed? Does the thought of what might be hiding under it frighten you? Do thoughts of “so that’s where I put that” or “why is that under here” come to mind? If the time has come for you to make better use of the space under your bed  then you are in luck. We just added 4 brand new stylish & functional storage beds that offer a perfect solution for organizing the clutter that may be living under your bed.

Before I go into detail about our new storage beds though, I want to tell you a quick story. Around Christmas time I decided to rearrange my bedroom. I brilliantly thought I could move my king size bed without worrying about the contents underneath it. Boy was I wrong.

After pulling out what felt like my entire life’s contents, I realized I was in over my head. I had three long plastic bins, two filled to the brim with clothes while the other was filled with knick-knacks, stacks of newspapers from my student journalism days and tons of books. In-between the bins were stacks of even more books, boxes filled with odds and ends, electronics and wires and a stack of grad school info pamphlets and an LSAT study book I had bought in my post undergrad panic.

Needless to say, under my bed had turned into a catch all place and I needed to do something about it. Does my story resonate with any of you? If not, I envy your organization! If it did though, maybe it is time to consider a storage bed like I did.

Beds with built in under-bed storage are great for holding bed linens, clothing you don’t wear very often or even out-of-season clothing if your home is short on storage space. And, they generally deter people from tossing things under them and inevitably being forgotten about.

We have integrated storage drawers into four of our more popular styles, creating both modern and traditional designs with the added benefit of 4 more drawers of storage space.

Here are four reasons to love our new storage beds:

 

  • Form and Function: As shown with our Raised Carriage Queen Storage Bed, our storage beds are functional with added storage space while maintaining a high-end, classic design.

storage beds

  • Quality Craftsmanship: Our Andrews Spindle Queen Storage Bed exemplifies true Vermont craftsmanship. You will know when you see your new bed arrive that it was made with extreme attention to detail by local craftspeople who truly care about the quality of your bed.

storage beds

  • Ambiance: Nothing ruins the look of a newly renovated bedroom quicker than the sight of plastic bins under the bed. Our Patti Smith Queen Storage Bed eliminates the need for bins or boxes completely. With the added 4 drawers of storage space, this bed flows with the atmosphere of your room and won’t detract from its sophistication.

Storage Beds

While I have yet to master my underbed storage plan, that doesn’t mean you can’t! These beds and more are available at our online gallery. So save yourself from shuffling those underbed bins and boxes around and treat yourself to one of our Vermont made solid wood storage beds.

Our Vermont made furniture is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut and the wood used is sourced from sustainably harvested forests in the Northeast. If you have any questions about our furniture or mission we’re always available at 888-390-5571. Our Stonehurst Showroom is open seven days a week and we’d love to show you around.

 

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

Top 4 Reasons Why a Vermont Furniture Store Wants to Save the Monarchs

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 01:47 pm

El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve
This is the El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve I’ll be visiting next week.  It’s a World Heritage Site that provides over-wintering for almost the entire gene pool of the monarch butterfly.  It is under assault by illegal loggers.  Photo courtesy of El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Preserve.

At 7am on Sunday morning I’ll be boarding a flight to Morelia, Mexico. Woohoo! The trip evolved out of my obsession with forest conservation and the Monarch Butterfly. If you’re a frequent flyer on this blog, you’ve probably noticed we love environmental projects like this.

The other day, Megan (our ace Marketing Maven) suggested I try to boil down some of my previous blogs and summarize why a Vermont furniture store would want to help save the Monarch Butterfly.  So here goes… the Top 4 reasons are:

The Environment Is Important To Us

It’s not just me.  At Vermont Woods Studios we are a community of nature lovers, idealists, world travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Most of us grew up in rural places and have had much interaction with butterflies, birds and other critters throughout our lives.  Monarchs are such a big, beautiful butterfly!  They were everywhere in Vermont.  It used to be practically a right of passage for kids to collect them and watch their metamorphosis every August.  Now they are extremely rare and we worry about that.

The Environment Is Important To Our Customers

Our customers have many options as to where they buy their furniture.  Often times they tell us that when it comes to the final decision, with all else being equal, they are looking for an environmentally responsible company.  We are trying to live up to that.

We Want to Change the World

A Vermont Furniture Store's Green Team
Margaret Mead said: Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Getting a paycheck is not enough for all the hard work that goes into making this Vermont furniture store a success.  We want to feel like our efforts matter.  Like there’s a purpose behind our work.

Planting milkweed in Vernon, Vermont | Restoring Monarch butterfly habitat
Milkweed.  We’ve been restoring Monarch habitat in Vermont.  But what difference will that make if the butterflies lose their over-wintering habitat in Mexico?

Changing the world is a little hard to get our arms around though.  But we can change a little part of it:  like restoring habitat for the Monarchs.  And that’s totally possible because in Vermont, Monarch habitat is primarily one plant, milkweed.  It’s easy… we collect milkweed seeds in the Fall and plant them in the Spring.  This year we’re hoping to have a sizable plot of milkweed habitat in the backyard here at Stonehurst.

We Believe Business Has a Responsibility to Make the World a Better Place

With our business behind us (founded on the mission of forest conservation) we don’t have to stop at planting milkweed in Vermont.  We can extend our conservation efforts.  We know that Monarchs don’t spend their winters here– they migrate to Mexico and roost in evergreen (oyamel) trees in the mountains of Michoacan.  Those oyamel trees are being illegally logged and the Monarch’s habitat is disappearing.

What difference does it make if we restore their habitat here in Vermont?  The species will still go extinct if they lose their winter habitat.  So that brings me back to my trip to Mexico. I’ll be working with Jose Luis Alvarez of the La Cruz Habitat Protection Program to help conserve existing forest habitat and replant what’s been destroyed.  You can find details here in last week’s blog.  By the way, there’s still time to join me on this adventure!

Monarchs

I’d love to hear what you think about butterflies, business and changing the world.  Please comment on Facebook or in the section below.  Thanks for reading.

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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.

Say No to Counting Sheep

Last updated on February 24th, 2019 at 05:11 pm

winter-bedroom-sale
Modern American Platform Bed and Case Goods in Cherry with Walnut accents

Now your dreams can be a reality–Save up to 20% off handmade bedroom furniture during our Winter Bedroom Sale!

I’m deciding that 2016 is the year of YOU! You work hard, you take care of your loved ones and you go out of your way to be kind and helpful. I think those are great qualities, but I fear most people (myself included) forget to give themselves “me” time.

We all have a hobby or interest but I would guess the vast majority of people don’t give themselves much time to grow those interests. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of work first, play later, but a lot people are forgetting to take a break from the grind and enjoy themselves.

I want you to take a moment, think about something you really want to accomplish and create a feasible plan on how you’ll achieve that “me time” goal whether it be finishing that stack of books you’ve collected over the last two years or kayaking somewhere new every weekend.

winter-bedroom-sale
Our American Shaker Bedroom Collection in Cherry

To help you on your road to success, here’s a list of methods I have used.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep, every night!
  2. Turn off cell phones, laptops and tablets at least an hour before bed
  3. Get support from family and friends and challenge them to get more “me” time
  4. Spend time outside everyday, even if it’s only for a few minutes (and no I don’t mean walking from your house to your car!)

The less time you spend with technology and the more time you spend outside or doing your favorite activities, you’ll quickly see how much you don’t miss Netflix, Facebook or your e-mails!

In addition to turning away from your electronics and other distractions before bed, a great way to get a good night’s rest is to sleep in a bedroom you absolutely love.

Make your room part of your success and turn it into an oasis and hub of relaxation. To help get you motivated, we’re having a Bedroom Furniture Sale starting today, February 19 and going through Thursday, March 3. You can save 10% off one piece of bedroom furniture, 15% off two pieces and 20% off three or more pieces.

winter-bedroom-sale
Our Raised Panel Carriage Bed and Renfrew Shaker 3-Drawer Nightstand both in Cherry.

All of our furniture is handmade here in Vermont from local craftspeople and is available in Cherry, Maple, Oak and Walnut woods. We pride ourselves on our mission of creating a more sustainable furniture industry and all of our wood comes from sustainably harvested forests. You’ll rest easy knowing the bed you’re in is made just for you from someone who truly cares about the quality of your new furniture.

Spend less time this year worrying about everyone and everything and get back to the basics of caring for you! Why not start by rewarding yourself with a new bedroom and soon you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible!

If you have any questions about our furniture or the sale, our friendly and knowledgeable sales team is here to help at 888-390-5571. Shop conveniently and securely from the comfort of your own home or stop into our Stonehurst Showroom in Vernon, Vermont. We’re open 7 days a week and would love to meet 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.

5 Must Have Copeland Bedroom Furniture Pieces

Last updated on February 24th, 2019 at 05:11 pm

copeland bedroom
Copeland Astrid Cherry Bedroom Furniture

Known for its sleek lines and urban designs, Copeland Bedroom Furniture is a stylish addition to any house! Often paying homage to mid-century and luxury design, whether in the angle of a leg or the design of a headboard, Copeland furniture is anything but simple.

I wanted to make a list for you highlighting some different collections and pieces we have available. The list discusses styles and who might benefit best from each piece. Keep reading to learn more!

 

1. Soho Panel Bed: This bed is perfect for someone looking for a truly unique bed. It’s designed with mid-century modern undertones and a contemporary floating headboard and platform frame. The two-tone wood design is customizable with three different options or you can choose to have it made with one type of wood.

copeland bedroom

2. Soho 1 Drawer High Nightstand: Retro and futuristic don’t normally go together, but they partner nicely for the Soho Nightstand. With the box seemingly floating, this type of design comes from highly skilled craftspeople. The added storage is a plus for those in need of more space.

copeland bedroom

 

3. Moduluxe Platform Bed with Clapboard Headboard – 35” Series: A sectional piece of furniture from the Moduluxe bedroom collection, this modern bed is designed to look as if it’s floating. The clapboard headboard give it an added flair, perfect for someone looking to make a subtle, sophisticated statement.

copeland bedroom

4. Moduluxe Attached Nightstand with Shelf – 35” Series: Another piece of the Moduluxe bedroom collection, this nightstand connects right to the Moduluxe Platform Bed. The shelf is perfect for a small lamp, your nighttime read and a pair of glasses!

copeland bedroom

 

5. Dominion Bed with Leather Headboard: The perfect combination of masculine and feminine, this bed is popular with everyone. The leather headboard takes the bed from simple and sleek to sophisticated and polished. You can mix and match the wood and upholstery to make it your own.

copeland bedroom

 

These are a just a few of the dozens of pieces of Copeland Bedroom Furniture we have available in our online showroom. If you’ve been eyeing a certain collection or piece, now is the time to buy.

If you have any questions about the pieces on this list or any other pieces, our knowledgeable sales team is always here to help at 888-390-5571. If you’re planning a trip anytime soon to the area, you can always stop into our Stonehurst Showroom, open seven days a 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.