The Origins of Shaker Furniture: A History Quiz!

Last updated on February 28th, 2019 at 04:22 pm

Shaker furniture is on sale today.  Learn about it's origins and see how it's made.
Our Shaker furniture sale is going on today!  Do you know where this timeless and enduring furniture comes from?  Take our quiz below and then come visit us at Stonehurst to appreciate Shaker style up close and personal.

In honor of our current Shaker furniture sale, I thought we should highlight a little history about the people who developed this beautiful, simple and elegant style.  Their creation is timeless and enduring & it continues to be one of the most popular fashions in the furniture market today.

I bet you already know a bit of history about the Shakers.  Test your knowledge by filling in the blanks below:

  1. The term Shakers is derived from the Shaking __________, a small, radical group from England who first came to America in 1774, led by the prophet Ann Lee.
  2. Today there is only one active Shaker community, with three members, who live on _______________ Lake in the state of _____________.
  3. ______________  was a part of Shaker orthodoxy, so Believers had no choice but to recruit people from the outside world to prevent their communities from dying out.
  4. Early Shaker furniture makers focused on simplicity in their designs because they believed that excessive ornamentation or decoration was a sin of _________.
  5. The Shakers were among the first in America to try mass production. Unlike the Amish, the Shakers embraced technology that increased ____________, believing that they were saving time that belonged to God.

How did you do?  Check your answers with the key below:

  1. Quakers
  2. Sabbathday Lake in Maine
  3. Celibacy
  4. Pride
  5. Efficiency

Of course this beautiful style can’t be fully appreciated in photos, so make plans to come visit us at Stonehurst and shop our Shaker furniture sale today!

 

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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.

Laura Dunn & The Huffington Post: Thanks!

Last updated on December 4th, 2015 at 12:16 pm

huffington-post

 

Today’s Huffington Post features an article about Vermont Woods Studios by our favorite journalist and champion of women in business, Laura Dunn.  The article is part of a series spotlighting the contributions of a diverse spectrum of women leading commercial businesses, academic institutions, media outlets, governments and non-profits.  We are infinitely grateful to Laura for including me and Vermont Woods Studios in her line-up of famous and not so famous people who are working to change the world.

 

In addition to writing for the Huffington Post, Politico and The Daily Beast, Laura has her own successful blog, Political Style, which discusses politics, fashion and culture.  Although she hails from across the pond, Laura interned in the US House of Representatives for Rep. Patrick J Kennedy and has worked on many election campaigns.  She currently works for an Assembly Member at the National Assembly for Wales.  Her feature on Vermont Woods Studios explores why we started the company and highlights the green mission that holds us together through thick and thin.

I want to take this opportunity to shout out a word of thanks to our customers, employees and other partners who have made Vermont Woods Studios successful over our 10 year existence.  You are the real heroes — the ones who are fueling the movement and making our sustainable furniture business possible.  We are deeply grateful.

 

 

 

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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.

I Am Not Wealthy, But When I Buy Something, I Want to Love What I Buy

Candid customer reviews of Vermont made furniture.

Vermont Furniture Reviews

Every couple weeks, Sean sends a survey out to customers who have recently had our Vermont made furniture delivered to their homes.  We want to make sure that we’ve met & hopefully exceeded customer expectations.  And of course if we’ve fallen down on the job in any way, we have to ensure we’ve made things right with the customer and upgraded our systems so mistakes don’t happen again.  Surveys also give us a chance to ask our customers what changes they think we should make to better serve their future needs.  Occasionally though, we slip in a question that quite honestly, could be seen as a little self-serving… like:

What were the most important factors in your decision to buy from Us?

Quality craftsmanship is always a recurring theme in response to this question.  Here are some other specific responses that Sean and I were reading today:

  • “We wanted to support a local business when its price-point was the same as large online retailers. The personal touch was important as well”
  • “Styles available; quality and source of woods; friendly, knowledgeable, helpful sales person (Rebecca)”
  • “The guarantee; that it was made in the U.S.; the pleasant people who responded to our question”
  • “You build with walnut and cherry. Best woods for furniture. I had just finished a walnut table and needed the chairs to be of the same wood. The combination is spectacular!”
  • “Price and having a basic design that you were willing to alter, and having had a sale that covered the cost of the alteration to the design. It was also a help that you’re close enough to Boston that I could go arrange the alterations in person – we looked at a several of tables.”
  • Then there was this one from Phyllis W:

“I am not a wealthy person, but when I buy something, I want to love what I buy”

To me, that says it all.  It’s the bottom line and the reason we work so hard to keep this small business in business.  We want our customers to love what they buy.  To Phyllis and everyone who has invested their valuable time in responding to Sean’s customer satisfaction surveys:  thank you for helping us to continually improve and further our mission of furnishing a greener world.  We hope you love your new furniture!

Read more Vermont furniture reviews on our testimonials page and connect with our customers on Facebook.  Also, check out independent reviews on Green People, Site Jabber, Yellow Pages and Yelp.

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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 Surround Bedroom, a Just Arrived Design

Copeland Surround Bedroom
Copeland Surround Bedroom Collection

New and exclusive, Copeland’s Surround Bedroom

Surround yourself in comfort and beauty with Copeland Furniture’s new Surround Bedroom collection.  Start with the upholstered headboard bed as the rooms centerpiece and surround it with your choice of 7 storage options. Nightstands, dressers and chests all display softened corners throughout and are available with glass or matching wood tops. So you can use your favorite sleep system, the Surround bed can be configured for a mattress and box spring or mattress only. Upholstered Surround headboards are available in a range of microsuedes and fabrics or Ultrasuede® as well as COM (customer’s own material). The Surround Bedroom is crafted in solid ash hardwood in four finishes with a variety of knob and pull options. The finish is GREENGUARD Certified for low chemical emissions.

So how does one learn more about the new Surround Bedroom? Vermont Woods Studios , a web based retailer of Vermont Made furniture is the exclusive retailer during this introductory period. VWS has represented Copeland for many years and offers the complete line of Copeland Furniture which can be shipped free to almost any address in the lower 48 states. Our online gallery can be conveniently viewed 24/7 and during regular business hours one of our friendly customer care team members is available to answer your questions or help you find what you need.

 

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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.

Shelburne Museum Exhibit on Vermont Furniture Opens Today!

Last updated on August 3rd, 2015 at 03:18 pm

Shelburne Museum Exhibit: Vermont Furniture runs today through Nov 11, 2015
Rich and Tasty: Vermont Furniture to 1850 is on display at the Shelburne Museum Exhibit, today through Nov 11, 2015

Vermont’s premier arts & history venue, the Shelburne Museum is unveiling it’s newest exhibit today,  Rich and Tasty: Vermont Furniture to 1850.  Frequent readers, customers and visitors to Stonehurst are well aware of Vermont’s current reputation as the Fine Furniture Capital of America.  Now you can learn about the history of Vermont made furniture and see the incredible craftsmanship that VT woodworkers began developing as far back as the 1700s.

The Rich and Tasty exhibit “dramatically expands popular understanding of Vermont high style furniture. It reveals the exquisite craftsmanship of individual forms and encourages a wide audience to learn about regional tastes and economics that help define Vermont furniture’s stylistic features and unexpected aesthetic innovations in the early decades of the nineteenth century.  Approximately 40 documented pieces will be displayed, the majority of which have never been on view before. In addition to showcasing pieces from Shelburne Museum’s extensive permanent collection, public and private collections contributing pieces in the Northeast will include: the Vermont Historical Society, the Collection of the Woodstock Historical Society, Fleming Museum of Art, The University of Vermont, Historic Deerfield, Inc., the Collection of J. Brooks Buxton, the Collection of Norman and Mary Gronning, the Collection of the Fowler Family, and other private collections.”

Some of the furniture in the exhibit was recently sold at a Skinner auction in Marlborough, Mass.  Pieces ranged in price from a few thousand dollars for a mahogany sofa to $65,175 for a maple, mahogany and birch dresser.  We’ll be checking those out today and look forward to sharing more details and photos with you.

If you’re in the Burlington area, stop by the Museum.   It’s a beautiful place set on 45 acres along Lake Champlain.  You can easily spend the whole day browsing through their 150,000 works which are displayed in 38 buildings, 25 of which are historic.  In addition to Rich and Tasty, you’ll find great concurrent exhibits including:

  • The Unknown Rockwell: A Portrait Of Two American Families.  This includes personal memoirs of James “Buddy” Edgerton, Norman Rockwell’s neighbor in West Arlington, Vermont, for 14 years, and a frequent Rockwell model, as well as best friend with the Rockwell sons.
  • American Moderns, 1910-1960: From Okeeffe to Rockwell.  50 artworks from the Brooklyn Museum’s collection in a variety of styles that explore the depth and range of specifically American and thoroughly modern art. 

I hope to see you there, in the new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education where Vermont’s furniture making history will be on display until Nov 11.  Take some photos and share them on our 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.

Keeping Children Safe Around Furniture That Could Tip Over

Last updated on August 15th, 2018 at 02:25 pm

The Today show ran a story this morning about anchoring tall chests and cabinets to the wall in homes where little children are at play.  Matt Lauer and friends went on to say that “the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the dressers and drawers pose a serious risk of injury, and even death, from toppling on children if they are not anchored.

One child is injured from furniture toppling over every 24 minutes, and a child dies every two weeks from falling furniture or TVs, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.”

Eighty percent of the deaths involved children younger than 10.   How tragic.  My kids have grown to be taller than our furniture now, but I must admit that when they were toddlers, I never even thought about the dangers that tall furniture can pose to, say a child who might be trying to climb to the top of a dresser by using the drawers as steps.  The show made me do some research into the possibility of offering tip-over restraints with all of our tall furniture, even though our designs are considered “inherently stable”.
Tip over restraints are nylon straps that are attached to the back of furniture.  You screw the other end of the strap into the wall.  We now offer them upon request, with any of our tall furniture pieces, such as dressers, chests, armoires, chifforobes, china cabinets, entertainment centers, file cabinets and so forth.  If you have toddlers or know someone else who does, it’s worth a stroll through each room in the house to consider the hazards that furniture may pose.  Tip-over restraints, properly installed could save your child’s life.

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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.

Toxic Free Talk Radio: Handmade, Toxic-Free Wood Furniture That Helps Rainforests Too

Last updated on August 2nd, 2018 at 02:37 pm

“My guest today is Peggy Farabaugh, owner and operator of Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture store specializing in high-quality, eco-friendly, handmade wood furniture from Vermont. She’s a CEO who breaks for salamanders, has bottle-fed rescued squirrels, and spends her vacations volunteering to plant trees in the rainforests of Central and South America. She believes in the future and in the people who build it. A former distance learning instructor at Tulane University with a master’s in Environmental Health and Safety, Peggy turned an interest in forest conservation and endangered species into a thriving, local furniture business. Now in it’s 10th year, Vermont Woods Studios exists not only online but in a lovingly restored 200 year old farmhouse in the woodlands of southern Vermont. ”

Listen to the radio show or read the transcript:

Handmade, Toxic-Free Wood Furniture That Helps Rainforests 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.

Memories of Pine Top by Sigrid Wares

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 12:11 pm

#TBT: Cool Memories For a Hot Summer Day

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top

Every now and then at Stonehurst (now our Vermont furniture showroom) we’re treated to a blast from the past.  Our property dates back to the 1860s when it was a farmhouse and since then it’s had many and varied identities.  From the 1940s to the 1960s Stonehurst was a local ski area with 3 rope tows.  It was called Pine Top and every now and then we get special visitors who stop by to see how it’s changed and share their memories of family vacations here.  Recently we had the pleasure of meeting Sigrid Oscarson who stopped by with her husband Bill Wares.  I wanted to share Sigrid’s memories with those of you who  remember Pine Top.  Did you know Sigrid and her family?

A Visit from Sigrid Oscarson Wares

My husband and I visited with Peggy and Ken last Friday. They were gracious to show us Vermont Woods Studios, formerly known as Pine Top. I grew up in Vermont and spent many days skiing as well as celebrating holidays there. My Godparents, Elsie and Romey Racine were the owners. My father helped to maintain the rope tows very often using a combination of his well-honed automotive skills, true grit with sheer determination, and lots of prayer! It was always a work in progress.

#TBT Memories of a Lost Ski Area: Pine Top by Sigrid Oscarson Wares
Sigrid and her husband Bill Wares of Moorestown, New Jersey are standing in front of a map of Pine Top that was created by Vernon Town Historian (and former Pine Top employee) Barbara Moseley.

“I came across this picture of me skiing at Pine Top. From these humble beginnings I have maintained a life-long love affair with this sport and even became a ski instructor for a period of time. Growing up in Vermont was a wonderful experience of which Pine Top was a very integral part.  Looking at the ski garb makes me wonder how any of us survived the cold! Any one who skied there will tell you that they went through several pairs of mittens in one season due to the friction of the rope tow. We would all cram into the “Warming Hut” as it was affectionately called, to toast our frozen fingers and toes near the pot belly stove while munching on hamburgers or hot dogs with hot chocolate and brownies (made by my mother). It was truly a family effort.

Thank you for showing us the beautiful renovations you have performed on this most wonderful “home” that holds so many memories for me. Your organization is truly an excellent steward of the property and that warms my heart.”

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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.

Zen Furniture, Consciously Crafted in Vermont

Last updated on August 3rd, 2018 at 01:21 pm

Zen Furniture | The Cherry Moon Collection

Why we call it Zen Furniture:

Zen is a way of being and a state of mind. It involves dropping illusion and seeing things without the distortion of judgement created by our own thoughts. So what does that have to do with wood furniture? Our Cherry Moon Bedroom Collection reflects this Zen idea by cutting things down to the essentials. It isn’t overly adorned or decorated, it’s simple and undistracting. It doesn’t need anything extra to be beautiful, it just “is”. It isn’t trying to trick you with fancy bells and whistles, it purely exists as a beautiful, natural collection that any Zen Furniture lover can appreciate.

Zen Furniture | The Cherry Moon Collection

Zen Furniture is Natural and Organic

The Vermont Craftsmen who carefully craft this furniture make sure to use natural, premium  hardwoods to make this collection. The natural characteristics of the Cherry wood can be admired in every detail. Each piece is made with care, just for you. This gives this your furniture extra value because you have a direct connection to the trees from which it came from. When looking at the furniture, you are reminded that it came from a sustainably harvested forest, and each tree was consciously selected to be turned into furniture for your home.

Cherry Moon Cherry Dresser Made in Vermont

 

Pay Attention to The Details

This collection marries traditional craftsman style with a relaxed, zen fusion aesthetic giving you a look that is elegant and cozy, yet clean and uncluttered. It’s defined by understated simplicity and unique detailing. Rich black walnut, half-moon drawer pulls complement our cherry, maple, and walnut hardwood furnishings. Reverse-tapered legs, posts and an intricate cove under the tops round out the design to give any room of your home a comforting and natural feeling of elegance.

 

Zen Style Platform Bed

The Zen Aesthetic Suits Any Home

Natural light shows off the inherent beauty of the Cherry Moon Platform bed. The Zen style is elegantly apparent in the uniquely shaped legs, solid construction, and smooth sweeping lines. The chic platform bed creates a serene centerpiece to the room, creating a modern minimalist look .

The Cherry Moon Bedroom Collection is a simplistically modern reflection of Zen Furniture Style, and would make the perfect furniture for the Vermont farmhouse or the upscale Manhattan apartment. It’s simplicity makes it ultra-versatile, allowing you to create a relaxed, un-fussy space no matter where you live.

Would this Zen Furniture collection make a good fit for your home? Let us know in the comments section! We love hearing back from our readers.

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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.

Building Monarch Butterfly Way Stations in Vermont

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

Monarch Butterfly Waystations in Vernon, Vermont
We had a great turnout for our Monarch party on Monday.  If you’re creating your own Monarch Waystation, you can register it and get an “official sign” at MonarchWatch.org

We’re sending thanks out to everyone who gathered with us at Stonehurst this week to begin making Vernon, Vermont a Monarch Butterfly Way Station.  If you’re interested in the environment and nature, please consider joining us in this fun project!  You can learn more about our efforts to save the endangered monarch butterfly here.

Monarch Butterfly Party | Vermont Woods Studios
Thanks to all Vernon’s Monarch Butterfly advocates: MaryLynn Scherlin, Annette Roydon, Marilyn McQuaide, Ken Farabaugh, Janice Pereira, Bronna Zlochiver, Janet Rasmussen, Peggy Farabaugh, Dawn Petrovsky and Emily Vergobbe.

Vernon has many master gardeners and butterfly enthusiasts!  We shared some milkweed seedlings (the Monarch caterpillar’s only food source) and will begin planting them in our gardens and back yards.  We’re also reaching out to the Vernon Elementary School VES, the recreation department and the roads commissioner, asking them to support the project by planting milkweed where appropriate on public land.

How to grow milkweed for monarch butterflies

In August and September we will meet again when the Monarchs are laying their eggs and beginning their metamorphoses.  Please contact us through our Facebook if you’re interested in joining our butterfly rescue project or starting one in your own town.  It’s fun, and there’s wine.  What more could you ask for?

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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.