As I was thinking about what I wanted to focus this blog post around, I realized something. I can’t remember the last time I had a family meal at the dinner table that wasn’t forced because of a holiday. I mean, yes, my family eats dinner each night, usually something cooked at home, but we don’t sit around the table. We maybe eat in the living room while watching the news or eat while working on our laptops. And, I don’t think I’m alone.
Learn how you can help the environment and economy by purchasing American Made Furniture this Holiday Season.
It’s hard to believe that not just 40 years ago when you bought wood furniture, or any product for that matter, it was most likely made right here in America by a skilled craftsman. The crew at the workshop or factory was most likely paid a fair and livable wage and the price of the product reflected that. We took pride in American Made Furniture.
With hundreds of Shaker style furniture pieces, Vermont Woods Studios is your shaker furniture destination.
If you got to know me, I think you’d quickly figure out I’m one of the most indecisive people out there. Even the simplest of choices I over-ponder and then doubt once I’ve made up my mind. I’m talking everything from which dessert after dinner to which jacket to wear to the direction I want my bed facing.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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I started Vermont Woods Studios in 2005 to promote sustainable wooden furniture. I’d been studying the impacts of illegal logging of the earth’s tropical rainforests and wondered “why isn’t anybody doing anything about this”? With the destruction being driven by demand for cheap wood furniture, I realized there was something we could do to help… even from way up here in Vermont. Thus our Vermont made furniture store was born, with the mission of raising awareness about where your furniture comes from and persuading people to buy eco friendly furniture made from sustainably harvested wood.
FSC Certification Problems
That purpose is still at the heart of our mission, although the definition of “eco friendly wood furniture” has changed. Ten years ago the prevailing thought was that the hallmark of sustainably harvested wood furniture was a formal certification by the FSC, Forest Stewardship Council.
FSC is an international not for-profit group that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests. It has been considered the “gold standard” for green certification and labeling of forest products since 1993. Unfortunately, as pure as FSC’s intentions may be, the job of monitoring the entire planet’s forests has proved impossible. With so much at stake and land areas too big to monitor, organized crime has taken over the global timber industry. FSC certification is now systematically forged to the point where you cannot tell whether “certified” furniture is made from legal wood.
Illegal Wood: Not Just About Climate Change & Loss of Biodiversity
A recent article by Alexander Zaitchik titled, Blood on Your Ottoman: Your Furniture’s Link to a Murderous Logging Epidemic chronicles the September 2014 murder of Edwin Chota and 3 other indigenous people in the Amazon rainforest. The article highlights the fact that organized crime has upped the ante for illegal timber. Murder is now fair game in their book and it’s happening more than you’d like to know.
“The first thing people can do is to revisit the assumption that buying “certified” wood products absolves them of responsibility for destroying the world’s remaining primary rainforests. If you’re buying Peruvian mahogany, or Brazilian rosewood, or Indonesian teak, there’s no way to determine whether or not it came from a legal, carefully managed tract, or whether a villager was killed for trying to keep that tree standing”.
Eco Friendly Wood Furniture = American Made Wood Furniture
Our message to conscious consumers shopping for eco friendly furniture, flooring, paper or other forest products is simple: buy American made. In the United States logging is regulated and enforced. There are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, “North American forest growth has exceeded harvest since the 1940s. The greatest gains have been seen on the East Coast with average volumes of wood per acre almost doubling since the ’50s”.
Forest conservation is at the heart of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios and we’re always trying to raise awareness about where your wood furniture comes from. If you’re committed to buying American made furniture— no worries. Chances are it’s made from legal wood, sustainably harvested from well-managed forests right here in North America.
But if you’re buying imported wood furniture (70% of furniture sold in America is imported) then: Houston, we have a problem.
A recent Washington Post article by Brad Plumer entitled Organized Crime is Getting Rich Cutting Down the Rainforest describes how the illegal logging trade has become just as lucrative (and far more destructive) than the drug-trafficking industry. 50 to 90 percent of forestry in tropical areas is now controlled by criminal groups! “A great deal of logging simply takes place illegally — much of it in tropical areas such as the Amazon Basin, Central Africa, and Southeast Asia.” (ref: United Nations and Interpol)
The U.N. estimates that illicit logging is now worth between $30 billion to $100 billion, or up to 30 percent of the global wood trade. That illegal wood is often shipped from pristine rainforests to China, Vietnam and other third world countries where it’s fabricated into low quality furniture which is sold to US consumers. We’ve written quite a bit about the links between rainforest destruction, global warming and the furniture and flooring you choose for your home:
If you’re considering buying furniture at IKEA, Home Depot or any big box store… ask where the lumber originates and let us know what you find on our Facebook or in the comments section below. Then re-discover sustainable, American made wood furniture and join us in feeling good about your furniture and your green home.
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