Extreme Furniture Showroom Makeover PT 1

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

Now that summer is over and the initial excitement of moving to our new space is winding down, I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the progress we have made, and the extreme transformations that have occurred at Stonehurst in the last year!

Stonehurst has been fully transformed from an old farmhouse, to a one of a kind Vermont made furniture and decor showroom–making the perfect place to showcase the true beauty of wood both inside and outside of the showroom.

The photos you will see below document our journey at Stonehurst, with photos from before any renovation, during the construction process, and what it looks like now! I don’t want to say its the “final” look, because we are always transforming the decor and look of the space to highlight the particular furniture and art we are showcasing!

You’ll just have to come see it for yourself!

On the left you’ll see the old apartment before renovations & on the right is during the construction process!
Above is the old apartment after the renovation. The space has been transformed into a part of the main gallery of our beautiful fine furniture showroom.

 

This was the farm house’s kitchen space before renovation (left), on the right you’ll see that we added larger windows so our visitors can experience the magnificent view outside the showroom. Our beautiful handcrafted dining room furniture in addition to the view help create an authentic Vermont Style dining room experience.
Now, this space is a wonderful place to display our fine furniture–the view outside the windows is breathtaking & is a testament to Vermont’s beauty. Through all seasons, the acres of woodland that surround Stonehurst is a sight to be seen!

Like what you see? Keep checking back for part 2 and 3 of our renovation reveal and tell us what you think on Facebook!

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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.

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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.

Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Red or White?

Last updated on May 4th, 2018 at 03:28 pm

Vermont's Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst
Which color do you like best?  Red or white?  No, I’m not talking about wine.  I need your help choosing the color of Vermont’s Newest Fine Furniture Showroom: Stonehurst.

The grass is finally beginning to fill in at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture showroom.  The past few months have seen a flurry of activity while Bob Furlone and American Construction finished their last few projects.  This week they will complete the installation of indoor and outdoor lighting and be nearly done with renovations.

But the rest of us will still have plenty of projects left, and one of them is exterior painting.  So I have an opinion question for you.  In the first photos of Stonehurst which were taken in 1869, the house looked much as it does in today’s photo above, except the entire building was painted white:

Stonehurst, Our New Fine Furniture Showroom as it was in 1869
Stonehurst dates back to about 1790 in Vernon’s town records but this 1869 photo (given to me by Town Historian, Barbara Moseley) is the earliest photo I’ve seen.  The building was painted all white back then.

Sometime-probably in the 1940s the exterior was painted barn red, when Stonehurst was transformed by Elsie and Romey Racine into the Pine Top Ski Area.

Stonehurst was renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area
Stonehurst was painted red and renamed Pine Top in the 1940s when it became a popular ski area.  Which color do you prefer?  White or red?

My preference is to restore Stonehurst to its original white color, but I’m getting some push back from those who have grown really fond of the familiar red color.

So what do you think?  Red?  Or white?  And remember I’m not talking about wine.   Let me know in the comment section below or on our Facebook.

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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.

Extreme Makeover: Fine Furniture Website Reborn!

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

Fine Furniture Website | Best Online Furniture Store
We’re making some upgrades to our fine furniture website today so you may notice a couple outages.  Please feel free to give us a call (888-390-5571) and Liz, Sean or Douglas will help you out.  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever asap.  Oh and Kendall tells me that if you want to watch this video of his favorite dancing bear, the site should be ready by the time it’s over (no guarantee though).

Neville, Martin and Kendall have been leading an extreme makeover effort for our fine furniture website over the last 6 months (actually it’s been in the works for a couple years, but we weren’t able to really get it off the ground until Neville got here last December).  Although everyone on our staff has had an important hand in the project, it’s been the 3 geniuses in the IT/Website room that have powered the transformation.

Today we start migrating over to the new, improved website so there will be a few unavoidable outages.  In exchange for your patience we can offer you many new features that I think you will love–  like return customer rewards, more intuitive navigation, easy check-out, elegant design and straightforward pricing of furniture pieces with customized options.  Plus we have new, improved fine furniture bedroom sets and dining sets that will always be on sale for 20% off.

But if you happen to drop by while we’re offline today, please feel free to browse through our blog or give us a call (888-390-5571).  Liz, Sean or Douglas will fix you right up!  We appreciate your patience and promise to have the site back up and running better than ever, as soon as possible.

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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 Quality Bedroom Furniture Sets: How to Get the Best Price

Last updated on August 14th, 2018 at 03:55 pm

Top Quality Solid HardWood Bedroom Furniture Sets | Best Prices
This Contemporary Craftsman Bedroom Furniture Set is handmade of real, solid hardwood by Vermont craftspeople.  Customers can get a 20% discount on this top quality bed, dresser, chest and night stand when purchasing 3 or more pieces together.

Tips for Buying Fine Quality Wooden Furniture

If you’re shopping for top quality bedroom furniture sets, I’m sure you’ve noticed they’re priced considerably higher than the run of the mill sets you’ll find at Jordan’s or Bernie and Phyls.  But if you want timeless, real hardwood furniture you’ll have for a lifetime, (something you’ll never have to replace) then what you’re really interested in is getting the best value, not the lowest price, right?  My suggestion: first find the best quality furniture you can afford (here’s a solid wood furniture buying guide to help with that) in the style and wood species you love.

American Made or Imported?

Second, check to see where it’s made.  If it’s imported furniture, you probably want to keep shopping.  Honestly, I rarely hear complaints about the quality of virtually any American made, solid hardwood furniture (and the more local you buy, the better chance you have of getting the craftsperson or manufacturer to stand behind the product over it’s lifetime).  On the other hand, there are dozens of consumer review sites filled with complaints about the imported furniture products found at big box stores like Ikea, Ashley and Bob’s.  Quality can be quite poor and there’s little chance of getting satisfactory customer service.

How to Get the Best Furniture Value

Once you’ve found your favorite top quality, American made bedroom furniture, crafted of real solid hardwood, then start to work with the craftsman or retailer to get their best discount price. Remember however that American furniture involves using real, legal, sustainably harvested wood and American craftsmanship.  Furthermore, US furniture makers don’t typically “mark up to mark down” so you’re unlikely to find “discounts up to 80%”.  But often there is room for some negotiation.

Buy Top Quality Furniture in Sets to Get a Volume Discount

At Vermont Woods Studios for instance, we have a standing discount of 20% on bedroom sets* plus we offer a discount on full service white glove shipping and delivery when customers are buying 3 or more pieces.  Like many online retailers, we offer a coupon code (BEDROOMSET20) for customers who prefer to purchase fine furniture online (be sure to “update cart” to get the discount).  Otherwise customers can give us a call or stop by our showroom to receive the discount.

So my advice, if you’re shopping for the best price on high quality, real solid wood beds, chests, dressers, armoires, night stands, mirrors, blanket boxes and such is to focus on quality and style first.  Find the American made bedroom furniture you love that will last a lifetime and then negotiate on price afterwards.  My sense is that in doing the research you’ll find most USA made fine furniture is honestly priced and retailers are looking to give both you and the craftsman a fair deal.

Copeland bedroom sets are excluded from the 20% discount as they already carry a low price guarantee every day in our store.

 

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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 Renovation and ADA Compliance

ADA Compliance | Stonehurst
To transform this 200 year old farmhouse and adjacent barn into a fine furniture showroom, we’re connecting the 2 buildings with a third to result in a “U shaped” complex. The floor in the barn (on the left) is being lowered by 2′ to match the floor height in the main house so people in wheelchairs can move about freely. 

ADA Compliance: Lift vs Ramp

When expanding, small retail businesses in Vermont often consider historically significant spaces such as downtown buildings or old farmhouses.  ADA compliance is a major factor in determining the feasibility of such a move.  Entrepreneurs should seek the advice of an architect or other professional during the earliest stages of planning.

Because many small businesses in Vermont are starting to consider expansion these days, I thought I’d share some of our experience with ADA Compliance at Stonehurst, our future Fine Furniture Gallery.  In working with Jeremy Coleman + Company Architects and Bob Furlone of American Construction we’ve explored several alternatives to accommodating customers with disabilities.  At first I began to call Jeremy Coleman “Dr. No”.  He nixed every idea I had on layout and flow, because they weren’t ADA compliant.  The codes aren’t intuitively obvious for a newcomer, but eventually I caught on.

The main challenge we have is that our 200 year old farmhouse sits 2 feet lower than the adjacent horse barn.  Our plan is to connect the two buildings and transform them into a furniture showroom.  But how will a person in a wheelchair be able to go from one building to the next?

We thought about a ramp, but there’s not enough room (a ramp cannot have more than 1″ rise in height per foot of length so that’s 24′ of ramp).  Then we considered a 2′ high elevator lift, but it took up too much floor space and added $30,000 to our cost.  Finally our builder, Bob Furlone suggested lowering the floor in the horse barn.  It’s going to involve some excavating but we all feel it’s the best way to go.

We’re excited that soon we’ll be better able to accommodate the customers who contact us looking for customized furniture designed for wheelchair access.  We’ve modified our dining tables many times by increasing the table height so a wheelchair can fit under the apron.  Now those customers can come see us in person and enjoy the view of Vermont’s Green Mountain Forest while shopping comfortably from their wheelchair.

Stonehurst is still in the planning stages, while we wait for our Act 250 and other permits to be approved by the state of Vermont.  After that happens, we’ll have a ground breaking ceremony and start digging.  Stay tuned for more progress reports or follow us on Facebook for updates.

 

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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.

Trend Alert: What is Green Interior Design?

Last updated on November 4th, 2019 at 01:21 pm

What is Sustainable Interior Design
Interior design is not a new concept. For decades, people have been making a living by creating works of art with furniture and accessories as their palette and empty rooms as their canvas. It is probably not a surprise that fashioning the perfect design for the inside of your home is crucial to how you feel and react in your environment. Interior design is all about aesthetics. It’s about taking items that are visually appealing and combining them with your personality to create something unique and personal to you.

Read More

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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 Fine Furniture Showroom: Repurposing Our Trees

Last updated on December 3rd, 2018 at 02:15 pm

Custom milling by Vince Johnson in Vernon VT
Vince Johnson of Johnson Custom Milling in Vernon, VT is milling trees at Stonehurst that had to be taken down for safety reasons. Now we can use them for future phases of construction at our new Vermont Woods Studios fine furniture showroom.

Since forest conservation is a big part of my mission at Vermont Woods Studios, it’s been a little heart-breaking for me to see some of the 100 year old trees at Stonehurst being taken down. There were a handful that were leaning over the house and garage and Ken insisted that they were a hazard and had to go.

But lucky for me, Vince Johnson of Johnson Custom Milling in Vernon, VT came to the rescue. Vince is milling the trees so we can use them for future phases of construction at Stonehurst, our fine furniture showroom. Here’s a video of his portable sawmill in operation.

Ken and Jeremy Coleman of J Coleman & Company Architects are looking into building a solar kiln to dry the wood so we can use it as soon as possible.

And Dennis has plans to siphon off some of the wood to build bluebird houses, owl boxes and such. It’s turning out to be a fun project after all. Let us know on our Facebook if you have any thoughts or advice for us as we go down this road of renovation at Stonehurst, our future fine furniture showroom. We’ll be posting photos of the transformation and announcing details of our open house as we get closer to completion.

 

Already following our Blog? For more info sign up for our e-newsletter

Sign up now

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.