Truly Green Furnishings: Chemical Free, Organic Furniture

 

Rustic Barnwood Furniture
Our reclaimed barn wood farm table is handcrafted in Vermont. With its traditional tapered legs this one-of-a kind farm table is a country home treasure!

Furniture is more than just something we sit on, sleep on, and eat on; our furniture becomes a part of our life story. It’s an integral piece of what makes a house a home. But for the chemically sensitive, or for those who are just serious about not bringing harsh chemicals into their homes, finding the right furniture can seem like an impossible task.

At Vermont Woods Studios, we’re dedicated to providing furniture that is good for your health, home, and the environment.

Our Wood Furniture

All of our furniture (with the exception of our Outdoor line, which is made from recycled milk jugs) is handcrafted in Vermont using real, natural hardwoods. We do not work with inferior substrates like Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), particle board, or flimsy faux wood veneers.

We work mostly with cherrymapleoak and walnut. Each board in your furniture is selected by hand, and inspected for quality, strength, straightness, grain and color. When requested, we use FSC green-certified lumber, although there is still a premium for FSC certified wood. Sometimes our artisans harvest lumber from the woods on their own property, a sustainable approach that adds another dimension to the story of your furniture!

Toxin Free Finishes

Many of our furniture makers continue to use traditional oil and wax based finishes, but even those that use more modern finishes ensure that they are non-toxic, formaldehyde-free and eco-friendly with little or no Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOCs).

As concern over indoor air quality continues to grow, many of our furniture makers are moving towards water based finishes. Conventional petroleum based solvents contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to the atmosphere. While most of these VOCs are released at the time of manufacturing, a small amount remains on the product and can off-gas in the home. Many of our collections can now be requested in a non-emitting water-based finish.

Shopping for Organic Furniture Online

Questions to ask when making decisions on your organic wood furniture:

  • What type of wood is used?
  • Where does the wood come from?
  • How is the wood processed?  Are chemicals used in processing?  What kind of chemicals?
  • What type of finish and/or stain is used?  Is it a low VOC or no VOC finish-stain?  Can you supply an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for the finish?
  • What type of glue is used?  Is it non-toxic?  Does it contain formaldehyde?  MSDS available?
  • Where is the furniture made and by whom?
  • How is the furniture packaged for shipment?

If you have any questions or want to discuss the issues of natural, non-toxic furniture, give us a call or email us at Vermont Woods Studios.  We’ll be glad to help!

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.

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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.

Real Wood Furniture and the Beauty of “Flaws”

Real Wood Furniture | Live Edge Walnut Table | Handmade in Vermont by Dan Mosheim
This live edge real wood furniture is an organic claro walnut table, skillfully handcrafted by Dan Mosheim and his family at Dorset Custom Furniture.  Check out Dan’s blog about how to capture wood’s natural characteristics and turn them into a work of art.

Because most of our fine furniture is bought online, we’ve written a lot on our website about the natural characteristics of real wood furniture.  We don’t want to have any surprises when we deliver your furniture.  Wood is organic.  Just as each tree in the forest is unique, so is each board in your furniture.  As our friend, woodworker Greg Goodman says, “wood is like people.  What makes it interesting is it’s flaws”.

Different styles of furniture require different types and grades of wood.  For example if you were buying Shaker furniture or Craftsman furniture, you would rightly be expecting the highest quality wood with minimal character or “flaws”.

But if you were shopping for a live edge, claro walnut table, for example– like this gorgeous one made by Dan Mosheim of Dorset Custom Furniture  you would be expecting plenty of organic characteristics.  Have a look at Dan’s blog and you’ll see how an artful eye, combined with detailed knowledge of wood grain, shrink, swell and overall movement can transform a rustic “old” slab of wood into an elegant dining table fit for a king.

Turth is– the value of handcrafted real wood furniture is not just in the wood, but also in the craftsmanship.  A less experienced craftsman could have taken this same slab of wood and created a table that looked “flawed” and also performed poorly.  At Vermont Woods Studios we design all of our furniture to last a lifetime.  It’s a thing woodworkers have.  If the tree took a lifetime to grow (this walnut tree was probably at least 100 years old at harvest), then the furniture should last equally as long.

I think what sets Vermont’s furniture artisans apart from others around the world is their reputation for excellence in both style and craftsmanship.  At Dan Mosheim’s workshop and other custom furniture makers throughout Vermont you’ll find experts who understand the characteristics and “flaws” of wood and design their furniture to leverage the best the wood has to offer– whether it’s a refined Shaker piece or an organic live edge table.

Want to see Vermont woodworking and meet furniture artisans in person?  Put September 28-29 on your calendar– the 10th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture Festival is just around the corner!  Details coming soon.

Interested in the mechanics of wood movement?  Brian Boggs, a woodworker in North Carolina has a great blog post about grain orientation in furniture making.  And for those seeking a less detailed approach, check out our website for the quick and dirty details on characteristics or our favorite North American furniture making-woods:

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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.