How About A Room With A View?

Vermont Furniture Showroom

It’s officially Spring, but you wouldn’t know that from the outside temperatures this week. But, it hasn’t slowed down our remodel crew a bit. Based on our most recent construction meeting, it looks like the last hammer swing will be around the third week of May. Of course we are anxious to move in and excited to welcome our customers to our new home.

So most of the recent activity has been on the interior and the different spaces are taking shape quite nicely. One area we really love and feel our customers will love too is the customer welcome area. This space was formally a kitchen, and it never really took advantage of the gorgeous view. We decided to put in as much glass as possible to best capture this view. We think this is a perfect space for our customers to soak in the scenery. Our photo below shows the transformation of this space.

Vermont Furniture Showroom
The former kitchen becomes a room with a view!

Check back soon to see this room when it is finished and see how the rest of the spaces are coming along. Looking forward to opening our doors for you this Summer.

To get caught up on the Vermont Woods Studios showroom remodel, see the Stonehurst section of our blog.

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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.

A Stained Glass Window for Stonehurst

Stained Glass Window in Our Stonehurst Bathroom
This Stained Glass Window, handcrafted in the 1800s for St Patrick’s Church in Jaffrey NH, was donated to our Stonehurst Gallery by Annette Roydon.  The picture and painting on the mantle above the stained glass show Stonehurst as it was in the mid 20th century when the property was a ski area and year round resort.  Our thanks to former owners Bill and Elaine Ellis for passing these and other artifacts along to us when we purchased the property.

Remember that old Beatles song, She Came in Through the Bathroom Window?  It’s been going through my head these last couple weeks as I’ve had to fight tooth and nail to get my way on a plan to install this stained glass window into the restroom at Stonehurst, our new furniture and fine art gallery.

The window has a great history.  Annette gave it to me.  It was one of just a few things she was able to salvage when her 1814 Vernon farmhouse down the road, burned to the ground on Christmas eve 5 years ago.  At the time, our Vermont Woods Studios showroom was housed in the sunroom of Annette’s house.  She had been letting us use her space in return for an occasional farm chore (actually it was kind of a lop-sided affair on my end but Ken helped out quite a bit and Susan Holmquist– salesperson extraordinaire at the time– helped Annette deliver a baby horse so it wasn’t entirely a one-way street).

Anyway, this stained glass window and three others were removed from St Patrick’s church in Jaffrey, NH back in the days when the Catholic Church was modernizing their decor.  Annette’s father happened by and saw the windows in a dumpster and got permission to salvage them.  Eventually they made their way to Annette who had them restored by Rick Neumann of Neumann Studios in Brattleboro, Vermont.  She installed the window shown above in the bathroom of her  farmhouse.

Since the fire, the small window has been out in the back corner of the barn, with only Annette’s annual crop of Thanksgiving turkeys around to enjoy it’s beauty.  So I was really excited to be able to bring  it back to life when Annette donated it to the Stonehurst project.  No one else thought we’d have an “appropriate place” for it, but Douglas finally broke down and pointed out the perfect sized spot for it– in the public restroom.  What a coincidence!  You’ll have to stop by and see it once Stonhurst is complete.

Now I’m wondering about who created this piece of art and when?   Any ideas?  St Patrick’s Church was founded in 1885 so I figure the window must have been crafted well over 100 years ago.  I guess I’ll have to take a trip over to Jaffrey and see what I can learn from the folks at St Patrick’s.

Honoring the history of a piece of art (and the artist who made it) is something that makes you feel great!  I’d like to think that the furniture we’ll be featuring at Stonehurst will be around 100 years from now and people will be appreciating it (and the Vermont craftspeople who made it) just like we appreciate this stained glass.

 

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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.

Vermont’s Working Lands Initiative: Our Proposal

Vermont Working Landscape Grant
This is the “backyard” of Stonehurst, our future Vermont made furniture gallery and nature center.  We’ve applied for a grant from the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative to close the final funding gap so we can complete Stonehurst renovations by mid-summer.

What do you love best about Vermont?  Our maple syrup?  Organic cheese?  Skiing or snowboarding?  Mountain climbing?  Our farm to plate restaurants?  Chances are whatever your favorites are in Planet Vermont, they are here for you because of Vermont’s working landscape.  That’s the term Vermonters are using to refer to the Green Mountain state’s pastoral forests and fields– and there’s a concerted effort afoot to ensure they will remain sustainable.

Last year our Legislature passed the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative which  allocated $1Million to “stimulate a concerted economic development effort on behalf of Vermont’s agriculture and forest product sectors by systematically advancing entrepreneurism, business development, and job creation.”  A request for proposals to carry out the WL initiative was issued last year and yesterday was the deadline for submittals.

Hundreds of entrepreneurs from all across the state have offered ideas and projects that will eventually add up to a wave of renewed commitment and progress in sustaining our working lands.  We at Vermont Woods Studios are among the group.

Our proposal seeks to use WL grant monies to close the final funding phase of renovating our Stonehurst Furniture Gallery and Nature Center.  From a Working Lands perspective, one of the advantages of Stonehurst is that it tells the story of where Vermont made furniture comes from and how it’s made– sustainably.

Putting our Working Lands proposal together has been quite a process and regardless of whether we win an award, I think it’s been time well spent.  I know the grant is highly competitive.  It’s my understanding that the WL Board received some 268 proposals  for a total request of over $12 million.  They are working with only $1Million in funding, so the odds aren’t good.

But I feel our proposal answers an important need in providing a market for Vermont’s wood furniture and a destination that will attract customers from beyond our borders.  We’ve been able to forge many new partnerships and collaborations as a result of the grant application process and that alone makes the effort worthwhile.

Decisions on grant awards are expected in April and we’ll keep you posted.  Best of luck to everyone who has invested their time into this important project!

 

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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.

We’re Not The Only Ones Getting A New Home!

Blue Bird Nesting Box
We used the lumber from one of the “hazardous trees” we had to cut down to make blue bird nesting boxes.

When we first purchased Stonehurst, it was evident that about six different trees needed to be removed, as they were much too close to the house. Not wanting them to go to waste, we sawed what we could into lumber and trimmed the rest for fire wood. One of the trees was a Norway Spruce, so Ken didn’t have his eye on it for furniture. So, we decided it would be perfect lumber to make some bird nesting boxes. We called in the help of Vince Johnson, of Vernon, who set up his portable sawmill on site. He was able to get a good amount out of that Spruce tree and we had plenty for our project.

Part of Stonehurst is potentially creating a nature center and we will always look for ways to preserve the natural habitat for all the native species on the property. With Stonehurst having a fair amount of open fields, it is a perfect habitat for the Eastern Bluebird and Tree Swallows, both cavity nesters. Also, the field edges would make a good spot for some Black Capped Chickadee nest boxes.

We found a bluebird nesting box plan and some members of the Green Team took over Ken’s workshop. We made a bunch of nesting boxes for the bluebirds, but ran out of time for the chickadees, so that’s something that we will get back to. The next step is to get out to the fields to mount these in just the right places. We want to get them up before the end of March, which is typically the time these species start to look for a nesting place. We will report on that in the coming weeks as well as keep you updated as these nest boxes become occupied.

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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.