Ongoing changes in technology and the job market have seen more and more Americans working from home. This trend has led to a marked increase in the number of residential offices—not just make-do spaces or surfaces like dining room tables temporary transformed into workstations but rooms permanently dedicated to full-time work. These home offices require sturdy, well-designed furniture that’s also comfortable and attractive. Fortunately, there are many manufacturers of hardwood furniture that produce beautiful yet practical home-office collections. One of my favorites is Vermont Wood Studios, which offers handmade, solid-wood desks, chairs, cabinets, and credenzas in a wide selection of styles. Here’s a look at three pieces I particularly like.
Too often the phrase “executive desk” describes an oversize piece of furniture designed to impress if not to downright intimidate. Vermont Wood Studios’ large flare-leg model, inspired by classic Shaker furniture, creates a pleasingly authoritative effect without seeming too full of itself—just the right tone for a businesslike but unstuffy home office. Well proportioned at 70 inches wide, 30 inches deep, and 30 inches high, it’s a substantial piece of furniture, but the gently flaring legs give it a surprising sense of lightness. With two accessory drawers, a built-in file cabinet, and the option of either a pencil drawer or drop-front keyboard tray, the desk is well set up for real work. Shown here in cherry with a lacquer finish, it’s also available in maple, oak, and walnut, the latter being my favorite.
Even in today’s digital world, we still create work trails of documents and manila folders that need to be stored somewhere. Vermont Wood Studios’ modern Shaker-style file credenza is a handsome solution to this perennial problem. Roomy but not massive, it features three accessory drawers, two cupboards, and two file drawers. I particularly admire its clean, unpretentious lines, which would harmonize well with most home decors. As with all the company’s furniture, the credenza is handcrafted in Vermont from sustainably harvested solid American hardwood—along with cherry, you’re given a choice of maple or walnut—and finished with natural, eco-friendly oil that not only protects but also enhances the natural beauty of the wood.
The compact Copeland Essentials kidney-shaped desk makes for an ideal workstation in smaller, space-challenged home offices. Its distinctive profile and steel-hairpin legs recall the classic mid-century-modern designs of Charles and Ray Eames or George Nelson, while its natural walnut top is a characterful mosaic of salvaged solid-wood boards. The sleek little desk pairs well with the Copeland Estelle side chair, a minimalist design made of solid American black walnut. The chair’s slender, vertically split back, curved top rail, and elegantly carved seat not only make it comfortable for extended sitting but also give it a strongly sculptural presence. Also available in cherry and with arms, the Estelle side chair is a winning combination of unadorned International Modernist lines with warm, organic forms.
Vermont Wood Studios
538 Huckle Hill Road Vernon, VT 05354