Furniture that stands the test of time - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Furniture that stands the test of time

Posted: Updated:
SHELBURNE, Vt. -

Shelburne Farms is a 1,400 acre working farm teaching people what it takes to live off the land. About one-quarter is covered in trees -- and that's where one business finds its inspiration.

"We both have a fondness for our material," said Jeff Parsons.

"We  live in a place and our furniture embodies the place," said Bruce Beeken.

Beeken and Parsons started their furniture business, Beeken Parsons, 30 years ago. "We make furniture. We design the furniture we make and make the furniture to order," Beeken said.

The partners met studying furniture making at Boston University. Now they sell furniture to universities -- outfitting libraries with tables and chairs and board rooms. They also make custom home furniture. "We try to build things that we think are sound structurally and aesthetically," Parsons said.

Not every piece is built here at the two man shop.  For large orders, designs are sent to bigger U.S. Manufacturers. Parsons says moving to a bigger production site keeps their furniture price competitive when trying to secure large contracts with universities. "After the 100th chair, sanding the same piece over and over looses some of its luster," Parsons said.

A chair made at the Shelburne Farms workshop starts at $1,250, but sending away their designs for big orders drops prices to a 1/4 -- chairs start at $300.

"We're never on anyone's cutting edge because we're not fashionable," Parsons said. Beeken Parsons avoids trendy, but aims for timeless -- and they do it with wood that normally isn't found at the lumber yard.

"We're using native materials exclusively," Beeken said.

Species that don't have commercial appeal like hophornbeam, black ash, black locust and beech are some of their favorites.  They get wood from downed trees in people's yards and the forest around them. They like nature's imperfections.   "Our clients are very interested in something natural -- real -- and is from this place," Beeken said.

Quiet designs that fit in to their surroundings and are Made in Vermont.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Sugarhouse fire in Swanton

    Sugarhouse fire in Swanton

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:54 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:54:02 GMT
    A sugaring season was cut short in Swanton overnight after a shed caught fire. Fire officials tell us they got the call around 1:30 a.m. Friday for the sugarhouse fire on Woods Hill Road. They say theMore >>
    A sugaring season was cut short in Swanton overnight after a shed caught fire.More >>
  • NH ski areas to close after this weekend

    NH ski areas to close after this weekend

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:46 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:46:49 GMT
    As the temperatures start to climb, it's your last weekend to ski in New Hampshire. The three remaining areas that are open -- Loon Mountain, Cannon Mountain, and Bretton Woods -- are planning to closeMore >>
    As the temperatures start to climb, it's your last weekend to ski in New Hampshire.More >>
  • Dispatchers recognized this week

    Dispatchers recognized this week

    Friday, April 18 2014 8:45 AM EDT2014-04-18 12:45:18 GMT
    This week, the first line of emergency responders are being recognized for their work. National Telecommunicators Week ends Saturday. It's a national week honoring the men and women who work around-the-clockMore >>
    This week, the first line of emergency responders are being recognized for their work.More >>
  • Putney man ran over in driveway

    Putney man ran over in driveway

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
    A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
    A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
  • N.H. police find bottle bomb at park

    N.H. police find bottle bomb at park

    Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
    Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
    Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
  • Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Winooski man killed in motorcycle accident

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
    There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
    Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
  • Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Stowe couple dead in murder-suicide

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
    Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
    A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags.
    More >>
  • Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Leicester man charged with shootings appears in court

    Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
    A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WCAX. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.