Copeland Furniture Company is known for high-quality, hardwood furniture that pushes the boundaries of modern design. We spoke with Tim Copeland, the president of Copeland Furniture, to discuss their design influences, how they ensure quality in their furniture, and his tips for caring for your wood furniture.
Tim has been with Copeland since 1975 and has worked with Circle Furniture since the early 80s. Tim says of Copeland, “We specialize in hardwood furniture, made in the United States, in a modern and transitional design.”
Maintaining quality throughout their construction process is incredibly important for them. Tim explains, “Quality is extremely important. There are so many low-price options out there. For us to be successful we’ve got to provide quality and we have to stand behind our furniture. And we do.”
“Our construction methods are traditional, in terms of the kind of joinery we use. What isn’t traditional is the way we use high-tech, precision machines in combination with hand assembly.”
The quality of their furniture starts from the hardwood that they source; Cherry from Pennsylvania, Walnut from Iowa, Ash, and Maple almost exclusively from Vermont.
Although they use high-tech machines; craftsmanship and attention to detail are at the core of their beliefs. And running parallel to their dedication to quality is their commitment to sustainability.
Tim describes, “Our interest in sustainability is rooted in forest conversation. That’s a value that runs deep in New England. It’s sort of a built-in incentive to take care of the land that takes care of you.”
Copeland stands out in a sea of traditional New England wood furniture companies for their contemporary take on design. Although their styles range from traditional to modern, every piece falls under the umbrella of “function without a lot of extra decorative elements,” as Tim puts it.
Tim says, “I personally have always had a fascination with primitive, early New England design. We’ve always been intrigued by this notion that consumers are drawn to the furniture that was popular a generation before them. Surprisingly, it’s not their parent’s generation, it’s their grandparent’s generation.”
What does this mean for design today? Tim explains, “A lot of young people have a fascination with American modernism that came out of the 30s and 40s. A lot of our product is responsive to that.”
Walking around the factory, their design influences are clear. Their chairs, tables, and bed frames stand out in their simplicity, their clean lines, and their unique curvature.
To create new designs they work on computers and CAD (Computer-aided design) machines. They work to push boundaries and to move with the coming trends, staying in constant communication with the dealers they partner with and working with outside designers as well. They’re also capable of made to order options, breaking through the mold of “one-size-fits-all” and allowing the customer to choose finishes and knobs.
Tips from a Pro
While talking to a wood furniture expert like Tim, we managed to get some tips along the way on how to maximize the longevity of your furniture:
- Be cautious of allowing something like a handbag to sit on your wood furniture for a while. Although wood can be refinished, it’s always best to be cautious and avoid staining from prolonged contact.
- You want to be thoughtful about where you place your wood furniture in the house. Heat sources like a wood furnace can potentially put stress on the wood and cause it to dry out or crack.
- To keep wood furniture true to color, try to avoid direct sunlight. Over a long period of time, it’ll cause cherry to darken, maple to turn yellow, and walnut to lighten.
- If a piece of furniture is in a very humid environment, components within the furniture may expand slightly. Not to fear, it won’t cause permanent damage unless it’s prolonged.
- It’s important to understand that seasonal environmental changes can cause solid hardwood to change dimensions ever so slightly. It’s not a defect, it’s just the dynamic character of the wood.
We feel grateful to work with local companies that align with our core values of craftsmanship, quality, and sustainability. Copeland checks all of those boxes and we’ve formed a long-lasting and close relationship with the founders. Tim says of Circle, “They’re one of our oldest and best customers.”
In fact, our journey up to Vermont to visit Copeland says it all. In a few short hours on the road, we were welcomed into the factory and had the chance to see first-hand how they combine high-precision tools with traditional, decades-old craftsmanship. And their commitment to excellence shows. To discover the collection of Copeland furniture we carry, click here.
- Copeland Furniture Company: A Factory Tour and Inside Look
- How to Take Care of Your Dining Room Furniture
- Homeowner’s Guide to Natural Wood in Furniture