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Sustainable Style : Rebuilding or Renovating Your Home with Reclaimed Wood

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I first talked about reclaimed wood, briefly, in my piece 10 Eco-friendly ways to Renovate your Home. Now, on the heels of Hurricane Sandy many of us are looking to rebuild or renovate our homes after suffering severe damage and devastation. At Freshome we are dedicated to giving you the best information and sharing our ideas we have with you. We are also passionate about Green Building and recycled materials as viable and sound options. Reclaimed wood is one such option. Also known as barnwood, it is lumber that has primarily originated from old barns, factories and warehouses. Although less traditional structures which include boxcars, coal mines and wine barrels are often utilized as well. The use of reclaimed, antique lumber is growing in popularity as use for home decoration and home building. This weathered, recycled wood has varying degrees of texture, thickness, nail holes and saw marks.  These “imperfections” give each piece of wood character and distinction.  The inconsistencies and imperfections found in the wood offer both a uniqueness as well as a sense of history.

Reclaimed timber is environmentally friendly and is considered a green building material. It is a strong and durable choice. By opting to use these recycled woods, our efforts immediately affect our environment by preserving our natural resources and lessening the burden on our landfills. Another very appealing aspect of recycled wood, is the cost, which can be up to 50% less than new wood that has been milled, marked and stained to look old. I think it is time to give serious thought to barnwood.

Reclaimed Garage, Barn or Home Office

The elegant yet rustic look of reclaimed wood is a perfect option for those looking to build or renovate an existing garage or other small edifice while keeping spending intact. As reclaimed lumber is incredibly strong and has already been weathered there is no wait time to achieve this popular look. Furthermore there is no need to paint this type of wood unless, of course, you prefer the look of painted wood. The weathered appearance of the lumber lends itself beautifully and seamlessly to your existing landscape.

 

 Mirror, Mirror on the wall…

In this traditional yet contemporary living room, the mirror made from reclaimed lumber, adds a rustic charm that seemingly appeals to those who appreciate both the old and the new. Smaller items, such as this full-length mirror, can be easily re-created by those of you with a handy and crafty side. Reclaimed lumber accessories look well in any setting and in any environment.

Put your feet up and stay a while…

Due to it’s rich color, reclaimed wood adds an element of warmth to your surroundings. Each piece of wood has a history and tells a story. The dents and nicks seen on most items made from reclaimed wood contribute to their uniqueness and make them truly one of a kind. Because reclaimed wood is so strong, it makes for a perfect choice when decorating with young children at home as it’s virtually indestructible. You’ll not have to worry about little scratches and dings as you would with antique pieces. The coffee table, as seen above, gives the room a warm and handsome elegance.

Watch Your Step!

Reclaimed wood floors adds a wonderful touch to any room, but in the kitchen, where we tend to spend much of our time on our feet, wood floors are not only visually appealing, but as a soft material they are therefore gentler to your feet and back than stone surfaces. Reclaimed wood tends to be denser and stronger than its freshly cut counterpart. Its strength makes it virtually indestructible, as we know that things tend to fall and get dropped on to kitchen floor all the time. Unlike some surfaces, like certain stones or tile, wood floors won’t chip. Look for wide plank options, and for those of you who live in colder climates, wood floors work wonderfully with radiant heating

 A Chip off the Old Reclaimed Butcher’s Block…

Reclaimed wood makes for a wonderful work surface in your kitchen. Smooth, thick and durable it will sand up to spills, splatters, and bangs. A perfect surface for pounding beef, chopping vegetables (though please do so on a cutting board), or rolling out cookie dough. You needn’t worry about placing hot and heavy pans on them either. I think, perhaps, there may not be a more perfect kitchen surface. If your tastes are more modern and streamlined, reclaimed wood works wonderfully when paired with other surfaces such as marble, granite and stainless steel.

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a reclaimed wood ceiling!

Sturdy, rustic, natural, reclaimed wood ceilings give this room a relaxed elegance. They add warmth and character devoid in many ordinary ceilings. The sheer strength of this wood lends itself perfectly to any support beam. Reclaimed wood is so versatile  in appearance that it lends itself perfectly to so many styles from modern to traditional to classic.

 A (reclaimed) Stairway to Heaven…

Reclaimed woods look wonderful in stairwells in any home. The dark, well-worn wood stairs are well suited to any home from contemporary, traditional to farmhouse or antique. Reclaimed wood is so appealing on its own, in it’s original state, that it’s rarely ever repainted. After all, why cover up all that history and charm? In many cases you will be able to learn where your wood originated. It could have been from the side of a barn, or it could have been from the bottom of a wine barrel. Oh what stories you can possibly tell your guests as you give them tours of your home!

Everything Including the Bathroom Sink!

Incredibly creative and unique, this clever use of reclaimed wood gives this bathroom countertop a rich and warm, rustic yet modern appeal. Resistant to spills, strong and beautiful, reclaimed wood countertops need not only be limited to the kitchen. The uses for barn wood are limitless!

 Shut the Barn Door!

Barn doors are popping up all over the place. Their rustic simplicity can be incorporated into any design preference and and living space. Painted yellow, this reclaimed barn door not only adds a pop of color but a sense of charm and whimsy instead. This style of door is clearly trending at the moment.  Unlike hinged doors, these sliding ones require and take up very little space. The doors are easily mounted on special hardware.

These doors can act as room dividers, or elegantly cover up unsightly appliances such as washing machines and dryers. When placed along a kitchen wall, they elegantly and discreetly conceal items that are commonly stored in pantries such as baking supplies and spices. These doors offer a perfect solution to those areas where space for swing doors is limited.

In the hood…

Rebecca Reynolds owner of New Canaan Kitchens sought to use reclaimed wood throughout this kitchen vignette in her showroom.  Here we see a mix of reclaimed antique wood floor from the pine flooring, to the cabinetry to very the clever creation of the hood made which was made from from antique cypress. An elegant, modern working kitchen is given personal and historic touches with the inclusion of the restored wood.

 I hope I’ve given you some clever and creative ways to incorporate reclaimed, or barnwood, into your home renovation project.

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One comment

  • Reclaimed wood furniture July 10, 2013 at 10:52 AM Login to Reply →

    To use reclaimed wood countertop in the bathroom is a very interesting idea. Indeed, the latest processing technologies allow to use reclaimed wood in the manufacture of any furniture.