Background Image

Journal

January 19th

The New Old Wood: Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Reclaimed wood works well as a rustic dining room table.

If you’ve shopped for furniture at any of the popular furnishings stores lately, you’ve probably seen a surge in reclaimed woods paired with metals such as factory zinc and cast iron. Restoration Hardware has been particularly fond of this style, but you’ll also find it at places such as Pottery Barn, Cost Plus and West Elm.

I’m a big fan of this look and used it when I recently redecorated my own home. Because the materials are reclaimed, they have a lot of durability, which is great for those of us who have kids. Since they already have a “lived in” look, another knick in the wood just adds to the character.

For some people, though, this is a little too rustic. For example, reclaimed wood can be difficult to clean – if you drop a glass of red wine on it, you won’t be able to wipe it up. If you think about an old French farmhouse, a little more red wine would just add to the table’s character. But if that’s not your style, you could still feature reclaimed wood by perhaps using a glass or metal top with a wood stand, or having the wood top sanded and refinished with a cleanable polyurethane.

Another consideration is the color. Some reclaimed wood is more of a gray while other types are a little warmer. Deciding on the look you want – more or less neutral – is an important first step to using reclaimed wood. If you lean toward more neutral, you can add interest to the room with black and white framed photos, and textures such as jutes, mohairs, and leathers to avoid creating a “flat” room with no character.

Reclaimed wood can also be part of a more contemporary look, depending on how it is styled.

If you prefer a little more color, add colorful rugs or throw pillows, upholster chairs in bright prints, and include potted plants. (Reupholstering chairs doesn’t have to be expensive – if you’re buying new, just order them in the most affordable fabric and then take them to an upholsterer who can customize them for you at less than $75 per chair.)

Don’t forget to add accessories to your new room. Antiques and vintage-style pieces go well with the reclaimed wood look. Shop around and you might find an old toolbox, for instance, that can serve as a storage spot for TV remotes. Or hang a large metal clock on the wall. The idea is to provide warmth through fun and interesting pieces, whatever that might mean to you and your family, so you can enjoy your home.

If we can help you blend reclaimed woods with your décor, or with any of your design needs, please contact us.