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Reclaimed Wood Preserving The Past By Turning Trash to Treasure

What once went into landfills now adorns homes and business across the world. Whether its recycled wood for remodeling or a custom made furniture piece, the reclaimed wood frenzy is taking over the world.

The welcoming ambiance provided by wood details is incomparable to new construction. Reclaimed wood raises the bar on authenticity and preserves a lot of history with beauty and character evident in every grain. This quest for character-filled antique timber has evolved into a profitable industry.

The use of reclaimed wood has not been limited to remodeling only, but some daring architects and homeowners have adopted it for full construction. One thing for sure is that whether it’s in landscaping or interior decoration, an antique rustic wood addition definitely gives an edge to your space.

Reclaimed Wood For Construction: Seresin Retreat at Waterfall Bay, New Zealand

Architects: Bossley Architects
Location: Marlborough Sounds, New Zealand
Photos: Bossley Architects
Completed: 2003

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©Bossley architects

This award winning home, was recently featured on BBC’s World’s Most Extraordinary Homes. Located in a remote bay in Marlborough sounds, this house emphasizes the use of reclaimed wood wholly for construction. The wood that pervades the house responds to the lush forest that backdrops it.

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©Bossley architects

Different types of timber across the house, with varying grains and textures, create various moods.  Complementing all this is the owner’s unique collection of furniture and utensils juxtaposed on the architecture of the building.

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©Bossley architects

Big, heavy ironbark columns and beams recycled from an old bridge form the main structural support for the house. This type of wood (jarrah) is difficult to machine, on account of its high density and interlocked grain, that you have to use a metal drill.

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©Bossley architects

Reclaimed Wood for Landscaping

It is hard to beat the lovely patina of old wood when it comes to the outdoors. Reclaimed, rustic wood brings warmth, texture and character to your planting beds, borders, outdoor furniture and fences.

If you’re looking to give your back yard some history then here are a few inspirational ideas.

Outdoor shelves

Plain and simple weathered outdoor shelves can be used for anything from gardening tools to plants and more. Make sure it’s perfectly mounted to get a nice straight top.

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Create tiny tiny small corner tables suspended on your balcony with left over pieces.

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Artistic dividers and fences

Reclaimed wood planks could be the best choice when separating your yard or building a fence. You can mix it with other materials such as ceiling tiles for an artistic and unique feel.

1) Materialize a geometric path from salvaged wood and river rocks.

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2) Repaint your small wood planks fence and emphasize it them with planters.

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Outdoor station, kitchen or bar

1) This is for those who love entertaining. A great alternative to installing a full outdoor kitchen, this can be used as an outdoor barbecue area or just for serving drinks and snacks

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2) Another option could be an outdoor gardening station as well.

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Timber frames

Swap new timber with reclaimed wood to create a country vibe on your pergolas and set it apart from the landscape. You can also throw in some climbing plants and your space is rich in colour and texture from the vibrant greens and yellows.

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Retaining Walls and beds

Reclaim your backyard’s natural look with rustic gardening beds and reclaimed wood walls and make it feel less installed.

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Outdoor furniture

From benches to tables made of tree stumps, the possibilities here are endless.

1) Playful outdoor bar from scrap timber and wooden palettes.

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2) Exquisite tree stump side table.

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3) Log bench emphasized by up-cycled wooden chairs.

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4) Create an outdoor lamp stand with logs or tree stumps.

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4) Branches and twigs used to realize portable privacy screen.

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5) Tree stamp mosaic stools.

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©Dma homes

Reclaimed Wood For Warm & Vibrant Interiors

Exquisite feature walls

An accent wall crafted from reclaimed wood is undoubtedly the subtlest addition to a home or office. A well-crafted feature wall adds natural texture to a setting dominated by man-made elements. The existing colour scheme of the room dictates the grain of wood to be selected.

1) Gorgeously lit shelves and reclaimed wood wall create a stunning mid-century modern home office.

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2) Accent wall crafted from reclaimed wood is perfect for the industrial home office.

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©Blakely Interior Design

Bespoke Furniture

1) A Rustic wooden desk can bring style to room whether it’s a corporate office or a living room.

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©Urban Wood Good

Pipes, reclaimed wood and vintage crates used to create a lovely DIY work desk.

Matching shelves and cabinets crafted from similar wood can create a more curated and coherent home office and give the room a distinct style of its own.

Reclaimed wood shelves fit in home office just as much as they do in industrial and rustic designs.

2) This kitchen features reclaimed-oak open shelves, a tile back-splash, and a farmhouse sink.

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©Oberto Gili

Where To Get Reclaimed Wood

Getting this well-seasoned and dry wood entails more than a trip to the local timber yard. Here are some few spots to jump start your search:

1) Old barns

Weathered beams or siding from abandoned barns can be your answer to that renovation project. With some scrubbing and a warm patinated finish, it looks good as new! 

2) Shipping crates

If you have a garden or yard project that needs an authentic feel, then shipping crates could be what you’re looking for. Local companies normally buy these and resell to costumers. However make sure you know what the crate was previously being used for as some may have been used to carry toxic or hazardous materials.

3) Salvage yards

A trip down to a salvage yard can land you some beautiful weathered pieces that can be reused around the home or office. Remember to always hire a professional to finish these wood pieces and remove any toxic paint containing lead from them.

4) Boat yards

Some companies purchase ships and salvage the wood. Reclaimed teak a popular on old boats gives a unique rustic character full of elegance and durability.

5) Remodelling Contractors

Express your interest in reclaimed wood to remodeling contractors and they’ll be happy to give you antique wood torn out of a house. This saves them the disposal costs and gives you.

Get in contact with some remodelling contractors in your area. Let them know that you will haul away any wood that they tear out of a house. Contractors will be happy to give the antique building materials to you; it will save them a bunch of money on disposal costs. This works best if you are in an area where there are a lot of old houses.

Make sure to let the contractor know that you are recycling the wood, and you take wood only. No drywall, insulation or other debris; only wood; nails are okay if they are in the wood. If it becomes a problem and you are finding a lot of debris, you can start charging a disposal fee.

Zahra Abdillahi