Fun and Fresh Uses for Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Touches of old, reclaimed wood add personality to any style of home -- whether it is a brand new, cookie-cutter tract home or a 1930s bungalow. It instantly warms up a room, giving the space a homey, historic feel. However, using old wood in your home can do much more beyond simple aesthetics.
Using salvaged wood can also help the planet. It is the perfect sustainable choice for homeowners who are into making the world a greener, healthier place. Think of the trees that will be saved by incorporating old lumber into your home renovation project.

Furniture and Accessories

Finding sources for reclaimed wood products has never been easier. In the furniture and accessories arena, salvage companies across the country offer everything from vintage wood picture frames to headboards made from old barn siding. You can even source salvaged lumber to make a dining table.

Visit local architectural salvage dealers and antique stores for reclaimed wood treasures. You can use them as they were intended, such as an old wine rack or wooden chair, or repurpose them to suit your decorating needs. Take that antique wood picture frame and give it a new lease on life. Transform it into a stylish mirror frame for your family room.

As a sustainable alternative to reclaimed wood, you can visit furniture stores and find manufacturers that use sustainable wood. Look for furniture that is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified. The FSC label lets you know that the wood meets environmentally responsible practices -- from harvesting to manufacture to market.

Recycled Wood Doors
Tired of the cheap, flimsy, hollow core doors in your house? Add character and weight by replacing them with solid wood doors milled decades ago by skilled craftsmen. You can choose from intricate or simple designs. Think outside the box and consider using large-scale wood doors from sheds and barns as sliding doors to close off your office space or master bedroom suite.

The good news is salvage yards and architectural deconstruction businesses will have doors in every shape, size, color and finish. Using these eco-friendly vintage doors will give your plain-Jane home a sense of history and prominence. Be aware that installation of a vintage wood door in an existing opening may require abilities beyond the scope of many do-it-yourselfers.

Proper door sizing and hanging means taking exacting measurements and making the necessary cuts and adjustments. You will also need a door frame that closely matches the wood of your reused door. The choice of hardware is up to you. You can either add period hardware or find a contemporary style to create an eclectic look.

Floor to Ceiling Uses

Another way to add architectural significance to a boring white room is to bring in reclaimed lumber as flooring, wall and ceiling elements.

Find companies that specialize in reclaimed wood planks and siding from old homes, barns and industrial buildings. These businesses, in turn, transform this cast-off wood into usable lumber for your floor, walls or ceiling.

Lumber reclamation has become big business. There is a huge demand for old wood in new construction. Lumber salvage companies carefully remove old wood floors and siding for use in new projects. This painstaking removal process takes time, and the associated labor costs are passed on to you.

Using reclaimed lumber will be more expensive than purchasing new wood flooring. Do your homework and compare costs before beginning a major project. A nice compromise might be using old lumber for ceiling beams and using FSC wood flooring with a similar texture and color. Just remember: with of the look of vintage lumber comes inherent flaws. Decide if imperfection is a good fit with your design sensibility.

Outside Your Home
Let’s step outside for a moment and look at some of the uses for old wood that will beautify your exterior spaces.

Salvaged lumber is a great choice for decking and porches. Reclaimed wood timber can also dress up your garden beds when used as border.

When using old wood that will be exposed to the elements, make sure it is a weather hardy species like cedar or cypress. Choose wood that was previously used in an exterior application and thoroughly inspect it for deterioration of any kind and insect infestation.

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