Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Some Like it Rough -- Reclaimed Wood Furniture

Ah, wood, wonderful wood! Reclaimed wood furniture, whether polished, smooth, or rough and saw, marked with the rust of hundred-year old nails, or looking as fresh as the day it was felled, nothing can match the beauty and versatility of a gorgeous piece of wooden furniture.

But how do you like it? Rough, scarred, stained and snarled? Or smooth, polished, and glowing with a depth unsurpassed by any other material?

Well, these days, the choice really is yours! Reclaimed wood furniture is not only functional, beautiful, and environmentally friendly, it also comes in a variety of styles that is unsurpassed by newly milled or felled wood.

You see, reclaimed wood can come from many different sources, and the various types of wood that comes from these sources can be treated in many many different ways; there's a style to fit any kind of home, and all of them a beautiful and unique.

If wood is taken care of -and sometimes even if it isn’t- it can last for ages. Reclaimed wood usually comes from old furniture, houses, or other built things that are ready to be torn down or burnt. It's even being harvested from wood that has sunk to the bottom of a lake or river (normally from the days when they floated logs downstream after sawmilling. It can also from flawed wood, or from scraps from industrial sources.

Now, once you've decided on where your wood has come from -Reclaimed, Recycled, or Reclaimed Post-consumer- it's time to decide what you want your new piece of reclaimed wood furniture to look like.

Do you want it to be modern, funky? There are many designers out there that take reclaimed wood, reshape it entirely (generally removing the outer layers) and then reform it into something new looking.

Do you want it to be classic, timeless? Then perhaps something made from reclaimed post-consumer wood is for you. A lot of furniture is being taken, broken down, and the parts re-used.

Do you want it to be weathered, with marks and scratches, even rust from old nails in there? Wood that has been taken directly from old barns, gristmills, or other industrial places is often used in larger-scale construction (for instance, roof beams look great if made from old, massive beams) but it can also be used for reclaimed wood furniture.

Of course, if you cut away the weathering and polish it up, some of this wood can have amazing texture and grain patterns as well.

All important things to think about!

Treehugger has written a great article on greening your furniture, and it can be found here. They don't focus specifically on reclaimed wood furniture, though. Mores, the pity!

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