If you’re ready to redecorate but are tired of the same old looks from the furniture and big box stores, give reclaimed wood furniture a try. Reclaimed wood furniture is just what it sounds like—furniture made from wood used elsewhere. Where the wood comes from might surprise you! Most reclaimed wood comes from older buildings, like barns, warehouses, factories, bridges, and homes. It also comes from other structures and objects made from wood, such as barrels, boxcars, and even coal mines. Also, some trees used for reclaimed furniture come from areas flooded for reservoirs or river bottoms where loggers lost them to the depths long ago. Reclaimed wood is rescued and given a new and beautiful life by woodworkers and carpenters as desks, chairs, tables, and more. And this new life can find itself in your home. Reclaimed wood furniture is rife with possibilities and advantages, so read on to learn about the benefits of buying reclaimed wood furniture to use in your home!
Reclaimed Wood Furniture Is Environmentally Conscious
When you buy handcrafted reclaimed wood furniture, you’re not hurting the earth. Specifically, furniture made with old wood means that no one cut down the trees to produce it. Even better, none of the processes used to create, process, and treat lumber were employed either. That means few to no chemicals or waste products were generated and dumped into the environment or resigned to landfills. Reclaimed wood also minimizes the use of petroleum-based and other fuels during the process. While you might need to treat and refinish reclaimed wood for safety and beauty’s sake, the process is far cleaner than for new wood. Most of the time, you may prefer reclaimed wood’s original look to any potential painting or staining, thereby keeping those chemicals out of the air and waterways as well.
Reclaimed Wood Is Stronger and More Durable
Most reclaimed wood comes from long-felled trees from old-growth forests. These trees reached maturity and beyond, growing for hundreds of years before getting chopped down and processed. That makes the wood stronger and more durable than the wood cultivated from newer forests. Old-growth wood won’t crack or split and will provide many years of service in your home. Despite this, you’ll still need to maintain your reclaimed wood furniture in some ways, but, overall, it has a toughness that modern ready-to-assemble and other furniture types can’t replicate.
Reclaimed Wood Has a Unique Beauty
The cliché states that no two snowflakes are alike; the same goes for reclaimed wood. After years of use, each piece has its own unique beauty and individuality. Weathering is one factor, as any wood used outside has caught the brunt of the sun, rain, snow, hail, heat, and cold, causing it to fade or darken. Individual nail and screw marks, dents, and scratches incurred over the years add even more character to a piece. Also, people used different techniques to saw wood in the old days, leaving patterns and designs that modern sawn wood can’t reproduce. In short, every piece of reclaimed wood tells a story, making the final piece of furniture a conversation starter.
Reclaimed Wood Is Rare and Exotic
Reclaimed wood can, on occasion, allow you to enjoy old-growth forests that no longer exist or that you cannot visit anymore. Certain species of trees known for their beauty, luster, and color have become historically overharvested. Or they have experienced widespread blights or insect infestations that drove the trees to extinction or endangerment. The law currently protects endangered trees, so you can no longer cut them down or use them for industrial purposes. This means that you cannot turn endangered trees into your new end table. For example, the American chestnut now only exists in a few old-growth forests across the country. However, many 18th and 19th century products and projects used it. Then, in the early 1900s, a blight killed the old-growth trees. While we try to regrow the American chestnut forests, you will need to turn to reclaimed wood if you want this strong and lovely wood for your furniture.
Reclaimed Wood Is Rustic and Old-World
Reclaimed wood carries the history and weight of a more rugged time, going all the way back to the pioneer days. As such, it is rougher-looking, burlier, and, in a sense, brawnier and more muscular. It lends an air of strength and stability to any room and complements rustic, countrified, and simpler décors. If you’re going for a cabin in the woods, country cottage, or farmhouse vibe, you can’t go wrong with reclaimed wood furniture. It gives the impression of a fine piece of furniture crafted by a good, honest, and conscientious old-world carpenter—because it was, even if it lives in the 21st century!
Reclaimed Wood Works With Any Style
While we’ve highlighted the old-fashioned and rustic qualities of reclaimed wood, don’t forget that it is wood. Thus, it is one of the most versatile and easily crafted materials available. You can rework, repaint, refinish, or otherwise revitalize reclaimed wood. You can also combine it with metal, plastic, glass, fabric, and other materials. This creates new and distinctive pieces of handcrafted reclaimed wood furniture that no machine or factory assembly line can replicate. When you find and purchase reclaimed wood, you can rework it into a gorgeous and gloriously idiosyncratic piece of furniture.
Buying Reclaimed Wood Furniture Means Supporting Craftspeople
One of the final benefits of buying reclaimed wood furniture is that skilled craftspeople mostly construct handcrafted reclaimed wood furniture with an eye—and the hands—for producing furnishings of exceeding beauty. When you purchase reclaimed wood furniture, you’re helping perpetuate a respected American tradition and keeping skilled workers in the business. That helps to pass on those skills to the next generation, and the next, and so on. Know that you’re supporting the past and some woodworker or carpenters’ future when you buy a piece of handcrafted reclaimed wood furniture. Also, you’re getting an incredibly attractive piece of furniture, not to mention a potential family heirloom, for your home, office, or elsewhere besides!