Perhaps one of the hottest trends in remodeling and new home design over the past five years is the use of reclaimed lumber. There’s something so beautiful about the artistry of hand hewn beams or the weathered look of barnwood that creates a feeling of warmth that is difficult to replicate with new materials. Check out any recent catalog from Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn or page through design magazines such as Dwell, Architectural Digest or House Beautiful and you are sure to fall in love with the beauty of reclaimed lumber.
If you’ve decided to include reclaimed wood in your next remodeling or design project, you may find it somewhat difficult figuring out where and how to buy material. Many people turn to Craigslist where you might find local suppliers who have crews scouring the country for old barns and buildings which they buy, disassemble and sell piece-by-piece. Other options include dealing with suppliers on Etsy or Ebay. If you happen to live in Montana, which is considering by many to be the birthplace of the reclaimed lumber industry, you will likely find numerous local suppliers who offer a huge selection of everything from hand hewn beams to entire homestead cabins which they can rebuild on your property. Remodelers, home builders, interior designers and local craftsman in the Minneapolis area often turn to The Old Grain Co., a Minnesota supplier of barnwood and reclaimed antique timbers and lumber.
Dave Huston, managing partner of The Old Grain Co., shared his thoughts on why people love using antique wood in their home designs. “You can create so much warmth and beauty with reclaimed wood. There’s history to the product too. Clients love knowing that part of their home was built re-using material from a 200 or 300 year old farmhouse or historic building. There’s a story to tell and you can’t do that with wood shipped over from 40 year old Chinese trees.” Dave also explained why carpenters love working with old growth trees, “when you buy wood from Home Depot or your local lumber yard, it’s often times cheap pine from China. It’s rarely straight and it blows apart when you shoot nails into it. Wood from old growth trees has a tight grain and it’s easy to work with”.
If you’re thinking about selling your house, consider meeting with an interior designer to discuss how you might be able to update your home and make it more sellable by including reclaimed wood. It can be as small as an accent wall or fireplace mantel. Prior to meeting with a designer, be sure to look through an RH design book or design magazine to get some ideas. Share these with your designer and you’re sure to have great results.