Reclaimed wood, is it a fad similar to the paneling craze of the 70’s or is it here to stay? Unstained wood has definitely found its place in modern décor.
It seems since Restoration Hardware introduced us to their line of imperfect, unfinished, repurposed wood pieces, everyone has embraced the style and is clamoring for that look. The complementary use of organic linen, monochromatic color palettes and sparse furnishings is still trending however, it’s evolution includes creating something new and marrying it with something old.
Much of this style is Belgian influenced and many credit its success to Axel Vervoordt, a renowned Belgian designer. He has been quoted as saying “the only decoration is proportion…no one does proportion like Mother Nature.”
Well Texans love the nature and there is something about reclaiming a piece of the outdoors to bring the natural feel indoors. Our love of reclaimed wood is evident in its varied uses. Look around and you will find the worn grey wood, or unstained yellow-toned oak, on floors, accent walls, bar designs, tables, stools and more.
The interesting thing, as is with any inspired design, creatives like to personalize their style and then this new perspective becomes a trend for the masses. While the style can be duplicated, the source, being reclaimed wood, is in limited supply and should be viewed as a piece of art in and of itself. How many more barns or old warehouses are there to reclaim? The supply is limited and the demand is great.
Recently when Wimberley flooded and the nostalgic, almost historical 300-400 year old, giant cypress trees were severely damaged, a local Austin carpenter salvaged some of the wood. He then crafted pieces from the downed trees. His furniture, while custom art, sourced from the devastating effect of nature, are now cherished in the homes of many.
Reclaimed wood is en vogue yet I like to think that we are enamored with the look for the history of the piece…the story that goes with every knot, dent or nail hole. Often times, you pay a premium for the piece, unless you are lucky enough to find a treasure at an antique store, or Round Top, or the like. Yet each piece should be seen as artwork – something once living that now lives on within the home.
So take a page from the designers and look around. See what is old that can be repurposed or reclaimed into something new. Put in an antique wood wall and enjoy the look of the worn and interesting compilation of the boards. Reclaimed wood is both homey and sophisticated and can be sparsely incorporated into existing design schemes or can become the focal mainstay of a room. Luckily, it is not the paneling of the 70’s but something more unique the can be appreciated and treasured for what it once was and for what it now becomes.
Article first appeared in the Four Points Newspaper, October 28, 2015 Vol. 11, issue 40, page 4.