Wood is one of earth’s miraculous elements and a designer’s dream material as there are very few materials as versatile and adaptable. It is not only an important material used structurally in architecture but also a timeless element to feature in interior design as it adds warmth to the interior of any home. The beauty of using reclaimed wood in Interior Design is that you can use it for flooring, furniture, and art.
Although new wood is always available, when searching for the best type of wood for your interior design project, try looking for repurposed wood. You can often find wood materials that have been removed from an old building, or you can get freshly sawn wood boards cut from very old timbers. Some salvage companies dive into lakes and rivers to pull up old-growth trees that were harvested in the 19th century but sank on their way to the mill. Other wood is reclaimed when old structures are demolished such as barns, industrial buildings, or wine casks. If you are fortunate enough to find this type of discarded lumber, you’ll not only have access to unique wood to work with but will help with saving forests.
Reclaimed wood that originated in old-growth forests, which grew slower and straighter than most of today’s timberlands, has a straighter, tighter grain. And decades of oxidation give it deeper, richer colors. Antique wood has a lot of character which is another way of saying it’s unique as you’ll see nail holes, stains, and even minor damage in the boards which contributes to its beauty. It is generally milled the same as new solid wood and is generally available in various sizes to be used for flooring, furniture, and art. Most reclaimed woods come unfinished — on-site finishing gives it a more authentic look — but a few manufacturers have introduced prefinished antique products. Expect to pay about two times the materials cost of new wood for antique or reclaimed wood, although some manufacturers offer blends from several sources, whose price is a bit more economical.
Reclaimed wood should be kiln-dried, which kills bugs, exposes hidden cracks, and minimizes moisture content. It should also have any structural defects trimmed out. But those who deal in reclaimed wood say the most important indicator of quality is the track record of the supplier, along with his willingness to answer questions and to put in writing all specifics regarding grade and condition.
Using wood in Interior Design has always been fashionable and sustainable and will most likely never go out of style. Try to compare the new and reclaimed wood to see which one meets your interior design needs.