20 Brilliant Uses for Reclaimed Wood
Give castoff lumber new life and new love with inspiring ways to use reclaimed wood.
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Reclaimed Wood as Ceiling and Kitchen Island
When used on a surface that's not walked on, reclaimed wood can be left nearly as-is. In this rustic kitchen, the richer, deeper finish remains unadorned except for a good cleaning. Mismatched pieces were used to create the island, too, offering a complement to the brick (also reused).
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Reclaimed Wood as Door and Floor
One way to easily mix reclaimed woods of different types and styles is to create color contrast. Here, that's done with ease—a pretty reclaimed wood floor in a richly natural stain, and a hefty oversize door stained a rich black-brown and recast as a sliding pantry door.
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Reclaimed Wood as Flooring
The state of the reclaimed wood you choose determines its finished appearance. Sanded of old stain, this reclaimed wood flooring shows its lifetime of bumps and bruises thanks to a clear finish seal. A rustic country aesthetic, complete with horizontal lap siding and open wood shelves, lends a homey feel to this mudroom.
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Reclaimed Wood as Headboard
Reclaimed wood tends to amplify the characteristics that make so many people love wood—warmth, color, texture, grain. Here, those properties are framed by metal and stand out thanks to neutral colors and accents.
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Reclaimed Wood as Horizontal Wall Finish
Once you've removed the old finish, you can stain reclaimed wood, giving it a look that's specific to your room's design. What you won't lose, however, are the imperfections that are distinctive to reclaimed wood. Here, a gray-leaning finish and muted color wash add an elegant highlight to this texture-driven room.
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Reclaimed Wood as Island and Cabinet
For homeowners who embrace a vintage-meets-modern vibe in their spaces, reclaimed wood is the perfect interior finish. Here, the board pieces and storage cabinet were left half-finished (albeit sealed) with bits of old finishes, which were mostly scraped off, left for visual interest.
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Reclaimed Wood as Stair Treads
Many homeowners' styles are a study in melding contrasts, particularly when it comes to vintage and modern. The former tends to soften the tougher lines and less forgiving materials of the latter. Here, planks of reclaimed wood, cut down to stair treads, lend a coziness to the austere stair rail of glass.
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Reclaimed Wood as Framing
One of the drawbacks of reclaimed wood is that you get only what's available. However, small pieces can be used in interesting ways to lend history to revamped spaces. Here, traditional details in a kitchen are supplemented by a notched, split, and perfectly executed reclaimed wood vent hood frame.
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Reclaimed Wood as Shelving
There are lots of options for restrained display of reclaimed wood, particularly if you're unsure about a broad use or have only a few pieces you want to reuse. Set on the horizontal brackets of a metal frame, these imperfect pieces of reclaimed wood find a perfect use as shelves. (Make sure to thoroughly clean and seal reclaimed wood as needed.)
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Reclaimed Wood as Wall Finish
Many homeowners are hesitant to mix woods—one color finish on a floor, one on a wall. With its history-rich characteristics, reclaimed wood makes that difficult decorating trick much easier. Here, new wood on the floor recedes while the reclaimed wood stands out with its nearly inky finish and "frame"—simply two pieces at the bottom and top turned on the horizontal.
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Reclaimed Wood as Ceilings and Beams
As with most other finishes, reclaimed wood can adapt to a variety of styles and tastes. Here, used on a ceiling and as beams, the reclaimed wood enhances the historic feel and vintage details.
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Reclaimed Wood as Vent Hood
A deep sanding and a lighter-tone wood can equal an almost-new appearance for reclaimed wood—here, refashioned into a vent hood. In this mostly neutral contemporary-leaning kitchen, the reclaimed wood lends a welcome bit of warm color contrast.
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Reclaimed Wood as Distinctive Floor
Mixing and matching existing finishes is one of the hallmarks of reclaimed wood projects, including this kitchen floor. Turned at a fun angle and left a brilliant orange hue, these narrow strips of reclaimed wood add a country-perfect vibe to this bright and airy space.
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Reclaimed Wood as Mudroom Accent
The use of reclaimed wood doesn't have to be complicated or fussy. Here, a wide piece -- cleaned but otherwise untouched -- serves as anchor for hooks and knobs that help organize a mudroom.
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Reclaimed Wood as Ceiling, Floor, Walls, and Support Beams
In an open space, using reclaimed wood in oversize areas can be either overwhelming or too static. One way to put those pieces to use is to shift them in orientation, which offers a subtle nod to a shift in a home's zones as well. Here, ceiling and floor planks move 90 degrees from kitchen to living space.
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Reclaimed Wood as Paneling
Thanks to the 1970s, wall paneling got a bad rap. Enter reclaimed wood, which gives this room texture and visual appeal. Many people love reclaimed wood because it displays history, including nail holes, nicks, uneven color.
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Reclaimed Wood as Doors and Island Top
Sculptural and magnificent, these wood doors were reclaimed from different buildings (and different centuries) for reuse as sliding pantry doors. In this eclectic yet rustic space, they stand as dramatic focal point. With reclaimed wood, there's typically something of every size, shape, and color, as it was with these extra-long planks that were put to use on the expansive island.
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Reclaimed Wood as Kitchen Island
It nearly passes for new, such is the craftsmanship on display in this country kitchen island. It's also a pretty example of using woods with different grains—notice the doors compared to the top—which results in different final stain appearance, too.
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Reclaimed Wood as Display Shelves
The heft in reclaimed wood pieces can equal a pretty and quick display for a nook or other stretch of wall. Here, chunky front pieces and screws disguise a clear glass shelf piece.
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Reclaimed Wood as Wall Art
Although reclaimed wood is often used as long planks on walls and ceilings, shorter pieces can be displayed with interesting effect in an artful pattern. Here, planks of different widths were cut down to create a tile effect on a wall.
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