16 Ways to Use Salvaged Wood in Your Home

These days, everyone tries hard to subscribe to the 3R’s— Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Home design is all over that trend, and has its own 3R’s— Recycle, Repurpose, Reclaim. More and more, people are finding ways to use reclaimed elements— especially wood, when decorating their homes. Salvaged wood is not only hot in structural elements, like flooring, beams, doors and wall treatments. It’s just as fashionable when it’s used in furniture applications— like for a desk, dining table, headboard, mirror, coffee table, or even a set of shelves. Reclaimed wood lends a warmth to any room, but also infuses a space with a sense of history and charm that new materials lack. You may be surprised at all the places you can incorporate reclaimed wood into your home. Here are some of our favorites from around the web.

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  1. Barn Wood Cabinets


    These cabinets were made when a barn was disassembled. The barn siding used on the cabinet doors has a natural, weathered look that can’t be replicated with modern finishing methods. Barn door hardware compliments the wood for a unique and authentic look.


  2. Salvaged Wood Wall


    This stunning and colorful feature wall was created with wood from a salvage yard. It includes barn wood, wainscot, and flooring from a high school gym. Total cost: $130, plus 3 days work. Totally worth it!


  3. Reclaimed Beech Flooring


    Shipping crates were repurposed to create this beautiful floor. The black veining pierces through the gold, tan, and peach tones to give the wood an almost marbled appearance. Beech never had such allure!


  4. Driftwood Headboard


    You can almost hear the waves when you look at this unique driftwood headboard. Natural weathering doesn’t get any better than this—the epitome of a 'conversation piece'.


  5. Old Patina Pergola


    The natural brown-and-grey shades of this reclaimed timber add charm and character to an outdoor patio area. The old patina finish remains from when the wood was pulled off the original structure. Who’d want to change it, anyway?


  6. Recycled Wood Wall Tiles


    Recycled wood can go anywhere, even the shower area. These wood wall tiles are 4” x 4” (they also come in 2” x 8” and 4” x 8”). In contrast to the standard, chilly ceramic tile, wood makes for an incredibly warm and inviting space.


  7. Slab Dining Table


    This dining table was constructed simply by attaching an entire wood slab to a metal base. Talk about bringing the outdoors in! 


  8. Lief Puzzle Stool


    When a fishing boat washed up on the shore in Indonesia, the leftover wood was being sold off piece by piece for firewood—until a designer made the boat’s owner an offer. He used the haul of wood to make these stools and many other beautiful pieces of handcrafted furniture for Aellon in Brooklyn, NY.


  9. Re-Sawn Wood Beams


    These antique heart pine beams were re-sawn and planed smoothed before being given a second life. They impart a robust and warm feel to this space.


  10. Wooden Pallet Coffee Table


    Two wooden palettes, a little stain, and some casters are all you need to build a trendy coffee table. DIY doesn’t get much cheaper or easier than this.


  11. Reclaimed Lumber Shelves


    The most obvious use for salvaged wood? Shelves. Display your photos and books atop a warm, natural-edged plank of wood that fits with whatever bracket you like.


  12. Stairs


    Salvaged wood turns a staircase into a centerpiece. This unit is constructed to appear free-floating. But you could just as easily use salvaged wood for your stair treads, or to laminate your treads and risers.


  13. Fireplace Mantle


    An antique timber makes a dramatic and one-of-a-kind fireplace mantle. It can compliment historic brick as well as more modern finishes. No matter where it is, it will be a conversation piece and an impressive design statement.


  14. Butcher Block Island


    Reclaimed wood can be laminated together to make beautiful butcher block. This example, sitting atop a steel pipe frame, makes a rustic kitchen island with a decidedly industrial feel.


  15. Room Divider


    A room divider made of salvaged wood brings instant character and charm to a space. No additional wall decor is necessary when you have the weathered beauty of aged wood grain as your view.


  16. Coat Rack


    Cast iron hooks affixed to the top of a worn picket fence make a simple, homespun coat rack that really pops on a modern white wall.


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