The Stories Behind Reclaimed Wood Furniture
CustomMade has strived to spread the word about the environmental benefits of custom furniture made from salvaged wood and to break the stereotype that equates eco-friendly furniture with a particular design style or type of consumer. Your custom barnwood furniture or pieces made from other recycled materials can be as diverse and stylish as items made from any other resources.
Your custom reclaimed wood furniture can also be unique in a way no other type of furniture can match.
Custom furniture is unique because it is made just for you and to your exact specifications. Every piece of custom furniture has a story, too. When you find an item featured in a CustomMade artisan’s profile, you will often learn the story behind the piece, a description of the materials and techniques used to construct the item and an account of the client’s specific requests, the inspirations behind the piece, and the special challenges the maker faced.
When your custom project includes recycled wood, you are getting something extra: a story behind the story of the piece. This wood once had another life, perhaps centuries ago in a distant place or maybe right in your own hometown. The wood in your furniture could have been a world traveler or worked in a factory or on a farm. If furniture could talk, imagine the stories these pieces could tell.
Graffiti: the bane of bare walls and school desks. How ironic but fitting nonetheless that these 2nd run pine bookshelves by Dilettante Studios, formerly school library shelving with traces of “kid’s writing professing undying love and friendship, support for Led Zeppelin and other acid era rockers, and hand-drawn pornography,” are now housing books for University of Chicago scholars. History and memory can be found in some unexpected places.
Your own history can find its way into your custom furniture. If you’re remodeling your home or have to demolish some structures on your property, consider having the left over materials repurposed instead of thrown away. The ipe wood used by Les Gorsuch to create this bed and nightstand set was once part of a trellis in the backyard of a home in Fort Myers, FL. Ipe wood is strong, durable, and insect repellant. Discarding it would be a shame and a waste. Using recycled wood makes it possible for quality wood to take many forms in custom furniture over the course of your home’s life.
Some pieces made from reclaimed wood can make a powerful statement about endurance and survival. Sculpted Art Furniture made this quarter-sawn oak art box from lumber salvaged from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. All of the oak Greg Little uses in his art boxes made in his Prairieville, LA, workshop comes from trees knocked down during that disaster.
When the Honduran mahogany of this boat wood table was a part of The Tormentor 5, it sailed from Alaska to Panama to Washington. When the owner could not repair the boat, Juggernaut Woodworking took the wood to prevent it from being scrapped. Every piece of furniture made from the strong wood of The Tormentor 5 is unique, but they all have a bit of the ocean in them.
When the oak repurposed for this beautiful Craftsman reclining chair worked in a factory, it was part of a racking system. Rescued Resources LLC specializes in saving recyclable building materials from landfills and giving them new life as handcrafted custom furniture. Now you can relax in a recliner that has also earned a break of its own.