Old Barn

Design Trend: Incorporating Reclaimed Wood

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Barn Board Provides Rustic Décor Touch; Environmental Peace of Mind

TORONTO – Across the province of Ontario, rural residents have begun to dismantle many of their properties’ aging wooden buildings – barns in particular – due to the structures’ danger to safety, disuse, or generally poor condition.

The wood from these dated structures – known as “barn board” – is often perfectly usable, and comes with its own distinct character thanks to decades of natural wear. Now widely available across the GTA, furniture made from this variety of “reclaimed wood” provides savvy interior decorators with three key benefits: the pieces are stylish, sturdy, and most importantly, better for the environment.

Before using reclaimed wood for constructing furniture, innovative businesses like Toronto’s Summerhill-based Urban Tree Salvage use kilns to dry out the repurposed lumber. This allows the furniture builders to achieve the ideal humidity for a long-lasting and resilient design piece.

Saving the forest, one barn at a time

Investing in reclaimed wood furniture is a great option for ecologically-minded homeowners, and there are two key reasons why:

  • By using existing lumber, reclaimed wood furniture negates the need to source brand-new wood – saving a tree or two in the process.
  • Because reclaimed wood comes from older, unused buildings that are generally being torn down anyway, repurposing and selling the lumber helps to divert demolition waste – which, along with construction and renovation waste, make up about a third of the solid waste in Canadian municipal streams. This diversion helps ease the demand on Ontario’s landfills – a win-win for the environment.

Reclaimed wood products are also eligible for certification via the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC), so eco-friendly buyers can inquire with the retailer to see whether a particular product’s wood material has been formally FSC certified.

Ideas for Barn Board Decorating

  • When coupled with sliding “barn door” hardware, reclaimed wood can be used to create authentic and truly striking interior doors. Available in various sizes, these doors’ classic look will work exceptionally well in “hard loft” or conversion condos. For inspiration, check out Rustica Hardware’s “Rustic and Reclaimed” line.
  • With its weather-worn character and reputation for toughness, reclaimed wood makes excellent dining and coffee tables, built to withstand decades of family dinners or football Sundays. Check out Restoration Hardware’s Salvaged Wood Beam Collection for some luxurious, yet simple examples of reclaimed-wood tables.
  • If your home features a classic brick or stone fireplace, the rough-hewn features and inherent toughness of a salvaged wood beam make for an excellent mantel that won’t clash with the hearth’s historic character.

High-quality wooden pieces, such as those made from reclaimed lumber, make for a natural focal point that will help bring together any room if you ever have to think about real estate staging. They also make great investment pieces, boasting a durability that will help them last for generations.

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