Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Reclaimed Savoir Faire!

Since moving to Canada nearly 9 years ago (and being a country boy) I have been utterly fascinated with the architecture and style of the Canadian Barn. Especially old derelict ones, where my mind works overtime on the possibilities of using all that lovely old wood which is just lying around.

I am definitely by no means advocating the destruction of all these wonderful old structures and believe that they should be kept, no matter what state of disrepair or un-use, as they add character and substance to a landscape. However lying around these great structures is a plethora of old timbers. I love the variety of colours, patinas and textures of the wood and the history that it has seen.

My mind works overtime considering what uses I could do with old reclaimed barn wood. I really believe that what new timber is used for interior decoration can easily be substituted with reclaimed timbers. The colours and the textures not too mention the sense of history that these timbers evoke, I think can be easily adapted to modern uses.

While walking the other Saturday in Toronto on Queen Street East, there are an amazing number of stores springing up using reclaimed timber in furniture manufacture. Although basically modern designs, and very linear the pieces presented a warmth that modern timbers and veneers just do not have. The only thing that I was a bit disappointed at was the price that some of these stores were charging, which in some cases was rather exorbitant.

Here are some random examples of uses that have all the savoir faire in the world and some of them quite achievable, including some you could do yourself!

It looks great as a major feature as in the case of these panels and walls. When teamed with modern furniture such as the Eames chair it really pops!

The below gazebo is just stunning, as the architect has used the wood in such a way to give a wonderful flowing effect.


  1. A great posting! I love the mixture of rustic and high gloss - it accentuates both ends of the spectrum. I could see those picture frames, for example, working particularly well on a highly reflective black surface. Mark

  2. yes, my parents live in the Pennsylvania countryside now for the past 8 years and they had a spree for awhile where many of the local farmers would wake up in the morning to find their old barns MISSING! People would dismantle them and sell the old wood in the middle of the night -insane!
    I guess I'm part of the problem though, my firm uses a lot of 'reclaimed' lumber and who knows where much of it comes from!
    verification word: PROVE - thats what companies should do with reclaimed lumber!

  3. OMG that gazebo is amazing. But is it really constructed from reclaimed wood?

  4. Wow, these are such amazing creations! I adore the picture frames.
    I am really delighted I found your blog (you left me a comment regarding my sister's wedding - wouldn't it be funny if it were the same wedding!), it looks like it's filled with exquisite things.

  5. I agree, I love the reclaimed wood.. travels from Calgary to Red Deer( Ab ) provide alot of worn but beautiful barns to admire :) I do wish that the talented artisans would not charge so much for something that holds a bit of history for all of us. xx

  6. Reclaimed wood adds such beauty and texture to any room! I love the examples of items you've shown here, those frames are divine!

  7. Architect, that is so funny and yet disappointing that people have no respect for other's property and just want to amke a buck.

    Mark, you are so right, a black surface would be perfect.

    Belle, I think the supports are metal, but the rest is reclaimed wood.

    Mary-Laure, Thank you so much. I am going to have to find out!

    Sarah, I agree with you 100%

    Marcus, many thanks,


Blog Widget by LinkWithin