What Should You Know about Reclaimed Wood?

What Should You Know about Reclaimed Wood?

It seems sometimes that everything old is new again especially in Interior Design. As a professional Interior Designer in Bergen County, NJ clients have been asking questions about reclaimed wood as far back as 2011 when the appreciation of working with wood slabs began to gain popularity in a whole new way.

Working with my local artisans to get an in-depth understanding, this is what I tell my clients about this topic:

Concern for the Environment.

Many years ago, we started to be worried about the environment and realized that green design was a way to control many aspects of our air and help keep our planet healthier.

Going green meant a shift towards sourcing items locally to reduce the carbon footprint of shipping things from far away.  We began to seek new ways to use more recycled or repurposed materials to keep them out of landfills.  Dead trees used to be cut up for fireplace wood that put carbon emissions back into the air.  We needed to use this wood in a different way.

One-of-a-kind, custom furnishings seemed the way to go to accomplish this with innovation.  It was a means to do “good works” while expressing your creativity!

Today, the “rustic, yet refined/industrial look” is a hot trend.  Using sheet metal or steel with reclaimed or salvaged lumber is organic and brings nature back into the home.  We figured out how to manage and build a lasting product that gives a dead tree a whole new life!

But all wood is not equal.

In order to ensure that the furniture made from reclaimed wood doesn’t shrivel up and become a potato chip in your house, the progression from tree stump to quality slab has to be managed correctly.


We really don’t know what they are doing and how this process is done when it comes to us from China. We know the price point may be lower, but at what real cost to us?

Wood is a live material that warps and twists and moves. To make sure it stays flat, it has to be dried properly for the environment it will reside in.  Every kiln is not equal, nor is the drying process unless managed by a pro. Finishing the wood is essential to give it the correct coating that will keep it stable so the furnishings can be used without fear of warping, discoloration or staining.

Ensuring that it is smooth and splinter free is important whether it is walnut, cherry, maple ash, elm or oak. Working with the right woodcrafter ensures a product that will be your slice of happiness!

When working with an artisan in wood and metal, I can pick and choose the type of wood, the exact planks, the finishing and even design the base, from wood, or cold rolled steel, stainless steel, brass, bronze or copper.

There is so much beauty that is released from each species of wood. Each slice is exceptional.  Much can be done with wood if you are creative and understand its properties.


Whether your furniture has a straight edge or a live edge, design enhances the final end product and is unique—just for you!

Can you visualize how a piece of furniture that came from reclaimed wood might look in your home?