Top of many people’s lists when they are house hunting is period features. We can’t get enough of high ceilings, sash and case windows, ornate plaster work and Victorian fireplaces. So much do we love them that even people living in modern new-build houses want to get the period look by installing fireplaces or having leaded strips put on their windows. Trying to find the right period accessories and furniture to fit your period home is far more tricky, and one of the main ways of getting the look right is to use reclaimed wood.
What is Reclaimed Wood?
The growing awareness of environmental concerns has made us more aware than ever of the resources we are using when we buy items for our houses. There is also a growing recognition that there is no point in chopping down trees when there is perfectly good wood already in existence. Salvage companies work with people who are tearing down old warehouses, refurbishing schools or converting barns to put the salvaged wood to good use. The wood is cleaned up, all the nails, screws and paint removed, and it looks as good as new.
Apart from the environmental benefits of reusing something rather than buying new, the main benefit to using reclaimed wood is the colour and finish to the product. If you have a Victorian property, filled with period features and some antiques, nothing is going to look more out of place than a pristinely perfect set of oak living furniture, direct from the factory. However, if you buy reclaimed wood, or opt for a set of furniture with an aged appearance, it is going to blend in well with the rest of your home. Many homeowners love the idea that thousands of children have played games on their reclaimed school wooden floor and even if the wood is not completely perfect, this all adds to the appeal.
Sourcing Reclaimed Wood
The internet has made it much easier to get hold of reclaimed or salvaged wood products. Most salvage yards will have a website, so call around a few local ones to see what sort of items they specialise in. Make friends with the owners and let them know what you’re looking out for and they will call you when something comes in. if buying the wood and having it made up into furniture or other items all seems like far too much hassle, search for one of the many companies which specialise in using reclaimed wood in their designs.
Church buildings are being sold off and converted into flats, hotels and leisure use, and you should be easily able to pick up some pews or other accessories for your home. Pews make great benches for sitting on at a long dining table, and some of the more quirky accessories from a church can look stunning in a hallway or even a bathroom. Expect to pay top prices for good quality pews though as demand for this sort of furniture is so high.