Saving Tree Shopping- A Lovesong for Reclaimed Wood

by - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

from susie's woodshop
I have been watching a lot of home renovation shows lately (ok, just Property Brothers) and it really has me thinking. First, are they elf people? Descendents of Arwen and Aragorn maybe? They are so pretty it's basically back to ugly again, and you don't see that often.

Secondly, they use a whole lot of wood in these renovations. Don't get me wrong, I love that they are taking houses that are one bad owner from being razed and restore them into something beautiful. That's the dream here, right? On the other hand, so much lumber liquidators. So much of the furniture, flooring, and building supplies are made of wood, Maybe some of this is necessary, and at least it gets a ton of use, but it does make me wonder where you can update your house without trees coming down? At least minimize the impact? I mean, maybe the Property Brothers aren't woodland elves, so this isn't a priority for them, but if they ran into an ent, maybe they would change their mind. Here are my thoughts on how to minimize the trees and maximize the awesomeness of your decor.

1. Get it Used- Wood furniture is probably the absolute easiest to find something beautiful, functional, and used. Unless you are buying some show piece, you can find a wood table in the shape and size you want with a minimal amount of thrifting and antiquing. Equally great is that you can sand down most tables and refinish them, so it isn't a huge leap to your style. A little bit more time, but a lot less money, and no new trees come down! Eat that Pottery Barn! You can find most wood furniture and accent pieces you would ever need used, so start there.

2. Get it in a More Sustainable Material- The answer is not plastic (in my heart, it is hardly ever plastic, and I think the ents would agree)! On the other hand, materials like bamboo and cork can give you a similar look to wood with a much more eco-friendly process behind it. Sustainably farmed bamboo can grow back at a much faster rate than wood, and for cork, they shave the material off the tree and never hurt the tree. I think if we ever get to refinishing our floors, I would go with bamboo or...

3. RECLAIMED- Have you seen those reclaimed wood floors? They are the prettiest. Reclaimed wood is a huge trend on Etsy, so you can buy all kind of beautiful housewares and decor in reclaimed wood (not just floors and doors). I poked around and found some truly beautiful stuff. When I hear reclaimed, I assume everything looks rustic, but reclaimed wood furniture comes in all sorts of styles. I am going to share some of my favorites, but be sure to look around!

Here are about 15 things you can buy made of reclaimed wood for your house or your gifting! I love these as inspiration, but know there is so much out there, so do your research!


Kitchen Islands- I bought The Boy this kitchen island from Herb's Furnishing for Christmas. It was a splurge, but we had just got a free dining room table from Buy Nothing, so it felt worth it. The extra prep space is popular with The Boy, and the middle shelf (known as the dinosaur shelf) is very popular with the Bub. It looks absolutely beautiful, while still being very simple and understated. So glad we went for this rather than whatever we could find on Amazon. They have lots of options and are very easy to work with if you write them to ask for a custom size or idea.

Another simpler version can be found from H Barnwood Creations. I like the low shelf, and it looks like a nice size for a smaller kitchen.

If this simple island isn't your style, you can find tons of other recycled and reclaimed options. This kitchen island from The Cultured Artisan has a chunky, country look, but it might look really pretty in a European or Tuscan style space as well.

from Eleventy One Studio
from Eleventy One Sudio
Art- You can really feature reclaimed wood in your home with your art, and you can absolutely find a piece that fits your style. Eleventy One Studio in Wisconsin makes soft, geometric pieces out of reclaimed wood that would look at home in lots of different homes. Priced between 50 and 250 dollars, these wall sculptures look much more expensive, so it might be a great way to fancy up a space. Dallas Farmhouse makes similar geometric pieces with a slightly rougher, more rustic aesthetic. Lakefront Woods makes gorgeous geometric wall sculptures of reclaimed wood that remind me of folk art or Southwestern art. Such a similar method with a totally different finish and effect. I also really love their wall shelf, so check it out.

There are TONS of reclaimed wood mirrors (mirrors can also be found in any antique store- why do we buy brand new mirrors?) on Etsy in lots of styles, like this one from HC Woodworking.It looks perfect for a beachy space. Here's a round one with a little more rustic (maybe Pacific Northwest?) feel from Bonsoni.

These fun, striped reclaimed wood letters (from Thomas Stinehart in South Carolina, who makes all sorts of stylish reclaimed wood decor pieces) might look perfect in a kitchen or a kid's room. I find it interesting you can find TONS of beautiful American flags made out of reclaimed wood, but I like some of them like this one from Simple Roots Decor so much that I might splurge on one for our 4th of July decor. Not Patriotic enough? Check out this amazing American map made out of reclaimed pallet wood from Susan Marie May. Barnwood Decor sells an arrow made of reclaimed wood as well.

from Reclaim the Shed
You can find all kinds of holiday decorations made of reclaimed wood, and I find that lovely and poetic- what speaks more to the beauty of Christmas than taking something old and unwanted and making it new again? Reclaim the Shed makes simple reclaimed Christmas ornaments that might make lovely gifts. GFT Woodcrafts makes miniature Christmas trees and Christmas candles out of reclaimed wood for the Christmas table. Alma Boheme in Savannah, Georgia makes all kinds of pallet wood signs, including Christmas trees like this one. Silver Holly LLC in Bend, Oregon makes reclaimed barnwood creches for Willow Tree Nativity sets.

from Unique Industry
Coffee Table- This is one of the best ones to look into, because there are oodles of choices. My favorite? This reclaimed table from Unique Industry in Boston. I like the balance between the rustic materials and modern design. Plus, there is storage, which every piece of furniture needs. For a less costly but similar table, check out Altas Wood Co's coffee table that also has a shelf, reclaimed wood, and a clean, modern look (and they have media console tables in a similar style). Equally modern (love these hairpin legs) but even simpler is this coffee table from Reclaimed Wood USA (check out their awesome end tables too).

If you want something really special and natural, Dendro Co in Chicago makes coffee tables with a live edge, and it looks just gorgeous. Really memorable because it looks like a tree trunk in your living room.
from Art Glamour Sligo
Headboards- I am sort of in love with the headboards I found on this search, which just look so consistently beautiful and unique. Have you ever seen anything like this headboard from Art Glamour Sligo? The stripes and colors are gorgeous, and they have a very smooth finish, so it's the find of headboard you can still lean against. They have lots of options, so be sure to poke around. This grey and geometric headboard from Wooden Geometric looks a little more rustic, but very pretty. You can even find a beautiful modern bed made of reclaimed wood from WeareMFO. I would feel like a poser sleeping in this bed, but wow is it a showstopper.

from Hippie House Co
Shelves- I love these wall shelves from Hippe House Co in Dallas, which look like a perfect gift for an apartment-dweller. Clean and modern without seeming overwrought. Woodengeometric makes reclaimed geometric shelves as well, in lots of shapes and configurations. I bought my beloved friend these reclaimed wood mountain art shelves for Christmas (as far as I know, they were pretty great in person- I hope Melissa doesn't mind me writing about this). The store, Bourbon Moth, sells a bunch of really cool reclaimed wood pieces for your house. Sound Side Carpentry sells simple floating shelves made entirely of reclaimed barn wood. I feel like these would go really well in lots of minimalist spaces, but it could also work in a cottage-style house like ours. Check out these hanging shelves from Makers Eyes too. Barnwood USA shelves are also made in the USA, and they have simple geometric squares.

from the Grain Expression
Coasters- The Grain Expression out of Wisconsin sells wood coasters with stripes of multiple kinds of wood, many of which are reclaimed. A very cool idea and perfect workmanship- it might makes for a good housewarming gift? My favorites might be these ones from susies woodshop, because the natural edge looks so pretty and fresh.
from Lakefront Woods
Serving Trays- This might make the perfect wedding gift (especially paired with some Breakfast in Bed themed presents?) Even better as a Mother's Day gift? You can find so many lovely ones on Etsy, though my favorite is probably this one from Lakefront Woods, because their intricate geometric designs remind me of a quilt or just home. There is a homey-ness to it that makes it feel like a special breakfast in bed. Check out the sweet arrow handles on this one from Reclaimed Look. Pear 44 has super simple serving trays at the same price you would get a serving tray at Target.

from Redwood Decor
Wind Chimes- These redwood chimes are so special (and really beautiful). Wes from Willits, California pulls pieces of redwood trees that were cut down 60 to 100 years ago and have just been laying on the forest floor and makes them into beautiful objects like these wind chimes for Redwood Decor. Might make an amazing gift!

from Brand MOJO Interiors
Dining Table- Brand MOJO Interiors from South Carolina sells this table that is exactly our style- if we hadn't found our table used, this is probably the one we would have picked up in the end. I like that it is round, simple, but still has some interesting detail underneath. If you like that look, but want something a little more modern and masculine, Mortise and Tenon sells a reclaimed table similar to this one, but with a metal bottom.  Cloud Noir in Los Angeles sells clean modern industrial benches and dining tables. They seem especially thoughtful about the choice of wood, and the grain looks beautiful. It is also a pretty budget-friendly option if you like that modernist look. Hippie House Co in Dallas sells all kinds of reclaimed wood objects (so poke around!) but my favorite is their herringbone design table. Beautiful and a little bit trendy all in one. Wonderland Woodworks sells all sorts of tables out of Baltimore, and this country-style one is my favorite, though I also love the ones that come with benches. Legacy Building sells reclaimed wood dining tables with a clean, more preppy and polished look. Stumptown Reclaimed makes minimalist tables and coffee tables with hairpin or iron legs. Both look great.

from Terramae and Co
Dart Board- If you have a game room (or live in a bar), you can house your dartboard in a semi-rustic reclaimed wood cabinet from Terramae and Co. Random, but it goes to show just how many things come in reclaimed wood! Need another manly accessory? Terramae and Co sells a beer cooler that looks awesome even to this beer non-drinker.
from Kodama Joinery

Kitchen Accessories- I love this magnetic knife board from Kodama Joinery so much more than the regular on the counter rack- so pretty, simple, and all reclaimed wood. You can get so much for your kitchen in reclaimed wood instead of regular wood (or even worse, plastic). You can even get a potato bin  from Grindstone Designs in Missouri (they make all kinds of cool reclaimed wood stuff), which would make for pretty kitchen decor or a great place to store your epic number of potatoes. No judgement, everyone's got their something. You can find lots of reclaimed bottle openers like this especially good-looking one from Wood Thumb USA, I even found reclaimed wood dog bowls!

from Cherry Hill Design Co
Lazy Susan- How old are you when these stop seeming really cool? They make your food twirl for goodness sakes! I love this lazy susan from Cherry Hill Design Co, which looks fresh and a little rustic. This Massachusets store has such classy stuff.

from Rustic Reproductions
Benches and Seating- Rustic Reproductions makes reclaimed wood stools that would look great in industrial or even more natural kitchens. If you have a less distinctive space, these are the kind of pieces that won't look out of place, but will make the counter look more special. You can find any kind of seating made of reclaimed wood and pallets. I like this storage bench from Designs 2 Create, because it has a lot of good options and flexibility; it could even be used at the foot of a bed or in a bedroom. This shoe storage bench from Knotty Pallet would be perfect for a mudroom space.

from Tiny Shed
Desk- My favorite reclaimed wood desk is this drafting table, where you can tip up the desktop from Tiny Shed in Portland, Oregon. It is made of recycled shipping gontainers, if you can believe it.  Linden Avenue North sells a small simple writing desk with a lot of variation and color on the desktop. Unique Industry sells a gorgeous desk made of reclaimed wood and antique printer drawers, with tons of little pockets, historical interest, and modern style (it sounds impossible, but seriously, check it out- the coolest thing). iReclaimed sells a rustic industrial desk with an l-shaped design.

from Split Grain
Lighting- Split Grain makes light sculptures (that would look perfect on a desk or table) from reclaimed wood from trees that were mostly decimated in forest fires near Los Angeles. This artist works with Treasured Landscape to use wood that would otherwise be destroyed. Their pieces are incredibly unique (I have never seen anything like them), modern, and clean-lined. Yet they also are loyal to the organic lines and materiality of the wood. To me, they look like they belong in an office with a modern leather chair. Born Again Woodworks makes most of their lighting fixtures out of reclaimed materials, including their wood bases. They have the mason jar chandeliers, but they also have some other options that are a little less country.

from Rooster Studios
Yarn Bowl- Because obviously we all need one, right? I do think it's sweet that Rooster Studios knows the exact story of the wood they are using, and the bowls do look smooth, lovely, and maybe useful? Could be a great gift for the knitter in your life.

from Once Upon a Hive
Firewood Holders, Floor Mats, Shower Mats- I want to bring attention to Once Upon a Hive from Estes Park, Colorado. This etsy store is trying to keep wood out of landfills and has come up with some beautiful and creative uses for the materials. My favorite is the wood holder, which looks like it would work so well and make what could be an eyesore into a pretty spot.

from DANIELLE id
Jewelry Holders- One of The Boy's cousins hung her jewelry up in her room on an old window frame, and it was the first it ever occurred to me that you could treat your jewelry like art in your room. With holders like this one from DANIELLE id, your jewelry collection can really be the most beautiful part of your room! One of my favorite Etsy stores, Andrews Reclaimed, sells a beautiful rack for jewelry as well.

Picture Frames- ABW Frames makes collage frames and picture frames out of reclaimed barn wood (they also sell materials for making a barnwood wall in your house, which I just think is so cool. If anyone wants to try this, invite me over and I will help!). We have bought quite a few frames from Rustic and Refined design, which is made from repurposed wood in the United States, and they have worked out really well. Depending on the design you choose, it looks like a brand new frame, no rusticness needed.

Need to see more? There are tons of reclaimed wood furniture companies, but here are a few of my favorites I found- Urban Hardwoods (these are so gorgeous and organic looking), Reclaimed Barnwood  Furniture (sturdy, piecey, and traditional), Woodland Creek Furniture, Ecochic Furniture (super colorful and bright), Western Heritage Furniture (really fancy, but super cool ideas), and The Old Wood Co (tagline "Remade in the USA").

They even have reclaimed wood options at Uncommon Goods, Pottery Barn (but not nearly everything, so keep an eye out), and Crate and Barrel. Reclaimed wood may be a trend, but I expect it will pick up steam, not lose it.

All of this is really cool, and I love that you can get so many things made out of reclaimed wood. But how many times do we purchase a coffee table in a year? How many headboards in a lifetime? Unless we are on the Property Brothers purchasing team (I want that job), probably not many. The rest of the month we will focus on those tree-based purchases we make all the time- paper products!

 If we can combine some great big decisions with making regular positive decisions by buying recycled and tree-free everyday products, we could save thousands of trees in a lifetime. That's a lot of oxygen produced and CO2 sucked up! If you want some ideas of basic purchases to switch up, check out Greening the Basics Part One and Part Two. Also, if you want more Eco-Friendly Shopping Inspiration, check out my Mega List of Shopping Lists!

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2 comments

  1. Thanks, Sunshine Guerilla, for mentioning our shop and our table. We're actually based in North Carolina, but our virtual showroom is wherever you are.
    :)

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure Marisa! Which one are you and I will happily fix it! Trying to help people find treasures where they (and you!) are!

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