Barnwood Furniture: Use Reclaimed Wood for Your Home's Next Focal Piece March 03 2014, 0 Comments

Barnwood Furniture
All recycled lumber is essentially the same – True or False?

The above statement is false. Enthusiasts abound who will argue this simple fact: barnwood furniture is best.

Let’s back up a minute. Using recycled – or “reclaimed” wood for custom furniture pieces is a hot trend right now.

Why Use Reclaimed Barnwood?

Because it’s a triple winner:

  • Environmentalists are happy about a reduction in building-material production and  waste
  • Craftspeople and entrepreneurs find that this material is inherently strong and has a beautiful history
  • Customers have the opportunity to secure something truly novel and incorporate a real conversation-starter piece into their home

Reclaimed wood can come from crates, shipyards, bowling alleys, sports venues, homes, offices...you name it.

But there’s something about barnwood furniture that instantly sparks interest.  It might look like any other piece of reclaimed wood, but it’s not. Maybe it’s the fact that the old red barns we see in photographs and paintings simply aren’t made anymore because newly constructed barns are necessarily made of materials that are more cost-efficient and practical.

Barnwood is Interesting

Maybe it’s the nostalgic feeling that people get and the fact that so many good stories seem to happen in barns: kids having horses and pigs as pets, the sweet smell of hay, and the dusty corners with old bric-a-brac that could feed an imagination for years. Reclaimed wood can be harvested from almost any building source and come in a range of painted colors or finished hues that absolutely cannot be duplicated. The pedigree of a piece of barnwood furniture can literally tell the story of a family, town or region.

Barnwood is Strong

Since the wood is weathered, it is inherently stronger and dryer than recently milled wood. It can stand up to greater amounts of pressure and resists warping. The extent of weathering of barns will vary from locale to locale and is greatly dependent on the weather conditions in which it existed. . 

So what kind of pieces best showcase reclaimed wood drawn strictly from barns?

Barnwood is often used in stand alone and built in case goods.   A barnwood trestle table complete with benches is an instant star in any kitchen.  Buffets, hutches and sideboards work well placed in any room that calls for the warmth that only wood furniture can provide.  Other worthy examples of barnwood furniture include entertainment centers, bookcases, armoires, trunks, chests of drawers and sleigh beds. The qualities inherent in barnwood furniture are simultaneously tangible and intangible.  When one pictures a barn that has stood alone perhaps on a desolate wind-swept and sun-scorched prairie, it can send one's imagination soaring.  Running your fingers across a piece of barnwood furniture allows anyone to literally connect with history.

I've found that almost any piece of custom furniture made of barnwood will become a focal point in your home.  It will be a treasure that will be passed down for generations to come.  I beg of you not to baby your wood furniture though, for any dent or ding that occurs during its use is just another memory preserved!  Enjoy!