Wood is one of the most common building materials we have, and its strength and beauty can last many lifetimes. Old timbers have weathered years of storms and heavy traffic, and their usefulness can be prolonged in exciting new ways.
In an older home I renovated for my television series, All for One with Debbie Travis, we took advantage of some beautiful old boards found in the basement laundry room. We were building a centre island for the kitchen, and seized the opportunity to add beauty and character by surrounding the island with the wood. The planks were cleaned up, stained, cut to size and adhered like a veneer to three sides of the kitchen island. The fourth side, not shown, has been left open to allow access to the storage space within the island.
Imagine the many ways you could put recycled wood to use in your home. Run beams along the ceiling of a dining room or den to create an old-world mood. Add style to walls with a chair or plate rail, or wainscotting. Wood tabletops, countertops, backsplashes, and table or lamp bases will all exhibit a unique design that is inherent in the pieces of wood you choose.
There are options for finding reclaimed lumber. Check your local area for outlets that sell wood that has been salvaged from old buildings. If you see a building being torn down, ask where the wood is going; you may be able to make a deal. A walk in the woods or along a beach may unearth fallen logs and driftwood.