By now you’ve probably seen countless pictures of accent walls crafted of reclaimed wood. Often they come from an antique barn or another historic structure. And while these are lovely and full of character, these days many homeowners are looking to put their own stamp on this idea. In the projects that follow, architects, interior and landscape designers, woodworkers and artists have found ways to do something different and original with salvaged wood.
1. Mix wood species. More than 180,000 Houzzers have filed away this photo of a headboard wall made of reclaimed wood. The wall is composed of wood from four barns in Lancaster County — aged hemlock lumber brings in silvery gray, while mushroom boards made from cypress add warmth and knots to the texture palette. The designers installed the wood in its raw form — no sanding or staining. As for how to arrange it, designer David Fierabend said that they played around with the composition. He described the final result as “kind of jigsaw-y puzzle-ish, but with clean, sharp edges.” Another detail not revealed in this daylight shot provides another great idea: backlighting the wall. The designers placed the accent wall out 8 inches from the blue wall, then backlighted it to provide a glowing ambience after dark.
2. Combine untreated and painted pieces. Throughout the home he shares with his wife, Morgan Lord, custom framer and woodworker Raun Meyn added layers of history via the reclaimed pieces he uses at his business, Foundre: Made. The dining room wall, aptly placed next to their album collection, provides a strong rhythm thanks to Meyn’s graphic eye. He laid out an energetic composition of reclaimed lumber. They are a mix of barn boards and slightly bluish-gray house siding. The use of two materials provides a strong contrast. To prep the boards for an installation like this, Meyn runs them through a planer after removing all the old nails and squares them off with a jigsaw. He uses thin finishing nails to attach them to the wall.
3. Go for color, lots and lots of color. In this circa 1910 Craftsman house, the homeowners wanted to use as many materials from the era as possible. These colorful boards were reclaimed from the interior and exterior of an old schoolhouse and adjacent outbuilding and were painted by the children who attended the school. “The boards were originally painted a single color per wall. We looked at the available materials and created a palette arrangement to highlight the variety of colors,” says Shannon Lenstra, owner and CEO of Kon-strux Developments. “The intent was, of course, bringing cheer and whimsy to this basement rec room.” They left the boards in their original weathered condition but sealed them to preserve the look.
4. Plan the composition beforehand. For this laundry room on Mayne Island in British Columbia, the boards were inspired by reclaimed lumber walls but are new. However, the paint could be considered “reclaimed.” Artist Ian McLeod used what he called “the dregs” of all the paint cans left over from other home projects to give the new boards a reclaimed look. He carefully planned the composition, and his partner, Kerry Johnson, meticulously installed them according to his layout.
6. Make new construction look old. This pool house is new construction, but you’d never guess it. This is largely due to the way builder Nathan Daves reused weathered siding from a dilapidated 1930s sharecropper’s house nearby to wrap the building. He derived the style of the structure from vernacular Texas settler architecture. The result is that it looks like an old building that’s been repurposed into a pool house.