We are all being urged to become more eco friendly and start questioning the choices we make when purchasing something new. Reclaimed furniture is now a lot more available with many interior designers loving the look of it as well as choosing it to make eco-conscious design options - a rustic TV stand is a perfect contrast piece of furniture in an ultra-modern living room. In this blog, we look at the three main questions we get asked about reclaimed (or salvaged) wood and why it is a great choice for any style home.
1.Where is reclaimed wood sourced?
Reclaimed wood is sourced from many different places. As well as old buildings being demolished, old railway tracks, old ships, fences and other structures, it is found in a few less commonly known places. It can be off cuts of wood from new furniture production and some is now being reclaimed from water reservoirs.
For example, hardwood forests that were submerged many many years ago to create dams - the trees were flooded over with water - these trees are now being harvested from their underwater resting place, dried and nurtured to use as furniture. Old orchard trees that have lain on the orchard floor are also being salvaged and used for furniture and decor production - using these gives the wood a new lease of life and helps reduce landfill.
2. How does using reclaimed wood benefit the environment?
First and foremost reclaimed wood reduces landfill waste, which is where it would be headed if it were not being reclaimed. But there are other benefits as well - it helps reduce deforestation, which is a huge issue in our planet today.
When new wood is cut down on a large scale the trees are often younger trees so a forest never really fully matures - this affects the ecosystem and as such has a knock-on effect on the local wildlife, even ending in extinction for some species. Reclaimed wood furniture is also often hand-finished - this provides employment for people, not machines. For example, an industrial table top or rustic dining table produced from reclaimed wood is more likely to be hand finished than a regular factory produced new wood tabletop.
3. What are the benefits of using reclaimed wood in the home?
Now we have looked at why choosing reclaimed wood furniture is an eco-conscious choice, let's look at the aesthetic reasons people choose reclaimed wood in their homes. Reclaimed wood furniture is one of those things that will create warmth in your home - a homeliness that new wood furniture just can't compete with - it will be peppered with age-related undulations such as old nail and bolt holes - none of these in any way affects the quality of the furniture piece but they all work together to create character and individuality. Many people find that having reclaimed wood in the home enhances human wellness as we all seek ways to connect with nature more and more; working at a reclaimed wood desk is a great way to connect with nature throughout your working day!
If you're thinking of buying reclaimed, but are worried about the cost, take a look at our blog Is Reclaimed Wood Cheaper than New?, or if you're concerned that it will take more to look after, read our How to Treat Marks on Reclaimed Wood Furniture for some easy tips.