The Beauty of Reclaimed Wood

Reclaimed wood creates the charm
Shaped walnut countertop

Our JWH Team loves to introduce reclaimed wood because the right material gives instant warmth and charm to any room.  From flooring to furniture, reclaimed wood is an excellent option. The choices of where to add this accent are plentiful, and new ideas show up constantly.  Surfing the internet for great designs can easily spark some creative applications.

The Hunt

Working with reclaimed wood in custom cabinetry and countertops is a fun and creative challenge for our Millshop.  So the first step is often foraging through old barns in mid-Pennsylvania looking for a hidden treasure.  The longer planks can be used for countertops and wide shelving, while the shorter pieces work well when incorporated into the cabinetry design.  I currently have a “rescued” beam waiting patiently to be installed in the front entry of our Showroom because we want Clients to see the natural beauty and texture first-hand.

Beams & Mantle

In this JWH Kitchen & Family Room renovation, these reclaimed wood beams span the ceiling to frame the dining area.  Not only do they help to disguise the structural framing (once we removed the main dividing wall), the warm tones complement the other finishes.  The texture of the stone fireplace, copper accents, and painted cabinetry create an inviting atmosphere for family meals. The mantle shelf offers a place for display above the stone fireplace.


With clean, crisp edges, shaped as desired, reclaimed wood shows its natural beauty on every level.   We choose the species according to our Client’s desired look and function.  From the lighter tones and dense grain of quartersawn oak and ash to the deep brown and varied texture of chestnut and hickory, we help our clients find the “perfect” wood for their project. To add visual and textural interest, a “living” edge is a beautiful detail.  Here are great tips for a DIY project.


We have found so many benefits of using reclaimed wood for flooring.  Here are the top facts from wood professionals!

  • Save energy:  The process of making reclaimed flooring takes over 10 times less total energy, as compared to using fresh cut trees to produce wood flooring.
  • Save trees:  According to a report by TIME magazine, there are 3 trillion trees in the world.  As a result, with 15 billion trees cut down each year, the global tree count is down 46%.
  • Reduce waster:  According to the EPA there was 16.9 million tons of wood waste in the US in 2014, of which only 2.6 million tons of this wasted wood was recycled.
  • Avoid extinction:  Longleaf heart pine was once the most functional timber for construction during the Industrial Revolution.  However, these trees could take up to 400 years to mature.
  • Confused by the names?  Different names for reclaimed wood include recycled, repurposed, antique, distressed, recovered, upcycled, and distressed.

Looking for more inspiration for designing with reclaimed wood?   Start with the right space planning and cabinetry layout by the JWH Team and let us share our creativity for your home!  Jennifer W. Howard