Deco&Design - Presentation of wooden houses

Elegant houses with reclaimed wood

For many of us, associating reclaimed wood with elegance seems impossible. We can't see that wood used decades, even hundreds of years ago can be salvaged and reused to build elegant homes. But we forget that wood never loses its nobility and warmth. Nucul will continue to remain an aristocrat, oak tree command respect and the paltin to fascinate with its "silk" many years after a piece of furniture was built. Why then do we think that wood used to build houses, barns or other fixtures would lose its qualities?

The years have taken their toll on the wood used in construction, which over time takes on a natural patina that can make it even more valuable. I had the opportunity to see how the oak pews in a 200-year-old church looked after cleaning. They used to look black, and the pattern of the wood was almost invisible. After they had been carefully cleaned, the pores of the oak were left with the patina of time and in the end they looked incredible. By cleaning, the wood regained its colour and the patina brought out the design. Surely if new pews had been made they would not have looked so good.

elegant home

But back to the houses. Pictured above is the living room of a cottage. Yes, a luxury chalet in the Austrian Alps that can be rented for 7000 euro/night. It's not a big building with dozens of rooms, but a chalet that can be used by up to 11 people. Much of the wood in the cabin is salvaged from the old building made in the 18th century. The green wooden shutter covering the mirror has also been recovered from there. Do you think that without the old beams or the weather-structured wood with which the walls were clad it would have been more elegant? I think that's where the charm comes from justifying its price.

elegant home

Another house, this time in Wyoming, USA, that you can believe is at least several hundred years old. In fact it was built a few years ago by a company that uses reclaimed wood from old houses in the northern United States. The firm deals only in special, custom designs, managing to replicate the air of old Wild West farmhouses or blend old wood with steel and concrete for a modern look. Old houses are brought into their own space where the wood is salvaged and sorted. Some is used in the structure of the houses, some is processed to make doors, windows, flooring or furniture. Extraordinarily, the company's architects also involve the beneficiary in the project, who is invited to choose the most suitable wood for their future home.

elegant home

The building is actually composed of 5 buildings connected by wooden and glass walkways. In some rooms reclaimed pine wood was used to make the walls as they were built in the past, i.e. horizontal wooden beams with the gaps between them filled with clay. Despite this old look the room loses none of its elegance, and the old pieces of furniture, brought from France and England, only emphasise this.

elegant home

Reclaimed wood can also be found in the kitchen. The simple grey cabinets combine perfectly with the stone worktop, and the old, oval table, on which the silver candlesticks sit solemnly, contributes to the kitchen's elegant rustic look.

elegant home

Although it seems impossible, reclaimed wood can also be used in the construction of modern houses. The same US firm manages to combine it very well with concrete, steel and glass.

elegant home

The design of the house is modern, with straight lines, large windows, structured concrete and stacked floor plans. Wood is used both in the construction of some of the walls and the interior of the roof. A fireplace is built on one of the outside terraces, which offers a superb view of the mountains. The flooring is a combination of concrete and reclaimed planks and the furniture is made of old beams.

elegant home

Inside, we discover an elegant, airy, minimally furnished space. We find the combination of glass, concrete and wood on the outside. It's a light-filled space, slightly cool because of the stone and the dominant grey colour, a coolness softened by the woolly white carpet and fur-covered armchairs. The ceiling and one of the walls is reclaimed wood, and the coffee table between the armchairs and the sofa is made from three huge slices of wood.

elegant home

Recovered wood is a material ennobled by the passage of time and it is a shame not to use it. It would be good to start throwing harder and recovering more. And we should only put wood salvaged from old buildings on the fire if it is rotten or decayed and becomes dangerous for the "clean" wood in the house.

elegant home

photo source: (Austria); (USA)

About the author

Mihaela Radu

Mihaela Radu is a chemical engineer but has a great passion for wood. She has been working in the field for more than 20 years, wood finishing being what defined her during this period. She gained experience working in a research institute, in her own company, as well as in a multinational. She wants to continuously share her experience with those who have the same passion - and more.

1 comment

Add a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe to newsletter