Reclaimed Beauty
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Reclaimed Beauty

Getting the look you want with something repurposed rather than buying new.

By Julie Kuczynski
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Making use of old materials in building is nothing new, but when it comes to building or renovating your cabin or cottage, it can be especially important to create the right look and feel in a space so it speaks to your personality, traditions and heritage. Reclaimed materials can help provide just the right atmosphere you are looking for at your place, and they can help save you on budget, not to mention saving whatever you are using from possibly going into a landfill. Browse the next few pages to get ideas for your own space. If it feels right, you’ll know.
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Wooden bathroom
All the wood in this cabin bathroom is reclaimed from a barn. The countertop is a reclaimed timber with epoxy finish. The barn owners (a couple in their 80s) actually traveled to see the buyers’ property to give their blessing before selling their barn. The cabin owners used the whole barn, even the hardware, when building. For fun, on the other side of the “outhouse” door is a toilet that requires one to pick up a full can of maple syrup to flush. Design/Builder: Town & Country Cedar Homes,
Textured kitchen
The cabinets and walls in this kitchen area are made of reclaimed California Douglas fir barn wood. Each piece was specifically placed due to its color, grain and texture. The counter-top and backsplash are made of reclaimed, hand-hewn Indonesian teak wood. Notice the rustic branch handles on the woodwork covering the refrigerator. Design/Builder: Simmons & Company, Filename: CBN-DI1014_01.jpg
Tin island
When owners Jason and Jen Diehl renovated their cottage-like kitchen, Jason crafted this unique island covered with reclaimed tin ceiling tiles from a century-old brewery in Defiance, Ohio. They also used wood molding from the brewery and an old picture frame for additional molding on the island. Only a few spaces needed new woodwork. The island was then covered with coats of white enamel paint. The light fixture and dining set, among other items in the kitchen, are vintage. Think of possible reclaimed materials other than wood to create a look that makes a statement. Design/Builder: Jason Diehl, cottage owner
Rustic feel
“Warm” is the first word that comes to mind when looking at this reclaimed barn wood kitchen. The wood for the cabinets and flooring is from barns and corrals in the Swan River Valley of Montana that would otherwise have been burnt or disposed of. The wood has new life in this cabin kitchen. Other antique touches include the stove and farmhouse-style sink. The countertops are made of rolled, cold steel that was distressed with a blow torch and attached to the cabinets with rivets. The reclaimed wood for the cabinets, flooring, trim and accents was provided by Wild Wood Eccentrics, Design: Panache Interiors of Montana Builder: Bigfork Builders,
Railroad hardware
This bathroom contains reclaimed railroad hardware. On the cabinet, hammered railroad spikes make cabinet and drawer handles. Such spikes were used to secure rails to the wooden cross-ties on a railroad. On the wall there’s a rail anchor toilet paper holder, and on the door there’s a rail anchor door handle, each with a cast-iron washer. The rail anchors were once clipped to the underside of a rail on a railroad to keep it from creeping. These pieces can also be made into a towel bar or curtain brackets. The wall also has an insulator wall hook. Railroad insulators carried wires for electricity and communications. Design: RailroadWare,
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Glass & grain
The beautifully colored transom panel in this image is a reclaimed piece that the cabin owner purchased. The place also contains wood that was originally reclaimed from the demolition of a dock building in the Seattle, Wash., area. It was then reused in a lumber mill building. For use in this cabin, the wood was milled into boards. The weathered outer surfaces of the timbers were milled off and utilized for the wall boards shown here. Boards milled from the interior of the mill building became the rough-sawn floorboards. Design: Joseph Magaddino Architecture, Builder: Denman Construction,
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Wine barrel chandelier
Make a statement at your getaway with an eight-arm chandelier handcrafted from reclaimed French oak wine barrel staves and hoops, and from polished nickel. The cracks and variations in the wood add rustic charm. The piece, from Restoration Hardware, weighs 80 pounds, and it is 43 inches wide and 54 inches high. A side note: The flooring in this dining room is 100% recycled oak, originally used as barn framing. Design: Melanie Holden, Holden Design Group,

Living room
The farmhouse doors flanking the fireplace in this lakefront home are made from reclaimed wood. The floors are repurposed antique wood boards. The two granite pieces that make up the hearth are old door steps (found at an architectural salvage shop). The mantel is a 2,000-year-old piece of wood from China. The iron gate, rug, chair and small table are antiques obtained by the owner

Design: Michael Minadeo,

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