Simply put, reclaimed furniture is furniture that has been upcycled from wood, metal and plastics that have previously been used for alternative reasons.
Reclaimed furniture and upcycling are becoming ever more popular nationwide, as the fact that the raw materials have been repurposed means that, by nature, every single piece is totally unique, unusual and can be a real talking point in a house.
With people always looking to set their home a rung above their friends with added character and sophistication, it’s little wonder that the market for reclaimed furniture is currently booming.
It can also be a great way to save while renovating your house and who doesn’t like savings. As if that’s not enough, the fact that the materials are repurposed means that they aren’t going to waste or landfill. This reduces the need for more wood to be produced – taking a small step in the right direction against deforestation.
What’s The Process?
When looking to construct a stylish piece of reclaimed furniture, the first step is generally to source the necessary raw materials. By far and away the most popular material for reclaimed furniture is reclaimed wood and timber; this can come from a variety of places and purposes including railway sleepers, roof timber beams or even floorboards.
Popular locations to procure this are old and derelict factories, industrial warehouses and barns where the salvage of reclaimed wood reduces waste and increases profits. With the right amount of imagination, just about anything can be a source of reclaimed materials.
So, by this process grounded boats develop into armchairs, broken sheds into stools, old oak barrels become hardwood tables and driftwood can make arty bed frames. Just select a piece of raw material the approximate size that you need, and you’ve made the first step, the next is the vision.
Each craftsman has their own processes and idiosyncrasies that direct their creations to be completely unique, special and sought after. But first, the wood must be quality checked for woodworm, decay or other such irreparable damage before It can be crafted and sold. After all, who wants a new cabinet, table or sideboards that are full of small holes or old nails, bolts and screws?
Don’t People Turn Their Noses Up at Reclaimed Furniture?
Absolutely not! We aren’t talking about the kinds of slightly scruffy upcycling attempts you might have stumbled across on Facebook Marketplace. We’re talking about sleek and stylish seating options, new and ingenious storage solutions, and even art deco sofas can be crafted out of reclaimed materials.
Manufacturers of reclaimed furniture have been known to specifically search out the optimal piece of reclaimed wood or metal. A process that can extend the creation process by weeks or months.
Reclaimed wood in particular is treated and finished in much the same way as brand new wood for use in brand new furniture pieces; making the wood equally durable for recycled furniture that still lasts a very long time.
Why is the Reclaimed Furniture Market so Big?
The use of what are commonly known as “old-growth trees” is one of the many reasons that reclaimed furniture can be even more durable than its modern counterpart.
Owing to the fact that old-growth trees have been left to grow to full maturity, they have developed to be vastly denser and more stable. The resultant wood is both strong and solid as it has had more time to tighten which, along with the natural knots and weathering, increases the character.
Environmental sustainability does, of course, play a part – in today’s business climate perhaps even more so. Not only is sustainability trendy and good for society, but it also sells.
And with the use of recycled and repurposed materials the carbon footprint, the cutting down of still growing trees and landfill usage attributed to your furniture are all massively reduced. Consider it your good deed for the day.
How to Get Started
First, think about the space that you are trying to fill. This cannot be stressed enough. You don’t want to lose the impact that a reclaimed piece can have on the room by inadvertently hiding it away in a corner.
Next, research the manufacturer and supplier (we know of a reputable little emporium that’s always worth a browse!), as this can vastly impact the quality of the piece.
We are always happy to talk to potential customers through any of our pieces and how best to care for them on the phone, by email or in person. Then consider the piece's care requirements, as sunlight exposure, heat and moisture can all affect a piece and need to be considered when selecting and placing a new piece.
If you can’t offer the piece the environment or levels of care it needs, be it a weekly dusting with a cloth to monthly polishing with beeswax, it is probably best to select another piece.
So next time you’re renovating your house or redecorating your flat, spend some time considering reclaimed furniture and what it can do for your space.
Browse and shop our entire range of pieces of reclaimed furniture and see what we have in stock. We have everything from armchairs, to bedroom pieces like wardrobes and dressers and even reclaimed garden furniture; but be quick before all your favourites are sold.