Repurposing wood into beautiful new forms

Repurposing wood into beautiful new forms

Wood is a versatile material, and while natural and renewable, also is durable and strong. Even though technology allows us to create synthetic material that closely mimics wood, natural wood has character and ages beautifully, its stains, grains and markings telling a beautiful story.

This is why old wood is not junk, but a potential treasure for your home. The next time you see old wooden doors, windows, pallets or crates, or even plain driftwood lying around unwanted, bring them home. These can add a world of charm and class to your home.

Let us start with the quick-and-easy small items. Trunks and branches, sliced steak-like, can make nice coasters, pot holders, or even a nice top for a side table, if broad enough. Take a thick branch, cut it to about a foot in length, and hollow out about 8 inches of the middle section, leaving both ends intact. Add a hinged lid and you have a charming, rustic mailbox.

Household items like cutting boards can become terrific wall art if you are inclined to paint, or fix a couple of squat, halved wooden bowls to create a pretty wall garden for succulents.

Windows make wonderful trays or breakfast caddies. Just don’t repaint them “ retain the weathered look. Kitchen cabinets are an obvious choice for repurposing windows as well. Similarly, doors can become outdoor benches, or use them as backing for a garden swing. They also are great as unique coffee table tops.

Old wooden fences can make beautiful kitchen cabinets. Don’t even bother with fixing the battered look of the wood. Freshen the paint a little, but without covering up the weathered look underneath. This will help create a rustic look in your kitchen, and if it is a weekend home that you are looking to do up, then this material is just perfect.

Found a lonesome drawer somewhere? Board up the open end, and add a cushion on top to make a stylish ottoman, or line the insides with a blanket for a snug little bed for your pet. Drawers also make excellent stand-alone open shelves. Nail it up to the wall, paint the interior to make it interesting, and you have a place to display a favorite objet-d’art.

Whatever it is that you decide to do, remember that repurposed wood looks best when its age and character is retained. Show off the fact that the material is up cycled, and don’t cover up its seeming flaws too much, so that your new piece of furniture or art tells its own unique story.