Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • January 2014
Written by  Brenda Krause

Reclaim your style

Using reclaimed items, and specifically reclaimed wood and metal in furniture-making, is a responsible choice to make in selecting “new” pieces to add to your décor. It is also the hottest new trend! There are one-of-a-kind pieces made from old doors, barn beams and boards, parts of worn-out vintage and antique furniture, and even old parts from machines, tools and motors. My advice is: don’t be impulsive in getting rid of old “junk.” Your trash may truly be someone else’s treasure!

On the other side, many furniture manufacturers are now using reclaimed wood, milling it down or sandblasting off the old finishes, and making new pieces with a weathered or industrial look. Industrial cart wheels are found on just about anything now, including coffee tables and bedroom chests. Metal angle iron, brackets, turnbuckles and rivets are popular details. It is possible you have everything you need in your garage, attic or basement to create your own original. And if not, you do not have to have a huge budget to add a little of this style to your room. Some furniture is made from completely new materials finished to look reclaimed, usually at a lower price.

Designers and architects are incorporating reclaimed and industrial details into many new homes, such as sliding barn doors used as master bedroom doors or as a decorative detail in a family room. If you are not fortunate enough to find the originals, reproductions are available to purchase new.

Reclaimed wood furniture looks great with a more natural, casual décor style, including linen or cotton upholstery, but a well-placed apothecary chest, metal shelving or even an old chunk of wood with a flat surface used as a stool or side table can be a real focal point in even a sophisticated contemporary environment. Add an old metal box or tool to a tabletop, or a vintage map on the wall as your objet d’art. So check out your attic, basement, garage or local home furnishings store and reclaim your home’s style!

Brenda Krause is president and lead interior designer at My Retreat Design furniture and home décor store in Appleton, Wisconsin. She has worked in the design and furnishings industry for over 25 years, and was the founder and owner of the former Cottage Chic home furnishings, etc. store. She has a passion for making her clients’ environments into beautiful and comfortable retreats. For more information, please visit their website at


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