With renewed life, salvaged wood enjoys a stylish and surprising place in homes across Utah.
By Brad Mee, Photos by Scot Zimmerman
Some people consider salvaged wood as scrap while others regard it as second-hand siding. Both epithets cast it as throw-away timber suitable for little more than building a tree house or a roadside fruit stand. And neither captures the power this material has to deliver bold texture and organic authenticity to rooms of all types.
The fact is, salvaged wood is one of the hottest decorating materials on the scene, and surprising to many, it isn’t just for decking out burly lodges and rustic cabins. It looks just as compelling in a modern mountain home and city-center bungalow. That kind of versatility, not to mention natural appeal, explains why it is all the rage today—and why it has a place in most any dwelling, perhaps even yours. If you’re like us, you’ll be amazed at all the creative ways and unexpected places design pros are integrating reclaimed wood into their projects. Here are some of our favorites from across Utah.
1. The Bed
A plane of salvaged wood appears to be a full-wall headboard connected to a bed crafted from the same material. Designer Barclay Butera applied the planks horizontally to create a more modern look and cleverly selected white walls and bedding to accentuate the wood’s rich russet tones and linear pattern.
2. The Fireplace
A tall fireplace faced in reclaimed wood anchors the living room of a Victory Ranch home in Kamas. Butera used metal to create a sleek modern mantel and narrow posts that graphically segment the span of weathered boards. “Even with the trend toward mountain modern design, people still want that rustic element in their modern homes as a reflection of their mountain surroundings,” he says.
3. The Powder Room Vanity
A reclaimed snow fence cabinet provides a rustic contrast to this powder bathroom’s smooth blue plastered walls and black stone countertop. Butera restricted the boards to those featuring gray tones to complement the natural color of the stone vessel sink.
4. The Kitchen Island
In a striking Park City kitchen, barn siding gives an island base a natural, weathered look that can’t be recreated with modern finishes or materials. A variety of wood tones accentuates the repurposed material and its horizontal application. Design by Stanton Architects.
5. The Tub
As a backdrop to a shapely modern bathtub, a wall of repurposed wood provides an unexpected statement of rustic texture and pattern. By choosing a simple roman shade for the window treatment, Butera didn’t detract from the compelling visual tension created by the sleek tub and primitive wall material.
6. The Bar
In a Park City home, the modern design of a granite waterfall countertop stands out against the room’s rustic barn wood wall. The designers at LMK Interior Design chose the same wood to clad the inner face of the island, tying the elements together. Boards with knots, splits and nail holes were favored to heighten the materials’ compelling contrast. Flowers by Orchid Dynasty.
7. The Family Room Wall
Designer Anne-Marie Barton gave a 75-year-old Sugar House bungalow a farmhouse-meets-modern overhaul and used peel n’ place Stikwood reclaimed planking (see sidebar) to transform its family room wall from bland to texture-rich and rustically chic. The material’s weathered barn-wood-look provides a spirited backdrop for the young homeowners’ art collection and guitar.
8. The Master Bathroom
Repurposed wood can go anywhere, even in a modern bathroom. Designed by Stanton Architects, this Park City bathroom features towers of rough salvaged wood that warm the white, sleek space and adds an organic design element that’s ideally suited for the home’s mountain locale.
9. The Bunks
For a Tuhaye home, Designer Marian Rockwood created sliding bunk-room doors using wood reclaimed from a former tobacco-processing plant— they still bear an earthy raw tobacco aroma. She incorporated the same natural wood in the room’s stacked beds.
10. The Vanity Mirror
Years of weather makes old wood more, not less, desirable. In this Wolf Creek bathroom designed by Anne-Marie Barton, it richly dresses the wall and transforms an oval mirror into a work of art. The difference in color between the wall’s repurposed wood and that of the mirror makes Barton’s layered wood treatments more rousing.