Reclaimed Wood as Decor: How Much is Too Much?

A London apartment, furnished almost completely of reclaimed materials—Photo via House & Garden

Last week, we turned a critical eye on exposed brick in homes, an overly popular design trend that readers are apparently quite ready to defend. This week, we turn our attention to something that’s quite possibly even more ubiquitous: reclaimed wood! That is, repurposing lumber from old barns, factories, or even completed renovations and remodels to create tables, benches, accent walls, floors, and everything in between. The ethos of reclaimed wood is great: it involves recycling, it can add warmth, texture, or extra pizazz to an interior. But the fact that reclaimed wood is a really versatile, raw material lends itself to become a classic example of too much of a good thing becoming quite bad.

Curbed New Orleans already tackled this topic a while ago from a local standpoint, pointing out that although salvaging materials in a post-Katrina NOLA is quite common, there are many examples of home renovations that overdose on reclaimed wood, especially that of a “s wampy palette of blues, greens, yellows and grays.” Take a look below—What an eyeful!

lffc86e45-m4xd-w640_h480_q80.jpgThe brown-green reclaimed wood scheme seen in this room actually pervades the entire house. (Photo via Realtor)

ldd3a7e45-m2xd-w640_h480_q80.jpgThis NOLA home incorporates exposed wood walls in several of the rooms (Photo via Realtor)

Bits and pieces of reclaimed wood, whether in furniture or countertops and other surfaces, can be a nice touch. But as is the case with exposed brick, it’s just awkward when the treatment seems pretty random.

ISxf24oc9bi6rx0000000000.jpgWe’re scratching our heads a bit at this reclaimed wood accent wall in a Seattle rental—Is it still an effective accent wall if it kind of goes with the floor?

It’s not only homes. Reclaimed wood has also invaded hip, modern offices and restaurants, all of whom are striving for a cozy, communal feel. And before we know it, reclaimed wood might enter the realm of antlers and Keep Calm and Carry On posters, doomed to overexposure and mediocrity.

yelp%20office.jpgYelp headquarters in San Francisco.

pm541jgym8.jpgReclaimed wood communal table seen in a restaurant—Photo via Remodelista

Do you agree it’s time to tone it down a notch (or two)? Even better, have thoughts on how to do reclaimed wood right? Please discuss in the comments.

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So Over Exposed Brick: Let’s Stop the Masonry Madness [Curbed]
Must All Houses Have Open-Plan Interiors Now? [Curbed]
Are You a Minimalist, a Maximalist, or Somewhere in Between? [Curbed]
Which Kitchen Decor Trends Would You Do Away With? [Curbed]
What’s Wrong With Putting a TV Above the Fireplace? [Curbed]
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All Weekly Decor Rant posts [Curbed]

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