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What is reclaimed wood furniture?

One of our specialties here at Cannon Hill is a popular style of furniture built from what’s known as “reclaimed” lumber. “Reclaimed” material is lumber that has previously been used, typically in the framing of buildings, which has been salvaged during the demolition or renovation of a building. While the demolition process is underway builders will set aside the old posts, beams, joists, and studs for re-use, saving the perfectly usable wood for an entirely new purpose. We love reclaimed material because it allows us to prolong the lifespan of long-ago felled trees – there’s no reason at all why this material should make its way into a landfill when we can give it a new lease on life in a whole new form. Reclaimed lumber has a beautiful patina typically characterized by pre-existing nail holes, aged grain, and the comparatively rougher milling processes of years gone by.

In reclaimed material, some quantity of dings, cracks, and knots is inevitable  – and, in fact, exactly the desired design effect – so we shoot for a slightly less visual uniformity in favor of more character and a more rustic appearance. We allow for the slightly less “perfect” seams between boards and, often, greater bulk seen in this table. It’s a different look, one especially at home here in New England.

You might see some new furniture marketed as “distressed” or of an antique style, but beware, because some furniture makers merely use cheap composites wrapped in artificially aged veneers. While this style might appear at first glance similar to what you see in this piece, it lacks the durability and stability of true solid construction. Cannon Hill only uses solid wood construction to ensure that our pieces can remain in use for your family for generations to come.

Reclaimed wood is great for custom furniture, because it offers an interesting, historic look that points to the past life of the material that becomes your piece. Reclaimed tables can look equally at home in contemporary, transitional, and rustic interiors, but they might not be right in more formal settings. It’s all a matter of what looks right to you, and what you want from the table. No matter what that is, Cannon Hill will create the perfect piece for you and your project.