Houzz TV: Cool Reclaimed Wood Projects Fill a Craftsman’s Home

Houzz TV: Cool Reclaimed Wood Projects Fill a Craftsman’s Home

Continue Watching
Watch Now
Share this Video:
Replay Video

Houzz TV: Cool Reclaimed Wood Projects Fill a Craftsman’s Home

Raun Meyn comes from a long line of craftsmen. His grandfather was an architect and a cabinetmaker; his father was a welder and gearhead who restored old cars. “I was always right there next to my dad grabbing tools,” Meyn says. His dad would also hoard old sheet metal and rusty angle iron behind their garage for a project that might come along. Meyn picked up the habit, but instead of steel, he scrounges, collects and traffics in reclaimed wood. Lots of it.

The Chicago home he shares with his wife, Morgan Lord
, and their daughter is filled with the results of his tinkering — custom framed art, a console made from Douglas fir, a feature wall covered in old siding, a birch and beadboard bunk bed and more. In his eyes, the older and grittier the wood, the better. “I’m drawn to decay, and the wear and tear of stuff,” Meyn says. “A building halfway falling down covered in graffiti is beautiful to me.”

Comment53
Keep Watching:
Comments (53)
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
minischnauzlady
Very talented! I admire those that can take the "discards" and make something new and beautiful!
46 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
summilux

Warms me heart to see young folks making sawdust; recurrently read in woodworking posts that it's a dying craft. Would love to see more photos of the home and the woodworking space.

30 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Architectural Notice

I applaud the couple's use of reclaimed and recycled material to make their home so lovely and unique. Love the blue chair that they found at a thrift shop. But, unless I'm missing something, the living room seems to be short on seating (only two chairs). Where do guests sit when they entertain?

13 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
detailaddict

I would love to use reclaimed wood in the building of our next house; but where to find it? Working and refinishing the wood isn't the main issue as the husband has a pretty complete woodworking shop; but it seems that unless you know somebody who knows somebody with an old barn they want to tear down, the only other source is companies that have already carried out the dismantling, salvaging and refinishing - for a price of course. We're willing to pay for quality work, but what if we're willing to do the work ourselves? Queries in Freecycle(R) has turned up only pressure-treated decking. Is there another resource out there apart from word-of-mouth for finding reclaimed lumber and beams, or has all of the old wood already been monopolized?


9 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
cherylhockett
We are fortunate to have American Barn and Wood near us. They are a wonderful resource for projects large and small. My son and I have had great fun hunting the organized stacks for home projects. So much character in every piece. The owners can even tell you about the barns that most of the wood came from. Love seeing photos from people who can make something special out of wood with real history.
11 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Visual Jill Interior Decorating

Wow, amazing woodwork. Love the "record shelf/room divider" and the headboard. Such a lovely way to make their home their own. Great job!

12 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Penny Fries

My neighbor has an old barn that has to come down. I told them that reclaimed wood from barns like theirs was in great demand, but they had no idea where to turn to find someone who would dismantle it and pay them a fair price for the lumber. I gave them some info I found online regarding a couple of companies that do that sort of thing, but I don't think those places were anywhere close enough to be interested. I know they won't want to worry about being sued by someone who may get hurt taking the thing down either, but she told me the other day that she wants it down this summer. If you're interested in discussing it with them, let me know by messaging me on Facebook.


7 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
summilux

@detailaddict- where do you live? The North Willamette Valley (Ptld, Salem, Corvallis), among other things, is a woodworkers heaven. 2 salvage businesses, one 3 miles away, the other 7 miles from my home have a great supply of salvaged wood. Several other places have milled hardwoods of many varieties.

2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Gilmans Kitchens and Baths

Wow, truly amazing work and craftsmanship! Love all of the reclaimed wood work, stunning pieces that add so much character to a space.

6 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
detailaddict

We're in the Atlanta area, which seems to be one of the more "throw-away" parts of the country...Someone did tell me about Habitat for Humanity's ReStores, but whether we'd be able to find actual reclaimed wood (as opposed to surplus building lumber) in quantity - IF we happen to be there with the truck on the right day - we don't know. I'm not on Facebook (spend too much time on the computer as it is :)) but was hoping there might be a site similar to Freecycle where people can post salvageable building materials. Or is this too idealistic?


3 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Jewett Farms + Co.

Creativity and personality just burst right out of this lovely home! We are big fans of reclaiming materials. Our designers will sometimes incorporate antique reclaimed timbers into a kitchen design - my favorite is this antique beam, re-purposed as sneaky over-island lighting.

12 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
doone57
I am so very proud of my newphew for what he has accomplished. He has gone from Dr. Destructo (his nickname as a child) always tearing things apart to building amazing things. His Grandfather would loved to redo furniture and build things. His dad was a Pipefitter and made some of the coolest things out of metal in his spare time. They would be very proud of him.
24 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
butlera

I wish I had these kinds of skills! Very cool ideas, and very artistic.

6 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
KIM REED

LOOK'S GREAT RAUN AND MORGAN

MADE BY RAUN DAD RON MEYN

Raun and his father I love this photo love kim

10 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
rogue decor co.

DETAILADDICT: barnwood is a bit more complicated than you think. when people have barns that need taken down, they usually make you pay for it (due to the popularity of it), and you cannot just take what you want, you must take all of it. although not all of it is usually salvageable, so a lot of it gets burned on site. the stuff that is good, needs to be stored flat in a dry place. it then needs de-nailed and it is best to have it kiln dried (kills any kind of bugs that may be in it, and reduces it's moisture content). when working with barn wood, there can be a lot of waste also. say i were to make a 6' table, i sometimes would have to cut from 8' board to get a quality section, though you pay for the whole 8'. it also depends on what you want it for; big operations will have tools to tongue and groove it for flooring, along with adding structural relief marks on the back. one thing to note, most often it is sold by the board foot (many calculators online to help you out). i would suggest searching on craigslist as a lot of local barn wood suppliers use it to market and you can find someone local. you might ask them if they have any "as is" wood that has not been processed, which might save you some money. hope this helps, if you have any specific questions feel free to email me at adam@roguedecor.com.

9 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
midwest2

The "Appalachian" jugs are Western Stoneware, made right here from Illinois Clay!


2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
sirpeabody

Love, love, love that feather board above the bed!

I can relate to this story! My grandfather, a lifelong welder for Ford, also welded small, metal figurines (cars, planes, blue grass musicians, etc.) in his free time, and I am grateful to have so many pieces of his "folk art" in my home.

9 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tsudhonimh

Detailaddict ... If you have "bulk trash" pickup days in your area, get a pickup truck and scan the discard piles for usable lumber before the trash guys get there. Leave piles neatly stacked when you leave.

Check Craigslist for old fencing and old decks someone needs hauled away, and put a WANTED ad in explaining you will help dismantle and haul old wood. You usually have to haul it all and that means having a place to sort out the good stuff and a way to get rid of the bits

Old fencing can be salvaged for the slats, rails and the upper part of the posts, but you can expect to lose 30-50% of the material to breakage and rot. The boards get brittle and may have warped and split.

=============
I've salvaged old wood for projects and there is a
GOOD reason it's expensive if you get it from the salvager. There's a lot of work to getting the old
fasteners out, the embedded dirt in the wood chews up blades, and there
is a lot of waste that has to be dealt with.

And the tetanus shots, bandaids and ER visits add up.

10 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sharon

Really enjoyed seeing his creativity. I love what he's done and the stories that go with it. I love the iron piece on the mantel.

4 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
diyer59

Always be cautious with reclaimed wood. Keep in mind if you like the look of old chipped paint, it could be filled with lead. Also, even if no paint remains, that wood could have been treated with something toxic--make sure you know where it came from.


4 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Rustic Artistry

Love those mosaic framed mirrors in photo 1.

2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
detailaddict

Thanks, Adam and tsudohnimh...I do imagine that there's a lot of work involved, so how much we collect will depend on what and how much we think we can do ourselves in a given time frame...And there will definitely be a learning curve, but that's part of the journey and it will help make the house our own. What we end up making will depend on what we get - e.g., long boards would more likely be turned into flooring than furniture to minimize the waste, and beams would stay beams if possible (hopefully structural and not just aesthetic). I have considered Craigslist and have been checking it out...we'll likely be renting a storage unit anyway as we stage our current home, and the move will be halfway across the state. Caveats about tetanus and ER visits noted (but kinda funny). Thanks for the tips!


3 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
oldschoolmama

My Husband makes all kinds of things out of reclaimed wood. This is a primitive style bench. I'm SO blessed to have a true Craftsman in my life..it's a lost art as most things are machined these days. He collects and uses old hand tools etc on his pieces.

13 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jmpjmp

All the beams in our great room are old chestnut from an old barn. The room was made in the 70s when one could still get this stuff. We recently renovated the room and removed two large built-in bookshelves on either side of a stone fireplace. These originals were cheap plywood and pine. A master carpenter made new shelf units from reclaimed chestnut to match the rest of the room. They are spectacular (and were quite expensive but worth it). The cabinet maker said much of the reclaimed chestnut today comes from old telephone poles! Who wudda thunk?

5 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Moideas

very nice!

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
detailaddict

I guess it makes sense that American chestnut was used to make telephone poles, as it was once the dominant tree east of the Mississippi. We wouldn't think of doing this today of course as any surviving trees are considered rare and precious. We have a piece of furniture made of reclaimed American chestnut taken from a house built just after the Civil War; but I'd also wondered if there weren't also many barns made of this as well as the wood was so common (Actually the Appalachian culture relied on it). Hadn't thought of telephone poles - but as the trees were large, tall and straight they would be obvious candidates.


3 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Reclaimed Lumber Products

@diyer59 You are right, you never really know about the paint or chemicals the wood has been exposed to. For that reason, we do not use any painted material. We don't want our employees breathing lead paint particles as they process the wood. However if you do love the look but are concerned about lead paint or chemicals, there are several products on the market now that are made to encapsulate the lead paint--just do a web search.

@jmpjmp Reclaimed chestnut is my favorite! We are in the Pacific Northwest and have a hard time finding it out here but I love the projects that we have done for customers with it.

Sliding doors · More Info


7 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
V Belle
RESPECT!!! What a craftsman!
7 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
VRA Interiors, LLC

What a craftsman!

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pdk920

Great work, a pleasure to see. I'm glad there's interest in finding and using this beautiful old wood. I personally know of two wonderful pioneer barns that "accidentally" burned down because the owners didn't want to pay taxes on them and the liability laws make it difficult for non-professionals to reclaim the wood. There should be ways for people to do this legally and at a reasonable cost without risking lawsuits.

3 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
L. B.

Dude, you have incredible taste! Very nice indeed.

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patmcmd
Love their home and creativity! More articles like this, please!
1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
scarbowcow

I wish I had such skills... or maybe I wish I knew someone who had such skills to realize the projects I'm always thinking up...


By the way, that is one laid-back cat!

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
s
Wisdom, talent, and skill personified!
1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kkaccordion
In NYC, a guitar shop makes telecasters out of reclaimed wood.
1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
peaton3
You have designed a beautiful home filled with character!
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Lynn G

Makes me want to learn the the old trades...

   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Greg Drew
Great imagination and design sense and yes, the backstory can take a pile of "firewood" to unbelievable heights. I just completed a dining table for some friends. The cherry was harvested decades ago from the mountain that is part of their family farm and the view from my kitchen window. The straighter, less figured boards were used for a bedroom floor in the 200+ year old farm house. The rest were left in barn to gather many decades (and layers) of "barn history".
5 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Victoria
Love the upcycling of older building materials. I wish I had the talent, time and mentor to help me transform my ideas to functional pieces to help my home and lifestyle. With a small stash of power tools and no place to use them, I'm daydreaming of a time and place I can use them or find someone who can help me affordable realize my designs. Talent like that isn't inexpensive tho', especially not in Chicago!
Beautiful work!
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
retirekeywest

My reclaimed barn wood wall.

2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
laryan57

Some of the furniture pieces are nice but some are not. I don't really care for the wall, shelf, or the "headboard". Just because you work with reclaimed wood it doesn't mean everything in your home should be made from it. Sorry, that's just me. My teen daughter is looking over my shoulder reading my comment with a serious attitude. lol!

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Dana S.

Beautiful work - really enjoyed seeing your creativity and vision for your space come to life. Every piece tells so many stories. Thanks for sharing your talent here. Also, your cat is amazing.

   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jan
What a great story about following your strengths, intuition & bliss to make a home
your own!
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
Pasadenaville | Mercantile & Woodworks

Great article and video profile! This is why woodworkers love their craft so much!

1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
T Alcorn
Love the story about reuse of materials. We are building a cabin on our land. Lucky to have a brother-in-law with a barn of reclaimed wood. History of the wood was it came from torn down Army barracks. I've attached pictures of the ceiling and one wall. They aren't complete yet but I'm in love with the look
2 Likes    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flambo1015

I love the imagination and creativity. It seems that everything has multiple uses if you look hard enough. I just finished a bathroom remodel that required me to design and build a double sink vanity and two matching mirrors. I used some original 120 year old wood from my attic floor that was removed to accommodate a new insulation install.

   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
doone57
Raun you need to show the furniture and stuff you have made for restaurants etc.
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Jasmin Kržilo
Great man , keep up the good work .
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
PRO
DownHomeLiving
Reclaimed furnishings are very popular with our customers. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to get the lumber through a kiln to kill any insects that may be present. Here are some pieces we have done.
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
patrn12
I have a reclaimed wood top on my kitchen island. Love it, but the top is "unfinished", and crumbs tend to migrate to the nooks and crannies.

Any advice on how to fill the knots and/or finish the wood? Would like to retain the matte natural look, while making maintenance easier.

Thanks!

Pat H.
   
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Greg Drew
patrn 12, for large cracks I use fine, similarly colored sawdust and Cyano-Acrylate (Super-Glue). Most hardware stores sell it under there own brand or Loctite brand. Just push the sawdust into the area to be filled and drip the CA glue on. It will soak in and dry almost instantly. DON'T TOUCH IT TO SMOOTH IT OUT. CA glue was invented for field suturing wounds in emergencies and hardens almost instantly to skin. A little light sanding when it's dry should smooth things up. To seal the surface I like a product put out by the Sutherland-Welles company of Hyde Park, Vermont. It's called " Millies". It's made from a natural orange oil base with special waxes dissolved in it. Very easy to wipe on. I use it for some of the wooden salad bowls I make. The finish looks like a hand rubbed oil finish with a lot less rubbing.Good Luck.
1 Like    
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
monahter
Reclaimed barn wood vanities
   
Step into a Ferguson Showroom and you'll be surrounded by the latest styles in kitchen, bath and lighting design... Read More