Building with Barnwood: Incorporating Reclaimed Barnwood into Modern Custom Built Homes

With today’s increasing interest in “green” building and environmentally conscious homeowners seeking to minimize their environmental footprint with new custom home projects, high-quality reclaimed building materials are high in demand. Reclaimed barnwood is a prime example of a “green” building material that has gained a tremendous amount of popularity over the past few decades, seamlessly blending a unique old world look with a new design aesthetic; incorporating reclaimed barnwood into modern custom build home adds welcome contrast between old and new. Its versatility is such that it can provide a simple yet bold accent with minimal beams or boards and perfectly complements all types of natural materials.

It is no coincidence that the supply of available barnwood has exponentially increased with the decline in smaller and/ or family owned and operated farms across the country. With the increasing sophistication of large scale farming operations and the scope of the necessary facilities to support, old barns and other wooden buildings are being dissembled across much of the Midwest, New England and Atlantic states. The good news is that the ready supply makes the cost of obtaining this beautiful natural wood extremely affordable, much more than the cost of attempting to replicate the aging that naturally occurred from over decades of exposure to the elements.

The modern apppeal of barnwood is the wide variance in character, color and weathering, dependent largely on whether the wood was ever painted or stained and the type of exposure the siding experienced. As each wooden barn and building is dissembled, these beautifully weathered planks are carefully de-nailed, kiln-dried to remove moisture and impurities and milled into a newly distinctive wood of character and durability. However, each building this antique wood is drawn from retains characteristics unique to the structure and the region of its origin, its timeless beauty unmistakable.

Common uses of barnwood today in custom new and remodeled homes extend from doors, paneling, beams, cabinetry and ceilings. Its use also extends to furniture and backsplashes. Paired with iron accents and hardware, barnwood evokes the antiquity of its origins.

The following are some unique examples of creatively incorporating reclaimed barnwood into modern custom built homes:

Kitchen remodel featuring paneled island and range hood:

Rustic powder room featuring barnwood paneling, brick flooring and brass fixtures:

Pantry door crafted from original barn door, hung on wrought iron rail:

Guest Bedroom wall paneling:

Fireplace mantle crafted from rough hewn barnwood beam accenting modern brick fireplace:

Incorporating reclaimed barnwood into a new custom home project is not only environmentally responsible, it adds an authentic, richly textured architectural accent. While now available through multiple large retail operations, custom home builders can access their own preferred supply of reclaimed barnwood to provide clients with the desired consistency to enhance their new home project.