Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide

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The ultimate guide to reclaimed wood.

Few materials – if any – can come close to the character and expressive beauty of solid wood. Reclaimed wood takes things further with rich stories embedded on its surface. Lines, saw marks, and color variations offer glimpses of the past; of old homes and living spaces; of antique furniture and handcrafted items passed down from one generation to the next. Now, a beautifully detailed book offers the opportunity to learn more about this precious material. Published by Abrams, Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide by Klaas Armster and Alan Solomon is a must-have title for any architect, designer, and DIY fan as well as craftspeople and those who love sustainable design. It features gorgeous photographs by Michel Arnaud.

Partners at Brooklyn-based Sawkill Lumber Company, a supplier of reclaimed woods, the authors have a wealth of knowledge about the material. The book takes the reader on a journey through the history and the stories of reclaimed wood. Sourced from old barns, houses, factories, or cargo ships, reclaimed wood’s surface holds a deeper meaning. And it preserves it even as it transforms into something new. The material then comes to life as flooring, furniture, and handmade objects, creating a link between past and present.

Apart from delving into the history and cultural significance of the material, Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide also provides detailed information about its different features and common markings. The book highlights the beauty of different woods, from redwood and Douglas fir to oak, pine, cypress, and hickory. Another section showcases contemporary uses, including in architecture, interior design, and furniture design. Among many examples, properties featured in the book include the Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn, a restaurant and a converted factory in New York, as well as a modern rustic house in Jackson, Wyoming. Photographs© Michel Arnaud.

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