Evolving furniture design

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Reclaimed wood straight from the RawFern forest

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Some people might look at this dusty old pile of wood and not understand, but to me, these are all beautiful projects waiting to happen. Reclaimed wood has gained a lot of attention in the last decade as being a sought after aesthetic. You can design an entire living room based around a 1920’s barn motif and fit right in in LA. Below are a few instances of taking that old growth soul, and putting toward a new purpose, and I might add an elegantly designed one.

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This bathroom takes the reclaimed soul of barn wood to a new level. With integrated wrought iron accents and mating up to the new age aesthetic with the glass, this is an epic space that I would love to call my own.

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This kitchen island is a great example of rustic contemporary. The stools are awkward and not my favorite, but the island is a sure win.

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How about a 48″ round coffee table made from taken down and recycled lumbar? love it!

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A dresser / credenza unit utilizing the lighter washed out drawer fronts as contrast to the more finished vertical lines of the piece.

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I love when reclaimed wood meets metal in a perfect commingling of function and medieval aesthetic 🙂Product Image Reclaimed Wood Platform Bed Reclaimed-Wood-Bed-Plans-With-Window-Glass Reclaimed-Wood-Table-With-Wood-Headboard

Oh reclaimed wood beds, where do I begin?


This slab of wood is something that you just don’t find anymore, and definitely not within your local lumbar yard. Theres just something amazing about the way a large piece of lumbar can feel extremely strong and powerful in a space yet feel warm and light at the same time. The concrete floors only add to accent this piece and bring together the overall feeling of this incredible space.

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Not all reclaim has to come from a barn, or from a very expensive custom lumber supplier. Wood is used everywhere, and pallets are some of the most common pieces you can find everywhere. Very often, warehouses will let you take their used pallets for free to get rid of them. I love furniture made out of pallets like these examples above. Many pallets are made out of hard wood in order to take the abuse of shipping, and it’s that exact abuse that makes the wood look as beautifully worn and varied as it does.


Usually spiral staircases are a pet peeve of mine. They look amazing, but are typically not a good experience to use on a daily basis. I would have to make an exception for this particular staircase with it’s infinite perfection haha!

Moral of the story? Reclaimed wood and metal are in! Use them as an accent piece or do an entire room, not only is it good for the environment, it’s great for design!


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Reclaiming Found Furniture

One of my favorite types of furniture is repurposed items. I love when you interact with a piece of furniture and almost get a history lesson at the same time. Up-cycling is the hot trend right now, saving antiques from hitting the junk yard, and even reclaiming some from the junkyard itself. By repurposing some of these incredible finds into furniture, it serves as a functional way to display the soul of the piece without shrouding it glass. I love to see old factory equipment used in this capacity. These original tools of the trade were built to last, with american made craftsmanship, heavy duty aesthetic, and usually have that real distressed patina and soul that comes from 100 years of abuse. Check out this awesome use of a factory cart being turned into a coffee table. A friend of mine rescued these from a factory that closed down, and has cleaned them up and sealed them. You know you want one for yourself 🙂

Please contact Curtis for purchasing info @ Curtis.Mathes2020@Gmail.com

Consider this your teaser and stay tuned for an entire sprout on reclaimed wood later this week !!!

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Sprouting new ideas out of Ikea furniture

When I was younger I loved the concept of IKEA, maybe it was the way they market the products in individual vignettes, or maybe it was the weird Swedish food we always got when we went there. Now I admire IKEA for what they have done. They have basically changed the furniture buying market upside down. Where furniture used to be a struggle to find the right piece, IKEA offers hundreds of solutions under one roof. When arranging a delivery and setup used to be an issue, now you can take it home yourself, flat packed in your mini-van and struggle with building it for hours. IKEA really has filled a section of the market with independence more than anything. People are now free to design it themselves, build it themselves and all while staying on a college budget. IKEA has shown us what someone with a 150 sq foot shoe box of an apartment can do to survive, and have the place be functional, they really are the innovators of design on the cheap.

Being a design snob, yes, part of me is always saying buyers should at some point rise above the IKEA price point, get into some high quality well designed furniture as they mature, but the other part can’t help but accept IKEA’s role in the market share. Usually as long as you don’t have too many parts left over when you’re done, you will have something that will last through college and into your first apartment.

This brings me to my real reason for today’s sprout. There is an incredible website I recently stumbled upon, and can’t get enough of. It’s called IKEA Hackers  http://www.ikeahackers.net/  and it is AMAZING. It is exactly what you might surmise from the title. People post projects  where they have tore apart IKEA products and rebuilt or reused them to create incredible spaces. It’s everything you wanted IKEA to be, just never had the guts to cut up your new table and make it. Projects range from the simple decoration, to an entire office built from random IKEA parts. Imagine IKEA warehouses as giant bins of LEGOs, now you can take them and build whatever you wanted; Ugh, it’s so liberating from the confines of Swedish directions!!!!

Here are a couple cool examples of projects I found, but please for the love of cam-lock attachment check out the site and upgrade your IKEA shopping experience. You’ll never see this stuff the same again!

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Complete instructions on how to turn a couple stools into a deco shelf.



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Turning a couple bookcases into a hideaway bar!


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Maybe you need to create a literal catwalk out of a kitchen shelving system.



Using a shelving system to divide the room. see it here



Awesome use of wood kitchen countertops as a bathtub surround.


Here are a few simple, smart ones, equally exciting for the weekend do-it-yourselfer.


See how to hide your remote here.

Wait, you’re telling me I can hang my shirt or jacket over the back of a chair, and not take up that footprint? I love!


see the build here.



See the instructions on back lit frame sconces here.