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Style Guide: Reclaimed Style is Perfect for Contemporary Interiors

Java Desk

 

If you keep up with what’s happening in the world of interior design, then you know that the contemporary look has been going through some significant changes in recent years. Gone are the days when contemporary interiors were limited to only clean-lined minimalist furnishings and light neutral color schemes. Today’s contemporary style is changing - it’s expanding to incorporate more color, more interesting materials, and more accent pieces from past eras in history.

Three themes emerging in the new contemporary look

Yes, today’s contemporary look is expanding to accommodate new ideas, but so far these changes are happening relatively slowly. Most contemporary interiors are still designed around neutral-colored walls and large, straight-lined foundational furnishings. Think comfortable upholstered sofas with low-lined silhouettes and track arms for living rooms combined with straight lined wood coffee tables. So far, the major changes are primarily taking place in the innovative use of unusual accent pieces that make a statement and serve as conversation pieces.

When it comes to these new eye-catching accent pieces, they all seem to have design elements around a few select themes: 

  • Natural - Perhaps the most common trend today is finding accents pieces that are inspired by nature. These would include products that showcase elements like live edges, those that make a statement with natural materials like unfinished wood, stone, and organic textiles.

  • Vintage - Another hot trend we are seeing in contemporary settings is the use of traditional or "vintage" accent pieces. These pieces often showcase intricate design elements which are almost in direct opposition to today’s minimalist-inspired furnishings. 

  • Vibrant - The final major theme we are seeing is related to vibrancy. Many people are seeking to mix up the contemporary look by finding pieces that showcase bold colors and exotic motifs. 

Furniture with reclaimed style is perfect for today because it delivers on all these themes!

Reclaimed furniture is on-trend with today's tastes

What is reclaimed furniture? 

Reclaimed furniture is furniture made from salvaged materials which have either been restored in terms of functionality and appearance, or repurposed to be an integral part of a new design. Reclaimed furniture is often made of wood with an unfinished or sanded character, although there are many reclaimed pieces made of metal, stone, or fabric. Some reclaimed furnishings are even made using entire objects like bicycles and antique machinery! 

Bike Bar Photo

So what makes reclaimed furniture or furniture with the reclaimed look so perfect for today? 

Here are three traits most reclaimed pieces share that relate directly to what’s trending in contemporary settings:

 

Unfinished Wood - Unfinished wood has been becoming increasingly popular in contemporary furniture because it automatically lends a natural feel to any space. Most reclaimed pieces on the market today showcase unfinished wood in some fashion, and many feature authentic reclaimed wood where the previous finish has been sanded down. 

 

The Rajasthan 2 Drawer/2 Door Cabinet and the Kashmir 3 Door Console are both great examples of products with reclaimed character that use unfinished wood to instill a natural feel. 

Unfinished Wood

 

Antique Appeal - Another hallmark of reclaimed furnishings is that they tend to have a heavy emphasis on retro design elements. Not only are these pieces made from salvaged materials, the design of the product itself is often modeled after traditional furnishings from past eras. Many reclaimed products offer a great contrast to clean-lined modern furnishings, which is exactly what designers are looking for when attempting to mix-up the contemporary look. 

The Gandhi Old Door Cabinet is a perfect example of a reclaimed cabinet with traditional design elements like thick-cut moldings, paneled doors, and intricate carved detailing.

Old-World Appeal

Distinctive Colors and Design - Last but not least, many reclaimed products showcase interesting color palettes and exotic motifs. Like with some of the items already mentioned, many of today’s pieces with the reclaimed look are inspired by antiques from other cultures like India. 

Pieces like the Antiqua TV Stand are made with planks of reclaimed wood that still contain some of their original colors, resulting in a bold multi-colored look that’s perfect for today. 

Distinctive Colors and Designs

 

How do you decorate with reclaimed furniture?

Reclaimed furniture makes decorating easy because you don't need a lot of products to make an impact - it only takes one reclaimed item to breathe new life into any room. To give your space an updated feel using something with the reclaimed look, simply find an accent in your home that has served its purpose and shop for a reclaimed product that could replace it. It’s that easy! 

Still not convinced? Here's a final pros and cons list to take with you:

Pros and Cons of Reclaimed Furniture

Pros

  • Reclaimed furniture exudes a multifaceted character with a rich sense of history, often emphasized by its expert craftsmanship or distinctive construction materials. This makes reclaimed pieces true stand-outs in any room. 

  • Reclaimed furniture is also a more sustainable option. Reclaimed furniture better serves our planet because it doesn't use new raw materials, instead it upcycles used products and materials.

Cons

  • With reclaimed furniture's rise in popularity, there has also been a rise in reports of shoddy craftsmanship from retailers with unreliable sources. Reclaimed furniture that isn't properly restored doesn't have as long a lifespan as other furniture. 

  • Authentic reclaimed furniture is also more expensive due to how much work goes into sourcing it and restoring it, especially when done ethically and properly. (This is another reason our Reclaimed Collection offers both reclaimed furniture and furniture with reclaimed style - it’s the best of both worlds!)

Now, get out there and find that perfect reclaimed piece to elevate the look of your home today!