Using reclaimed timber to fashion a kitchen table not only creates a unique item of reclaimed wood furniture, it is also a means of being considerate of the environment. It is estimated that purchasing newly processed timber as opposed to reclaimed wood adds almost 87 per cent to the carbon cost. Recycling the wood from old buildings, docks or even bridges that were constructed many decades ago actually has benefits that only arise from age.
The wood is likely to be virgin timber that has been marvellously seasoned over time to become an immensely strong, durable, stable and flexible material that is full of natural, mature character. Reclaimed wood is suitable for redesigning any style of kitchen, whether contemporary, vintage Victorian, rustic, or a mix that is totally unique to an individual. There are no boundaries; only good and balanced blending.
A kitchen table is usually the focal point of the room and the unique knots, grains and patinas of a reclaimed wood dining table can bring it into stunning focus. This makes the placement of the table crucial. If reputable professionals are being contracted for the new design and installation, then this will be expertly addressed, but individuals who are redesigning their own kitchen need to plan carefully to avoid costly errors and later regrets. Available light also plays a critical role when choosing the wood to be used. If the popular teak railway sleepers are the wood of choice, then a kitchen needs the dimensions and lighting to carry off the darker look. Smaller, darker rooms are best served by using wood such as elm with its medium honey tones, or the lighter cherry wood.
The beauty of natural materials is that they blend so well with others. A reclaimed wooden kitchen table can look equally good when combined with long benches in the same material, as it will with individual chairs in rattan. Smaller and darker kitchens will benefit from linen seat cushions in light colours with discreet patterns or one solid colour, while larger and lighter kitchens can accommodate the railway type dark timber table accompanied by large chairs and full, colourful cushions. High, sloped, wooden ceilings can add oodles of character and a few bold prints on the walls will provide distinct flavour. Large, sturdy and colourful candles can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, while light fittings can be chosen with flair and abandon. Smaller kitchens with elegantly styled tables will require a more subtle approach.
Reclaimed timber is the perfect choice for a kitchen done in country style and a selection of woods can be used to create that truly rustic look. Reclaimed larch creates a perfect feature wall with its knots and gnarls, but as wood absorbs a lots of light this must be offset with a table in lighter wood. The beauty of using a raw wood look for the table is that every dent and scratch adds its own character. Tables may also be painted or simply varnished and floors can be whitewashed stone or polished wood.
Sourcing the reclaimed wood for a new kitchen can take time, but is well worth the effort. If the wood is properly treated, then a kitchen table will serve many generations and become a memorial that inscribes the many tales told around its warmth as permanent marks of character.