How To Care For Reclaimed Wood Furniture

Reclaimed wood furniture comes to you with a history. The wood used to build this furniture used to be part of a home, barn, or other structure. It’s durable wood that has already stood the test of time. But that doesn’t mean it’s indestructible. Here are a few tips for keeping your reclaimed wood furniture in top condition.

reclaimed-wood-pedestal-farmhouse-table-dallas-texas-750x450Protect From Sunlight

One of the best things you can do for reclaimed wood furniture is put it in a safe location. Too much direct sunlight can cause discoloration, warping, and other wood damage. If the furniture is in a room with windows, use curtains to keep UV rays from damaging the surface.

Stabilize Temperatures

Keep the temperature as stable as possible and don’t place the furniture near a heating or cooling vent. Quick temperature changes can cause wood to shrink, split, dry-out, and swell. Also, make sure there’s always a hot pad on the table before you place a hot item there.

Guard Against Moisture

Keep moisture rings off your furniture by using coasters to protect the surface. Another important thing to consider with moisture damage is humidity. Homes often dry-out in the winter, so it’s a good idea to run a humidifier to keep the wood from getting too dry. And if the furniture is in a damp room, like some basements, consider purchasing a dehumidifier.

Clean Regularly

Like all solid-wood furniture, regular cleaning helps keep reclaimed wood from looking dull, getting scratched, and other damage. Dust furniture a least once a week with a soft, lint-free cloth that’s slightly damp. Cotton or microfiber clothes work well. You can even recycle an old cotton tee-shirt as a dusting cloth.

Avoid Harsh Cleaners

Never use harsh chemicals to clean your reclaimed wood. You’ll even want to avoid most wood-cleaners, especial if they’re silicone- or ammonia-based. Instead, invest in a high-quality wax-based furniture polish designed for solid wood. We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner about once a month, depending on how much you use the furniture.

Start With Quality

When you’re purchasing reclaimed wood furniture, make sure that it comes from a reputable source. If you get poor-quality wood or wood that wasn’t treated properly, no amount of up-keep will improve it. Here at Rustic + Modern, we typically use 100+ year-old long leaf pine that we source from many different deconstructed buildings in north-central Texas. Other reclaimed wood options are also available upon request. We guarantee that our reclaimed woods are just as high-quality and long-lasting as the newer woods we use.

5 Decorating Tips for Mixing Wood Furniture and Wood Flooring

Solid wood is a great choice for both furniture and flooring. But from a decorating standpoint, is it a good idea to use both in the same room? Or is wood in the furniture and on the floors too much of a good thing?

If you love the look of wood you’re in luck. There’s no reason you can’t pair wood furniture and wood flooring in the same room. If you want it to look good, though, there are a few decorating tips to keep in mind.

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1) Don’t Match Furniture and Floor

If all the wood in a room is the same color, it can make the space look boring because the furniture and floor will blend together too much. While you can use rugs to help the wood furniture stand out from the floor, it’s still more visually interesting to mix-and-match wood types. Using different wood finishes is also easier since it’s often hard to find an exact match. Especially if you’re purchasing the furniture pieces and flooring at different times and/or from different suppliers.

2) Limit The Number of Wood Types

While mixing wood types is a good idea, you probably won’t want every single furniture piece to be a different species, color, and texture of wood. Two or three different finishes is usually all that a room can handle. And it’s often a good idea to pick just one wood to be the dominant color in the room, then use the other color(s) more sparingly. In a dining room, for example, you could make the trim, flooring, and cabinet or hutch all the same color then use a different wood for the table and chairs.

3) Think About Wood Species

Each wood from a different type of tree has a different natural color. And if you plan to stain the wood, remember different species of wood take stain differently and using the same stain on two different pieces of furniture is no guarantee they’ll look the same. The tree’s species also affects a wood’s grain. Some woods have a large, open grain while other grains are smaller and less noticeable.

4) Find A Unifying Trait

It’s a good idea to find at least one trait that all the different woods in a room can share. One of the most popular is shared undertone. Different woods often look best together when they share a similar undertone. Try to keep the different woods in your home in a similar color family (e.g. warm blond furniture with reddish floors, or ebony-stained furniture with cool gray floors). You could also go for a more subtle unifying trait, such as similar grain patterns.

5) Focus On Creating Balance

To keep the room from looking lop-sided, it’s generally a good idea to spread the different wood colors out. If you have a natural pine table on one end of the room, for example, you’ll want another piece of light-colored wood furniture on the other side of the room. Alternately, using one piece with a very different wood finish can create a strong focal point. Then you can create visual balance in other ways, such as using the same color in rugs and curtains.

If you’d like to start customizing wood furniture for your space, get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help you select the right wood species and finish to coordinate with the floors in your space.

How To Choose Between Wood Types

Deciding you want solid wood furniture is pretty easy. It’s durable, easy to care for, and environmentally sustainable. Once you make that decision, though, you’re faced with a few others. These are the fun questions – the ones related to what your finished furniture piece will look like.

Most of these decisions are about personal preference. What color? How large? Which style? With all the different choices, though, you might have some questions. For example, “How do I choose which wood to have my furniture made from?” To narrow down your options, ask yourself these questions:

What’s My Budget?

Some woods cost more than others. Take our classic farmhouse tables as an example. Prices start at $995 for knotty alder or rustic pine. For reclaimed wood or clear alder, the starting price goes up to $1250. Starting price for hard maple, red oak, and hickory is $1495. Black walnut is the most expensive, starting at $1750.

If you’re on a strict budget and want a dark colored wood, you’ll probably not want to go with black walnut. Instead, you might opt for a less expensive wood finished with a dark walnut stain. Click here to request a quote and get a better idea of exactly how much the table and woods you’re looking at would cost.

What Texture Do I Want?

Texture is partly determined by wood type and partly determined by finish. The wood type you choose determines what the grain will look like. Softwoods, like pine, don’t have a very pronounced wood grain and there will be visible knots. Hardwoods like alder, oak, hickory, maple, and walnut offer a more striking wood-grain. If you want more visible knots in a hardwood, choose knotty alder.

You can get all our woods with a smooth finish (though pine tables will have grooves between the boards). If you want a rough, rustic texture you have two options. You can either choose rustic pine as your wood or have us distress the wood. For rustic pine, we lightly sand to prevent splintering but don’t remove the natural rough texture and saw marks. For hand-scraped distress, we take your chosen wood and scrape and/or hammer it to create a more authentically rustic look.

Which Color Would I Like?

The natural colors of woods vary, and you can also customize the color of most woods with stains. We offer four options: natural color with a clear finish, special walnut stain, dark walnut stain, and ebony stain. The only woods we don’t stain are hickory and walnut. They’re just too beautiful to color! You can see pictures of what our woods look like with different stains by clicking here.

We also offer unfinished tables (at a $150 discount) for customers who want to stain and/or finish their tables themselves. If you’re ready to order a table or want to check out some of these woods in person, get in touch with us. We can answer your questions, get you a quote, or set up an appointment for you to visit our design center.

5 Essential Tips for Solid Wood Care

Solid wood furniture has a reputation for being sturdy and long lasting. With proper care, it will live up to those claims and many solid wood furniture pieces become family heirlooms.

Caring for wood furniture is fairly simple. You just need to keep the surface clean, polish occasionally, and protect the wood from temperature and humidity extremes. Here are our five essential tips for taking care of solid wood furniture:

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1) Dust Often

Dusting at least once a week prevents dust buildup that can damage the furniture finish. A little dust might seem harmless, but it can actually scratch the finish if left to build up over time.

Use a soft, lint-free cloth to dust your furniture. Microfiber or soft cotton both work well. Dampen the cloth slightly with warm water and a mild dish soap. Remember to follow the grain pattern of the wood when you’re dusting.

2) Cleaning and Polishing

Never use harsh chemicals, like bleach, to clean your wood. Instead, you’ll want to invest in a good quality wood furniture polish. Avoid products that contain silicone and go for wax-based polishes.

We recommend using Howard Feed-N-Wax Wood Polish and Conditioner for solid wood furniture from Rustic + Modern. It’s a wonderful product that you can use as needed to polish and help protect solid wood surfaces. Aim for polishing at least once a month, depending on how much you use the furniture.

3) Beat The Heat

Natural wood can warp or crack in response to excessive temperatures. Don’t position your wood furniture right next to a radiator or heat register. Just putting a little distance between heat sources and your furniture makes a huge difference in maintaining solid wood furniture.

Also, avoid placing furniture in direct sunlight. The heat of direct sunlight can damage finishes and cause the wood to dry out and shrink. Hanging curtains or blinds in the windows is a quick-fix for this problem.

4) Watch Humidity

Extreme changes in humidity can also damage the wood. Run a humidifier during dryer months of the year to keep the wood from drying out and shrinking. A 40 to 45 percent humidity level is ideal.

Depending on the climate, you might also need to run a dehumidifier during some months to maintain the right humidity. Alternately, you can beat excessive summer humidity (and heat) by running an air conditioner.

5) Protect The Surface

Avoid placing hot, wet, or sharp objects directly on the wood surface. You can cover the bottoms of vases, lamps and other decorating items you want to keep on your table or desk with felt. For other items you want to place on the wood surface, table runners, placemats, doilies, and coasters are your friends.

Think you’d like to add a new solid wood furniture piece to your home? Rustic + Modern offers a variety of furniture styles you can customize to your exact specifications. Contact us today to learn more or set up an appointment to see our designs in person.

 

3 Irrefutable Rules for Mixing and Matching Wood Furniture

Gone are the days when interior design demanded all the wood furniture in a room matched perfectly. Matching furniture sets still work well for formal interiors, but it’s definitely not a requirement. Perhaps you’re trying to update your home without replacing all the furniture, or you inherited a dining set that doesn’t match the color of your wood floor, or maybe you just like the relaxed feel of an eclectically decorated room. Whatever the case, there’s no need to avoid using different woods if you keep a few guidelines in mind.

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Pair Similar Undertones

The first thing to look for when trying to match wood is the undertone. You can pair dark and light woods without trouble, but they’ll look best if you match the undertone. Some woods have a warm undertone, some look cool and gray, others are pale blond. Try to keep the different woods in your home in a similar color family.

If you have a pale gray weathered wood floor, you might consider getting a dining table made of pine, alder, or maple that is stained ebony. The dark finish will form a nice contrast with the paler gray floor without clashing. For rooms where you already have warm tones, try woods finished with a walnut stain or choose red oak. If you’re looking for a pale color, go with unstained alder, maple, or hickory. Check out all Rustic + Moderns custom wood options by clicking here.

Balance Different Woods

If you’re using two different wood tones in the room, try to make one more prominent than the other. Designer Sarah Langtry recommends keeping about 80% of the wood in the room one color and then using an accent for the other 20%. For example, if you have wood floors use the same wood type and/or finish on a few other major furniture pieces and then use a lighter or darker accent in two or three places throughout the room.

You can use more than two types of wood in the room, but try not to overdo it – three different wood tones is just about all a single room can handle without looking too busy and mismatched. Paying attention to the undertones will help you avoid this problem – even if the woods don’t match exactly, they’ll still look good together if the undertones are the same.

Pay Attention To Texture

Decorating with different types of wood furniture doesn’t just mean choosing different stains or woods. It can also refer to the texture of the wood. Wood can be smooth or rough, weathered or polished, knotty or clear. Mixing the different types of wood used in your decorating can make for an interesting contrast.

If you have smooth wood floors, you might shake things up by ordering one of our pine or alder tables with hand-scraped distress. Or you might choose a modern desk with a smooth table top to pair with knotty pine floors. If, on the other hand, you want to minimize the differences between your different wood types and finishes, choose woods with similar grain and texture to create a sense of unity in the design.

When it comes to wood there are many stunning options to choose from.  As long as you stick to these 3 rules, you’ll be well on your way to a beautiful stylish space.  If you’re having trouble deciding, schedule an appointment to visit our design center.  We’ll help you design a custom piece of quality furniture that will last.

Guide to Furniture Wood Types

Solid wood furniture is made from wood that falls into two categories: softwood and hardwood. These descriptions refer to the type of tree the wood comes from. Softwoods are typically less dense and lighter weight than hardwoods, though that’s not always the case. Furniture made from both types of wood tends to last longer than furniture made with engineered woods, and solid wood furniture can be refinished once it starts to show its age.

Rustic Dining Tables McKinney Guide to Wood Types

You can see examples of our solid wood furniture and the different woods on our website, or you can come check it out in person. Contact us to schedule an appointment with our design center.

Softwoods

The term “softwood” means that the wood comes from a coniferous tree. It doesn’t describe how sturdy the wood is – softwoods can be just as durable as hardwoods. Examples of softwoods include cedar, redwood, fir, and different varieties of pine. They are generally less expensive and easier to work with than hardwoods, but not always.

Rustic + Modern works with white pine and “rustic” pine. They’re the same wood, but the rustic pine still has the rough texture and saw marks. We lightly sand it to prevent splinters and the wood retains an unfinished look similar to reclaimed wood. Pine is a popular choice for barn doors, tables, and other furniture. It takes stain well, which gives you a variety of options for the finished color.

Hardwoods

Woods described as “hardwood” come from deciduous trees. These woods can be either lightweight or more solid and heavy. Both are used for furniture. Examples of hardwoods include alder, beech, cherry, hickory, mahogany, maple, oak, and walnut. Hardwoods make sturdy furniture and offer a variety of colors, textures, and grain patterns, but they’re generally more expensive than softwoods.

For most of our tables, our knotty alder is priced the same or only slightly more expensive than white pine. Clear alder, hard maple, red oak, hickory, and black walnut command a higher price point. These hardwoods offer a denser wood than most softwoods and have a striking wood-grain that makes each furniture piece uniquely attractive. Softwoods do show wood-grain, but it’s not as pronounced as the grain on hardwoods.

Finishes

You can further customize your furniture choices with different finishes. Choose from Special Walnut, Dark Walnut, and Ebony stain for most woods, or go with a Natural finish. Try checking out what our woods look like with different stains if you aren’t sure what color to choose. The only woods we don’t stain are hickory and black walnut. Instead, we enhance the natural coloring and wood grain with multiple coats of a clear, high-quality finish. For customers who want to to stain and/or finish their tables themselves, we do offer unfinished tables. If you go with this option, subtract $150 from the total quoted on the website.