Out with the white, in with the walnut — or teak, or reclaimed oak, or whatever species suits your timber-trussed fancy. This year, the Western architectural staple branches back into trendsetting territory.
"Reclaimed materials give a sense of permanence and inherent history,” architect John Lauman of JLF Architects says. In a kitchen of his design in Jackson, Wyoming, reclaimed oak cabinets and hand-hewn ceiling timbers imbue the light-filled contemporary space with cabin-like nostalgia. It’s one of several rooms we were drawn to as we considered the knottier and grainier textures currently taking root in mainstream interior design.
Whether it’s alder, pine, weathered, or maple, the natural beauty of wood reclaims its place in the home this year.
“We knew from the start that we wanted a piece of furniture for the island rather than a typical built-in. The hope was to find a farmhouse-style table that wasn't too rustic. We were so lucky to find this Spanish Colonial walnut farmhouse from the 1940s on 1st Dibs from a Miami-based shop. It's 10-feet-long, which was our ideal size, and needed only a little restoration. It provides tons of additional counter space for cooking and is a perfect gathering place for casual dinners and buffet-style gatherings.” — Killy Scheer, Scheer & Co. Interior Design
Flooring: 5-inch-wide red oak
Kitchen island: Vintage walnut
“Inspiration for the design came from the agricultural buildings of Carmel and Salinas Valley, California. Many of those barns have wide covered overhangs to provide shade. Since the climate in the valley is milder, it provides a great space for outdoor living. With shade during the day and at night, such a space can be easily lit and heated from above. It also has the advantage of having furniture that is protected, so that cushions can stay outside in the rain.” — Mary Ann Gabriele Schicketanz, designer, Studio Schicketanz
Rafters (Scissor Trusses): Douglas fir
Ceiling: Weathered barn siding
“Dennis Deppmeier, the interior architect, collected willow twigs by hand along the edges of Pryor Creek in Montana to create the refrigerator door that was constructed by Mark Sevier of Dovetail. The wall, ceiling, and cabinets throughout are a mix of reclaimed woods. It’s the random mix that makes it so lovely. So many subtle tones and so much character.” — Jeremiah Young, designer, Kibler & Kirch
Cabinets: Reclaimed wood
Flooring: Wire-brushed reclaimed fir
“We only used woods from the Rocky Mountains in this house. All the woods are from the mountain range as far south as the Mexico border and up into Canada. The exception is the floor, which is European oak fabricated in Germany. The table and chairs were designed by cabinetmaker Hank Gilpin for the room. The house is intended to be a modern take on Western Arts and Crafts houses such as those by architects Greene & Greene.” — Thomas A. Kligerman, architect, Ike Kligerman Barkley
Cabinets: Western hemlock with spalted alder panels
Ceiling: Western hemlock on stained glulam beams
“The lightness of the space comes from the use of lighter, non-wood finishes, plaster, backsplash, furniture, proper lighting , and windows to bring in natural light.” — Logan Leachman, designer, JLF Architects
Cabinets and Flooring: Reclaimed oak
Ceiling: Reclaimed hand-hewn timbers
“The darker stained wood trim and beams help accent the architectural details and blend the mix of tones found in the reclaimed oak barnwood wall paneling. The client wanted an inviting mountain chalet feel. Blending textures and neutral tones of gray and ivory helped soften the deep tones and variation in the wood detailing. The layering and contrast of these textures and tones helped create dimension in the space.” — Rebecca Kaufman, designer, rebaL Design
Wall: Reclaimed oak barnwood
Trim: Stained knotty alder
Ceiling beams: Stained Douglas fir
Flooring: Reclaimed oak
“All of the casework is American cherry, chosen for its rich color and distinctive grain. It's used throughout this house as a unifying design element and acts as the perfect backdrop to the homeowner's collection of Native American artifacts, highlighting their color and texture. It is also a modern interpretation of Craftsman art and architecture, echoing details of the original house and complementing the homeowner's collection of authentic Craftsman furniture.” — Andrew Mann, architect, Andrew Mann Architecture
Casework: American cherry
More from our design feature
The C&I Dream Ranch
Real Stories: California's Gold Country
Real Stories: Taos Ski Valley
Real Stories: West Texas Historic District
Photography: Courtesy of Ryann Ford, Paul Dyer, Tim Griffith, Audrey Hall, Peter Aaron/Otto, Kimberly Gavin
From our January 2020 issue.