If you spend any time perusing home decorating magazines or websites, you may have noticed the trend of integrating salvaged or reclaimed wood into remodeled kitchens. I’ve seen it used as the panels that back an island, as open shelving, and even as bar or island countertops. This look may not be for every taste, but I think it can provide a nice rustic look and an interesting textural element that can really warm up your space and add a unique touch to your project. You may wonder, “where does this stuff come from?”.

Surely you can’t just pull off the road and start dismantling some old barn that seems to be falling apart anyway. That might get you arrested, or even shot!

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to pay a visit to Heritage Salvage in Petaluma, California. At first glance, this place appears to be no more than a somewhat organized junkyard. There are piles of old timbers and rusty objects that seem to defy description.

But with some patience and a little imagination, you can begin to see that there’s a treasure trove of interesting building materials in abundance. They also have a showroom where they showcase the ways that they’ve incorporated reclaimed wood into flooring, wall cladding, and furniture.


I spotted a container full of large slices of tree trunks, just waiting to be turned into a bar or island counter. They may look a bit rough and unfinished, but the folks at Heritage will sand, stain and finish them to specification.  Now, I’m waiting for the right client and project to put one of these beauties to use!

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