Reclaimed & Recycled Furniture

At Modish, we have a curated collection of products in home decor, furniture and lighting for your modern home. Our special focus on sustainability and environment has led to a large range of refurbished, reclaimed & recycled products that are stylish and chic. The Modish catalogue consists of high quality, exquisite, hand-crafted or artisan made items sourced from different countries in rustic, industrial, farmhouse and vintage styles. We sell reputed brands like Kalalou, Artisan Living, Modway, HomArt, Zuo, GoHome, Vagabond, Gold Leaf, Zodax etc.


What is reclaimed and recycled furniture? Is it same as second hand furniture?

Reclaimed wood is wood that comes from almost any source except a newly felled tree. This timber usually comes from old torn down buildings, uprooted floors, decks and sidings, support beams & columns from old wooden structures or broken doors & gates from demolition sites. Sometimes you’ll even find reclaimed wood coming from sources like decommissioned boats & ships, old wine and whiskey barrels used for ageing liquor or dilapidated factory sheds & warehouses. When you do furniture restoration from this kind of reclaimed wood, it is called reclaimed furniture. Reclaimed wood is often used to create that vintage, retro or rustic look & feel.

Recycling is the process of using discarded or old furniture to deconstruct it, take the salvaged materials and build a new piece of furniture that partially or wholly reuses the recycled wood. It’s like building “an original reincarnation of its former self". The source of recycled woods could be varied - sometimes it is old, damaged furniture that gets dismantled for its wood, wood extracted from shipping pallets and crates or timber that’s salvaged from lumber mills or yards.

At Modish, we sell reclaimed and recycled wood furniture, besides handmade furniture. Many of our coffee tables, dining sets, sideboards are made from reclaimed wood, which allows us to sell items at a lower price that what you would pay from other stores, with the same level of quality.

Reclaimed or recycled is different from second hand furniture. Second hand usually means reselling pre-used items - Modish does not sell any second hand goods.

Does using Reclaimed Wood Furniture have any benefits?

Yes, there are multiple benefits in using reclaimed and recycled furniture, some that are obvious, while others one may not realize readily.

- Environmentally Friendly: Buying reclaimed furniture is eco-friendly. By reusing the wood or doing wood recycling, you’re saving new trees from being cut down for their timber, while keeping local craftsmen in business.

- No Bends Or Warps: Recycled furniture wood is already aged, weathered and dried. Since it doesn’t need to be re-processed, it’s unlikely to suddenly shrink or bend after purchase, something that often gives buyers nasty surprises.

- Ethnic / Rustic Appeal: People who are into rustic, ethnic or green lifestyle love the aura of reclaimed and recycled wood - it affords a different emotional connect with nature.

- Cheaper than Antique Furniture: Furniture from reclaimed wood often look like antiques if made in the historic style, and they’re less expensive than looking for an antique that matches your particular taste. In general you can save money with reclaimed wood furniture.

- Strong & Durable: Reclaimed wood is usually stronger than new timber. It is believed that the strength, stability and durability of older trees is directly linked to lower air pollution levels in the years gone by. The stability is also increased as older wood has spend years or decades slowly air drying.

- Character: Reclaimed wood is sought after for its visual appeal and unique character as no two pieces are the same. When incorporated into new furniture projects, reclaimed pieces create a texture and look that cannot be replicated by cookie cutter new timber. Freshly cut or mass produced pieces will have a very uniform look and less character in their natural grain patterns.

What other reclaimed/recycled items does Modish sell besides furniture?

Recycled and reclaimed items are a popular part of Modish's product selection. Besides furniture, Modish has a range of decoration pieces and lighting equipments that are made of recycled and reclaimed wood or metal, and refurbished wood. You are likely to find exquisite mirrors, home-decor pieces, lamps, chandeliers, shelves, picture frames, side tables, chairs, stools, kitchen items etc amongst these.

What are the most common types of Reclaimed Wood?

Old pine, oak, beech, maple, poplar, redwood, cedar, walnut are common types of reclaimed wood that find their way back into furniture that you can buy either online or in stores.

Does Reclaimed / Recycled Wood have any special characteristics?

Being naturally aged and weathered, reclaimed wood has a unique texture that cannot be duplicated on new wood. This natural process leaves the wood with some ‘imperfections’, which add to its unique and authentic character. Here are some natural features that may occur in reclaimed wood furniture:

Variations: Reclaimed wood typically has natural variations in shading and grain patterns which means that each piece is one-of-a-kind.

Knots & Patches: Knots occur naturally in all real wood furniture; they add character and do not affect strength or performance.

Nail holes: If old nails were removed from the wood, those spots or pittings might show. This adds to its aged and reclaimed look.

Paint Remnants: Some old furniture may have residual paint spots giving it a distinctive colour.

How does one take care of Reclaimed Wood Furniture?

One of the best things about reclaimed and recycled furniture is that they are very low on care and maintenance. Firstly the worn out character of most reclaimed wood furniture means that little stains, scratches, and dents can be ignored. Secondly older wood doesn't break or get damaged easily since the damageable material wouldn’t have been recycled in the first place. So the weak, soft and unstable woods rarely find their way into reclaimed furniture. Reclaimed older wood is usually harder than fresh wood of the same species because it has already dried out and warped if it was going to do so. This makes pieces made from reclaimed wood often more durable than items made from newly harvested wood.

What types of furniture are made using recycled or reclaimed wood?

You should be able to buy online a fairly wide range of items made of reclaimed wood furniture (or recycled wood furniture). Commonly available items are listed below. At ModishStore as well, we sell most of these items - in case you are interested, please go to our sustainable furniture section.

Living Room: Reclaimed wood coffee table, reclaimed wood table, reclaimed wood dresser, reclaimed wood bench, reclaimed wood end table, reclaimed wood mirror, reclaimed wood side table, reclaimed wood doors etc.

Dining Room: Reclaimed wood dining table, reclaimed wood cabinet, reclaimed wood kitchen table, reclaimed wood dining table set, reclaimed wood dining chairs

Decor Items: Reclaimed wood frames

Office: Reclaimed wood shelves, Reclaimed wood office desk, Reclaimed wood bookshelf, reclaimed wood bookcase

Bedroom: Reclaimed wood headboard, Reclaimed wood bed, Reclaimed wood bedroom set

What is rustic furniture? How is it different from reclaimed wood furniture?

Rustic furniture is a furniture design style that uses things like sticks, twigs or logs to achieve a natural look. It is characterized by features like -

- Surfaces or edges that look rough (or unsmooth) for a natural look

- Distressed or weathered finishes to give an unfinished wood furniture look and feel

- Mosaic or ornate twig work or use of bentwood

- Rich textured, hand-stitched fabrics

Many craftsmen make rustic furniture in a variety of styles, that have their distinctive historical and contemporary influences. Rustic styles may reflect the personality of their maker e.g. you could have a rustic-modern style or a rustic-farmhouse look. Common rustic furniture items that one can buy online are rustic dining table, rustic wood table or office desk, rustic wood bench etc. Modish has an exquisite collection of rustic furniture as well, that you can check it out.

Rustic wood furniture is not the same as reclaimed wood furniture, though both have significant overlaps. Rustic furniture using recycled and reclaimed materials is increasingly becoming popular. The use of recycled wood pallets to make household furniture has become a style statement of sorts.

What is Live Edge Furniture?

Live edge (also called natural edge) is a style of furniture where the furniture craftsman incorporates the natural edge of the wood into the design of the piece. Sometime the natural holes and cracks in the wood are left as it is, while often it is filled with resins - in both cases the attempt is to maintain the raw beauty of the wood. Live edge furniture often incorporates rough, twisted and gnarled wood, or salvaged wood that could not be used in conventional woodworking.

Looking to add some ethnic style to your home with reclaimed or recycled furniture? Here are some key things to consider when buying reclaimed furniture.

Choose the Right Style

Reclaimed furniture adds a unique, lived-in vibe to a room, but it’s important to choose the right style to suit your interior. From classic to contemporary, there are many different looks available - from a rustic, urban vibe to a retro distressed wood look, or from a shabby chic overhang to a withered metallic feel. Give a good thought to the kind of style you want to go for. Consult an interior designer if needed.

Measure your Space

Reclaimed wood furniture is usually hand-crafted and uniquely designed, so doesn’t always come in standard sizes. Once you’ve found the perfect reclaimed dining table, sideboard or chest of drawers, make sure to measure your space to make sure it will fit in. When measuring, its a good idea to leave a few inches spare on every side to be safe. Also, don’t forget to check that the item will fit through your doorways, galleries or gates.

Look for the Wood’s History

Age brings out the rich colors in reclaimed wood, so if you notice hints of dark red, rustic brown, deep yellow or moody black, chances are the wood has a strong history. Any variation or “imperfection” that adds interest to the piece can be considered a plus, since it is probably a carryover from the wood’s past life.

Buy as per your lifestyle

Your furniture and home decor choices should be governed by your lifestyle. For example, if you have a dog at home that constantly is biting or gnawing into household items, it is better to avoid getting furniture made of softwoods like pines; hardwoods (e.g. teak, oak) are what you probably want. If you have kids at home, it’s advisable to stick with dark colors that wont show your kid’s paint marks or pastel scratches readily.

Buy at the right time

Furniture prices may vary through the year depending on seasonality, festival discounts etc. In the US, Memorial Day & Veterans Day are popular occasions for furniture sales. The best deals will probably come around Fourth of July or even Christmas when furniture stores push to get rid of the last of their inventory and offer the biggest discounts.

To take care of your reclaimed furniture, here are some suggestions:

  • Cleaning: You can remove any dust from your reclaimed furniture by regularly dusting with a soft, dry cloth or vacuuming with brush attachment. For intricate carvings or small details, use a dry brush or blow mild air from the vacuum cleaner. Beeswax polish can be used to enhance the appearance of your furniture, but silicone-based polishes should be avoided as they can lead to a build up.
  • Heat: Heat can cause reclaimed wood to crack, so avoid placing furniture directly in front of a heat source like radiator or room heater. Hot cups or dishes should preferably be kept on reclaimed wood using coasters or mat to avoid cracks, burns or ring marks.
  • Sunlight & Humidity: Continued exposure to sunlight can impact the colour of wood or cause fading, so it’s better to keep reclaimed furniture out of direct sunlight coming via windows, balconies etc. Keep the furniture away from humidity or dampness, else it could lead to swelling, cracking or softening.
  • Spillage: In case of spillage, it is advised that any liquids are cleaned up immediately with a cloth to avoid staining.
  • General care: While reclaimed furniture is usually strong, it’s better to avoid dragging it across the floor. You should lift it off the edges to prevent damage to the joints. Sharp objects like buckles, heels and keys could scratch reclaimed wood, so try to keep them away from your furniture.