THE BLOG
01/24/2012 05:06 pm ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Broaden Your Decor Palette With Reclaimed Pallets

People might think pallets are strictly for moving furniture, not building furniture. Perhaps, as another example of negative attitudes in our society towards "dirty work," the use of pallets in the transportation of goods, from warehouse floors to ship holds to trailers, may evoke connections with dirtiness and a sort of brute functionality. Thoughts of beauty are probably not commonly associated with pallets.

But beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and with over 1.2 billion wood pallets in daily use in the U.S., there is a lot to behold when that wood can no longer be used for shipping. In the hopes of fostering more awareness and openness to the many varieties of recycled and salvaged resources available for custom furniture, here are a few very beautiful and eco-friendly items made from pallet wood by CustomMade artisans.

This "pearl in the oyster," a reclaimed pallet and flame maple nightstand by tim sway perspectives of Wallingford, CT plays on "a traditional style whilst mixing conventionally 'beautiful' with conventionally 'ugly' to get something uniquely beautiful." Artisan Tim Sway works "exclusively in reclaimed, recycled, upcycled, and found materials, usually wood and sometimes more" and from them creates traditional designs with unique flair. Check out Tim's CustomMade portfolio to see custom barnwood furniture and other pieces made from rescued resources. Contact Tim if you'd like a customized version of this nightstand for your home.

Furniture maker Jamison Sellers of Jamison Sellers Design from Providence, RI creates modern furniture from reclaimed materials like pallets. "Under the layers of grime," where others only see trash, he has found beautiful and reusable exotic and domestic woods. This striking hand crafted bolt console features a frame made from locally sourced walnut and back panels and bolt pattern doors made from rescued pallet wood. You can commission a similar console made from your choice of locally sourced or salvaged woods and built to your specifications.

Pasadena, CA based artisan Allan Parachini of Allan Parachini Custom Furniture generally combines different woods in his one-of-a-kind creations. He uses woods purchased from suppliers as well as found pieces, particularly forklift pallets. While his works often include exotic woods as highlights, he finds interest in features that some may perceive as imperfections. "What some people call knots, defects, or blemishes are, to me, very likely the most alluring features of a piece of wood and warrant greatest emphasis." This cutting board style #1 is made from red oak reclaimed from a forklift pallet and framed with padauk or bloodwood. The knots and grain of that hard-working pallet wood are simply arresting. Can't stop looking at it? You can purchase this piece as well as other items by Allan through our ReadyNow store.

If you have a project in mind that you want made from reclaimed wood, post it on our "Get it Made" job board. CustomMade makers interested in your project will then get in touch with you.

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