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Barn Wood Furniture, Rustic Barnwood Furniture

Rustic, yet charming; sturdy, yet rough; barnwood furniture brings the feel of 19th century farm life into the living room and dining room. Originally created out of necessity, in a time when furniture craftsmen were limited to whatever materials were at hand, today's barnwood furniture is constructed from real or simulated pine, oak or cedar planks recovered from dissembled, weathered barns. These pieces carry their rich pioneer history with them to their new life as tables, chairs, and chests.

Modern Barn Dining Set
Modern Barn Dining Set.

Barn doors, too, are increasingly being recycled into use as dining tables or large coffee tables creating a uniquely American style that adds a homey, country feel to any room. Dissembling barns and reusing the planks and architectural details is environmentally responsible. Not only does it act as a unique raw material for unique and creative furniture design, it saves that many more trees from being destroyed in the name of our creature comforts.

The term, "Barnwood furniture," actually encompasses a variety of styles. "Texas", or "cowboy" barnwood furniture incorporates the straight, rough, simple lines traditionally found on ranches in the "Lone Star State", and makes use of leather and cowhide accents, especially for chair and bar stool covers. "New England", or "Yankee" barnwood style reflects the stoic, puritan lines of the northeastern states. Less structured than New England's colonial furniture, Yankee barnwood pieces have a utilitarian feel, such as a large, plank, country kitchen table. Yankee pieces, generally, have few adornments, and use only the most basic of hardware. "Montana" or "Yellowstone" style barnwood furniture brings in the wilderness of Big Sky country and makes use of hewn log construction and twisted willows and tree twigs. This style is easily recognizable by the fact that logs and trees are still identifiable as such in Yellowstone pieces.

Hickory Table
Hickory Table.

Barnwood pieces are, generally, singular works of art, simple and clever at the same time. Every piece of barnwood furniture gains something unique from the piece of wood from which it was created.

Color and Finish

Barnwood furniture is commonly found either with a natural finish or boldly painted, often in yellows, reds, and blues. Natural finishes range for honey-colored pine to rich golden pecan and maple, to deep, walnut-tones. Natural barnwood frequently has a charming patina gained from decades of harsh New England or Montana winters and the rigors of farm use. Conversely, painted barnwood furniture celebrates life with cheerful motifs and brilliant hues. The rough texture and simple style of barnwood planks lend themselves to use as American folk art. Many painted items incorporate an American flag design or simple depictions of 19th century, American farm life.

Contemporary Style Barn Furniture
Contemporary Style Barn Furniture.

Outdoor Living

Rustic, barn wood furniture is a natural for outdoor spaces or indoor garden rooms. Hewn-log, or barn plank tables give that rustic and sturdy feel to a backyard picnic. Woven twig chairs and tables are surprisingly durable, blend in, and give a "back to nature" feel to any backyard. Additionally, the natural wood of these pieces is a perfect foil for lush garden greenery and colorful flowering plants. Yard accessories, such as mailboxes, butterfly and birdhouses, and sheds are also charming and playful when made of reclaimed barn wood.


Indoor accessories are also fun and interesting when made of old barn wood and barn doors. Picture frames and mirror frames are frequent additions to a rustic design. Also popular, as well as useful, are rough-hewn coat trees, with branches serving as individual arms. Uses for barnwood in household items abounds and is really only limited by the decorator's imagination.

Rustic Barnwood

Barnwood furniture is unique, rustic, and highly textured. Combining this style with traditional furniture and Oriental area rugs creates an eclectic, yet warm room. A single barnwood piece is often enough to add interest to a room without overwhelming it. The rough-hewn logs of a Yellowstone table and settee, for instance, immediately draw the eye. Colorful pillows, cushions, woven throws are a good way to add color and warmth to a naturally finished barnwood piece. Prices for barnwood pieces range from affordable, around a hundred dollars, to expensive, several thousand dollars. Generally, the more rare the wood and the more craftsmanship involved in the piece, the more expensive it will be.

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