Reclaimed Wood Beams: Sturdy, Classy, Functional, Upcycle

It's amazing how exposed wood beams can add class and strength to a room despite often being only slightly styled. There's a sturdiness and workmanship that elicits a vision of Americana and its kill-what-you-eat log cabin lifestyle, but there's also an opulence to long, thick beams, a sense that they are rare and you have to invest, luck up, or put some elbow grease into having them around.

In the age of drywall, not everyone has the option of exposing aged oak and cedar for that desired look. Fortunately, it's also an age of upcycling, so reclaimed beams, railroad timbres and other chunkadelic fashions are finding their way into beautiful pieces of functional furniture.

ScrapHacker has aggregated a dozen DIY projects (such as those pictured at top) that vary from old school building blocks to stunning staircases using reclaimed beams. For those who see these heavy-lift-heavy projects and feel a hernia coming on, check out Rail Yard Studios.  An interview with company founder Robert Hendrick at Freshome helped us fall in love with their one-of-a-kind pieces that use railroad ties and 19th century wood.