Rare Wood Show Stopper

midcoast maine

Transforming this original 200 year old farmhouse which was later turned into several separate apartments into a family residence, required removing two stairways and replacing them with one main set of stairs. This new staircase would be your first view upon entering the main door of the house. It also lies at the connection of two different sections of the house each with their own shades and widths of floor boards. A special set of stairs would not only serve as a pathway upstairs, but would help to visually delineate the two very different floorings as it draws your eye naturally upwards.

As the remodel progressed and our attentions were taken up to the attic for some insulation needs, we rejoiced to find some hidden treasure! The flooring up there was 200 year old pumpkin-pine planks in good condition. These boards needed to be pulled up regardless to place the insulation. The question we posed to our client was this: 

“Would you like these put back where they were or reclaimed to use in the main part of the house?” 

(We already knew the answer knowing this client, but we were delighted to hear it anyway!) 

“Those belong on the stairs.”

We’re just in love with the story that this rich, orange wood tells! Eastern White Pine will naturally age or patina after a minimum of about 80 years to have a rich, warm orange hue. The older the wood, the richer and more thoroughly it is tinted all the way to the middle of the board. These particular planks were originally hand-planed, so we just lightly sanded and sealed them to allow those beautiful markings to tell the labor of love that had gone before.

We love the opportunity to reclaim older woods! Often the slow-growth woods sawn down centuries ago simply cannot be reproduced from modern trees. We also love working with clients who celebrate the story of their own place and the history of those who lived and worked there before. We, however, probably won’t build you an outhouse, even if you ask!

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