This Mill Valley, Calif., house owes much of its rustic good looks to the darkly stained, rough-hewn Douglas fir ceiling beams that were reclaimed from an Idaho pea processing plant.

In addition, interior designer Erin Martin repurposed discarded scaffolding boards into one-of-a-kind stairwell walls and transformed buoys from Washington’s Puget Sound into vibrant pendant lights.

To track down such interesting pieces, Scott Lee, AIA, of SB Architects relies on companies like Restoration Timber in San Francisco and California-based reclaimed wood expert Evan Shively. More customers are requesting recycled materials, Lee says, both for environmental and aesthetic reasons. “The house isn’t going to save the planet single-handedly, but it might move the meter just a little bit in that direction, because it gives people ideas about what’s possible.”

(See more on the Hillside House in EcoHome’s 2010 Design Awards coverage.)

Green Details

  • a salvaged door was scraped, re-painted, and hung from an old douglas fir beam to be used as a bathroom door.

    Trash to Treasure

    Reclaimed materials add character to architect Frederick Hyer's residential projects.

  • Looking Up

    Pine and oak trees from the site were used in the kitchen ceiling.

  • hand-hewn cypress beams salvaged from the ringling towers hotel flank the fireplace.

    Hidden Gems

    Reclaimed materials are a hallmark of custom builder Josh Wynne's projects.

  • rough-hewn douglas fir ceiling beams were reclaimed from an old factory.

    Reclaimed Beauty

    This California home owes much of its rustic good looks to reclaimed materials.

  • windows and doors were salvaged from area buildings and incorporated into the energy star home.

    Old Is New Again

    The Flip House remodel re-used nearly all of the materials deconstructed from the original 1924 home.