There not a beach in the world that does not have some form of driftwood on it. It didn’t take long for people to realise that this awesome natural wood could be used to create stunning furniture full of character. From tables to lamps – there is literally no end to the type of furniture you can create with driftwood. And many people will end up having whole rooms devoted to driftwood décor!
But is it durable? Is it safe? How do you get a piece of furniture that is exactly what you had in mind? Let’s look a little deeper into this awesome furniture and find out!
Where Does Driftwood Come From?
Part of the attraction to driftwood furniture is that there is no telling where it has come from. There are various types of wood that can be washed ashore, each more mysterious than the last. The majority of driftwood will be twigs logs and sticks that have come from trees. They may have been washed into the sea via storms or flooding, sometimes they will come from loggers, and even sunken wooden ships. The possibilities are endless.
However it is nearly impossible to actually pinpoint where a specific piece of driftwood has come from. This is a huge selling point for most people, the mystery creates a stunning talking point for visitors to your home.
What Does Driftwood Decor Look Like?
Driftwood furniture has an overwhelming natural feel to it. It has almost always been bleached by the suns piercing UV rays. Meaning that your furniture will have a very naturally light color. Some designers decide to stain their driftwood – however this creates a very different appearance that is not typically what you would associate with driftwood.
The wood is almost always smooth too. It is anyone’s guess how long the wood has been adrift in the sea. The constant crashing of the waves, and the endless erosion of the water smooth all rough edges of to a beautiful smooth round shape.
These two factors combined make driftwood a stunning natural looking material – it is impossible to see a piece of driftwood furniture without thinking of the seaside.
Is Driftwood Furniture Strong?
Not particularly. The erosion of the sea and bleaching of the sun removes a lot of the strength of the wood. It is then dried out thoroughly before use which can make it quite a brittle building material. It is certainly strong enough for use in light structures like coffee tables, and console tables, but anything larger (that is expected to hold more than a few kilograms of weight ) will probably be quite fragile.
Some pieces of driftwood will not even be able to handle the weight of a coffe table. But any good carpenter / designer will be able to spot these pieces with ease. So providing you are not making your own driftwood furniture this should not be a problem.
We should mention that driftwood being weak is not always the case, and certain species of wood can keep their strength despite being exposed to the power of the ocean. But this is certainly the exception and not the rule.
Is It Safe?
Anyone that has started a campfire on a beach will know that driftwood is exceptionally good tinder. This means that it can be a large fire hazard in a home. You need to take exceptional care around it, keep it away from all sources of heat and if you do put a candle or something on it never leave it unattended.
How Do I Buy Driftwood Furniture?
You have two options here. Due to it being a sizable fire hazard none of the main retailers will usually stock driftwood furniture. So you have to go to smaller suppliers. Places like etsy and ebay are usually your best bet.
However because driftwood is so random in its shape and size you may struggle to find a piece of furniture that you like. So you can also contact the sellers to custom make you a piece. Providing you are not asking for something extremely unique this will not cost all that much more than buying the furniture “off the shelf” so it is well worth your time to enquire about a custom commission if you cannot find anything online that takes your fancy.
What Kinds Of Driftwood Décor Are Available?
There are several common types of furniture made out of driftwood. People often start up with one piece and end up with having a whole room styled in driftwood décor.
Lets look at some of the most popular below – be sure to click on the links to go to pages full of ideas for each type of furniture!
Driftwood coffee tables are the most popular piece of driftwood furniture. The wood is strong enough to support the weight of a coffee table and is usually made with a glass top. This allows you to see the beauty of the driftwood from lots of different angles.
Driftwood dressers are a less common occurrence, and need to be made from especially strong pieces of wood – mainly washed up planks that have come from ships or buildings. And while this rarity means they are not cheap – they are certainly impressive!
Driftwood lamps are another very common type of furniture made from driftwood. Small little pieces that are not suited for use in constructing larger pieces of furniture are utilised in these lamps. As they are abundant and are quick and easy to make – they are reasonably cheap!
Driftwood console tables are another great use of driftwood. They can only really be used to hold ornamental trinkets and should never be used to hold any substantial weight. Providing this is ok with you they can make a great addition to any home.
Driftwood TV tables and TV stands are at about the limit of what most driftwood can handle in terms of weight. Older CRT TV’s can be a little bit heavy for some driftwood TV tables – so make sure you ask your supplier what their recommended weight limit is.
Driftwood headboards are a great way to bring the feeling of the ocean into your bedroom. Making a whole bed out of driftwood would require some especially rare finds, so why not just get the headboard? They can look truly stunning!
Driftwood chandeliers are an amazing invention – whoever first thought of this idea should get some kind of award, they look truly stunning. They come in all shapes and sizes. From little quaint chandeliers to grand ballroom style ones – whatever your décor type and whatever your budget you will find plenty to choose from!
Driftwood chairs are a less common type of driftwood décor as you need to find some very strong pieces of wood to support the weight of an adult. These will probably have to be custom made if you have your heart set on one.
Driftwood picture frames are a great way to get a little bit of the seaside into your rooms décor without having to go crazy with it. They can look surprisingly contemporary in some cases. Take a look at what we mean by clicking the link above!
Driftwood mirrors are just as awesome as picture frames. A simple and cheap way to add a huge amount of interest into your room. Everyone loves looking in a mirror – so give your visitors an excuse to with a stunning mirror frame!
Driftwood wall art is soaring in popularity as of late. Many different types of art are available. From contemporary pieces, to wild and natural pieces – you will be able to find something to put on your walls regardless of your rooms décor.
Driftwood vanities are brilliant idea. What better room to have a feeling of the ocean in than your bathroom? Imagine waking up every morning and getting ready for the day while being constantly reminded of the beauty of the ocean. Simply magical!
So there you have it, a whole range of different types of driftwood furniture that can fit in with a huge range of different décor types. But be warned, driftwood furniture is addictive – and stopping at just one piece can be a little tricky!
Do you have driftwood furniture in your home? Are you a supplier? We would love to know your thoughts! Please leave a comment in box below!