Design Options for Home Construction

When you are building or renovating your home, you always want to add unique architectural elements that can enhance your surroundings. With a plethora of choices, where do you begin? The'CaliforniaNatural" style inspired by the sustainable woods and live-edge details are inherent to the laid-back vibe that epitomizes Southern California. This blends well with all styles - Modern, Traditional, Urban, Fixer-Upper. Much like the Fixer Upper-style that Joanna Gaines made so famous, Old Fashioned Lumber blends the woods, metals and reclaimed materials in a way to showcase all with a dramatic effect in your design. 


Where do you start when deciding upon finishes for your home? At the front door of course! The front DOOR is the best place to make your first impression - opt for an oversized entryway – a custom 10’ door with details that add more character and curb appeal. Imagine the expressions of your guests as they walk up the front path to your door to see something extraordinary. On the interior, a sliding door can add more space to a small room or become that dramatic effect that is needed for a room with few architectural elements.

An upgrade to make in your kitchen is in the choice of materials for your countertop and backsplash. The different options for tile have been trending showing a variety of choices. Have you considered a variation of tile by using wood blocks? The backsplash comprised of wood tiles or planks can add a different layer of relief to the wall drawing your eye with its directional lines. For the countertops, live edge wood slabs make a bold statement due to the undulating curves of the outer edge of the tree trunk. Consider doing a live edge detail combined with an accent color epoxy for your kitchen island. Or, if your kitchen has different areas, consider adding the live edge countertop in a featured area. 

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If you love the California Natural look, consider live edge as your entire kitchen countertop surface throughout. Combine that with the large window with a great southern California view, and you’ll never want to leave the kitchen.

Built-in furniture is another option to consider when upgrading your house. By adding floating shelving with a floating wall-hung buffet cabinet, you can visually expand the space of a dining room. In the living room, built-in shelving and entertainment units are appealing for those wanting a clean, modern linear feel. And bedrooms, especially those tucked away under the eaves of the house benefit from built-in dressers. All are a fantastic way to make use of your space. 


All of the design details and upgrades mentioned are projects that our team has built for our clients in San Diego. Homeowners, architects, designers, and builders have walked through our doors with a question and walked out with answers. Taking client ideas have and expanding upon them is our specialty! Our lumber yard is filled with a large inventory of wood species and sizes that allows for a speedy two-week turnaround on pieces that we produce for your home. Email us with details of what you’re working on and let us see how we can help you!

How to Choose the Right Wood for Your Project

When was the last time you walked through a store and saw anything created from wood that made you stop and say wow? Probably haven’t seen much of anything substantial lately, have you? That is why when you want to make a statement with your interiors you should take the time to have a quality piece of furniture created for you that will last a lifetime. In our workshop, we create handcrafted masterpieces on a daily basis.


Homeowners and designers spend hours in the design process at our showroom. Choosing the right wood for the project and discussing the nuances of your design with our team is the first step of the process.  Our lumber yard holds hundreds of linear feet of slabs, reclaimed wood planks, and root balls. All of which become astounding pieces of furniture. Spend the time looking through the slabs, creating an inspiration board filled with pictures, determine the hardware and special touches that you would like to include. Those slabs that you see with extreme shapes and holes can become a room centerpiece epoxy or glass are added,

Would you like to get started creating your masterpiece? Here are the types of words that we have in stock at Old Fashioned Lumber. 

BLACK WALNUT’s favorable working characteristics and vibrant color make it one of the most valued domestic lumbers. The heartwood of the tree ranges from dark tan to a deep chocolate brown, sometimes with streaks of purple and green hues. The natural and intricate edge combined with the rich grain and color created striking pieces – from coffee tables to chandeliers.

RECLAIMED WOOD is retrieved from its original application for reuse. Most reclaimed lumber comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, although some companies use wood from less traditional structures such as boxcars, coal mines, and wine barrels. Reclaimed or antique lumber is used primarily for decoration and home building, for example for siding, architectural details, cabinetry, furniture, and flooring.


RED CEDAR BURLS result from a tree undergoing some form of stress. An injury, virus or fungus may cause it. Most burls grow beneath the ground, attached to the roots as a type of malignancy that is generally not discovered until the tree dies or falls over. Burls yield a very peculiar and highly figured wood, prized for its beauty and rarity. It is sought after by furniture makers, artists, and wood sculptors. 

MARINE WOOD is our piece of San Diego history. Salvaged from the San Diego bait docks in Mission Bay, this wood has a unique surface texture created from years of ocean exposure creating amazing hues of turquoise and gold rust. 

SEQUOIA is easily machined, easy to saw and nail and has superior gluing properties as well as superior finish-holding ability. It is known for its easy maintenance and beautiful color: a deep reddish brown that darkens with age. 

SITKA SPRUCE is an exceptional wood renowned for its beauty and outstanding characteristics. With creamy white, pink-tinged sapwood and pink-brown heartwood, it matches perfectly with the Color of the Year“LivingCoral.” It is lightweight, has moderate strength properties, excellent resiliency, medium hardness and low resistance to abrasion.

WHITE PINE is generally sawn into lumber and used for making beautiful windows, doors, knotty paneling, subfloor and furniture.  It is light in weight with good working properties.  It turns, planes, and shapes well and can be sanded to a smooth finish.

YELLOW CEDAR, also known as Nootka Cypress, is native to the coastal regions of northwestern North America.  It is a fairly sought after wood for finish carpentry because of its durability, stability, and weather resistant qualities. Yellow Cedar's texture, uniform color, and straight grain will take a fine finish. This light-colored wood is very popular in interiors and coordinates well with the colors of Southern California interiors. 

Gather your notes about your project and visit us. We want to help you find the perfect piece of wood for your project. If you so desire, we can build it into a legacy piece that your family can use and cherish.


LEED certification, WELL certified, green building and sustainability have become mainstream keywords. What does this mean to you, and what effect does this have upon your life?

With the initiatives and mandates in energy and construction, the focus on performance, materials, smart grid and water conservation are bringing sustainable living to the forefront. In our offices and homes the focus is on using materials and systems that are more efficient, better for the health of you and the building, the use of materials that have been repurposed and for the long-run using materials that are capable of being recycled.  

California leads the country in sustainable standards and hopes to achieve its carbon neutral energy status within 30 years. "With extreme weather events becoming more frequent, there is even greater need for homes that are efficient, reliable and resilient," Bohan said, adding that the standards will result in buildings that" will continue to keep costs down, better withstand the impacts of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

What is LEED certification?

LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the most widely used green building rating system in the world. Available for virtually all building, community, and home project types, LEED provides a framework to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement.

The standardization helped to legitimize green design making that universally excepted and has since spurred the other movements based around creating even better work and live environments. Why is this important? The sustainability of our planet, the wellness of the environment in which we work and live, and creating buildings with longevity that benefit the surroundings – all critical factors in bettering life. We recognize the conservation and sustainability factors here at Old Fashioned Lumber in various ways. We reclaim wood from historical structures for reuse, we salvage fallen trees, and we remove dead or dangerous trees… all items that would have added more waste to a landfill in the past.

What are the benefits of LEED certification? According to the USGBC website:

LEED certified buildings save money and resources and have a positive impact on the health of occupants while promoting renewable, clean energy. LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. To receive LEED certification building projects satisfy prerequisites and earn points to achieve different levels of certification. 

At Old Fashioned Lumber we use a holistic approach - knowing how one part affects the whole. We view the big picture with the idea of bettering the environment for a long-term plan to sustainable living. With this in mind, we source and use local materials: 

•    we remove beams, timbers and architectural elements from historic buildings

•    salvage downed trees

•    remove dying trees

•    recycle metals 

With these recycled materials we then created handcrafted furnishings, fixtures, and finishes that provide credits towards LEED-certified buildings.

Who are local San Diego architects and interior designers in this field?

While most firms have LEED-certified architects and designers, some approach it with more voraciousness. The 2019 AIA awards ceremony showcased the amazing work of our local architecture firms and their work on LEED certified building projects. With awards going to The Miller Hull Partnership, Carrier Johnson + CULTURE, Gensler and many others, the creativity in designing beauty and sustainability shown forth.

Davy Architecture’s approach to design echoes our sentiment, “As a firm of LEED Accredited Professionals, we work to achieve optimum project solutions in the quality of spaces, durability of materials and systems, and reduction of water and energy consumption. We balance aesthetics, functionality, ease of maintenance, indestructibility, and cost-effectiveness throughout our design and construction process.  We’re fond of saying, ‘Our buildings should solve problems, not create new ones!’”

Moreover, as lovers of our Southern California climate that allows us to bring the outdoor spaces in, we appreciate the Interior Designers who make full use of a client’s environment. As Kim Nadel said, “I like spaces that are flexible and have a relaxed elegance - open spaces that blur the line between outdoor and indoor living. Living green doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style – I can create any look and still tread lightly on the planet, in fact, I live this way. Our studio in Cardiff by the Sea is built with wood materials sourced from locally managed forests, powered by solar energy, and features folding glass door systems that allow the bright outdoor light and air in. From the mineral-based Venetian plaster walls to the LED specialty lighting, it’s my personal lab for green design and inspired coastal living.”

What Old Fashioned Lumber products count towards LEED certification?

Because every board and beam we mill is guaranteed reclaimed wood, our products are eligible to contribute many LEED points to a project. Furniture, signage, paneling, historical artifacts - regardless of your needs, our team can contribute to your Green Building, LEED certification, WELL certification or Living Building project.

Seven LEEDS Credits that Old Fashioned Lumber reclaimed wood products are eligible for include:

•    MR Credit 3: Materials Reuse: 1-2 Points

•    MR Credit 5: Regional Materials: 1-2 Points

•    MR Credit 4: Recycled Content: 1-2 Points

•    MR Credit 6: Rapidly Renewable Materials: 1 Point

•    MR Credit 7: Certified Wood: 1 Point

•    IEQ Credit 4.4: Low-Emitting Materials—Composite Wood and Agrifiber Products: 1 Point

•    Innovation and Design Process- ID: 1-4 Points 

We are available to discuss your project needs with you. Please call or email us with your questions. We are a proud proponent of repurposed handcrafted furnishing and finishes. Sustainability of our natural resources matters!  

A Resolute Purpose and Old Fashioned Lumber’s Promise to You

As we start a new year, we all reflect and plan for what we want the next 365 days to bring. Old Fashioned Lumber is my small business that I created because of my love of nature and craftsmanship. I have invested my and my family’s time and resources into building a company that will support our community and us. As we spent our holidays surrounded by those we love, I was reminded of what is important to me, my community and my purpose.

Choose Beauty

Your surroundings define and mold you. The importance of beauty in all that you touch and do shows with improved health, mental clarity, imagination, and humor. Essential aspects of healthy living. Those who live in the“BlueZones” understand those factors of life - how taking time during the day to connect to nature, to slow down and not rush through a task, to linger over a meal with family and friends – add such a stabilizing effect. Small items that are often forgotten when the stress of day-to-day living takes hold. Beauty in my surroundings keeps me balanced and healthy. Watching my little boy grow while my wife cares for him being the best mother I have ever seen – those moments of beauty build my character and capabilities.


With the overwrought consumerism mentality of “buy it, use it and lose it” our mission is to remind others to reduce – reuse – recycle – repurpose. My workshop is filled with innovative and imaginative ways to reuse items in a way that will bring life and beauty back to an unwanted or used item. Turning an engine block into a piece of engineering artwork by carving it down into a table base. Salvaging fallen trees that look like a heap of broken pieces into slabs that become beautiful tables. Taking a gnarled tangle of a rootball and cutting it down into a table base. Make the bold choice to invest in sustainability and to purchase items that will be with you for a lifetime. 

Grow & Expand

“It takes a tribe,” no words were better spoken. This year brought incredible growth in my life – my family, my business, my business colleagues and my close friends. Without the structure that I had in place and that which I am building, I would not be expanding on a personal and business level. The ever expansive ability to grow intellectually, to be stimulated to research a topic because of a conversation – my tribe influences me to better myself and our lives on a daily basis.

I’m excited to be building and expanding as I have planned this year. My promise to you is always to deliver beautifully handcrafted furniture and finishes that are sustainable pieces that benefit your surroundings and this earth. 

I look forward to seeing you soon and give you a new year handshake. 

My best to you in this new year.


High-end Furniture Created from Repurposed Objects & Timbers


Beauty is found in Repurposing Objects to Create One-of-a-Kind Furniture for Your Interiors

Luxury homes and offices with wow-factor always incorporate pieces of furniture that no one else will be able to posses. Old Fashioned Lumber creates these handcrafted masterpieces for corporations, musicians, actors and well-known members of our community.


Rootball Table Created from Salvaged Trees at Mraz Family Farms


Salvaged Avocado Trees from Mraz Family Farms become Works-of-Art as Rootball Tables


The extensive amount of work subjected to the creation of a rootball table starts with cleaning. Hours later, when the dirt has been washed away, the team dives into sculpting the roots.

These works of art take years of growth and hundreds of artisan hours.


Furniture Created from Wine Barrels


When French Oak Barrels Take a New Life as Furniture

At Old Fashioned Lumber we take pride in bringing new life to old objects. Our furniture collection crafted from old wine barrels showcases our handcrafted furniture. We take pride in using reclaimed items and repurposing them to create high-end furniture for your home and office interiors.


The Wine Barrel Collection pieces are available and are handcrafted upon order. Email us to place your order. Lead-time on these pieces are 2-4 weeks.

We look forward to helping you with your interiors project. We enjoy seeing your dreams come to life in your environment. You’ll have to share pictures with us once you have these pieces in place!