Mother Earth Living

Salvaged Soul: A Salvaged Wood Home in West Virginia

Willie Drake's family retreat in the West Virginia mountains exemplifies his life's work: salvaging and reusing beautiful old lumber.

The oak ceiling boards are stained white to reflect light and complement the vertical and horizontal chestnut wall paneling. The table boards are made from beer vats salvaged from the Guiness brewery in Dublin.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
A deck overlooks the trout stream that flows past the house. As a gift to the Drakes, builder Bruce Wohleber fashioned a handmade Adirondack chair for each family member.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
One of the home's primary features is a tower room that provides 360-degree treetop views.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
The enormous porch hearth is among the Drakes' favorite spots. Like the living room fireplace, it's constructed of local fieldstone by a mason based in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
The fireplace is made from native stone, an ancient chestnut timber and metal supports salvaged from a factory. It makes a simple but arresting focal point in the living room.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
Willie Drake saves new trees by salvaging old wood.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
Builder Bruce Wohleber crafted the home's many built-in furnishings. To contrast with the extensive use of natural-finish wood, he paneled some walls—such as these in the living room—with the same white-stained oak boards as many of the ceilings.
Photo By Michael Shopenn
Floors throughout the home's interior are distressed heart pine, reclaimed from Providence, Rhode Island. The kitchen's cabinets were all fabricated from local wormy chestnut.
Photo By Michael Shopenn

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