Reclaimed Wood ATX sources most of its wood from century-old Midwest barns and fallen trees. “Our niche is American history that’s worn down, giving it a new breath of life,” says co-owner Amber Liimatta.
She founded Reclaimed Wood ATX to create a reason to move to Austin, leaving her career in corporate finance in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, behind. Though not a woodworker herself, Liimatta is the creative visionary behind the reclaimed wood design and material supply store in East Austin.
Liimatta relocated here seven months ago, and on February 9, she officially debuts her storefront on East Sixth Street, which soft-opened last month. It features furniture in various repurposed woods such as White and Red Oak, Chocolate White Oak, Elm, Ash, Hickory, Maple, Black Locust, and Black Walnut. Everything in the 2,300-square-foot showroom is for sale — though the displays only offer a glimpse of what Reclaimed Wood ATX can do.
Liimatta’s partner, Tadd Morris, owns the Durand, Michigan-based sawmill 2nd Chance Wood Company. It counts more than 70 restaurants throughout the Midwest as clients, including Michigan-based breweries Lansing Brewery and HopCat. Over its seven years of operation, 2nd Chance Wood has cultivated an extensive portfolio of residential and other commercial work that Reclaimed Wood ATX is now making more accessible to the Austin market. Large-scale projects are among the sawmill’s strong suits. “One of the coolest projects we did was a 40-foot table for the lobby of a hotel. It had 36 different, handcrafted legs,” Liimatta says.
With the sawmill’s staff of 50 and a massive inventory — thanks to the vast number of old barns on the brink of collapse across the Midwest — Reclaimed Wood ATX can turn around big projects quickly. “We can make 200 restaurant tables, all reclaimed and one-of-a-kind, within six to eight weeks,” says Liimatta, who is eager to build and furnish their first restaurant, brewery, or coffee shop in Austin.
On the other side of the spectrum, Reclaimed Wood ATX can craft an original, Texas Pecan-wood coffee table through its local artisan network. “All local workers who we work with use reclaimed wood, which fits with our vision of eco-friendly, repurposed, refurbished,” Liimatta adds. So far, Reclaimed Wood ATX has designed kitchens, bathrooms, and furniture for Austin homes, as well as an 8-food-wide cabinet for Trianon Coffee in Westlake.
From sliding barn doors to hairpin legs, Reclaimed Wood ATX is well-versed in the design trends du jour. The sawmill has custom-made dozens of contemporary and rustic sliding barn doors for houses, hotels, and offices, and they’re known to stack sections of tree trunks on thin, metal legs to make industrial-style tables of various sizes and functions.
Mixed media is also in high demand — “like rustic wood tops with very modern metal bases such as black steel,” Liimatta says. Reclaimed Wood ATX has teamed up with Erik Vitela, founder of Austin Metal Fabrication, for its metal framework. The company also combines reclaimed wood and stone via Scott Alan Brunson, local hand-made stoneworker and founder of Luna Pietra. Through the sawmill, Liimatta additionally has access to a bunch of corrugated tin — that “cool, rusty barn roof tin.”
Reclaimed Wood ATX also loves to utilize the “live edge,” allowing the organic shape of the wood to form one edge of a bar top counter or table.
Beyond designing, the company stocks raw material. Its inventory on hand, available to local woodworkers, is varied and ever-changing, currently including wood from 100-plus-year-old barns, an Austin middle school’s bleachers, and the interior wood of a local home built in 1912.
Reclaimed Wood ATX’s space functions as an art gallery as well as a reclaimed wood showroom, open to everyone. “My vision was to have an art gallery but for furniture,” Liimatta says. Ultimately, she integrated a variety of pieces by local artists into her wood-focused exhibit.
Josh Row created the mural on Reclaimed Wood ATX’s storefront — an arresting yellow, black, and white painting of a fist gripping a sledge hammer, emerging above roses and nails. “I gave him creative freedom to do whatever he wanted, and it turned out amazing,” Liimatta says.
Her grand opening will feature art by six local artists, including more pieces by Row, and paintings on high-gloss photo paper by the aforementioned stoneworker, Brunson. Other artwork on display will include “Cactus & Skulls” paintings on reclaimed wood by Valentina Dorsa; wood jewelry by Kate Acker; woven wall hangings by local interior designer Dréa Peter; and watercolor art by Heidi Miller Lowell.
Liimatta will celebrate her Reclaimed Wood ATX vision come to life with the Austin community next week at the store’s official grand opening. The free event, Thursday, February 9, from 6-9 pm, is presented by Revelry and sponsored by Mighty Swell Cocktails, which will serve sparkling drinks.
Liimatta plans to host more pop-up art shows as well as sponsor creative and entrepreneurial meetups, much like another neighbor Hops & Grains Brewing is known to do, she says. Her showroom recently served as the venue for a woodworking social. Active in women’s networking groups, she’s also interested in providing an inspirational environment for their events.
Reclaimed Wood ATX is located in a warehouse at 2505 E. Sixth St. near Pedernales Street, tucked between other recent additions: Prime Pet and Austin Coding Academy.