Reclaimed, reloved: celebrating the natural beauty of reclaimed teak wood

24 June 2022

Sustainability sits at the heart of everything we are at TREE – since our very beginnings, we have been committed to offering timeless eco-wood furniture made responsibly and sustainably. In fact, many of our very first designs were crafted from solid reclaimed wood, with natural markings and weathered surfaces giving each item its individuality. Today, our reclaimed teak wood furniture remain firm favourites among our customers, who fall in love with each piece’s raw and rustic charm and the unique history that it carries. In today’s bLOG post, we delve into the story behind our reclaimed teak wood, and highlight some of our naturally stylish, functional designs crafted with this incredible material.

Old wood, new life

The story of our reclaimed wood begins in East Java, Indonesia, where, in a previous life, it was once part of remote village houses. Known for its strength, resistance to all kinds of weather and climates, as well as its natural oil that offers protection against moisture, it’s no wonder that teak has been commonly used for generations to construct houses, boats and furniture.

So how does this wonderful wood come to be reclaimed? Local tradition dictates that a house should be rebuilt after it has lived through three generations of families – a custom that stems from the ancient belief of cycles and was practiced by the king of Hindu Buddhist dynasties. Upon dismantling, blessings and thanks are offered to the house, after which the wood is ready to embark on its next journey in life.

The wood is then sold and is properly documented to ensure it meets the strict rules governing the sale and use of teak wood – a precious resource. Pieces are hand sorted based on size and features – many of which still have their original nails and paint that add to their character and individuality.

Skilled carpenters then take these simple, rustic slats of reclaimed wood and give them a new lease of life. It is a meticulous process of hand selecting the right wood to suit each collection, and employing age-old techniques that have been passed down from generations. The result is a beautifully crafted, wooden furniture piece brimming with naturally unique textures that tell the story of its past – something that could never be reproduced or imitated by newly cut wood.

Bringing sustainable style to Hong Kong

TREE took root in 2005, bringing solid wood furniture made responsibly into Hong Kong. Our brand was the first in the city to offer such an extensive range of stylish solid wood furniture made with natural, renewable materials, and is still at the forefront in this space. Indeed, it was TREE that proved design and sustainability can truly go hand in hand!

Fast forward to today, where we remain a go-to among Hong Kong residents for solid eco-wood furniture. While reclaimed teak is our heartland, we’re proud to now also offer a wide range of furniture designs made from teak and oak that is sustainably sourced or FSC™-certified.

Over the years, there has been rising awareness of the global impact we have on our environment, which in turn has shifted the trend towards more environmentally friendly products and practices. We are delighted that we’re starting to see this growing awareness spreading throughout Hong Kong, and that our appreciation for sustainable, beautifully crafted wooden furniture is becoming shared.

Read on below to discover some of our solid reclaimed teak collections!

Anything but basic

Despite its name, our basic collection is anything but! Handcrafted with reclaimed solid teak, these functional storage solutions are brimming with character, with warm wooden tones and timeless, clean-lined designs that make each piece perfect for everyday use.

Featured: Basic collection

Stylish storage, sorted

Our cube collection was created on the notion of having a flexible storage solution that works hard for you and whichever space you are in. Two, three, and four-shelf designs can be used individually or be stacked together to create storage solutions entirely customised to you. Thanks to its modular design, cube is certainly a storage solution that will last you a lifetime, adapting with you as your style and needs change – as they so often do when living in Hong Kong!

Featured: Cube collection 

Dining delight

A firm favourite, our husky dining table is an original TREE design that has been around since our very beginnings. Its simple, symmetrical silhouette and clean lines allow for the natural beauty of solid reclaimed teak to speak for itself, while a timeless design ensures it matches with any interior style. Available in an array of sizes (but can also be custom-made to your specific dimensions), husky is the ultimate dining companion and is sure to live with you through your most delicious moments. Pair it with our straight bench in FSC™-certified solid teak for a warm, casual and inviting setting, or mix and match with our wide selection of dining chairs for a more eclectic look.

Featured: Husky dining table | Straight bench

Bold and beautiful

Our kotak U dining table is another well-loved, signature design. Its distinctive U-shaped legs add a lightness that contrasts against its bold, chunky design, and offers plenty of leg room for all your dinner guests. kotak U is also available in a choice of sizes, and, like the rest of our reclaimed wood collections, can be customised to your specifications so that it can perfectly suit your dining space.

Featured: Kotak U dining table | Kotak U bench

Ahoy there!

Sitting alongside our signature eco-wood furniture made with teak reclaimed from old houses are our boat wood stools, which embrace the lovingly weathered surfaces and vibrant paint marks from their past (and perfectly embody the Wabi Sabi aesthetic that embraces all things old and natural!). Salvaged from old fishing vessels that once sailed the Southeast Asian seas, these colourful stools are packed with history and make for wonderful conversation pieces wherever you place them.

Our boat wood stools all bear unique markings and colours that make each piece truly one-of-a-kind – we recommend visiting us in-store to pick one that speaks to you.

Featured: Boat wood stools 

From enduring harsh weather climates, living through families’ most memorable moments, to sailing the Southeast Asian seas, each of our naturally stunning reclaimed wood furniture pieces have a story to tell!