Driftwood as Decor

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image: mOOby

Wood is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

I’m in love with interiors that feature wood floors, exposed beams, and furniture made with wood, but nothing compares to reclaimed wood projects. The older, more used wood gets, the more character it is.

Lately, I’m obsessing with driftwood, since live by natural beaches full of it. I’m forever in awe at the shapes and textures found on the beaches, and it inspired me to have a look on the web for amazing ideas that I might be able to work with for myself.

Half the joy in these pieces comes from knowing their makers spent all that time scouring for the right piece of wood on a beach or forest floor. Driftwood’s potential only limited to the imagination.

These are some ideas I love.


Lamps come in many varieties when it comes to driftwood lighting projects. This is a rustic, yet beautiful, lamp made with lots of random driftwood pieces blended together for a chunky, funky lighting option.

There are so many lamp ideas that boggle my mind. Do a Google image search for “driftwood lamp” and perhaps you’ll become as determined as I am to make one of my own, if I can finally decide on a style!


From rustic to elaborate, there is no shortage on options for driftwood tables, either. Many feature large, knotty, gnarly twisted bases covered with a sheet of tempered glass, but there are very rustic and basic designs too, which I really love.

The simplest and most flexible, I think, is this great design for a concrete kitchen table with one end mounted to the wall and the other supported by a single beautiful piece of wood. The concrete tabletop means marrying two of nature’s brilliant looks — stone and wood — into one utilitarian piece, and the protruding log keeps it natural and rugged, while looking modern and minimalist.

While it’d be hard to get this sleek, modern look in a made-at-home project, these battered planks make a gorgeous long table for the dining room, and I just love this feel from the Flotsam & Jetsam table by Marcus O’Reilly Design.

Stools and chairs

Artists like Sylvan Tutch make us realize the true potential of driftwood art with stunning chairs like this “Storytelling Chair” on his site. I could certainly get into a rousing rendition of Where The Wild Things Are told by a passionate storyteller from that chair.

Even simpler designs, like these upholstered-top driftwood stools, have a charm all their own, whether found in a beachside retreat or a cool urban loft.

driftwood on the beach

Driftwood; the raw materials for some pretty cool decor. (image: Steffani Cameron)



Driftwood looks grey and battered, but under all that ocean assault, when it’s stripped back, a stain can yield incredible color, like in this beautiful red oak bench. It’s made from a whole beached log that’s been split to reveal the stunning center and all that gorgeous graining.

For a minimalist look and in great contrast to the one above, this is a simplistic, natural driftwood bench that hasn’t been revived.

And this Canadian artist has this massive whole stump with seating carved into it — 3 seats, 600 pounds, and $12,000. Considering you’d need a backhoe to get it off the beach, it seems like a simple project but fraught with great effort and expense. But it’d be a heckuva piece for your yard, don’t you think?


From towel holders to garden gates, driftwood is a versatile and beautiful material to work with. This elaborate portal to a garden world shows how simple yet stately a driftwood gate can be.

This simple driftwood-with-hooks necklace holder is a beautiful, easy, and cheap project that would look great in any home. I would use nice pegs of some kind, or drawer pulls, but that’d be $20 or so compared to this blogger’s whopping $1 project.

Here’s a lovely variation on that theme which can be used as a coat rack or a herb-drying rack, or anything else you fancy. It just shows you it all depends on the hooks you use.

You could make a driftwood shelf, like the one on this page. Or this one.

And there are mirrors, picture frames, candle holders, and more.

Inspiration is a beach

Next time you’re at a wood-strewn shore, maybe there’s a piece of driftwood that speaks to you.

Consider everything from making a bar counter to garden features, because odds are you’ll find an example you love and can replicate if you do a good search on the web for some inspiration — like I have!

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Steffani Cameron

Steffani Cameron is a Victoria BC-based writer on a variety of topics. Here on the BuildDirect blog, she specializes in writing about smaller, urban spaces. How do you make the most of your smaller space? How do you decorate it to suit you? And how do you wage the war against clutter and win? This is Steff’s specialty.