INTO THE WOOD

BY JOANNE XU | PHOTOGRAPHY BY HOLGER OBENAUS

From the sturdy foundation of polished hardwood floors beneath one’s feet to the tall, courageous beams supporting the ceiling above one’s head, there is a certain quality of resilience and elegance required by the wood used to create shelter and safety. To tastefully cover a home, a restaurant, a wine cellar with rich wood products is a feat on its own. To do so while using reclaimed wood products, and thus remaining environmentally conscious, is a whole other story. Nationwide, no one services this space better than the father-son duo, Don and Travis Rue, of Reclaimed DesignWorks (RDW).

Founded originally in Denver, Reclaimed DesignWorks arrived on the Dallas scene early this decade. The owners brought a passion for woodwork and a curiosity about the then budding Design District. Striving to make their mark within the Dallas design community, father and son opened a flagship showroom. Wedged between other local businesses that offer complementary products in home and office design, RDW has successfully integrated itself as a stop for patrons of the Design District.

Nearly five years later, Reclaimed DesignWorks boasts thriving showrooms in Denver and Dallas and claims the nation’s best experts in servicing reclaimed and traditionally milled wood products for interior and exterior residential and commercial design projects all across the country.

Today, the company’s bread and butter is supplying reclaimed wood products, everything from exquisite wide-plank flooring to antique reclaimed timber beams. RDW’s signature style, dubbed “mountain modern” in Colorado and “Hill Country modern” in Texas, is bold and masculine in its grandeur but also has the feminine touch of composure that Southern living demands. However, as the design industry and its clientele have evolved to represent a wider spectrum of tastes and aesthetics, so too has Reclaimed DesignWorks. “Being successful in this industry is ultimately about being able to evolve with the market alongside what our clients want,” says Travis Rue, co-founder and junior of the father-son team. “We’re experts in reclaimed and rustic at our core but have the flexibility to accommodate and take on any kind of aesthetic with our products, including more of a modern or contemporary feel.”

This patron-first mentality is what has inspired RDW to expand its specialties beyond the realm of reclaimed wood. This innovative step toward increased serviceability came from observing the dynamic range of clients they have encountered; the team has worked on everything from total home renovations to crafty “weekend warriors” looking for their next mini project. The company has broadened its breadth of expertise to create a seamless, start-to-finish customer experience. Cozy fireplace mantels, reclaimed wine and whiskey wood, even the distinctive beauty of Shou Sugi Ban, a style of Japanese charred wood— Reclaimed DesignWorks offers a one-stop shop for all things wood. “If there’s a surface that can be covered, we can do it,” says Rue.

What’s more, with the RDW team on the job, everything is customizable. The extensive inventory of wood options that’s stored in-house allows the team to source different species of wood nationwide without being restricted by region or aesthetic.

Half a decade after putting down roots in Texas, the Rues remain smitten with the exuberant energy of the Dallas design community. So much so, in fact, that plans to expand their showroom on Oak Lawn are already under way for the coming year. “We’re doubling down in Texas and offering more on-hand inventory and a wider spectrum of reclaimed and traditionally milled options than ever before,” says Rue. After all, for a city as lively and contemporary as Dallas, the least it deserves is the very best.

Joanne Xu is a writer and creative director living in Austin, Texas, specializing in the worlds of fashion and art.