Increased demand for eco-conscious furnishings has meant more work for Kelly Lee Kelly. And she welcomes it. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in popularity with our furniture,” says Kelly, the creative force behind Furniture From the Barn in Chester County.
All pine and chestnut boards are salvaged from a local Amish business that tears down old barns in Chester and Lancaster counties, plus Maryland. The wood is transported directly to Kelly’s Nottingham workshop. “The reclaimed barn wood tells the story of the walls that once sheltered farm animals and held the crops of hardworking farmers,” says Kelly, whose husband, Michael, is an expert carpenter and draftsman.
Each Furniture from the Barn piece is finished with environmentally friendly products like tung oil and milk paint. The oil brings out the original patina of weathered wood, giving the finished product a natural matte finish. Many clients opt for a milk paint finish on their armoires, hutches and bookcases. It allows for distressing, which produces an aged look. “Milk paint comes in a variety of colors,” says Kelly. “Most requested are black, blue and barn-red.”
Kelly’s initial inspiration was her father, “Pop George,” who started his farm-based hand-finishing business more than 40 years ago. She designs a full range of furniture in a variety of styles, from traditional to modern. “Just because we’re using reclaimed, rustic barn wood doesn’t mean we can’t make a modern piece of furniture from it,” she says.
191 Greenhouse Road, Nottingham; (610) 932-1122, furniturefromthebarn.com