Barns to Bourbon Barrels: Time to Reclaim

Story and photos by JD Dotson

Artists and craftspeople have been reclaiming materials into functional pieces of décor or housewares for ages. Recycling and upcycling never go out of style as old, discarded bits become new, cherished décor for the home. We all know the old idiom, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and in these Louisville boutiques, treasures are abundant.

There was something beautiful about the combination of the paint and the texture of the weathered wood in this painting – as well as the sweet look in the eyes of the horse – that struck me.

Horse painting on reclaimed wood 24 x 32, $237

Reflections of You, by Amy

3935 Chenoweth Square



Local artist Renee McCartan can paint your furry friend from a photograph on reclaimed Kentucky barn wood. The shop carries ready-to-go pieces in the same style by McCartan in a variety of subject matter. Outlines of Kentucky, jockey silks and, of course, chickens and horses adorn planks of wood from long-torn-down structures from all across the state.

Reclaimed Kentucky barn wood pet portraits and paintings, $75-$115 (prices and sizes vary)

Cartwheels Paper and Gifts

3919 Chenoweth Square



Locally-made lids can go right from the barrel to the wall, and the varied brands of barrel heads are affixed with iron fleur de lis and other designs.

Bourbon barrel wall hanging, $125


3632 Brownsboro Road



This table-top tray made by local Jeff Cummins is massive in size and made from a trio of barrel staves.

Barrel stave tray 10 x 35, $75


562 S. Fourth St., Louisville

234 Pearl St., New Albany



Colored pencils are usually scattered around my studio, so I was instantly drawn to this hand-turned vase by local Rob Roby. Colorful, beautiful and sleek, it’s much easier to pick up than the 100 or so rolling around on my desk.

Turned resin and upcycled colored pencil vase by Rob Roby, $280

This handmade stool from barrel and steel, all of which is designed and forged in studio, is functional and surprisingly comfortable.

Small batch furniture stool by Maynard Studios, $795

CRAFT(S) Gallery and Mercantile

572 S. Fourth St.



Paul Nelson’s reclaimed steel and barrel-ring floor lamp is a behemoth of a conversation piece. In addition, Nelson’s table-top lamps use thermometers, bourbon bottles or recycled steel, and all of them feature old-timey Edison bulbs for the perfect lighting effect.

Barrel ring and pipe floor lamp by local Paul Nelson, $425

I spent most of my junior high existence feeding quarters into Pac Man arcade games, which are now turned into sleek, modern coffee tables by artist Mike Kaphammer. If I could get back all of those quarters, I would buy several of these for my friends.

Pac-Man arcade game coffee table by Mike Kaphammer, $1,200

Revelry Boutique Gallery

742 E. Market St.