The S “A” Team

Every Tuesday morning at Southern Accents begins with a team meeting. This is actually the only time during the week that we are all in one place at the same time. We gather upstairs and sit around our large, custom made salvaged wood table. Ben arrives with a bag of fresh, warm doughnuts from one of our local bakeries. Everyone grabs a cup of coffee or a bottled Coke from the cooler and we begin the meeting with prayer. The primary purpose for our weekly gathering is two fold: to encourage one another and to plan our schedule for the upcoming week.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our weekly meeting has become an integral part of our business. We always spend a few minutes discussing personal issues. We talk about our kids, our pets, our weekend ventures. We laugh a lot and at times have shed a few tears. This is our time to catch up with one another and make sure that we are all doing well. If there are needs or issues to be addressed, we do it here.

The next order of business is business! We each have our “to do” list that we go over in detail. The goal is to make sure that we are all on the same page. We discuss custom orders, sales goals, deliveries, and upcoming projects. We talk about marketing and toss around ideas for newsletter topics. And we talk about wood… we talk a LOT about wood!

The bulk of our business involves wood. Wood doors, wood mantels, wood columns, wood corbels and wood trim. We have an entire warehouse filled with nothing but salvaged wood. Everything from old barnwood to antique wood flooring. Wood that has been salvaged from the walls of historic houses and vintage beams from old log cabins and industrial mills. If you were a fly on the wall listening in on the conversations, there would be no doubt about the fact that we love what we do! We have a team of creative artists who get excited about an upcoming salvage mission. Skilled craftsmen and wood workers who gaze on a stack of salvaged wood the way a painter looks at a blank canvas. Ask our guys what they “do for fun” and they will be quick to tell you that they spend their free time building furniture or creating artistic pieces for no other reason than to feed their creative soul!

Stop by our showroom or wood warehouse and talk to any of our teams members! We love to hear about your creative ideas and to give input in the design process. Our knowledgeable team can help you pick out the perfect materials for your next project!


What’s Your Canvas?

Southern Accents famous salvaged wood wall!

Speak of artwork and the vision that pops into most people’s mind would be that of a framed canvas, hanging on a wall, showcasing a beautiful scene or portrait created by an artist via the use of brushes and paints. While a canvas may be the most recognized medium for artwork, art takes on many different forms and the canvas could be just about anything! Photographers, wood workers, sculptors, welders, musicians, chefs and other creatives are producing exquisite works of art from some of the most unlikely mediums.

If you are a regular reader of our weekly newsletter or have visited our showroom in the past few months, you’ve surely already seen our salvaged wood wall. This work of art was created from a pile of discarded wood sitting at our wood warehouse. Artists and creatives visit our showroom weekly seeking old tin ceiling tiles, salvaged wood, old doors, glass paned windows, and salvaged hardware, to be used as a canvas for their unique works of art. We have THE most creative customers! We are always humbled by your passion and intrigued with your many unique ideas.

What’s your canvas? Summer is a great time to allow your creative juices to run rampant! We have a warehouse full of salvaged items waiting to be turned in to beautiful works of art. If you need a little inspiration, check out our Pinterest boards. We’ve pinned a lot of ideas to get you started. Stop by our showroom and talk with us about your next project.

We also LOVE to receive pictures of your finished works. If you have a picture to share, please send it to info@sa1969.com or feel free to post pictures to our Facebook page.

Written by: Lisa Jones


The Tanner House

Southern Accents at The Tanner HouseSouthern Accents is a 45 year old family owned and operated business that resides in the heart of historical downtown Cullman, Alabama. We love our community and the small town values of the people we are surrounded by. While the internet has allowed us the opportunity to reach customers worldwide, having a physical presence in a second location has been an idea that, in recent years, we have considered. We’ve always believed that for this idea to become reality, the right opportunity would present itself and that when it did, we would know it. That right opportunity was recently presented to us! We now have a presence at The Tanner House in Nolensville, Tennessee and we are beyond thrilled!

Nolensville is a small, thriving town in East Tennessee. The area very much reminds us of downtown Cullman. When our good friend Mike Minard approached us with an idea that would allow us to showcase some of our architectural finds there, it just felt right. This past April, Mike and his wife Gretchen opened for business. The Tanner House is a vintage market located in an early 1900′s house that sits on the strip in Nolensville’s historical downtown shopping distract. Visit The Tanner House and you will find a unique collection of antiques, vintage goods, gift items and architectural finds.

Southern Accents has placed a unique collection of architectural antiques, including antique doors, mantels, bath fixtures, lighting, windows and more, at The Tanner House. Our hope is that expanding our physical presence will allow more people the opportunity to see the quality and beauty of the architectural pieces that we are salvaging. Pictures are great and words can be very descriptive, but there is no replacement for being able to physically see the grain and patina of aged wood or run your hand over the lines and curves of a piece of antique wrought iron. While this is a new venture for us… it is one that we hope will grow and expand over time.

We invite you to stop by The Tanner House and shop all of their beautiful inventory of antique and vintage goods, including architectural pieces from Southern Accents! Located about 15 minutes outside of Franklin, Tennessee, you can find them at 7307 Nolensville Road. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 am till 6 pm. You can reach them by phone at 615-776-7307. When you stop by, don’t forget to tell them that Southern Accents sent you their way!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Appointment Please

As creative souls, we love the opportunity to sit down with our customers and give input on design ideas of your various projects. Whether it is a home renovation using salvaged materials, a specific custom creation, such as a table or door, the use of salvaged materials in restaurant decor or stage design, we enjoy being involved in the design process. While we would love to be able to sit down and spend one-on-one time with every customer, during our regular business hours, it is just not always possible. However, while Southern Accents showroom is closed to the public on Sundays and Mondays, we are available on Mondays for this creative process by appointment!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

If you’ve ever lived in a small town, you already know regular business hours are typically a little “different!” For Cullman, Alabama, that means that most businesses downtown, even a lot of the local restaurants, are closed on Mondays. Since most of the downtown businesses open on Saturday, Sunday and Monday are needed to allow owners and employees an opportunity to rest so that we can continue to work hard throughout the week. Most weeks, however, we will have a few out-of-town customers not familiar with this small town practice, travel to Cullman, only to be disappointed that we are closed. Even though our showroom is closed on Mondays, you can call ahead and book an appointment for a one-on-one consultation with Southern Accents owner, Garlan Gudger or sales team member Ben Sellers. Those seeking an appointment are asked to call at least one to two weeks in advance to inquire on appointment availability. Making a Monday appointment allows us the opportunity to focus our full attention on your project without the distractions of the day to day business during the rest of the week.

Once you’ve booked an appointment we encourage you to come prepared! Some of the things you will want to bring with you for your appointment include blueprints, exact measurements, sketches, and design ideas. If you have pictures of what you want your project to look like, print them off or have them organized on a Pinterest board that we can look at. If your project involves using salvaged materials for home, office or restaurant decor or possibly a stage design, have a sketch and measurements of the room or stage layout. The better prepared you are, the more progress we can make during your appointment.

During your appointment, you will be able to sit down with Garlan or Ben and discuss your project. If you are ready to look at materials, you will be able browse our selection of architectural antiques and salvaged goods in our showroom as well as our warehouses. If you are ready to make a purchase, you will also have the opportunity to purchase materials that day so come prepared to haul your wares home!

Ready for some one-on-one time? Call our showroom at 877 737-0554 during our regular business hours of Tuesday – Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm. Makenzie will take your request and contact information and then get back with you to schedule your appointment! We look forward to working with you on your next project!


Fly Me To The Moon!

We were SO excited about an event that took place this past Saturday in Huntsville, Alabama. Southern Accents created a one-of-a-kind stage design for “NASA on the Square!” Downtown Huntsville, Inc. partnered with Marshall Space Flight Center for an event that celebrated the amazing past, present and future programs and missions of NASA. This event took place on the Square in Downtown Huntsville on Saturday, June 21st, from 11:00 am till 4:00 pm. The festivities, designed for all ages, included live music, food, free activities, chats with astronauts, and more.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

In recent years, Southern Accents has been involved in the design and construction of several stages and sets. Our biggest projects to date have been Billy Reid’s set for 2013 Fashion Week in New York City as well as our work the past two years at Southern Makers. After the huge success of the first Southern Makers event, Southern Accents signed on for round two as one of the SM event curators and set designers. Coming off a second successful Southern Makers festival, we were approached about collaborating with NASA and GMC for this exciting event. Southern Accents was asked to design and construct the stage that was used by Marshall Center researchers, scientists and other team members as they presented short talks about their work. There was also live bands performing on the stage throughout the day. Agreeing to take on this project was an easy decision. Garlan stated, “Flying to the moon in a space rocket is a childhood dream of most young boys. The chance to be involved with the Marshall Space Flight Center for this celebration is an honor and an opportunity we knew we could have a lot of fun with!”

The Tintin rocket was the inspiration for the stage setup at "NASA on the Square" in Huntsville, Alabama.

The Tintin rocket was the inspiration for the stage setup at “NASA on the Square” in Huntsville, Alabama.

When sketching out design ideas for the stage, the obvious theme was a rocket. Andrea Jean of GMC was inspired by the Tintin rocket from the comic book series. Playing off of that idea, we incorporated a salvaged carnival ride rocket in our set design!

Huntsville has been home to the Marshall Center for more than 50 years! As always, we are proud of our Alabama connection and honored to have participated in this celebration.

This salvaged carnival rocket will be incorporated into the stage design. Thanks to the Tanner House in Nolensville, Tennessee for finding this great prop!

This salvaged carnival rocket will be incorporated into the stage design. Thanks to the Tanner House in Nolensville, Tennessee for finding this great prop!

Southern Accents team members worked hard all week constructing this unique set. The stage was located on the east side of the square. After arriving Saturday morning we had to tweak the set up just a bit to accommodate the band equipment but in the end we think the finished stage resulted in the coolest corner on the square!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The antique carnival rocket was perfect for this stage setup! It definitely received a lot of attention throughout the day.

The antique carnival rocket was perfect for this stage setup! It definitely received a lot of attention throughout the day.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our antique carnival wheel created a very cool backdrop for the drummers! This piece was added to our stage "by request."

Our antique carnival wheel created a very cool backdrop for the drummers! This piece was added to our stage “by request.”

This backdrop to the left side of the stage was created with salvaged windows backed with old corrugated tin, mimicking the look of the steel test stands that are currently under construction at Marshall Space Flight Center.

This backdrop to the left side of the stage was created with salvaged windows backed with old corrugated tin, mimicking the look of the steel test stands that are currently under construction at Marshall Space Flight Center.

 

We used salvaged industrial molds and gas heater masks to create interest along the stage side.

We used salvaged industrial molds and gas heater masks to create interest along the stage side.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Four bands took the stage throughout the day to entertain the crowd!

Four bands took the stage throughout the day to entertain the crowd!

Thanks to the SA team for all their hard work in turning this vision into reality! Also thanks to Andrea Jean from GMC who is always a pleasure to work with!

Thanks to the SA team for all their hard work in turning this vision into reality! Also thanks to Andrea Jean from GMC who is always a pleasure to work with!

Southern Accents is a great resource for event planners and coordinaters who are looking for something different and unique. If you have an upcoming event that requires the construction of an entrance or stage, please come talk to us and let us show you how we can help.

If you live within driving distance of our showroom and are simply looking for props for an upcoming wedding or event, we can help out there as well! We have a great selection of architectural pieces available for rent! You can reach us toll free at 877 737-0554 or by email at: info@sa1969.com.

Written by: Lisa Jones
Photographs by: Lisa Jones

 


“Wood” You Marry Me?

What is it about a stack of salvaged barn wood that would warrant a husband choosing it as an anniversary gift for his wife? We were elated to read a story this week from one of our customers, Stephen Smith. Stephen and his wife Michele traveled from Bohannon Ford, Alabama to Cullman this past Saturday with a specific goal in mind: a visit to Southern Accents wood warehouse! Celebrating their 26th anniversary, instead of jewelry, Michele asked for wood… not just any wood, but specifically old barn wood with loads of character!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe Smith’s had spent years trying to decide what to do with a 9 foot wide accent wall in their kitchen. Having made the decision to cover the wall with old wood, they embarked on a mission to find the perfect covering. Their trip to Southern Accents could not have been timed any better! Upon arriving at our wood warehouse they immediately spotted a stack of gray barn wood with a hint of white paint still hanging on to the boards. They shared their project plans with SA team member Justin who showed them several available wood options, but they kept going back to that first stack. As it turns out, that stack of barn wood had just been unloaded. Stephen and Michele were also fortunate enough to be able to gather a little history on the 112 year old wood from the man who salvaged it!

The salvaged wood chosen for the Smith’s kitchen wall project came from a 1902 barn that a few days prior had stood on a farm in Ada, Ohio. As Stephen began measuring and cutting the lap board siding for his wall, he discovered writing on the back of one of the boards. The penciled marks read “corn planter for drilling” along with a planting chart. Were these notes written over 100 years ago by the barns original owner or are the scribblings more recent? Either way, it is a clear note from a hard working farmer who surely treasured his barn. The discovery of this marking only added character to this prized stack of wood.

The markings on this piece of siding from the 1902 barn only adds character.

The markings on this piece of siding from the 1902 barn only adds character.

Project complete, Stephen and Michele’s kitchen wall looks fabulous! We thank them for sharing their story and pictures. If you visit Southern Accents on Facebook, look for Stephen’s full story posted on our timeline.

The Smith's finished barn wood kitchen wall looks fabulous!

The Smith’s finished barn wood kitchen wall looks fabulous!

We invite you to visit our wood warehouse and let us show you our incredible selection of salvaged wood. One of our knowledgable team members can help you pick out the perfect stack for your next project! Our wood warehouse is open Tuesday – Friday from 9 am till 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am till 4 pm.

Pictures used courtesy of Stephen V. Smith


Showroom History

When you visit our showroom, our collection of architectural antiques is quite impressive. But look beyond the doors, mantels, columns, tubs, etc. and you will see beautiful brick walls, old fire doors and creaky old wood floors. The Southern Accents showroom is rich with history and warrants a visit to Cullman, Alabama all on its own!

Cullman was founded in 1873 by Colonel John G. Cullmann, a German refugee who’s dream was to develop a thriving German immigrant colony in the South. Colonel Cullmann’s recruiting efforts were successful and by 1877, the settlement had grown enough to meet the population requirement needed for the creation of a new county.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesIn 1884, one of the first banks in Cullman was established, Parker Bank & Trust Company. The Cullman community was growing at a rapid rate and there was a need for housing. By 1910 Parker Bank had built two adjoining buildings next door as an investment property to help meet that need. Initially, one of the buildings that now houses Southern Accents showroom, served as a hotel providing temporary shelter for new immigrants moving to the area. Years later the hotel was turned into a girls boarding school and dormitory. Eventually the building returned to housing families upstairs while the downstairs was rented to retail shop owners. Over time, the bank continued to add to this building. Today, this building which faces 2nd Ave SE, houses four retail businesses, including Southern Accents. The old Parker Bank building is still standing next door and is currently under renovation.

This building, erected around 1910, as it stands today. Southern Accents showroom is the second storefront from the right.

This building, erected around 1910, as it stands today. Southern Accents showroom is the second storefront from the right.

In the late 1970′s Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr., looking to move his hobby turned architectural antique business to the downtown area, initially purchased the storefront closest to the Parker Bank building. Next door was a paint store owned by a Mr. Jay Cole. As Dr. Gudger’s inventory and customer base increased he saw the need for a larger retail space. Dr. Gudger purchased the larger storefront space from Mr. Cole in the early 80′s and moved his wares next door, where we can still be found today.

Southern Accents famous salvaged wood wall!

Southern Accents famous salvaged wood wall!

In the years since moving to our current location, our showroom has undergone a few changes including the addition of a large stairway which further increased our retail space by allowing easy access to the second floor. In April of 2011 the building sustained damage from the F4 tornado that destroyed a good portion of Cullman’s downtown area. The damage was repaired and 2014 saw the addition of office space upstairs along with our salvaged wood wall that is already on the “must see” list when visiting us!

Peek into our spindle room upstairs and take a look at our map hanging on the wall. This map is covered with pins showing where all our wonderful customers have come from!

Peek into our spindle room upstairs and take a look at our map hanging on the wall. This map is covered with pins showing where all our wonderful customers have come from!

Our showroom is open Tues – Fri 9am to 5pm and Sat 10am to 4pm. Stop in for a visit and let one of our team members show you around! You can also watch this VIDEO for a brief tour of our showroom!

Written by: Lisa Jones


The Tradition of “Barn Red”

One of the most sought after items at Southern Accents wood warehouse is salvaged red barn wood. What is it about the old red painted wood that is so irresistible? For that matter… why are so many barns painted red? A little research uncovered quite a few very interesting facts as to why barns are painted that wonderful color of red!

This picture of a beautiful red barn in Tennessee was taken by artist Mellissa Meeks.

This picture of a beautiful red barn in Tennessee was taken by artist Mellissa Meeks.

As research has it, some settlers in the early 1700′s left their barns unpainted because they simply could not afford the paint. By the late 1700′s farmers began to experiment with ways to make their own paint in an effort to protect the barn wood from the elements. Linseed oil, which has a dark coral hue, was often mixed with skim milk and lime which sealed the wood to help keep it from rotting. This mixture was inexpensive to make and lasted for years. The linseed oil mixture, however, did not address the issue of mold. Mold, in large quantities, posed a health risk for people as well as the animals. Growing on the barn, mold trapped moisture in the wood causing it to decay. Farmers began adding ferrous oxide (rusted iron) to the linseed oil mixture. Rust was plentiful and was a known poison to many molds and moss. The linseed oil and ferrous oxide were both responsible for the red color, but it was more of a burnt-orange red.

Another theory, which has some credence dating back to the American Indians, states that some farmers added blood from a recent slaughter to the mixture which turned the paint to a darker red. Some believe that the darker red color was an effort to make the barn covering look more like brick from a distance, giving the appearance of affluence.

Salvaged red barn wood from Southern Accents was used to cover this wall at Grabow Outdoors in Fultondale, Alabama.

Salvaged red barn wood from Southern Accents was used to cover this wall at Grabow Outdoors in Fultondale, Alabama.

There is also the belief that farmers chose red so that their cows could find their way home! Given the fact that cows are colorblind and can’t see red or green hues, that strategy failed!

Through the years farmers discovered that painting the barn a dark color kept it warmer during the winter since dark colors absorb heat from the suns rays. Black barns were the norm in the tobacco regions of Kentucky and North Carolina, where the barns were used to cure tobacco. The additional heat absorption from the dark paint helped the tobacco cure faster. This discovery could account for the transition through the years to the use of darker shades of “barn red.”

By the mid to late 1800′s as paints were being produced with chemical pigments, red was the least expensive paint color to purchase making it the continued color of choice. Today, many farmers paint the barn red in honor of tradition. After all, what is more picturesque than a beautiful red barn set against a backdrop of a green field or pasture?

This salvaged red barn wood currently sits in our Wood Warehouse.

This salvaged red barn wood currently sits in our Wood Warehouse, waiting to be given a “new life.”

Written by: Lisa Jones


A Day Of Remembrance

When you visit Southern Accents showroom it will be hard to miss the large American flag that hangs above our staircase. The flag has hung there for the past three years and has become one of the most photographed items in our showroom. It serves as a reminder of the freedoms that we daily enjoy and hold dear.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those who have died in active military service. First observed on May 30, 1868, it was then referred to as Decoration Day. A day where the graves of fallen comrades who had died in defense of this great country were decorated with flowers. In 1971 Congress passed the National Holiday Act, which changed the date of observance from May 30th to the last Monday in May. In an effort to help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December of 2000. This resolution asks all Americans to pause for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, as a show of remembrance and respect, for those who have given their lives defending our country.

This Memorial Day, as we remember those who have fallen, we would also like to thank and honor those who have served or are actively serving our country in military service. There is no greater sacrifice than the willingness of any man or woman to lay down his life for his country. For those who have made or is currently making this ultimate sacrifice, we say THANK YOU!!

Written by: Lisa Jones


Meet Ben & Makenzie

If you have visited Southern Accents showroom in the past few months, you have likely been greeted at the front door by Ben or Makenzie. Hang around the two of them together for very long and you would think they were siblings. Well, they sort of are… Ben is married to Makenzie’s twin sister, Lindzie! Ben joined our sales team this past September. His exuberant personality and contagious smile immediately endeared him to the SA family. Ben, in his spare time, is a passionate duck hunter and a winning little league baseball coach.

Stop by Southern Accents showroom and you will likely be greeting by Ben Sellers or Makenzie Maze.

Stop by Southern Accents showroom and you will likely be greeting by Ben Sellers or Makenzie Maze.

Makenzie joined the team this past March after making a last minute decision to move to Cullman to be closer to her twin. Makenzie says, “It was literally an overnight decision to pick up and move. I did not have a job lined up. It was a huge leap of faith, but I just knew this is where I was supposed to be. I called Ben and Lindzie and told them to make room because I was moving in!” Makenzie, who graduated from the University of Alabama with a business management degree, immediately began searching for a job. Around the same time, a position opened up in Southern Accents showroom. Ben approached the owner, Garlan, and told him he had the perfect person to fill the open position. Garlan, having a policy of never hiring family, quickly relaxed his policy after he and his wife Heather met with Makenzie. Garlan and Heather agreed that Makenzie was exactly who they were looking for!

Ben and Makenzie will tell you that they are the best of friends. Ben met Makenzie and Lindzie at Wallace State Community College. The three of them were all members of the co-ed cheerleading squad where their friendship developed. Makenzie, at 4’8″ with a background in gymnastics, went on to cheer for the University of Alabama. Makenzie recently moved into her own apartment where she resides with her Maltipoo, Molly. Ben and Lindzie, who are about to celebrate their one year anniversary, share a home with Ben’s three labs Huck, Nahla, and Tate.

Ben and Makenzie show off a stunt from their former cheerleading days!

Ben and Makenzie show off a stunt from their former cheerleading days!

Stop by Southern Accents showroom Tuesday – Saturday and let Ben or Makenzie show you some of our latest finds! Just don’t ask them to demonstrate any stunts from their cheerleading days!

Written by: Lisa Jones


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