A Vintage Wedding

It’s wedding season! If you or someone you know is in the midst of planning a wedding, you’ve surely spent countless hours searching websites, like Pinterest, gathering ideas to make it a perfect day. The tradition of “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” has been taken to a new level with the current trend of incorporating antiques, vintage goods, and architectural pieces into the wedding decor. This past weekend Southern Accents was honored to play a part in a local wedding by providing quite a few large antique architectural pieces that were used to transform a beautiful new venue into an extraordinary wedding scene.

Antique and vintage glass pieces in a combination of clear, white, and pink glass were used on every table to add a touch of elegance to the vintage themed wedding.

Antique and vintage glass pieces in a combination of clear, white, and pink glass were used on every table to add a touch of elegance to the vintage themed wedding.

Local wedding planner Sharon Tucker, who is a collector of antiques and architectural pieces and a regular Southern Accents customer, knew exactly what she was looking for when she brought her bride to our showroom. Her vision for this particular wedding included the use of quite a few salvaged doors and large wrought iron pieces. While strolling through our warehouse and iron lot, the two were almost giddy with excitement as they poured through our collections and selected the perfect elements for this vintage spring wedding.

Matching salvaged doors and a beautiful piece of wrought iron fencing with a heart design was used to create this vintage inspired alter for the bride and groom.

Matching salvaged doors and a beautiful piece of wrought iron fencing with a heart design was used to create this vintage inspired alter for the bride and groom.

The bride and groom said their “I do’s” in front of two matching antique doors and antique wrought iron fence. The antique iron piece, which was hung on the brick wall, featured a heart design perfect for this special occasion. Two salvaged doors positioned at the entrance of the venue were used to display the beautifully created handmade wreaths. A mix of salvaged white doors were chosen and strategically placed along the walls to add an element of light to an otherwise dark room. Antique mirrors and vintage glassware were used throughout to add a touch of elegance.

The white doors added an element of light against the dark brick walls.

The white doors added an element of light against the dark brick walls.

While several antique wrought iron pieces were used throughout the venue, our favorite use was a piece of iron fencing placed at the guest registration table. Twine was strung on a beautiful piece of iron fencing and used to display childhood photos of the bride and groom.

Twine was strung to this antique wrought iron gate and used to display childhood photos of the bride and groom.

Twine was strung to this antique wrought iron gate and used to display childhood photos of the bride and groom.

Incorporating architectural pieces into the decor was a simple way to create the perfect atmosphere for the vintage themed wedding. By renting the pieces, it also became a very affordable way to add high impact. If you are interested in adding architectural elements to the decor of your upcoming wedding or special event, ask us about rental fees. Many of our large architectural pieces are available for rent. You can contact us at 1 877 737-0554 or by e-mail at info@sa1969.com. If you need a few ideas, visit the wedding board on our Pinterest page!

Two salvaged white doors were used at the entrance of the venue to display hand crafted wedding wreaths.

Two salvaged white doors were used at the entrance of the venue to display hand crafted wedding wreaths.

Many thanks to Smith Squared Photography for sharing pictures of this beautiful event!

The entrance of the venue set the tone for this vintage themed wedding with the use of salvaged doors, ironwork, and hand crafted wreaths.

The entrance of the venue set the tone for this vintage themed wedding with the use of salvaged doors, ironwork, and hand crafted wreaths.

Mason jars were displayed in an old wood box and used to hold the bridesmaids bouquets both before and after the ceremony.

Mason jars were displayed in an old wood box and used to hold the bridesmaids bouquets both before and after the ceremony.

Written by: Lisa Jones
Photography by: Smith Squared Photography


Greenville Salvage Mission

Southern Accents latest salvage mission took us to Greenville, Alabama to this fantastic 1890′s house. The house, which has been vacant for a few years, featured some of the very best craftsmanship that we have seen to date. Amongst the dust, chippy paint, and attic full of bats, were splendid columns topped with spectacular plaster ionic capitals, tiled fireplaces with white oak and mahogany mantels, cast iron surrounds, large solid wood doors and diamond paned windows just waiting to be rescued! And the wood… from the sky blue bead board on the porch ceiling to the magnificent heart pine flooring, the wood that lay in this house was simply amazing!

The 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we've ever seen.

The 1890′s house in Greenville, Alabama contained some of the finest workmanship that we’ve ever seen.

Every salvage mission that we embark on is different from the one before. Old houses especially seem to speak to us, each one in it’s own unique voice, as if it has a story to tell. Upon entering this house, each of our team members felt a sense of peace. This particular house gave off a “happy” vibe. While salvaging the property, we had the opportunity to visit with two sisters who grew up in the house. As they walked with us through each room, they fondly shared with us some of their memories. They remembered moving in to the house as young children. Their parents had reached an agreement with the owner, an elderly widower who needed someone to assist in taking care of him. The couple and their four young daughters lived in the three bedroom one bath house and, in return, they cared for the owner until his death. Not having any family to leave the house to, the owner sold the property to the family for $10 before his passing.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

This beautiful house is one that we would have loved to see restored.

Southern Accents mission is to rescue, restore, and repurpose architectural elements of historical significance. It is never our goal to destroy a property. We only come on the scene once a building has been scheduled for demolition by the property owner. This house is one that we would love to have seen restored. We are, however, thankful to have been given the opportunity to salvage all the beautiful architectural elements from this house before it was taken down. In our continued preservation efforts, we are documenting this salvage mission. We pictured this property before beginning any salvage efforts. We also had our in-house architect take measurements, draw blueprints and are currently researching for more history and information on the property. We will be taking all of this information and publishing it on our website and blog as well as keeping a printed copy in our showroom. This is our way of ensuring that information on this magnificent house is available for future generations to enjoy, just as the items salvaged from this house will be enjoyed for many years by their new owners.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

The heart pine wood flooring throughout this house was gorgeous.

Please visit our New Arrivals page to view many of the remaining items salvaged from this house.

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

These spectacular interior columns are topped with plaster ionic capitals

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

The wrap around porch showcased more columns topped with plaster ionic capitals and a gorgeous sky blue painted porch ceiling.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

This spectacular white oak mantel was one of five that we salvaged from the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Tin spire salvaged from the top of the Greenville house.

Written by: Lisa Jones


Front Porch Ceiling Blues

Southern Accents most recent salvage mission found us tearing out a beautiful powder blue porch ceiling from an 1890’s house in South Alabama. As we began posting pictures of this beautiful wood, we received several comments regarding the paint color of the wood. We had heard a number of tales regarding the blue porch ceilings and decided to do a little research which uncovered three very interesting theories!

Blue porch ceiling from 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama

Blue porch ceiling from 1890′s house in Greenville, Alabama

1) The tradition of painting porch ceilings the color blue seems to have originated in the South as a spiritual and cultural custom. Folk lore states that the blue color was first used by African slaves to secure the entry of their homes. This color was supposed to protect both their home and it’s inhabitants from “haints.” Haints are restless spirits of the dead who have not moved on from this physical world. The belief was that the color blue represented water, which spirits could not cross over. Not only were the porch ceilings painted blue, but often the frames of doors and windows as well. It was also believed that the blue color extended the daylight hours, thus scaring away the evil spirits. Southerners specifically have held to this tradition through the years. In the South Carolina Lowcountry, there is a name for the specific color of blue used on the porch ceilings. It is called “haint blue.”

2) Another widely held belief was that the blue color repelled insects. For years, many believed that the light blue color fooled the insects into thinking that the porch ceiling was the sky, thus preventing them from nesting there. Although there is no evidence to indicate that this was sound reasoning, the blue color paint contained lye, which is a known insect repellent. The lye paint would fade quickly so the wood was supposed to be repainted every year. It is feasible that the lye in the paint acted as an insecticide that helped ward off bugs and spiders, thus giving credibility to this theory.

3) The blue porch ceilings are especially common to Victorian houses, which are known for using the soft color tones of nature. Soft shades of blue have a calming effect which lends itself perfectly to what was typically everyone’s favorite spot in the house… the front porch!

The Southern Accents team salvaging this beautiful blue porch ceiling from an 1890's house in Greenville, Alabama.

The Southern Accents team salvaging this beautiful blue porch ceiling from an 1890′s house in Greenville, Alabama.

Although we will never know for sure why the porch ceiling that we just salvaged was painted blue, the wood is gorgeous and the beautiful blue color makes for a very interesting story. This wood has been delivered to our wood warehouse where it will be de-nailed and made ready for it’s next purpose. Stop by our wood warehouse to view our large collection of salvaged wood or stop by our showroom in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama and speak with one of our sales representatives.

Written by: Lisa Jones


A Wood Story

From the time I was a small sapling, I had dreams of one day making it big! You see, in my world, as a tree, I wanted to be beautiful, admired, treasured. I never imagined, however, that my humble beginnings would see such an exciting end!

Each year as I grew taller and stronger, I could see myself as a fine piece of furniture sitting in the home or office of someone important, perhaps famous. Growing up in a large forrest, I was always surrounded by those trees who seemed destined for greatness. While the other trees were chosen, one by one for important tasks, I was left. I would hear tales of how many ended up in the hands of a master craftsman who lovingly turned their wood into hand carved mantels, beautiful flooring, carved furniture and strong entry doors. Just when I thought my dream would never become a reality, the loggers returned one last time and I was among the last to be chosen. However, my dreams were dashed, for I did not end up in the hands of an artist, but instead was taken to a sawmill. My beautiful trunk was cut into rough boards which were then nailed to the exterior of a small barn. Here, I sat for well over a hundred years, enduring countless rain storms, strong winds, droughts, snow and blistering sunlight. My weathered skin began to age and crack. Eventually, the barn itself was neglected and reached a state of dis-repair. I heard rumor of other wood barns that were in a similar state being burned down so their owners would not have to maintain them. Just when I thought my dreams of becoming a masterpiece were being diminished… I was rescued!

This is one of the many barns salvaged by Southern Accents.

This is one of the many barns salvaged by Southern Accents.

A group of workers unexpectedly showed up. One by one my boards were pulled from my frail barn structure and transported to a huge warehouse. Here, the rusty, time worn nails were removed. Many years of dirt and grime were brushed away. I was neatly stacked out of the weather and given a chance to dry out. Unfamiliar faces would show up at this warehouse where other wood was also stored and they would comment about my beauty and patina. I felt secure and protected. One day, unbeknownst to me, I was once again chosen for a very special purpose. My boards were cut into small blocks. At first, I was unsure why, but it all began to take shape as the blocks were carefully placed together. Like pieces of a puzzle, each small piece was meticulously selected by a craftsman. As the artists worked together to turn the small pieces into a “wood-brick” wall, I heard talk of a city called New York and a designer by the name of Billy Reid. Before I knew what was happening, I was whisked away and traveled many hours where I became an integral part of an exciting event called Fashion Week. I served as a backdrop with magnificent crystal chandeliers which provided lighting on each wood block. As beautiful models graced my presence, cameras flashed, and the onlookers loudly applauded. I felt I had been given a second chance to be a masterpiece, even if it was for only one night!!

Salvaged wood blocks were used to build this stunning backdrop for Billy Reid's Fashion Week 2013 show. Picture used courtesy of Billy Reid.

Salvaged wood blocks were used to build this stunning backdrop for Billy Reid’s Fashion Week 2013 show. Picture used courtesy of Billy Reid.

The night ended too soon, but there was one last surprise in store. The following day I was loaded back on a truck and began the journey to what would become my final resting place. I was placed in Billy Reid’s boutique in Georgetown. Unlike the role I played in Fashion Week, this time I was installed in their showroom as a floor. Each day important customers walk across me as they admire Billy’s latest designs. From a humble barn to an upscale showroom, my dreams have been fulfilled in a way that far surpassed my wildest imagination.

The wood-brick wall now serves as the floor in Billy Reid's Georgetown retail location. Picture used courtesy of Billy Reid.

The wood-brick wall now serves as the floor in Billy Reid’s Georgetown retail location. Picture used courtesy of Billy Reid.

Southern Accents goal is to rescue, restore, and protect architectural elements of historical significance. The salvaged wood used to construct the backdrop for Billy Reid for Fashion Week 2013 is but one small example of how we work to save architectural materials that can be re-purposed or designed into works of art. You can visit us online at http://www.sa1969.com or visit our showroom and warehouses located in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama to find your own work of art!

Wall built by Southern Accents from salvaged wood blocks.

Wood-brick wall built by Southern Accents from salvaged wood blocks.

Written by: Lisa Jones
Edited by: Garlan Gudger, Jr.


Take A Back Road

This past weekend, a good friend of Southern Accents hit the road, heading south from Cullman to Mobile, Alabama. Instead of taking the quicker, easier route down the interstate, Patty decided to travel the backroads. It was a gorgeous day and she was in no real hurry to reach her destination so she and her husband embarked on a road trip, camera in hand, with the sole purpose of stopping along the way to admire anything that caught her attention. We thought this was such a great idea. Patty, like Southern Accents, loves antiques and sees beauty in the old, rusty, and worn out. We were thrilled that she took the time to share with us some of the discoveries that she made while traveling down old Highway 31.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The masonry work and facade of this antique hardware store is beautiful. We couldn’t help but notice the old rusty hand plow sitting on the roof! A wonderful reminder of simpler times. Stopping to admire and appreciate the beauty of these historic buildings is something that we seldom take the time to do. Once these buildings and structures are gone, they take with them a piece of our history which is why it is so important to picture them and document their history while they are still standing.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The architecture on this old bank building in Brewton, Alabama is stunning. Known today as being the oldest bank in the state of Alabama, it was established in 1889 by a Civil War veteran and was the only bank between Montgomery and Mobile at the time. The interior boasts counters constructed of curled pine which is native to that area.

It doesn’t matter what back road you take and you don’t even have to travel far… all you really have to do is take the time to stop and look around. Train yourself to look for the historical relics that you pass along the way to anywhere. Pull over and take a few moments to admire the workmanship. And, if you picture something interesting that you would like to share, we would love to see it! Please feel free to share your pictures on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram with #saaa1969.

Pictures above courtesy of Patty Hutchens

Instagram…

Speaking of Instagram, the boss was out of town last week, but posted some stunning pictures from his trip to Washington D.C. on our Instagram page. If you are not following Southern Accents on Instagram, you are missing out! Look us up and follow us at: saaa1969 to view more pictures from our latest road trip!

Gorgeous church entrance in Washington D.C.

Gorgeous church entrance in Washington D.C.

Plaster ceiling from Bureau of Engraving building in Washington D.C.

Plaster ceiling from Bureau of Engraving building in Washington D.C.

Door knob from the Smithsonian

Door knob from the Smithsonian


Southern Makers 2014 – Save The Date!

 

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesLast year Southern Accents was thrilled to be an integral part of a cutting edge event that was a HUGE success! We are equally excited to return this year as one of the curators for Southern Makers 2014. This one day event, held at the Union Station train shed in downtown Montgomery, Alabama, is scheduled for May 03, 2014.

Southern Makers celebrates creativity and innovation in Alabama. The purpose of the event, which is held as a fundraiser for E.A.T. South, is to bring together highly curated, handpicked top talent – artists, chefs, breweries, craftsmen, and designers – to one central place, making it easy for adventurers to get a sampling of the very best Alabama has to offer.

Event goers will be able to explore the talents of various craftsmen through tastings, demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops, maker conversations, and a market. This year’s market will feature goods from Billy Reid, Natalie Chanin and more than 100 southern artisans and chefs!

All proceeds from ticket sales benefit E.A.T. South, a non-profit organization that encourages healthy lifestyles through education and sustainable food production in urban areas throughout the Southeast. You can learn more about E.A.T. South by visiting them online at www.eatsouth.org

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Southern MakersMark your calendars NOW and plan to be in Montgomery on May 3rd for this can’t miss event! Tickets will be available for sale around the middle of March. In the mean time, you can learn more about this fabulous event by visiting www.southernmakers.com. You can also learn more about the makers by following the Meet Your Makers postings on Facebook. Make sure that you are following Southern Accents on Facebook as well… we may be giving away a few tickets as the event date draws near!


From Rubbish to Rembrandt

What do you get when you combine a sizable blank canvas, a team of extremely creative, talented artists, and access to an entire warehouse full of salvaged goodness… nothing short of an amazing work of art!

This beautiful salvaged wood wall art is a MUST SEE! The wall is located in Southern Accents upstairs showroom.

This beautiful salvaged wood wall art is a MUST SEE! The wall is located in Southern Accents upstairs showroom.

If you follow Southern Accents on Facebook or Instagram, and you should, then hopefully you have seen a few picture posts over the past several weeks of our salvaged wood wall. We recently increased our office space in the upstairs area of our showroom. This construction project required the addition of a wall which provided an unexpected canvas and got our creative juices flowing! We looked at the wall and immediately agreed that it provided the perfect opportunity to showcase one of the many creative ways salvaged wood can be used. After tossing around a few ideas, Southern Accents owner, Garlan, pulled out his pencil and started sketching on the wall. What transpired from that point is awe inspiring!

We insulated the new wall and covered it with plywood which provided the perfect canvas for our salvaged wood work of art.

We insulated the new wall and covered it with plywood which provided the perfect canvas for our salvaged wood work of art.

Garlan’s vision came to life through the works of one our talented team members, Wayne. The first step in turning Garlan’s vision in to reality was finding the perfect tools. Where many artists use brushes and paints, our tools of choice were a stack of beautiful salvaged wood and bead board, a table saw, and a nail gun. The salvaged wood that we chose looked like a painters palette! Many of the wood pieces were covered with vintage wallpaper. Other pieces were painted in a variety of beautiful colors. The wood was gathered and transported from our wood warehouse to the showroom. Wayne began the tedious task of measuring, cutting, and constructing the wall covering. Piece by small piece, as if putting together a puzzle, the picture began to take shape. The placement of each piece of wood was intentional. The finishing touch was the addition of three beautiful, Greek Key style, embossed tiles. The result is a must see work of art!

The work of art took shape one piece of wood at a time.

The work of art took shape one piece of wood at a time.

We want everyone to know that Southern Accents is SO much more than just an architectural antique store. When you shop with us, you have access to a creative team who are not only available to give input and ideas, but who also have the talent to help you turn your creative ideas in to reality! Stop by our showroom, take a look at our salvaged wood wall art and talk to us about your next project!

The finishing touch was the addition of three tile pieces.

The finishing touch was the addition of three tile pieces.


Salvaged Wood – Question & Answer

Salvaged Wood – Question & Answer

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesIn addition to our ongoing preservation efforts, Southern Accents is known to be a resource that fields questions on salvaged products daily. We delight in passing along our knowledge of these products to anyone interested. With growing interest and the realization of the environmental benefits of reusing salvaged items, we get quite a few questions about the use of salvaged wood. One question that we hear quite often pertains to the treatment of salvaged wood to eradicate or prevent insect infestation.

The first thing that we want to stress is that all wood, whether new lumber or salvaged, is a target for insects, specifically wood-boring species. There are different methods that can be used to safely treat any wood species and address any possible ‘bug’ issues.

When we salvage a property, any wood that is visibly infested is culled and burned. However, not all insects can be easily detected. Thankfully, there are safe treatment options available that will take care of unseen insects. Our preferred method of treating salvaged wood is using heat. The wood is placed in a kiln for several hours to get the core temperature hot enough to kill any existing wood-boring insects and their eggs. We think this is the safest and most reliable method of treatment. This method is especially preferred for salvaged wood that will be used in the interior of a home or business.

Another method is using a mixture of borate powder and water which is applied to the wood. This method coats the exterior of the wood, forming an invisible salt solution which acts as an insect deterrent. Once ingested by the insect, it causes it to dehydrate and die. The downside to any chemical treatment is that the chemicals will only kill existing insects to the depth that the chemical is absorbed by the wood. Borate or Borax is a boron mineral and salt that is mined directly from the ground. It is deemed to be relatively non-toxic and might be desirable for wood used particularly in areas where exposure to insects is expected.

When using salvaged wood for interior purposes, whether as flooring, a wall covering, counter top, or furniture, the product can be finished with a wax, oil, urethane product or paint. All of these finishing products will also act as a protective barrier and deterrent to future insects.

The beauty and patina of aged wood is unmatched. The treatment methods discussed here ensure that the use of salvaged wood is a very viable option. The use of salvaged wood is often desirable for aesthetic reasons, but also because it contributes to the continued sustainability of our environment. Stop by our showroom, wood warehouse, or visit us online atsa1969.com to view our extensive collection of salvaged wood.


Frosty, Philly, & Fortuitous Finds!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe second week of February was a very interesting week for Southern Accents! The prior week Garlan traveled north to Philadelphia on a buying trip… apparently a truckload of beautiful Architectural Antiques was not the only thing he brought home! North Alabama was turned in to a winter wonderland last week as we experienced two rounds of winter precipitation… a sight we very rarely see down south. While the beautiful white powder kept most of us at home for several days, we stayed busy posting all of the fantastic new finds from Philly to our New Arrivals page. If you haven’t visited our website lately, here’s a peek at just a few of our latest additions!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

View all of the items shown above and many, many more by visiting our Website or our showroom in Cullman, Alabama. Give us a call at 877 737-0554 to inquire on these and other unique architectural antiques and salvaged finds!


Sentimental Treasures – Preserving History

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesRecently Southern Accents salvaged an 1870′s house in Cullman, Alabama. The attic of the house was filled with memorabilia. There were boxes of old journals, letters, greeting cards, and photographs. Many dated as early as the 1920′s. We could not help but wonder why these items were left. Were there no family members available that might have had an interest in some of the personal belongings? We could not bring ourselves to leave the items behind or throw them away so we brought them back to the store. The letters, cards, and pictures were placed in various containers and displayed around the showroom.

A couple of weeks ago a family member of one of our team members was visiting from out of town. As Chris Garcia browsed through the showroom, she was both drawn to and fascinated by the letters and photos. She gathered up all that remained and took them with her. Her initial goal was to create something from the memorabilia that would honor this family. She wasn’t sure what she would do, she just knew that she could not leave these items behind either.

After returning home, Chris lovingly poured through all the old letters, one at a time. In reading them she happened upon one from 2008 from a family member. The letter, addressed to the now deceased home owner, Eda Schlichting, was written by a man, thanking his aunt for letting him see some old pictures. This letter caused Chris to wonder if there might possibly be a distant relative interested in the items. Chris began a search on the internet for the author of the letter. Chris writes, “My first contact was not the correct person, but what I found on the other line was a wonderful, helpful woman who brought out the phone book and found the family relative I was looking for.” Chris said that she then nervously made a phone call that connected her with Eda’s relative, a Mr. Wilson. Mr. Wilson’s grandfather was married to Eda’s sister. The phone conversation led to his sharing how he drove his mother from Montgomery to Cullman in 2008 to visit her sister. It was during that visit that Eda shared the photos that resulted in the thank you letter.

Chris writes, “I will be mailing the box of letters, journals, and photos to him this week. I am so grateful this touched me so deeply and that the family will have their photos with them to pass on for generations.” Mr. Wilson had wondered about the fate of the old photos and was surprised that a complete stranger had taken the time to track him down. He shared with Chris his interest in his family’s genealogy and expressed how grateful he was to be receiving the items.

Although, the heart of our business is to rescue architectural antiques, we always understand the importance of the re-connection of our salvageable items back to the original family it belonged to. The sentimental value of an item means it will be protected and treasured more in the future than it would have been in a home we could have provided for it. In the case of Eda Schlichting and Chris Garcia – it proves there is an underlying truth, which resonates through generations – even those who may have never even met: The People Who Preserve History Are Just As Important As Those Who Make It.


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