Visit Southern Accents showroom in downtown Cullman, Alabama and you will quickly see that we have an immense love and appreciation for finding ways to repurpose salvaged goods. One of the ways in which we repurpose some of our gorgeous salvaged wood and beadboard is by turning them into picture frames. Our salvaged wood frames are available in a wide variety of wood colors and sizes: 5×7 – $25, 8×10 – $35, and 11×14 – $45. Each rustic, one-of-a-kind frame is hand crafted by local artist Leldon Maxcy.

Hand crafted, salvaged wood frames available in a wide variety of colors in three sizes!

Hand crafted, salvaged wood frames available in a wide variety of colors in three sizes!

Through our collaborations with Leldon, in addition to our gorgeous salvaged wood frames, we also have a great selection of salvaged wood State of Alabama cut outs. These are available in two sizes and a wide variety of color options. Choose from 10″ long for $25 and 14″ for $35.

Hand crafted, salvaged wood, State of Alabama cutouts available in various colors in two size options.

Hand crafted, salvaged wood, State of Alabama cutouts available in various colors in two size options.

Meet Jeremiah

We would like to introduce you to Southern Accents newest team member, Jeremiah Connell. Jeremiah joined the SA team around the first of August. Jeremiah grew up in Cullman, and after graduating from Cullman High School, moved to Tuscaloosa where he attended the University of Alabama. After leaving Tuscaloosa, Jeremiah spent time moving around the state, from Huntsville to Mobile, finally returning to his hometown a couple of years ago.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Jeremiah describes himself as a “jack of all trades”. He spent many years working in the construction industry doing everything from framing, to electrical, to pouring concrete. Jeremiah also has close to 14 years experience in the restaurant industry. Quite a few of those years were spent in sales, working for a wine company. Jeremiah traveled around the state conducting wait staff seminars where he educated waiters on the art of pairing wine with food. His knowledge of and experience in the wine industry has served him well as the love of his life, Candace, owns a local wine store, the Vine Cellar.

Jeremiah loves spending time outdoors, especially camping. He is a fantastic cook, with the grill being his cooking utensil of choice. While on a recent salvage job with the SA Team, Jeremiah put his cooking skills to good use, grilling pork tenderloin for the guys after a long day of salvaging wood flooring from an 1884 house. Jeremiah and his grill are now at the top of the “packing list” for all future salvage jobs!! Jeremiah also enjoys concerts and college football. He can be found most Saturdays cheering on the Crimson Tide football team!

The newest SA Team member, Jeremiah, was indoctrinated last week into the business of architectural salvage! Salvaging a house built in the late 1800's is a DIRTY job... but someone had to do it!

The newest SA Team member, Jeremiah, was indoctrinated last week into the business of architectural salvage! Salvaging a house built in the late 1800’s is a DIRTY job… but someone had to do it!

When asked what he liked most about working at Southern Accents, Jeremiah’s reply was, “I love the randomness of this business. I never know from one day to the next what I am going to be doing. One day I may be out on the road making a delivery and the next I’m at the wood showroom working on a huge stack of salvaged wood. I never get bored!”

We are thrilled that Jeremiah has joined the SA Team! You may see him driving down the road or you may bump into him at one of our showrooms. When you do, please be sure to stop and say hello! Jeremiah and the rest of the team welcome you to visit us Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 10am to 4pm.

Come To Cullman!

Cullman, Alabama is known for many things. We are continually hailed as one of the best places in Alabama to raise a family. Our school systems rank among the finest in the state. The downtown area, home to Southern Accents, has undergone a major revitalization since the tornados of 2011. Our small town is growing by leaps and bounds! Since we get a lot of requests from our customers asking us to keep them informed of fun events in our lovely town, we thought we would dedicate this week’s newsletter to just that! Not that you need an excuse to come and vist SA… here are a few fun family events coming your way!

This Saturday, September 19th, Cullman Parks & Recreation presents the Cullman Wing Street. This is Park & Recs BIGGEST COMMUNITY EVENT OF THE YEAR: Wing Street Cullman (formally known as Clucknbrew) will be held at Depot Park from 2:30 till 10:00 pm. Activities will include a wing cook off, games and activities, food and beverages, and a game day tent for football fans. Visit Cullman Park & Recreation online for a complete schedule of events.

September 22 through October 1, don’t miss the Cullman County Fair! Sponsored by the Cullman Lions Club since 1954, the Cullman County Fair has been recognized as the “Best of the Best” at both the state and national levels. For more information and a calendar of events, visit

October 7 – 11, Cullman celebrates it’s German heritage during Oktoberfest. This five day festival, which began in 1982, includes a 5k to 10k race on Saturday, October 10th. German cuisine is offered by many of the downtown restaurants throughout the week. Friday and Saturday there will be lots of fun activities for the entire family taking place at the Festhalle Market Platz. Enjoy kids activities, carriage rides, arts and crafts at Depot Park, bed races, bratwurst eating contest, Weiner races, live music and much more!! For a complete list of Oktoberfest events visit

Saturday, October 24 is the Peinhardt Living History Farm Day. This is an educational family farm that focuses on rural life in the 1930’s and 40’s. Tour the farm and experience life and living as it use to be. Farm day is filled with demonstrations, barn yard animals, and living history. This once-a-year event should be on your must do list!! Visit for more information.

And of course… a trip to Cullman would not be complete without visiting the largest architectural antique store in the Southeast!! Visit Southern Accents showroom and warehouses Tuesday – Saturday or you can visit with us 24/7 online at

Southern Accents is located in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama! Our showroom and warehouses are open Tues - Fri from 9am to 5pm and Sat from 10am to 4pm

Southern Accents is located in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama! Our showroom and warehouses are open Tues – Fri from 9am to 5pm and Sat from 10am to 4pm

Wonderful Wood

In case you don’t know by now… we LOVE salvaged and reclaimed wood! We rescue it, we create with it, we have a deep appreciation for its history, we respect the sacrifices of the natural resources and feel a deep responsibility to help protect those resources by finding ways to reuse and repurpose the wood. Our large wood showroom houses a wide variety of salvaged and reclaimed wood that is ready and waiting to be repurposed.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Currently, we have some of the prettiest salvaged, tongue and groove, painted beadboard that we’ve ever seen! The boards have been de-nailed, cleaned, lightly sanded, sorted and stacked. Our varied selection includes gorgeous shades of blues, greens, cream and white. The boards can be used with the painted side showing or you can flip them and use the back side which is a natural brown wood color. These boards are ready for use! They would make a gorgeous wall or ceiling covering or are perfect for DIY craft projects.

In addition to this beautiful beadboard, our wood showroom is stocked with a variety of salvaged and reclaimed lumber, wood trim and beams. Visit us online at, give us a call at 877 737-0554 or come see us! Our showrooms are open Tuesday – Friday from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Shindig No. 7 – The Tunnel

This past weekend we were given the opportunity to combine some of our salvaged materials with our creative talents to design/build an entrance for Chef Frank Stitt at Billy Reid’s Shindig No. 7. We’ve worked with Billy in the past, creating backdrops for his run way shows during New York Fashion Week, but this special event also featured Chef Frank Stitt and Roy Milner from Blackberry Farm Brewery. Frank is a Cullman native and long time friend, so when we were asked to take on this project, we responded with a resounding yes!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Frank was the guest Chef for a private party that was held in downtown Florence as part of Billy Reid’s Shindig activities. The event was held in the back yard of the Kennedy Douglass Center for the Arts which faces Wilson Park. We were asked to create a visual screen that would provide some privacy, as well as, serve as an entrance to the ticketed event. Garlan came up with the idea of building a tunnel while SA team member Josh Howe found a picture that served as an inspiration for the design. While the project began with a definite vision, the structure really began to take shape as we were constructing it.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We began by building a frame. The idea was for the tunnel to wind around and exit into the event. From the entrance of the 14 foot tunnel, no one could see what was on the other side. As the grassy path wound around, it narrowed to a 3 foot exit. A wide variety of salvaged wood in various widths, lengths, and wood species was used, fashioning a whimsical design which visually produced captivating lines and texture. The roof spacing allowed light leaks into the tunnel from the sun as well as the night’s gorgeous full moon.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Garlan, Josh and our newest team member Jeremiah worked throughout the night constructing the tunnel. The end result was a work of art that garnered a lot of attention and generated much conversation throughout the weekend’s activities!

From left to right: Chef Frank Stitt, Designer Billy Reid, Architect Garlan Gudger, Blackberry Farm Brewer Roy Milner

From left to right: Chef Frank Stitt, Designer Billy Reid, Architect Garlan Gudger, Blackberry Farm Brewer Roy Milner

We would like to thank Designer Billy Reid, Chef Frank Stitt of Highlands Bar and Grill, and Brewer Roy Milner from Blackberry Farm Brewery for collaborating with Southern Accents for this prestigious event. After the hard work was done, we enjoyed a night of great food, great friends, and great music from the Alabama Shakes in one of our favorite Alabama spots!

The tunnel will remain at the Kennedy Douglass Center throughout the month of September for those who wish to visit!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The tunnel exited into the back yard where salvaged doors were used to help further create a visual screen.

The tunnel exited into the back yard where salvaged doors were used to help further create a visual screen.

Southern Accents – A Designers Delight!

We love working with designers, especially those who share our passion for salvaging and preserving architectural treasures. We are fortunate to have worked, and continue to work, with some very talented designers, including Samantha Oaks from Nashville, Tennessee. Samantha came to us recently upon the recommendation of her client! She was looking for a set of doors to use at the entrance of a listening room. Not only did Samantha find the perfect set of doors and hardware for this project, she also walked away with a second pair, which she converted to sliding barn doors, as well as an antique mantel for the clients home.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The set of doors that Samantha selected for her client’s listening room was originally covered with several layers of black and white paint. Although the doors were too short for the 9′ opening, Samantha was drawn to the character of the doors and was determined to find a way to make them work. We stripped all the paint from the doors, which revealed the gorgeous wood grain and detailed carving. Samantha came up with the idea to use iron window grates at the top of the doors. Not only did this solution balance the height, but it also allowed light to stream through. Being a big fan of vintage hardware, Samantha chose the fantastic antique handle which added the perfect finishing touch!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

When asked what it was about salvaged architectural items that appealed to her as a designer, Samantha replied, “Having migrated from New Orleans to Nashville I’ve always had a vision and affection for architecturally salvaged items. Anything with a story of it’s history that needs a little extra love and a new home fascinates me. I also love looking at an item that can be repurposed into something it was never intended to be or adding an element that makes it shine brighter than it ever had before. I gravitate towards textures and blending them together in a simplistic and sophisticated way.”

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Samantha also told us that the use of salvaged architectural items was one of her favorite elements that she often includes in her custom designs. She loves incorporating vintage items into a new construction to create a truly unique space for her clients.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We loved working with Samantha and think that the finished project looks amazing! You can find Samantha online at You can visit Southern Accents at or visit our showroom in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama!

Samantha turned these two salvaged doors into sliding barn doors for her client's new home.

Samantha turned these two salvaged doors into sliding barn doors for her client’s new home.

The antique mantel Samantha selected from Southern Accents added the perfect finishing touch to the new family room.

The antique mantel Samantha selected from Southern Accents added the perfect finishing touch to the new family room.

Nothing Wasted

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” Maya Angelou

This quote speaks right to the heart of the Southern Accents team. Not only do we have a team of creatives at SA, but, we have also surrounded ourselves with creative people who we collaborate with on a regular basis. While the heart and soul of Southern Accents is the rescue of salvageable architectural elements and antiques, we are also all about finding creative ways to repurpose some of the materials that we rescue. This is one of the areas where we can allow our creative juces to flow!


Salvaged wood has become an increasingly large part of our business. As this side of our business continues to grow, so does our pile of wood cutoffs! We hate to discard anything so, we are always looking for ways to repurpose these wood scraps. Thanks to the talents of team member Josh Howe and local artist Leldon Maxcy, we currently have a wonderful collection of salvaged wood items that have been created from some of our wood scraps. You’ll find wall art cutouts of the state of Alabama as well as Cullman county. We have a new selection of custom made wood frames. We also have a collection of salvaged wood items from Josh which include beautiful cutting boards, honey dippers and even a night lamp… all made from salvaged wood.

For all you DIYers… we have something just for you! We’ve started packaging our wood cutoffs into craft packs. Each 12″ x 3.5″ x 14″ Priority Mail box is full of your choice of salvaged wood pieces. Choices include painted wood in colors of blue, white, green, natural, or a multi colored mix. Each pack could contain a mix of wood, beadboard and trim pieces. The packs are ready to ship and can be used to create your own work of art! Give us a call at 877-737-0554. Have your credit card ready, let us know your color choices and your box will be on it’s way!!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Stop by our showroom or visit us online at and take a look at our selection of salvaged wood art and craft packs. Art work starts at $25 and the craft packs are $24.95 plus shipping.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The “Not So” Glamorous Side of Salvage

Salvaged and reclaimed wood has become a large part of Southern Accents architectural salvage business. Travel one mile down the road from our main showroom and you will find our wood showroom, stocked floor to ceiling with a variety of salvaged wood, beadboard, trim, hand hewn beams and circular sawn materials. One of the first questions we are asked is, “where does it all come from?” While we have several sources for our salvaged wood, much of it comes from our own salvage missions. This past weekend we traveled to South Carolina to begin the process of removing wood flooring and wood joists from a house scheduled for demolition.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The wood flooring is carefully removed one board at a time.

The process of salvaging wood from a structure is not an easy or glamorous task! Our goal is to carefully remove the wood so that it remains intact, and therefore, can be reused or repurposed. Before starting the wood salvage process, we first have to evaluate each individual room. We look at each room and try to figure out what the original builder, from 100 years ago, installed last. This “reverse building” will determine what we will today take out first. Building, just like our deconstructing, is a process. Many of the older homes have undergone renovations or room additions, so most often there are variances in the construction method from room to room. Our goal is to deconstruct each room from top to bottom, removing wood from the ceilings, walls and floors such as trim, baseboards, molding, and wainscoting.

This photo shows one of the rooms before and after the trim, wainscoting, and crown molding were removed

This photo shows one of the rooms before and after the trim, wainscoting, and crown molding were removed

Our days typically begin at sunrise and end late in the day. The wood has to be removed in such a way that the nails usually remain intact so that the wood does not split. Most often we are working in an environment that has been vacant for many years. As we begin pulling and cutting the wood, generations of dirt and dust are stirred into the air, filling it with a fine mist of particles that seem to quickly settle in every exposed pore of our bodies. It is a tedious process, but each and every individual piece of wood is finally pulled, removed from the house, and carefully stacked on our truck or trailer bed. By the time the wood is ready to travel back to our showroom, it has been touched numerous times. Handling each piece is also a difficult task in itself as there are rusty nails protruding from each piece.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The wood is carefully stacked on the trailer, rusty nails and all!

To say that this is a “dirty job” is an understatement. It is dirty, sweaty, grimmy, back breaking labor. Housing for our SA demo team for most of our projects is an RV parked at a camp ground. Once our work day ends, we return to our camp, hit the shower and go in search of a hot meal. Even though our bodies are tired, we crack jokes on each other and pick and play just to have some fun so we can get our minds off the work that awaits us the next day.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We work hard but we also have fun!

Once our trucks and trailers are full, we begin the journey home, but the process does not end there. Upon arriving at the wood showroom, the wood is carefully unloaded. We then begin the task of de-nailing each and every piece. The wood is then sorted, according to species and size, re-stacked, labeled and prepared for sale.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The S “A” Team!

The life of a junk man is not glamorous, but it is satisfying. At the end of the day, our hard work of rescuing a piece of history and then later seeing the excitement of our customers in our showroom as they select the salvaged material for their project is enough of a reward to push us to that next project!


One of my earliest memories as a child was my parents, two sisters and I going on a family vacation. We would travel in our full size van, with a cooler loaded with sandwiches and drinks, and drive in a large circle around the southeastern United States. My father would be at the helm of the wheel as my mom was co-pilot. My sister Jill would keep the conversation going talking about her life and adventures of the trip, while my other sister, Joy, would be fighting me for the Rand McNally map that we would use to highlight our precise location and giving directions of our next destination. The cassette player in our brown and tan carpeted van would be playing Conway Twitty, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Johny Cash, Charlie Pride, and other tapes of country singers, while I was in the back listening to Run-D.M.C. and The Fat Boys with my headphones.

My parents would take us, sometimes drag us, to antique stores, with an occasional cemetery thrown in, to round-out what we called the “Gudger Summer Antiquecation.” Our trip usually took us through Birmingham to south Georgia, then Savannah, up to Charleston, then to Salisbury, North Carolina, then through Charlotte, Knoxville, Chattanooga and finally back to Alabama!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesSome of those early trips are a few of my favorite childhood memories. While traveling in the van on those antiquing trips, I learned a life lesson from my mother. Nearing the end of each summer vacation, the van fully loaded and by now, a packed UHaul in tow, our excitement level of exploring the next antique store had worn off! Upon each stop my mom would utter two words, simply, but boldly, “GET OUT!” The meaning was clear… get out of the car and let’s go inside. I didn’t realize that those two words would somehow stick with me throughout my life, even when she wasn’t around.

As an adult, I now realize what my mother was doing! She is an adventurer and a curious soul, like myself, and in her mind she was trying to teach us a valuable lesson… “get out” was her way of encouraging us to get out and experience what that particular place had to offer. Each stop to her was an adventure, an opportunity to explore new, unknown and exciting places and things. The hands on experience of exploring the texture, the color, the temperature, even the scale… truly has a lot to do with my design work at Southern Accents today. She was teaching me through these “get out” experiences, without me even knowing.

I believe that an important part of life is making that extra effort to just “get out!” There are too many times that distractions, like technology, keep our head glued to a screen. Whether it is editing pictures, Facebook, text, email, social media, spread sheets… sometimes it is just good to take a step back, put away your phone, tablet and/or games, and just “get out.” Get outside, get outside the normal box of thinking, get out and experience friends, get out and make something with your hands, get out and just breathe! There is a time to work and when you work, work hard. But there are also times to experience a positive new place, activity, friends, company… by choosing to go that extra mile, that most people won’t, a new journey begins for you.

I believe that I inherited my curiosity from my mother. I hope I can instill that curious nature in my boys. Without us knowing, my mother allowed us to have a summer field trip that consisted of a hands-on laboratory at every stop. You never know what you will find unless you “Get Out”. Life is an adventure: experience it!

Written by: Garlan Gudger, Jr.

The Artist & The Art – Matthew Mayes

Although Southern Accents is an architectural antique and salvage company, we are also a team of artists, creators, designers, visionaries, builders and collaborators. As such, we revel in an opportunity to meet and collaborate with fellow creatives. One recent meeting was with an impressive artist originally from Florence, Alabama; Matthew Mayes.

Matthew MayesMatthew is a self taught artist with 12 years experience in the professional art field. Matthew began his artistic adventure as a child watching the “Joy Of Painting” with Bob Ross. Having experienced many stints in the hospital and schooling at home because of illness, Matthew needed an outlet for his creativity. He credits art as filling this need in his life.

Matthew’s concentration is acrylic on canvas and on hollow core doors. He considers his work to be studies in color, perception, definition and composition. When asked in a recent interview about his process for starting a new piece, Matthew replied, “I start every piece by picking out all the colors (at once) that will be in the painting. I listen to all genres of music, which I use to create different moods while painting. Finally, I listen to my spirit and attempt to present on canvas the message(s) that I believe are flowing through me. There are multiple ways to “minister” to the public. Art is one of my gifts and callings.”

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesA gift it is! Matthew’s artwork is inspirational. Southern Accents is currently housing one of Matthew’s works of art titled “A Sense Of Peace”. This 30″ x 80″ work, which is available for purchase, can be viewed in our showroom in downtown Cullman. Matthew’s artwork is also on display now through September 4th at the Birmingham Public Library. Visit the central library’s 4th floor gallery to view works from his “Layers of Meaning” collection.

Visit Matthew online at to view as well as purchase his beautiful artwork. Matthew is also available for commissioned works.


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