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 lucienporterdesigncompany.com. You can visit Southern Accents at sa1969.com 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!

salvageartweb

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 sa1969.com 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!


GET OUT!!

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 matthewmayes.net to view as well as purchase his beautiful artwork. Matthew is also available for commissioned works.


Sloss Music & Arts Festival – Tent Transformation!

The Southern Accents Team was hard at work last week in preparation for our latest BIG adventure! Garden & Gun Magazine contacted Mason & Dixon and SA and asked us to design/build an Artist Lounge and portrait studio for last weekend’s Sloss Music & Arts Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. We worked to transform a large event tent into a very cool, yet functional, relaxing lounge for the artists. With each new project our goal is to turn our creativity up a notch. We did a little research and came up with something unique for this festival!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesShou-sugi-ban is a Japanese term that means “burnt cedar board.” The term is commonly used to describe a centuries old Japanese technique of charring wood planks for use as siding. While this method of wood treatment was originally used to make the wood less susceptible to rotting and insects, today it is more often used for aesthetic purposes. We thought the charred wood would pair perfectly with our painted white, 10 foot tall salvaged Gothic windows, vintage fireplace mantels and decorative 10 foot tall copper mirror. The lounge, which was equipped with charging stations, had an “old southern church” feel to it. The interior of the tent housed our salvaged wood farm tables and two large bars reminiscent of the ones that once graced the old general stores.

In addition to the artist lounge, Southern Accents constructed a faux studio for Garden & Gun, which was used for artist photography sessions throughout the event. A Vanity Fair photographer was on site to capture candid shots as well.

The two day festival at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama, featured three music stages and included an incredible lineup of over 30 bands and musical artists including The Avett Brothers, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, St. Paul & The Broken Bones and many more. Attendees enjoyed Nick ‘N Friends BBQ Experience, Iron Pouring, API Poster Show, Piggly Wiggly Craftly Beerly Tent, Regional Art and Food Vendors and more.

We hope you were following our social media accounts for updates throughout the weekend! Here’s a few pictures that show the incredible tent transformation!

This picture shows a before and after shot of the large event tent. The after picture was taken late Friday. A few finishing touches were added the next morning to the air conditioned tent and the lounge was ready to host all the guest artists, providing a welcome refuge from the summer heat!

This picture shows a before and after shot of the large event tent. The after picture was taken late Friday. A few finishing touches were added the next morning to the air conditioned tent and the lounge was ready to host all the guest artists, providing a welcome refuge from the summer heat!

Southern Accents was honored to have been given the opportunity to design/build the artist lounge for Garden and Gun.

Southern Accents was honored to have been given the opportunity to design/build the artist lounge for Garden and Gun.

The salvaged wood walls completely disguised and transformed the white event tent, turning it into an inviting living area.

The salvaged wood walls completely disguised and transformed the white event tent, turning it into an inviting living area.

The white cathedral windows looked incredible set against the black charred wood walls. Zippers in the side panels of the tent allowed us to  let in some natural light through the windows but still keep the tent cool via use of a large air conditioner.

The white cathedral windows looked incredible set against the black charred wood walls. Zippers in the side panels of the tent allowed us to let in some natural light through the windows but still keep the tent cool via use of a large air conditioner.

We would like to thank everyone who was involved with this project: Mason Dixon, Garden & Gun Magazine, Ivory Exchange Rentals, Mary Clayton Carl, Cullman Sign and Banner, Red Mountain Entertainment, Shin Dig Catering, JAH Woodworks, Pepper Place Pop Up, Lisa Jones Photography, Sully Sullivan, and the incredible, amazing, talented, hard working, Southern Accents Team!! It takes a village!! There were many throughout the week who stepped in to lend a hand. If we have failed to mention you specifically, please accept our apologies but know that no act went unnoticed! THANK YOU!!


Pocket This!

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesLast week, Southern Accents delivered a huge salvaged steel fire door to Birmingham, Alabama. This particular door will be used in a new restaurant preparing to open in the Pepper Place Market. Pocket, or sliding doors, have become extremely popular for both residential and commercial use. While one typically thinks of pocket doors being used for pantries or bathrooms, “exterior” sliding doors, or barn doors, provide a great solution for covering almost any existing opening. Not only do these doors provide a practical option, but they can become an integral part of a rooms decor.

Many of our customers, when looking for a pocket or sliding door, are surprised when we tell them that many regular doors can be used as a sliding door. The only difference in a sliding door and regular swinging door is a simple change in hardware. When looking for a suitable door you need to make sure that one side of the door will slide flush against the wall. The door also needs to be at least 2 inches wider on each side and 3 to 4 inches taller than the opening to ensure that it is fully covered and will not show any daylight creeping out the edges.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

This metal fire door, originally from Chicago, was purchased from Southern Accents and is one of many sliding doors used in the renovation of this house in Horton, Alabama.

While we do occasionally have salvaged tracks available for the sliding doors, we recommend purchasing the tracks from a hardware store. Locally, the slider tracks can be purchased from Tractor Supply. You can also purchase the tracks, also referred to as barn door hardware, online from companies like Rustica Hardware.

This gorgeous sliding door was custom built in our wood shop using reclaimed wood.

This gorgeous sliding door was custom built in our wood shop using reclaimed wood.

When searching for the perfect sliding door, one other option to consider is a custom made door. Our in house wood shop allows us the ability to custom make your door to any size specification! Choose your wood from our showroom of salvaged and reclaimed wood. We can even assist you with the design of your new door. Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 877 737-0554 and request an appointment with Garlan or Ben and let us help you design your new door!

This door from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques adds character to the Brandino Brass showroom

This door from Southern Accents Architectural Antiques adds character to the Brandino Brass showroom

Salvaged door from Southern Accents installed in a bedroom as a sliding door.

This salvaged door from Southern Accents was converted to a sliding door and installed in a bedroom.


Faith, Freedom, and Our Flag

Visit Southern Accents and you will find that we have over 45,000 square feet filled with architectural antiques and salvaged goods ready and waiting for a new home. Scattered among the many treasures that are available for purchase are a few that we’ve kept for ourselves. These items are near and dear to our heart, none more so than our giant American flag. The flag, which measures 8′ x 12′, hangs above our large staircase and is one of the first things you will see when entering our showroom.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We our proud of our heritage and proudly display our American flag. It is a daily, visible reminder for us of the many freedoms that we enjoy. It is also a reminder of the many sacrifices that have been made. This weekend we will be celebrating those freedoms. As we gather with family and friends, we will stop and give thanks for the many ways we have been blessed. We will also remember those who have given their all over the past 239 years to ensure the freedoms that we continue to enjoy.

We hope that everyone had a Happy Independence Day! God bless America!


Blacksmithing Demonstration

This past Saturday, artist Berry Allen joined us at Southern Accents for an ironwork demonstration. Berry demonstrated how he turns iron into hardware and decorative pieces for the home.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesBerry is a native of Huntsville, Alabama. He specializes in hand built clay figures, free form platters, and large metal sculptures. Berry spent four years in Birmingham specializing in blacksmithing and stone and fountain restoration before returning to Huntsville in 2006. He has been a featured artist at the Panoply Arts Festival and has had his work exhibited at the Von Braun Center Visual Arts Achievement Program. He has been project manager and part of the fountain installation team for Bridge Street in Huntsville.

Berry’s interest in blacksmithing was peaked in college when he saw liquid iron for the first time. He was introduced to it by an adjunct professor from Sloss Furnaces. Berry said that he likes having the ability to take a material that is rigid and cold and transform it by fire into something that has movement and warmth. Berry is living a lot of young boy’s dreams… he gets to play with fire every day!

When asked about his connection with Southern Accents Berry said, “I’ve been an avid shopper with SA for years. As an artist, I appreciate hand crafted products. I am intrigued by all the items that are salvaged and saved by Southern Accents. I love how so many of their salvaged goods are fashioned by hand into useful items and works of art”.

Berry Allen at Southern Accents

Thanks to everyone who stopped by Saturday. We had a great turn out to watch Berry demonstrate his skills. We’ve had a lot of great feedback and hope to have Berry back in the near future. In the mean time, you can visit Berry at his studio located between Walker Avenue and Howe Street in Huntsville or online at www.baughart.com. We will also be bringing some of Berry’s creations to our showroom soon!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


SA’s Resident Artist, Sculptor, Woodworker

Stop by Southern Accents wood shop during the week and you will likely find Josh Howe hard at work doing what he loves most… working with his hands. Josh is multi talented and brilliantly creative. We met Josh two years ago at our annual alley party that he attended with his wife Amber, who had been working with us to coordinate the events entertainment. There was an instant connection and shortly after Josh joined our team.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesJosh came to SA with an extensive background in granite, stone, ceramic and wood. Josh is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree. His concentration in sculpture was made evident when he showed up recently with some magnificent pieces that he had sculpted from wood and metal. Josh especially loves working with tools, but also throughly enjoys the creative process of seeing a project through from conception to completion. He has been instrumental in working on many recent projects for SA from designing an award last year for Main Street Alabama to our most recent design projects for Southern Makers.

Josh spends the bulk of his time at Southern Accents in the wood shop where he does everything from repairing salvaged antique items such as doors and mantels to designing and building custom items from salvaged wood for our many customers. Away from work Josh enjoys restoring old furniture and is particularly fascinated with the history of architectural pieces. His greatest joy however, is spending time with his wife Amber and their two young children Vesta and Sylas.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our in house wood shop allows us the ability to strip and sand many of the architectural pieces that we salvage, bringing the wood back to a natural finish. Josh and Roger are also able to make needed repairs as well as custom build doors, tables and other items from salvaged wood. If you would like a quote on a custom job, please give us a call or stop by our showroom during regular business hours.


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