Thoughts and Reflections

Every week we have customers who walk through our showroom looking for that architectural piece that “speaks to them”. Each time we hear these comments from customers, we grin, because we know they’ve come to the right place!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

At Southern Accentswe tend to think of our inventory, not as pieces of wood or metal, but as historical elements with a story to tell. For example, we wonder how many of our doors have served both as a sign of welcome, as well as a source of protection from weather in someone’s home. We imagine the many souls who have passed through the door ways. Each of our doors has it’s own unique story to tell, a story that grows richer with time.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Lighting, while an essential element in every home, has it’s own story to tell. We are curious about which of our lights might have provided comfort to a frightened child at night who was scared of the dark, or which light kept vigil all night with a student studying for a final exam, or kept watch as long time friends or family visited well into the dark hours of the night. Which light might have been dimmed to create a romantic setting for that young man asking the girl of his dreams to be his wife, or which one was faithful to greet it’s owner each morning before daybreak as he prepared for work.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We think about how each fireplace mantel could have framed the only source of heat for someones home. We envision the many stories told, and secrets shared by those gathered in front of the warmth of the flames. We wonder how many of the hearths have provided a home for treasured photos and family heirlooms as well as supported the weight of many a Christmas stocking filled with holiday goodies.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

While we love to envision the treasured memories and happy stories, we also realize that many of our pieces have bore witness to sad events. The death of a loved one, men marching off to war, the hard times experienced by many households during times of economic distress. Whatever the story, good or bad, each one is a part of our history that deserves to be preserved. We feel strongly that with each architectural piece that we save, we are protecting a piece of history, an element of someone’s story that deserves to be safeguarded for future generations. Each piece that we rescue will be given the opportunity to be a part of a new story.

When you stop by our showroom, take time to really study the pieces and allow them to speak to you. Choose the ones that you want to include in your story and know that with each piece you select, you are helping to preserve a piece of someone’s history as you write your own.

The Making of an Office

This past year we took on several custom jobs that have become some of our favorite projects to date. This office, created for McPherson Oil in Trussville, Alabama is one example.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Ken McPherson contacted Southern Accents about creating custom cabinets and tables for his office from salvaged wood. After visiting the company headquarters and getting a feel for the office space, the creative process began. Ken requested a large conference table, desk, cabinets and shelving. We knew we wanted to couple the salvaged wood with an industrial design so we went in search for the perfect base for both the table and desk. When we ran across the large iron industrial pieces, we knew they were exactly what we needed for the office space. Two large single cypress slabs were used to create the desk top. We incorporated the natural live edge on the exposed side of the desk to create a rustic, but tailored, look that paired perfectly with the cast iron industrial base.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Salvaged wood was used to create the large “farm style” conference table which was also paired with an industrial iron base. One end of the table features a hidden media area which will accommodate a number of cell phone and laptop plugins.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Various shades of salvaged barn wood were used for the cabinet and shelving unit, which also features a live edge counter to match the desk. While the wood and iron definitely give the office a masculine look, Ken quickly filled the shelves with family photos, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

If you would like a quote on a custom project or piece, stop by our showroom or give us a call at 877 737-0554.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The office at McPherson oil “before” it received a makeover!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

2015 – Our Year in Review

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

As we begin looking back at the year 2015, we are astounded with all that we have accomplished. Although to say that 2015 has been our best year to date sounds a little cliche’, it is a true statement! This past year has kept us bustling… each project has been filled with excitement and has pushed our creativity to new heights!

2015 began with a trip to Spartanburg, South Carolina, where we began our largest salvage project to date. We worked throughout the year saving architectural elements from a beautiful 10,000 square foot estate known as Bonhaven.

Come May, our attention turned to Southern Makers in Montgomery, Alabama. In it’s third year, 2015 saw Southern Makers expand to a 2 day festival and without a doubt, the best one yet! For SA, Southern Makers is like a huge family reunion as we get to collaborate and hang out with other artists throughout the state, many of whom have become like family.

This summer we took on a new project that took our creativity to new heights. We were asked by Mason plus Dixon to create the Garden & Gun Artist Lounge for Birmingham’s largest music festival, SlossFest. We transformed the interior of a large event tent into an amazing lounge that was a haven from the heat for the music artists during the weekend festival. The tent transformation, complete with salvage wood walls and arched church windows was nothing short of spectacular!

Fall rolled around and we were asked to create an artistic entrance for Chef Frank Stitt’s private party held in Florence, Alabama, as part of Billy Reid’s Shindig No. 7. We were given creative license on this project, so we designed and built a salvaged wood tunnel with an artistic twist!

In between our larger projects and events we have stayed very busy. We are extremely proud of all the custom jobs that we have taken on this past year. We have worked on custom jobs for McPhearson Oil, Yellow Hammer, Oven Bird Restaurant, Lyons Coffee Roasters, Mike Wolfe of American Pickers, and Billy Reid. We also designed and built a community table for Highland Village in Jackson, Mississippi. We hosted several events in our alley including a lunch for Senator Jeff Sessions, a black smith demonstration and a personal pizza making event for a group of first graders from East Elementary!

You can follow all of our projects via our social media accounts as well as our blog. If you are not following us, click on the links below and join us! We are looking ahead to another exciting year in 2016 and would not want you to miss a thing!!!

3 Generations of Salvage Shoppers!

Being a second generation business and hopefully raising the third generation of salvage men, we are honored to share our passion with generational families that have come through our shop throughout the years. One such family is the McAdams.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The McAdams began shopping with us many years ago when they decided to renovate their early 1900’s home in Huntsville. This past week we received a visit from Annette, her daughter Brittney and her grandchildren Reagan and Everett. Brittney remembers traveling to Cullman on many occasions as a young girl to visit SA with her parents. “It felt like we were here all the time,” Brittney laughingly said. “I was normally wearing my basketball uniform. I remember coming in the store, following Garlan around, and digging through lots of hardware.”

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The love of architectural salvage and vintage goods has been passed down from parents to daughter as Brittney is now returning with her children and shopping for her own home. 18 month old Reagan loves to visit her “Uncle Garlan”. When asked if Southern Accents was her favorite store, her face beams with a huge grin as she shakes her head and answers with a resounding “YES”!

Seeing an appreciation for salvaged and reclaimed architectural goods being passed down through three generations in this family warms our hearts. It inspires us to continue in our quest to rescue, restore, and document items of historical significance. Knowing that the McAdams, and many other customers like them, share our passion and mission is why every day we do what we do!

A Time To Give

In 2013 Southern Accents founded a non-profit organization, SA3:23. The SA stands for Salvage Assurance and the 3:23 is based on Colossians 3:23 which is the core of our mission statement: “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” Our main project for the past few years has been to play Santa for a group of around 100 underprivileged children in our community. We deliver wrapped toys, goodie bags, cookies, snacks and supplies for their Christmas party. Our budget for this project is approximately $1,500.



This is the SA teams favorite project of the year!! We pull out Frosty and Rudolph and pay a visit to the children at school. Seeing the excited reactions of the children and all their smiling faces is priceless! These are children living below poverty level and for many, this is the only gift they will receive during the holidays.

While we gladly accept donations year round, if you would like to make a donation to help provide gifts for the children this Christmas, please drop by Southern Accents any time this month. Checks should be made payable to SA3:23. All donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible.

Salvaged Beams Used In Custom Home Design

We are always inspired to see how our customers use the architectural antiques and salvage items purchased from Southern Accents. Many of our customers will walk through the showroom with a vision of exactly how they want to incorporate salvaged items into their home or business. Others will discover pieces that they fall in love with and will walk away with their treasured items not knowing exactly how to utilize them. Such was the case with customers Kevin and Kristen Thomas.


The Thomas’s came to us a couple of years ago looking for salvaged beams for their new home. In the fall of 2013 we purchased an 1815 barn in Rising Sun, Indiana. The enormous hand-hewn beams in this barn were some of the best we had ever rescued. Knowing the Thomas’s were looking for large beams, we contacted them to let them know about our find. Kevin met us at our wood warehouse as the beams arrived. He took one look and said, “I don’t know exactly what I am going to do with them, but I want every one of them!” In addition to the beams, Southern Accents also supplied reclaimed wood and custom doors that were installed throughout the home. Last week the Thomas’s were kind enough to invite us to tour their new home. We were blown away!

Use of the salvaged beams can be seen throughout the home. The most impressive is the massive arched beam that runs parallel with the upstairs balcony railing. The over 25 foot long beam immediately grabs your attention as you enter the home. While some might see the arch as a flaw, the Thomas’s viewed it as an architectural piece loaded with character and left the beam untouched, exposing the mortise pockets. Salvaged beams were used in various places throughout the interior, including the door frames, as well as the exterior of the home. Having a “nothing wasted” mentality, even scrap pieces were put to good use. Some were cut into corbels and used to support the concrete counter on the kitchen island, while other pieces were used to build a fabulous table that sits below the television in the family room.


Beams were used as door frames throughout the house. Scrap pieces were used to build the beautiful custom table.

Stay tuned… We’ll be posting more photos from this incredible home in the near future. In the mean time, stop by our wood showroom and take a look at our selection of reclaimed wood and salvaged beams and let your imagination run wild!!


Corbels were cut from scraps of the salvaged beams and used to help support the concrete countertop.


Some of the salvaged beams can be seen across the back covered patio.


The leaves have fallen and there’s a nip in the air which can only mean one thing… winter is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when fireplaces are lit and our attention is turned to decorating our homes for the holidays. For Southern Accents, this is the time of year when we get a lot of customers searching for mantels and mantel shelves. A great option that continues to gain popularity is the use of salvaged beams as a mantel shelf.

Salvaged wood beams at Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

These two salvaged wood beams have been cut to order and are ready for customer pickup!

Visit our Salvaged Wood Showroom and you will find a variety of salvaged wood beams. Each beam exhibits it’s own unique character. Some timbers may have a live edge, while others have different textures created by axe hewn marks or circular sawn marks of an early 1900’s sawmill. Our customers enjoy looking through our stacks of vintage beams and choosing the timber that “speaks” to them. Mantel shelves can be cut to any specific size or length on location. The beams can have a rough “dirty face” texture or can be lightly sanded to obtain a more tailored look. Many of our customers choose to leave the wood in it’s natural state while others will apply staining or waxing to the wood to bring out the color. Either way these mantel shelves add character and nostalgia to any fireplace surround.


We have an ever changing variety of salvaged wood beams and timbers to choose from. We can custom cut any beam to your size specification.

Recently we collaborated with a local artist who can hand carve designs into our salvaged beams. These works of art are stunning! We currently have two samples displayed in our showroom, but can also accept custom orders for most any design.


These two carved beams are currently on display in our showroom. We can accept orders on most any custom design.

Our Salvaged Wood Showroom is open during regular business hours and is located one mile down the road from our main showroom at 250 Janeway Drive in Cullman, AL. Stop by and let John show you our current selection of salvaged wood beams.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Some timbers are available with a live edge.


This salvaged wood beam from Southern Accents hangs above the fireplace in the home of Kevin and Kristen Thomas.


This mantel shelf is one of many conversation pieces in these stunning home fill with architectural items and reclaimed lumber.

Calling All Alabama Makers

Are you an artist, creative, craftsman, chef, musician, brewer, designer – from the state of Alabama? Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for the 4th annual Southern Makers.Southern Makers is unlike any show you’ve ever participated in before! It’s not a craft fair and SO much more than an art festival. It’s a celebration! A coming together of “makers” from across our great state.

Southern Accents at Southern Makers 2015

The date for Southern Makers 2016 is April 30 – May 1 at the historic Union Station Train Shed in Montgomery, Alabama. Tentative plans are in the works for an additional show in 2016… details forthcoming! The application deadline for this highly curated event is quickly approaching! Applications are being accepted through November 20, 2015 and can be submitted online at Notifications will go out January 4 – 7, 2016.

One of many unique creations from Southern Makers 2015

One of many unique creations from Southern Makers 2015

Great example of up-cycling. Old suitcases turned into stereo speakers!

Great example of up-cycling. Old suitcases turned into stereo speakers!

These gorgeous scarves were all hand dyed using natural ingredients.

These gorgeous scarves were all hand dyed using natural ingredients.

Ghosts In The Attic

We love ghost stories! Two years ago we wrote about our resident ghost, Matilda. Although we have not heard from her since the April 2011 tornados, to this day, several SA team members still tell stories about her.

Quite often we will hear murmurings and have speculations about the presence of spirits in a structure that we are salvaging. Such was the case on our latest salvage mission in Spartanburg, SC. One of the few remaining descendants of the estate told stories about a particular cabinet door in the kitchen. He stated that each time he or his wife would walk into the kitchen, this one door was always open. They would close the door only to find it mysteriously re-opened. He said that eventually they gave up and just left that one door open. When asked if he thought that the house was haunted, his only response was a huge grin across his face!

The blue walls and little star stickers attached to the ceiling was a reminder that this was once the baby's room.

The blue walls and little star stickers attached to the ceiling were reminders that this was once the baby’s room.

This crib was found in the attic.

This crib was found in the attic.

One story passed around by some of the locals is that a small graveyard was moved before the house was built in 1884, which caused unrest among the spirits of those buried. While we can not confirm that story, we did find numerous bones in an area beneath the cellar. We do know that one of the children, a baby boy, passed away in the house and that the mother was never able to recover from the grief of his death. While the baby’s room was eventually turned in to a library, to this day, the blue walls with little star stickers on the ceiling remain. In addition to the baby’s death, we also know that one of the owners died in the house.

This mask, believed to be a death mask, was found in one of the bedrooms.

This mask, believed to be a death mask, was found in one of the bedrooms.

Having heard that the house was haunted, experiencing our own encounter during one of our trips, while frightening, did not catch us off guard. On more than one occasion, the sound of shuffling feet could be heard moving down the stairs and across the wood flooring. With each occurrence, there was no one present to account for the sound. During one of the encounters, one of our team members saw what looked to be two eyes standing in the doorway that lead to the cellar.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

This picture shows an unexplained reflection of what appears to be one, possibly two children traveling down the stairs.

Looking through pictures taken in the house, we came across one picture that seemed odd. While hard to make out in the picture above, when enlarged, there seems to be one, possibly two children coming down the stairs. Another team member was trying to record some video from his phone. Each time he turned toward the staircase his phone would mysteriously shut off.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

There was something about this staircase that was inviting, yet at the same time creepy.

While we can’t say for sure that what we encountered were restless spirits, there were many aspects of the house, like the staircase pictured above, that were haunting! This particular staircase, which lead to a dark, damp, dreary attic, seemed to beckon. Yet, upon making our way to the attic, filled with personal artifacts, none of us wanted to linger too long!


While this is nothing more than an old halloween mask, scenes like this, scattered throughout the attic, did not make our time there any less frightening!

Are ghosts real… you decide! Our stories from this past adventure are ones we will be talking about for quite some time!

Friends of the Cafe Dinner: Southern Makers

This past weekend Alabama ChaninSouthern Makers and The Oxford American presented the Friends of the Cafe Dinner with Atlanta-based Chef Anne Quatrano. The dinner was held Saturday, October 24, 2015 at The Factory in Florence, Alabama. The cost of the event included cocktails, dinner, and the very first Maker Box created through a collaboration between Oxford American Magazine and Southern Makers.

Friends of the Cafe Dinner - Southern Makers

The Oxford American is a non-profit, quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing while documenting the complexity and vitality of the American South. The magazine, founded in 1992 in Oxford, Mississippi, relocated to Arkansas in the early 2000’s, under the auspices of a newly formed nonprofit organization called The Oxford American Literary Project. In addition to publishing the Oxford American, the Literary Project is dedicated to promoting literacy and exploring Southern culture through various other creative endeavors.

Both having been created and developed in the deep south, the Oxford American supports the entrepreneurial spirit of Southern Makers. Our goals are similar; to explore and promote quality, hand crafted and one-of-a-kind goods to a larger market and exposing gifted artists with unique talents to a greater audience. In an attempt to spread the word about Southern Makers and the makers who participate, the Oxford American website will feature a revolving selection of Southern Maker-approved goods in their online store. Additionally, Oxford American Magazine is offering a “Maker Box” as a subscription upgrade. In the coming weeks, those who purchase an annual subscription to the Oxford American will be offered the opportunity to upgrade their subscription to include the Maker Box which will contain a curated selection of goods from Southern Makers participants.

Each attendee of the Friends of the Cafe Dinner received a Maker Box.

Each attendee of the Friends of the Cafe Dinner received a Maker Box.

We were honored to be part of this unique event. It was a fun evening and we look forward to future collaborations!


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