Where Does It All Come From?

Not a day passes at Southern Accents that someone doesn’t walk through our showroom door and ask where we find all of our inventory or how do we find the structures that we salvage. That is somewhat of a difficult question to answer being that there is no one answer that covers all the places. Walking through our showroom, each piece has it’s own story of where it came from and how it found its way to us.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents has been in existence since 1969. We are the oldest and largest architectural salvage business in Alabama. Throughout the past 46 years our business has continued to grow and expand, reaching customers throughout the nation. The past several years we have actively marketed exactly what we do which is to rescue, restore, protect and document architectural elements of historical significance. Because of our increasing presence in the salvage industry, we are often approached by property owners when they have an antique structure that needs to be rescued. As there becomes a greater awareness of how salvaged architectural elements can be reused or repurposed, more property owners realize the importance of rescuing material from structures that need to be taken down and will contact us.

At times, we will hear of an old house or building that is scheduled for demolition and we will reach out to the property owner to state our interest in salvaging the structure before it is demolished. We also plan several “picking” trips each year. Over the years we have established relationships with collectors throughout the country who are familiar with the specific type of architectural items that we restore. We contact them ahead of time and plan a buying trip. We are always looking for new resources and quite often will make pit stops during a buying trip to check out inventory from potential new sources.

One of our most recent salvage projects, an 1894 house in South Carolina

One of our most recent salvage projects, an 1894 house in South Carolina

Many of the items that we have, specifically a lot of the small antiques, come to us by way of our customers! We get calls and e-mails weekly from our customers who are cleaning or renovating a structure and have items that they can’t bear to throw away. We love the fact that Southern Accents is becoming synonymous with the word salvage. We hope to be the first thought everyone thinks when they have architectural salvage that they need to part with.

Visit our showroom and you will find a selection of small antique items and salvaged art created by local artists from salvaged goods.

Visit our showroom and you will find a selection of small antique items and salvaged art created by local artists from salvaged goods.

If you have architectural elements that you think we may be interested in, send a picture of your items, detailed information, any known history, and dimensions to info@sa1969.com. Specific items that we may be interested in are antique clawfoot tubs, farmhouse sinks, solid wood doors, mantels, corbels, decorative trim, fretwork, newel posts, and wrought iron as well as salvaged barn wood and beams. All emailed submissions will be reviewed and we will contact you if interested.


From Warehouse to Wow!

Located just one mile down the road from Southern Accents showroom at 250 Janeway Drive is our Salvaged Wood Showroom.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Over the past several years, reclaimed lumber has increasingly become a larger part of our architectural salvage business. Last year we increased the size of our wood storage facility with the addition of a second warehouse! The new warehouse not only gave us more storage room, but it also provided an area that allows us to mill a lot of the salvaged wood ourselves. Currently we have over 250,000 square feet of salvaged barn wood, beadboard, trim, handhewn and circular sawn beams.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Our Salvaged Wood Showroom, which is open to the public during regular business hours, is run by team member John. Before moving to the U.S. from Columbia, John was a licensed and practicing architect and has the knowledge to help you select the perfect materials that will turn your next wood project into that WOW factor! Many of our customers have used salvaged wood and timbers for projects ranging from flooring, wall coverings, ceiling coverings, custom doors, furniture, rustic mantels and more.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Visit our Project Spotlight Pinterest Board to view some of our customers projects that have been created using salvaged and reclaimed wood from Southern Accents. You can visit our wood warehouse Tues – Fri from 9am to 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 4pm.

Our new facility houses much of our salvaged circular sawn and handhewn timbers. The timbers are available in a natural or oiled finish. They can be left in the rough or sanded. We can also mill them to any desired length for use as rustic mantels.

Our new facility houses much of our salvaged circular sawn and handhewn timbers. The timbers are available in a natural or oiled finish. They can be left in the rough or sanded. We can also mill them to any desired length for use as rustic mantels.

Our two Wood Warehouses are filled with salvaged wood and trim. Our inventory changes weekly and includes a variety of wood species in naturally distressed and aged paint finishes. The wood can be used as is or can be planed to reveal a clean face finish.

Our two Wood Warehouses are filled with salvaged wood and trim. Our inventory changes weekly and includes a variety of wood species in naturally distressed and aged paint finishes. The wood can be used as is or can be planed to reveal a clean face finish.

Photography by: Lisa Jones


SM2015 – One For The History Books!

Trying to adequately describe Southern Makers to those who have never been is a difficult task. It’s neither a craft fair nor an art show, but rather an experience. Our experience this past weekend was nothing short of spectacular! The weather was perfect, the crowds exhilarating, the level of talent impressive, and the camaraderie with fellow makers treasured. This years event was the best yet!

The Southern Accents Booth.

The Southern Accents Booth.

When asked to describe this past weekend in three words, some of the responses from the SA Team were: creativity, passion, inspiring, connections, friends, work, achievement, humbling, thankful, and blessed.Our team returned late Monday after an all night session of dis-mantling and loading the many elements that we contributed to this years event which included the entrance, stage, conversation tent and quite a few vendor booths, including our own. The opportunity to spend time at an event of this magnitude with like minded artists who share our vision and passion makes all of our hard work worth the effort. The icing on the cake was the many conversations that took place with attendees. The excitement that exuded from the crowd was invigorating. And even better is the fact that through our efforts, we were able to help raise funds for a very worthwhile cause, E.A.T. South. 

The 2015 Southern Makers Stage!

The 2015 Southern Makers Stage!

We hope that everyone is following Southern Accents social media pages as we will be sharing more pictures and stories in the days and weeks to come of this unforgettable event. We will also be updating everyone on future events as planning begins for 2016. In the mean time, we would like to thank everyone who worked tireless hours to make Southern Makers 2015 the huge success that it was. We would also like to thank all of the extremely talented Makers for their participation as well everyone who supported our efforts by attending the event. Job well done!

Union Station Train Depot, Montgomery, Alabama

Union Station Train Depot, Montgomery, Alabama

The entrance was a collaboration between Southern Accents and Walker Timber Frames.

The entrance was a collaboration between Southern Accents and Walker Timber Frames.

The large scale replica of the state of Alabama was constructed of salvaged wood and trim and includes a representation of each county. Local artist Leldon Maxcy cut each piece with his scroll saw!

The large scale replica of the state of Alabama was constructed of salvaged wood and trim and includes a representation of each county. Local artist Leldon Maxcy cut each piece with his scroll saw!

Billy Reid's booth was one of several built by the Southern Accents Team.

Billy Reid’s booth was one of several built by the Southern Accents Team.

SA used salvaged wood to construct the backdrop for the Revelator Coffee booth. The tables were created by our friends at Wood Studio!

SA used salvaged wood to construct the backdrop for the Revelator Coffee booth. The tables were created by our friends at Wood Studio!

The Pine Hill Haints closed out the show Sunday night.

The Pine Hill Haints closed out the show Sunday night.


Rub A Dub Tub

Southern Accents is seeing a huge resurgence in the popularity of clawfoot tubs. The antique, cast iron tubs are one of our most sought after items as we get numerous inquiries each week from customers looking for them. We take advantage of every opportunity to rescue these beauties! While many of the tubs that we obtain aren’t in perfect condition, our friend Stephen Bush, at Rub-a-Dub Tub, is an expert when it comes to lovingly restoring them to like new condition!

These salvaged, claw foot tubs will look brand new once refinished.

These salvaged, claw foot tubs will look brand new once refinished.

Most of the old cast iron tubs and sinks can be refinished and given a new life. We are all familiar with the traditional white, roll top bath tub, but what many don’t realize, is that there are numerous finish options available. Your tub can be turned into your own unique work of art! In addition to unlimited color options, the exterior of the tub can even be finished in stone, glass or tile! If you want a rustic look, a “wood” finish can be applied to the exterior giving the bath the look of real wood!

Restoring a procelain finish cast iron tub is a multi step process. The outside of the tub is first sandblasted, primed and sanded to be ready to paint. The interior of the tub is cleaned and etched. It then receives a coat of primer followed by a top coat of paint. The painted tub is then wet sanded and polished to give it that smooth finish before a final coat of acrylic urethane is applied. Unlike the cheap appliance paints that you can purchase in hardware stores, this detailed method of restoration ensures that your tub or sink is brought back to like-new condition.

This salvaged, cast iron, claw foot tub has been totally refinished, fitted with new feet and is ready for it's new home!

This salvaged, cast iron, claw foot tub has been totally refinished, fitted with new feet and is ready for it’s new home!

Often, the tubs we rescue may be missing one or more feet. Fitting an antique tub with feet is quite a task. Tubs are custom fitted for their specific feet when cast, therefore each type of foot has a unique peg connection, peg length, and curvature of the top of the foot that must match the tub. We have a collection of tub feet that we pull from when needed. When replacing feet on a tub, we install a safety clip to the back of the leg to help secure the feet, preventing them from coming off. These safety clips are cast especially for Southern Accents to ensure the tub is stable when it is being filled with water once installed in a home.

Most salvaged clawfoot tubs, before refinishing, range in price from $350 to $650. The refinishing cost ranges in price from approximately $850 to $1200. Visit Southern Accents showroom or website to view our collection of antique and vintage bath fixtures which include clawfoot tubs, pedestal and farmhouse sinks and more!


Life Reflections

This past Sunday was my 40th birthday! On this day, I watched my oldest son play a travel baseball tournament in Southhaven, Mississippi. I traveled to the Natchez trace to look at an 1860’s log cabin that a friend in Boston wants me to de-construct. I met “Nana” and was blessed by her wonderful hospitality. She showed my two boys and my niece around her farm and allowed us to feed and pet the horses, swing in a hammock, and drive a 4wheeler. She gave the children a piece of pottery she had hand-made, allowed them to use a flat bottom metal boat and paddle themselves around her pond, find a big snake and helped me select a location for the reconstruction of the 1860’s log cabin for her wonderful son, Mack. Afterwards, I drove back home to Alabama with these three amigos to eat Mexican food and play games, all while jamming to music with the windows rolled down.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

My 40th birthday was an #architecturaladventure that I will always cherish. My day was packed full of activities and fun, but today, of all days, I really wanted to find a moment to take a deep breath and reflect on what and who and where I am in life. I found that moment while rocking on the front porch with my 80 year young new friend, Nana. As we discussed our lives, rocking and talking at the top of a long sloped hill, I was able to view my children and niece truly playing, without electronics, and life seemed a million miles away. I thought of all the cool and interesting places, people, and events that I have been able to be associated with, but of my greatest achievements, those little ones in that boat are by far what make me the proudest! For them to call me Daddy and Uncle and say their prayers at night with me, while they hug me… well, it makes me swell up inside with pride. I am shaping their future with my time and love. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter how big my bank account is or what position I hold, these things have little meaning if I fail to be part of their life. I have always wondered where I would be in life when I reached 40, and I can truly say that I am exactly where I am suppose to be – home with my family. I am blessed. #digmygig

Written by: Garlan Gudger


Countdown to Southern Makers 2015

We’re at three weeks and counting!!! Our excitement and anticipation is growing as we are making final preparations for this years Southern Makers event!

Southern Accents at Southern Makers

This is by far our favorite event of the year as it brings together some of the best artisans, craftsmen, chefs, brewers, musicians, farmers, and designers from across the state for one weekend. If you have not seen the lineup of Makers for this years event, check it out… 2015 Makers.

There will be so much to see and do at this year’s festival. Don’t have your tickets yet… what are you waiting for? Tickets are limited… get yours today!

Southern Makers 2015A limited number of tickets for Southern Makers 2015are still available. Pre purchasing your ticket will ensure entrance into this highly anticipated yearly event. The event will take place May 2nd and 3rd in downtown Montgomery, Alabama at the Union Station Train Shed. Available tickets include single day, all weekend pass, or VIP all access ticket which includes an invite to the VIP kick off party on Friday night, May 1st. Children 10 and under are admitted free. Don’t delay… you do NOT want to miss this event! Follow Southern Accents and Southern Makers on Facebook so that you don’t miss out on any of the upcoming announcements, giveaways and exciting news!

The Southern Makers App is NOW available! Download it from the iPhone App Store. The app features event schedules, social media, photos, and makers info.


Keeping Our Nose To The Grind Stone!

At first glance these salvaged mill grist stones might pale in comparison to some of our more ornate architectural finds but not so! Millstones are a symbol of harvest and hospitality and date as far back as the dawn of man. The millstone is also referenced numerous times in the Bible. Samson, for example, after having been captured by the Philistines, was bound with bronze chains at the helm of a millstone and made to grind grain in their prison. The first economies in America were built around grist mills. Access to a millstone and grain were life sustaining resources for many cultures throughout history.

This European millstone is 6 1/2 feet in diameter and 13 inches thick.

This European millstone is 6 1/2 feet in diameter and 13 inches thick.

Millstones typically came in pairs and are cut from burrstone or limestone. The base or bed stone was larger and normally set in concrete or mortar to keep it stationary. The top or runner stone was a bit smaller and contained a handle. Grooves were hand cut into the face of the stones, the design of which ranged from subtle to elaborate. Grain was fed through a hole in the top of the runner stone. As this stone was rotated back and forth the groves cut through the grains of wheat, much like scissors, eventually grinding them to a fine flour. Smaller stones were used in homes and required two people to rotate the runner stone. Larger stones, available for community or commercial use, required considerable man power or quite often livestock to operate. Although access to flour for baking bread was vital, the act of grinding the grain was considered a menial task. Millstones were also used for grinding spices, nuts, and even pressing olives.

The hand carved grooves on the face of this millstone are beautiful.

The hand carved grooves on the face of this millstone are beautiful.

Today, these millstones are a considered a prized possession. The variety of intricate hand carvings on the face are works of art. For many, the stones are collector items. They quickly become a unique conversation piece when used in garden and landscapes. Currently we have three unique stones that we recently acquired. We have a 42″, 48″ and a large 6.5′ in diameter European millstone. All three stones are on display at our wood warehouse. Stop by or visit us online to view more pictures and pricing information.

Each millstone is unique in size and face patterns.

Each millstone is unique in size and face patterns.

The millstones are located at our Wood Warehouse on Janeway Drive in Cullman, Alabama.

The millstones are located at our Wood Warehouse on Janeway Drive in Cullman, Alabama.

Written by Lisa Jones


Pan Lights – Rescued, Rewired, Restored

When thinking about salvaged lighting, most of our thoughts lean towards ornate crystal chandeliers. However, a large number of the lights that we salvage are pan lights. Pan lights were introduced in the early part of the 20th century and were made for electricity instead of gas. Although the architectural styles have evolved over the years from Victorian, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts, Prairie style, and most currently modern, the light has maintained it’s basic design. The pan light can be identified by the body of the light which typically has a finial attached to the bottom and one or more chains attached to the top. The body of the light fixture contains two or more arms which support the shade holders and shades. We’re always excited to find a pan light that still has it’s original glass shades!

This salvaged pan light is covered with old paint.

This salvaged pan light is covered with old paint.

Most of the pan lights that we salvage are made of pressed brass, like the 4 arm light shown here that we rescued this week. This light was covered with several layers of paint. The light was taken to our wood shop where it was cleaned and stripped, removing all of the old paint, dirt and debris. The light will now be sent to our lighting technician, Tim, so that he can work his magic! Tim will rewire this light and give it a light polish. We love the natural patina of the aged brass so we do not try to bring the brass back to it’s original shine. Once the light has been fully restored it will be equipped with replacement shades and take its place in our showroom!

The fixture has been stripped of the old paint and cleaned. It will be rewired and fully restored.

The fixture has been stripped of the old paint and cleaned. It will be rewired and fully restored.

Visit us on line or better yet, stop by our showroom and browse our incredible selection of salvaged and antique lighting!

This pan light fixture has been cleaned, rewired, equipped with replacement glass shades and is ready for a new home!

This pan light fixture has been cleaned, rewired, equipped with replacement glass shades and is ready for a new home!


Piano Keys Unlocking Beauty

A couple of weeks ago we salvaged an upright piano from a structure in Birmingham. The piano was in such a state of disrepair, that it could have never been used to produce music again. This once fine tuned piano seemed to have lost its luster in the dirty abandoned building. Our SA team has usually seen these discarded to the nearest landfill or even to the burn pile. Most upright pianos are bulky, heavy and hard to move. But unlike most pianos, this particular one, for some reason, attracted our interest. Of course a few minutes later, it was being loaded and hauled back to Cullman.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

After we arrived back at the store, the instrument that was once carefully constructed by the hands of a skilled craftsman, was now being de-constructed by the hands of an artist. As we began this process, we started to see the beauty of the interior parts and patina of the individual pieces that was hidden inside. We saw the strings tightly pulled against the cast iron harp. We saw the wood wrapped velvet hammers that once created the soft tones of sound when they struck those strings. We imagined the small hands of a child sitting at the keys, carefully pecking out a simple melody. We will never know how many fingers ran across the keys during its lifespan or the amount of pure joy experienced by the many listening ears, but we can appreciate the history of the “pieces” that made up the “whole”. But now, it was our time to create a new history for the piano using our team’s imagination. Our future goal is to adapt these individual parts into a work of art that will be available for future generations to enjoy. Continuing the story of its history by up-cycling its salvageable parts in the present, only allows for its continued appreciation in the future.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Stay tuned for the big reveal as in coming weeks we give new life to a piece of this old piano by transforming it into a useful piece of building art!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We would love to hear your ideas on how you would repurpose all of these piano parts. Visit our Facebook and Instagram page and share your ideas! Tag us with #saaa1969 and #SApianoart.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Written by: Lisa Jones & Garlan Gudger

 


Maker Collaborations

Southern Accents loves to collaborate with other artists and makers. Whether we are giving input on design or working to supply salvage materials for a project, working along side those who both understand and share our passion for creativity is invigorating. We are always inspired by fellow creatives.

Wood Studio RockerOne of our many valued relationships is with our good friends at Wood Studio. Wood Studio just received a prestigious recognition for their Lookout Mountain Rocker. Gear Patrol recently named the hand crafted rocker the Best Family Values Reading Chair. In 2012, Garden and Gun Magazine awarded Wood Studio the overall winner of their yearly Made In The South Award. We have had a working relationship with Wood Studio for a number of years. Like Southern Accents, Wood Studio is a small family owned and operated business. Founded by father Randy, sons Dylan and Keith now run the wood shop located in Arley, Alabama. Keith makes a regular trip to SA’s wood warehouse looking for reclaimed wood that can be shaped into one of their signature, hand crafted pieces of furniture. Keith states, “We are so lucky to have Southern Accents as a local resource. I couldn’t drive a day in any direction and find any better selection of quality or quantity. SA’s selection of wood and salvaged architectural elements is unmatched. Collaborating with Garlan is really inspiring. I enjoy the ease in which we can bounce ideas off of each other. We have a lot in common and a mutual respect for what it takes to work and succeed with a unique family business in small town Alabama.”

If you’ve never had the opportunity to see Wood Studios’s line of fine furniture, you can check them out online or make plans now to visit with them at Southern Makers! Wood Studio will be returning to Southern Makers May 2nd and 3rd in Montgomery, Alabama. Stop by their booth and test out one of the Lookout Mountain Rockers… you may find that you want to stay for a while!


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