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.


The Dog Days of Southern Accents

Southern Accents mission is to rescue, restore, protect, and document architectural elements of historical significance. What you may not know about Southern Accents, is that we also have been known to rescue elements of the furry (and feathered) kind! Search our blog and you will find several entries about Chance and Bobby, SA owners Garlan and Heather Gudger’s rescue dogs. Last fall they added a new member to the family when they took in a stray kitten, Pumpkin!

Pumpkin was a stray kitten rescued by Heather and her boys last fall. Pumpkin, who thinks she is a dog, has become a permanent member of the Gudger household.

Pumpkin was a stray kitten rescued by Heather and her boys last fall. Pumpkin, who thinks she is a dog, has become a permanent member of the Gudger household.

Visit our showroom and you will discover that we are a “pet friendly” business. Quite often, our lab mix Chance, will meet and welcome you at the front door. We have a grassy area in our back alley and recently installed pet litter bags to accommodate our four legged friends who may need to “take a break” during their shopping trip! Our affection for animals extends well past our owners rescue pets. Last spring we nursed two baby bunnies back to health after their nest was destroyed by a storm. We keep a bag of bird food handy to help out the momma birds who nest each spring above our back door.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Chance was only a few weeks old when he was rescued from the parking lot of our wood showroom. You can read Chance’s story in our blog post from July 12, 2012.

In an effort to help support those who are working to find loving homes for rescued pets, we are collecting bags of dog food during the month of June. Bring in a large bag of dog food, minimum of 18lbs or larger, and receive *20% off regular priced items. All pet food will be donated to Crossing Paths, a no kill rescue organization working to unite dogs that have been rescued from shelters with forever homes.

Come visit with us at our showroom, drop off your dog food donation, and use your discount to pick up those cool architectural items you’ve had your eye on!! *Discount applies to regular priced merchandise. Discount is not valid on consignment items, special orders, previous purchases, already discounted items, custom orders, wood shop services or shipping.

Meet some of the other SA Team and their four legged family members!

Channing, who was rescued from the local animal shelter, is the newest member of Makenzie's family. Makenzie rescued Channing last fall. This picture was taken the morning that she picked him up. Channing hasn't stopped smiling!!

Channing, who was rescued from the local animal shelter, is the newest member of Makenzie’s family. Makenzie rescued Channing last fall. This picture was taken the morning that she picked him up. Channing hasn’t stopped smiling!!

Ben and his wife Lindzie are the proud owners of three labs, Nala, Huck and Tate. Their four legged children are preparing to welcome a new member to the family this fall!

Ben and his wife Lindzie are the proud owners of three labs, Nala, Huck and Tate. Their four legged children are preparing to welcome a new member to the family this fall!

This picture of Lisa's daughter Isabella and her new lab puppy Maura captures the incredible bound that can form between an owner and their pet. Maura shares her home with Lisa's three other dogs, one of which is a rescued collie mix named Max.

This picture of Lisa’s daughter Isabella and her new lab puppy Maura captures the incredible bound that can form between an owner and their pet. Maura shares her home with Lisa’s three other dogs, one of which is a rescued collie mix named Max.


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.


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