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!


Tarnished, Totally Terrific Tin!

One of the things that we enjoy most about salvaging architectural elements is exploring ways to repurpose them. We brought back several large pieces of salvaged tin from our last trip to Philadelphia. The tin, dated around the late 1880’s, was salvaged from the turret of a building similar to the one shown here.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

As soon as we saw these pieces, we immediately knew we wanted to use the tin in a way that would showcase each magnificent piece. SA team member Josh Howe turned several pieces of the tin into gorgeous wall art by framing them with salvaged pieces of door and window trim from another salvaged structure.

Whether framed or used in other creative ways, the beauty of this tin is deserving of a second life! Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 877 737-0554 regarding our inventory of salvaged tin. Custom framing is available through our wood shop.

Salvaged tin pieces framed in salvaged door and window trim to create wall art.

Salvaged tin pieces framed in salvaged door and window trim to create wall art.

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia


Milling Around

Southern Accents has been a family owned and operated business since 1969. Second generation owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr., saw the need last year to take SA’s salvage operations to the next level by adding the ability to mill our own salvage lumber.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

A growing part of Southern Accents business is salvage wood. One mile from the showroom, on Janeway Drive, sits our warehouse, fully stocked with salvaged barn wood, bead board, beams, fireplace timbers and more. As people are becoming more environmentally aware, the demand for salvage and repurposed wood continues to grow. The patina and beauty of naturally aged wood is simply unmatched. When using the wood for flooring, most want the antique wood milled. Milling the wood ensures that the planks are uniform in width and thickness. It can also give the wood a “clean” face and open up the wood pores, allowing it to be more susceptible to receiving stains and finishes. Having our own mill allows us the ability to fulfill custom orders more quickly and efficiently.

Stop by our wood warehouse and shop one of the largest selections of salvaged wood available in the Southeast! Our warehouse is open Tues-Fri from 9 to 5 and Sat from 10 to 4.

Our current wood stock includes this gorgeous chippy paint breadboard recently salvaged from Selma, Alabama. We have approximately 3,000 square feet while supplies last, priced at $1.00 per linear foot. There is a mix of colors that include white, grey, avocado, haint blue, electric blue, lime green. The salvaged breadboard is a popular choice for wall and ceiling coverings as well as an endless number of craft and DIY projects, including frames, headboards, and more. The ends have been cut and the wood is ready to be repurposed!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

beadboard4
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


Salvage Project Video/Picture Tour

Last week we posted a video tour of one of our latest salvage projects, an 1884 Second Empire style house in South Carolina. You can view the YouTube video here.

We have begun a process of documenting our salvage projects in an effort to preserve the memory of these structures for future generations. Part of our documentation process includes lots of photographs! Since posting the video, we have had numerous requests for photos. Here’s a few of the photos used in the video along with descriptions. Enjoy!

1884 Empire Style structure with 1920's Neo-Classical additions

1884 Empire Style structure with 1920’s Neo-Classical additions

The house has been unoccupied for approximately 10 years

The house has been unoccupied for approximately 10 years

Remains of what use to be a formal garden can be seen from this side view of the house

Remains of what use to be a formal garden can be seen from this side view of the house

Approximately 1 year ago, the house received significant damage when several large trees fell on top of it

Approximately 1 year ago, the house received significant damage when several large trees fell on top of it

In addition to the main house, the 6 acre lot includes a tea house and well house.

In addition to the main house, the 6 acre lot includes a tea house and well house.

The tea house served as the focal point of many garden parties and festivals that were held on the property

The tea house served as the focal point of many garden parties and festivals that were held on the property

Inside view of the tea house

Inside view of the tea house

Well house

Well house

This small structure housed the very first fire hydrant to be installed in  the area

This small structure housed the very first fire hydrant to be installed in the area

Front foyer.

Front foyer.

One of two keeping rooms located at the front of the house

One of two keeping rooms located at the front of the house

Second keeping room

Second keeping room

Family room located on the ground floor

Family room located on the ground floor

Ground floor bedroom

Ground floor bedroom

Ground floor bath

Ground floor bath

Formal dining room. The dark spots on the wallpaper is mold

Formal dining room. The dark spots on the wallpaper is mold

The original kitchen was detached from the house. This kitchen was added, probably in the 1920's, when other changes/additions to the house were made

The original kitchen was detached from the house. This kitchen was added, probably in the 1920’s, when other changes/additions to the house were made

This was originally an open breezeway between the house and the original kitchen. The breezeway was later enclosed.

This was originally an open breezeway between the house and the original kitchen. The breezeway was later enclosed.

This kitchen, original to the house,  was once detached

This kitchen, original to the house, was once detached

Cellar

Cellar

Stairway leading to the second story

Stairway leading to the second story

Second story hallway

Second story hallway

One of six second story bedrooms

One of six second story bedrooms

Bedroom

Bedroom

One of two upstairs baths

One of two upstairs baths

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bath

Bath

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

This room was once a nursery but was later turned into a library room

This room was once a nursery but was later turned into a library room

Stairs leading to the attic

Stairs leading to the attic

The attic

The attic

In this corner of the attic you can see an exposed area from where the house was damaged.

In this corner of the attic you can see an exposed area from where the house was damaged.

Room off of the attic and stairway leading to the upper room

Room off of the attic and stairway leading to the upper room

Upper room. From this room you can see the back side of the slate roof tiles.

Upper room. From this room you can see the back side of the slate roof tiles.

Remains of what use to be a playhouse

Remains of what use to be a playhouse

Two door garage

Two door garage

Remains of the entrance to the root cellar

Remains of the entrance to the root cellar

Brick chimney on the back side of the property which we believe is the only remains of what use to be the help's quarters

Brick chimney on the back side of the property which we believe is the only remains of what use to be the help’s quarters

The SA Team on our first visit to Spartanburg

The SA Team on our first visit to Spartanburg

Photography by Lisa Jones. All photos copyright 2015, Southern Accents Architectural Antiques. All rights reserved.


The “What” of What We Salvage

A question we are often asked regarding our salvage projects is, “What all do you salvage from a house?” To answer that question… We will salvage any architectural element from a structure that can be safely removed in good enough condition that we believe can be reused or repurposed. Architectural elements can include any or all of the following: doors and accompanying hardware, door frames with trim, crown molding, wainscoting, fireplace mantels, sinks, tubs, light fixtures, wood flooring, floor joists, baseboards, wood walls, wood beams, newel posts, stairways and railings, decorative wood trim, decorative tile, ceiling medallions, porch posts and columns, windows, garden gates, iron fencing and at times brick and stone.

Quite often, before we can begin a new salvage project, the first thing we do is remove items from the house that have been left behind. Most often these are small items or furniture that have been stored away in the attic. Once these items have been removed, the real work begins. When salvaging a house, we basically “deconstruct” it. The first elements that we remove are typically the last elements that were installed in the house such as interior doors, mantels, bath and light fixtures. Once these items are removed, we then begin pulling the wood. We start at the top of multi level structures and work our way down. The last items taken are structural elements such as wood beams, columns, and posts.

Most often the property owner will schedule a demolition company to come in right behind us. If we are salvaging brick or stone from the structure, we will often coordinate those efforts with the demolition crew.

We are typically given a set amount of time to save what we can. At times we may only have a single day! Several years ago we were given the opportunity to salvage wood from a house that was scheduled for demolition. We worked hard for a full day pulling as much wood as we could. We arrived on day two to continue our efforts only to discover that the fire department had already set the structure ablaze! Once we begin a new project we work as efficiently as possible to ensure that we are able to save as many elements as possible.

We believe our work here at Southern Accents is truly preserving our history through salvage. We’ve recently added items to our New Arrivals page that were saved during phase I of our latest salvage project. In the coming days, we will be returning for phase II. Make sure you are following along with us on our social media accounts as we continue what will be our largest salvage project to date!

Here are a few of our latest finds!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


Junking “How To”

Antiquing or “Junking” has become a very popular pastime. For many, it is simply a fun hobby. For some it is a true appreciation for the artistry and craftsmanship of period pieces. Some share a keen awareness of the need to repurpose old items as a way of contributing to the sustainability of our planet. And yet for others, many old items hold a sentimental value that serve as a fond reminder of the past. No matter the reason, antiquing can be a fun adventure for the entire family! Whether you are hitting the weekend yard sales, planning a visit to Southern Accents, or attending one of the larger antique marts, we’ve compiled a check list to ensure that you are well prepared for your next antiquing adventure!

  • Comfortable Shoes & Clothing – Planning an all day adventure? Comfort is key! It’s also a good idea to make sure you are prepared for any inclement weather.
  • Truck – Even if you are only looking for small items, make sure if you find that “must have” larger item that you are able to take it with you.
  • Cash – Some vendors do not accept checks or credit cards but even more important, many vendors are more likely to offer discounts for cash sales.
  • Notebook & Pen – Before you head out, jot down measurements of spaces in your home you are looking to fill to ensure the piece you are looking at will fit. Also use the notebook to take notes on your purchased items. Write down any history or story associated with the item, where and when it was acquired and the price paid. Keeping a record of your purchases will come in handy down the road if you decide to sell or need to value your items.
  • Flashlight, Magnifying Glass, Measuring Tape, Calculator – These all come in handy when looking at details or determining if an item you have your eye on will fit in your space.

If you are hitting the yard sales or planning to visit multiple antique shops in a specific area, map out your day ahead of time. Having a plan will help you make the best use of your time and ensure that you are able to visit each location on your list. The MOST important advice we can give is this: if you see something that speaks to you, buy it! Chances are, if you take a “let me think about it” approach, the item will be gone when you come back. We see this happen ALL the time. Most of our antiques are one-of-a-kind. Quite often we have customers return to purchase an item they looked at previously only to be disappointed that the item was no longer available.

Planning a visit to Cullman. Stop by our showroom and pick up a copy of our brochure, Antique Shops of Cullman. Happy antiquing!

Here’s just a few of our treasures worth digging through!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 


Minton Pictorial Tiles

Occasionally we run across an item that shines amongst all the dirt, dust and debris of being on site of an architectural salvage job. The item that shined the brightest on our latest salvage mission was a set of 19th century sepia-toned ceramic tiles. This set of pictorial tiles was installed as a fireplace surround in what once was the elegant keeping room in a majestic home.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The tiles were fabricated by Minton China Works, Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England. This well known manufacturer was originated by Thomas Minton in 1793. Through the years the very successful company grew and expanded at the helm of several generations of Mintons. Thomas’s son Herbert, who succeeded his father, not only developed new production techniques, but also enlisted the services of artists and skilled artisans which helped establish the company as the most famed and prolific manufacturer of ceramics and china for most of the Victorian Era. Minton tiles were used in countless prestigious buildings and homes.

The Minton tiles that we were able to salvage were simply stunning and in great condition. Because this Minton set did not combine to create a larger scene, like most American tile sets, the tiles were perfect collector pieces. Each 6″ x 6″ glazed tile was a work of art.

Each of these tiles have already found a new home! We can’t wait to receive pictures from their new owners showing us how these lovely tiles are being displayed!


The Why of What We Do

This past week the Southern Accents team hit the road and began what is our largest salvage project to date. The first order of business was to explore the historic house. Walking through multiple rooms of the dark, four story abode, we all had the same sense of feeling overwhelmed. Several days of filtering through the house was an emotional experience. Each room held remnants of lives once lived in a majestic dwelling. We were awed with the artistry of the architectural elements. The quality of the materials used in the house, which was constructed in the late 1800’s was impressive. We were saddened by its current state and wished that we could have visited during its heyday. As we listened to the property owner tell us the history of the house, we imagined the happy sounds of six generations of family who occupied the house through the years.

Salvaging a historic house is a task that we do not take lightly. It is always our preference to see a house fully restored to its original state. Once time and nature takes its toll and it reaches a point of deterioration where restoration is simply not feasible, it becomes our goal to rescue as many elements from the house as we possibly can. When a house can’t be brought back to life, we can salvage, restore, and repurpose much of it. Our documentation efforts allow the house, its stories and its history to be remembered and passed down for many more generations to come.

There is a window of time where we have the opportunity to safely conduct a salvage operation of this magnitude. There comes a point, when the house begins to collapse in on itself, the window is closed and all is lost. That saddens us even more.

In the coming weeks we will have stories to tell, pictures to share, and beautiful architectural elements to offer from this stately house. Wrapping up our first week on the job, we leave feeling as if we’ve left a part of ourselves with this project but also feeling that we are better for having had the experience.

Here’s a glimpse at just a few of the finds from our latest salvage mission.

A glimpse at some of the attic finds.

A glimpse at some of the attic finds.

Beautiful embossed hardware decorated many of the doors.

Beautiful embossed hardware decorated many of the doors.

The passing of time had glued this picture to the glass.

Time had glued this picture to the glass.

Old houses with large attics typically hold all kinds of surprises!

Old houses with large attics typically hold all kinds of surprises!

Even though these furniture pieces are not in the best condition, they can be restored or repurposed.

Even though these furniture pieces are not in the best condition, they can be restored or repurposed.

This incredible staircase is one of the many architectural elements that can be salvaged from a house or structure.

This incredible staircase is one of the many architectural elements that can be salvaged from a house or structure.

 

Written by: Lisa Jones


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