Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Southern “Salvage” Wedding

Last Saturday one of our team member’s youngest son married his best friend. The wedding took place on a beautiful 600 acre hunting farm in the picturesque mountains of Fayetteville, Tennessee. It was a perfect day!

Planning a wedding on a farm with a beautiful new barn, lots of trees, freshly cut fields, wild turkeys and deer grazing in the background, doesn’t require much more than what nature has already provided. Since we own an architectural salvage store and have access to some pretty incredible finds, we could not resist contributing a few elements from Southern Accents to this already amazing venue.

The groom mentioned that he wanted some type of archway to use as a backdrop for the ceremony. Garlan immediately pointed to an 8 foot, wrought iron, arched trellis and gate sitting on the iron lot. Our team member, and mother-of-the groom, admitted that she has been on that iron lot numerous times taking pictures of every corner, nook, and cranny, but never once noticed that very large piece of ironwork! How could she have missed it? If you have ever been to our showroom, you already know the answer to that question. We have so many beautiful works of art it is easy to overlook one element because your focus is on another. Each time you pass through our showroom you most likely will see something new just by focusing your eyes in a new direction.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

This wrought iron arched trellis and gates became the perfect backdrop for a perfect Southern wedding!

The groom took one look at the arched trellis and thought it was perfect… exactly what he had in mind. The magnificent piece was disassembled and hauled to the mountains, along with a few other pieces found sitting around the showroom and tucked away in the corners of the warehouse. Once reassembled at the farm, the large wrought iron ensemble was decorated with hydrangeas and grapevine and became the perfect backdrop for the wedding ceremony. Although it could have been painted, its rusty state could not have been more appropriate for the natural setting the farm provided.

Two 1880's wrought iron gates were used to create an entrance for the wedding guests.

Two 1880’s wrought iron gates were used to create an entrance for the wedding guests.

A pair of unique 1880’s wrought iron gates were also taken and used as an entryway for the guests. Mason jars were equipped with wire handles and hung on shepherds hooks at the end of each row of seats, each one housing a simple bouquet of hydrangeas. A custom chalkboard framed with salvaged wood was decorated with a sweet request from the bride and groom to pick a seat, not a side. An old six pane window was turned into a menu board for the reception.

This wood window frame was hung from a tree and provided a fun picture op for the wedding guests!

This wood window frame was hung from a tree and provided a fun picture op for the wedding guests!

A final contribution from the store was one that provided some really fun picture ops for the guests! When digging through the warehouse we ran across a glassless window frame. The frame was hung in a tree and presented as a ‘picture frame’ for photos. The guests took advantage and some really fun photos, and memories, were captured.

The antique and salvage pieces taken from Southern Accents to a farm in Tennessee are items that most likely were destined for a landfill before we rescued them. This past weekend they were repurposed and used to help set the stage for what turned out to be a perfect wedding. Visit our Pinterest page to view more pictures from this farm wedding and gather a few ideas of how you can incorporate salvage items into the décor of your next big event!

Written By: Lisa Jones
Photos By: Sharon Tucker & Lisa Jones

This custom chalk board framed with salvaged wood was used to convey a sweet message from the bride and groom to the guests.

This custom chalk board framed with salvaged wood was used to convey a sweet message from the bride and groom to the guests.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The chalk board was placed on a wood easel which greeted guests as they arrived.

This salvaged window was used to display the reception menu.

This salvaged window was used to display the reception menu.

Each pane of this salvaged window was painted by hand and displayed at the reception tent.

Each pane of this salvaged window was painted by hand and displayed at the reception tent.

Mason jars were equipped with wire hangers, filled with small floral bouquets, and hung from shepherds hooks at the end of each row of chairs.

Mason jars were equipped with wire hangers, filled with small floral bouquets, and hung from shepherds hooks at the end of each row of chairs.

Using mason jars was a great way to repurpose existing containers.

Using mason jars was a great way to repurpose existing containers. Mason jars were also used as drinking glasses and added a definite “Southern” charm to this outdoor farm wedding.

Making use of what is already on hand, this front loader was used to ice down soft drinks!

Making use of what was already on hand, this front loader was used to ice down soft drinks!

The happy bride and groom!

The happy bride and groom!


To Paint or Not To Paint?

A frequent topic of conversation among our customers is the question of whether it is ever ok to paint a piece of antique wood furniture or architectural piece. There are several arguments that can be made in favor of painting, as well as taking a hands off approach, to leave a piece in its original stained condition.

If your piece is a collector item and/or you are concerned about retaining the value, then you may want to take a hands off approach where painting is concerned. Most collectors want the finish of an item to be as close to the original as possible. If the original finish happens to be painted, the time worn patina not only adds character to the piece, but could also add value if it is original. Resist the temptation to add a fresh coat of paint or lacquer before you consult with an expert so that your hard work does not take away from its value.

Another argument for retaining the original finish on a piece would be if it is a piece of historical significance. Any item that has a documented history should be kept in its original condition if at all possible. Even if the piece is damaged, restoring the damage usually will not increase the value.

Birdseye Maple Mantel -  circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Birdseye Maple Mantel – circa 1890 from the Bruner house in Little Rock, Arkansas.

We would also not recommend painting rare and exotic woods such as birdseye maple, curly pine and burl walnut, to name a few. The grain patterns of these woods are exquisite and rare. Covering them with paint, in our opinion, is a crime. We recently rescued a mantel that was covered with several layers of white paint. We decided to strip the paint from this mantel and were so glad that we did. What we discovered is that the wood beneath all that paint was birdseye maple. This discovery drastically increased the value of this historical piece. We were also thrilled to be able to uncover and expose the natural beauty of this rare wood.

An argument in favor of paint is if your antique piece is one that you will keep and use in your home and retaining the value is not a concern. The finish may become more of an issue of personal style and coordinating your treasure with your homes décor. If the original finish does not fit the color or style of your room, painting can be a viable option. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, while the worn finish and imperfections of an antique piece might be prized by some, others might see it as an eyesore. While some collectors and purist would argue that it is never ok to paint an antique, the bottom line is that if you are the owner and the one living with the piece, you need to be happy with it. A nice coat of paint can give a needed face lift to a weathered door or add interest to a time worn dining room table.

Written By: Lisa Jones

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS

If you are considering painting your antique piece, we recommend looking at the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®. This paint is easy to work with and requires little to no surface preparation. It can be used on just about any surface so its use is not limited to wood items. Various techniques can be used with the Chalk Paint® that will give your piece an old or antique look… or bring out the natural wood grain. This paint is available from our friend Teresa at Vintage West. If you are within driving distance of Cullman, Alabama, we highly recommend checking out Teresa’s Chalk Paint® classes!

Another product that we highly recommend for stained or natural wood pieces is Briwax. Briwax is a unique blend of beeswax and carnauba wax that naturally cleans, stains, and polishes. It is available in clear and nine wood tones from Southern Accents. We do not recommend using oils. Oil can soak into the open grain of wood and over a period of time can turn it black. Natural wax however will help restore the finish and is preferred by collectors and most craftsmen.


Iron… Man!

Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”
Rudyard Kipling

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesWe just received a load of wrought iron and while going through it marveled at the forged beauty of over 40 gates and 200 linear feet of 1880’s Philadelphia fencing.

The use of iron, the most abundant metal on earth, has been dated as far back as 3500 BC. The earliest discoveries indicates the use of iron in weaponry. As the raw material became more abundant and the ability to fashion it into useful items better understood, iron use became utilitarian. Useful and necessary items were fashioned by hand with the use of a forge, hammer, anvil, and tongs. A skilled blacksmith resided in every village, his talents a necessity. Utensils, locks, hardware, weapons… all other craftsmen depended on the blacksmiths capabilities for their needed tools. So much so, that blacksmiths were considered master craftsmen, held in awe by men and at times given a god status. The blacksmiths role was diverse as most served as the village locksmith, swordsmith, and farrier and were often called upon to perform other duties including that of doctor and dentist.

From the 16th century onward, wrought iron became highly ornate. Blacksmiths were not just men of sheer brute strength, as often depicted. They were true artists who’s imagination and visualization rivaled that of many of the great painters and sculpters of their time. The desire to beautify, even the most humble objects, can be seen in highly ornate historical artifacts such as gates, locks, hinges and doorknobs.

The industrial revolution saw the dramatic halting of smithing as a viable occupation. Wrought iron was replaced by cast iron because of lower cost. Steel was eventually used in place of iron for the mass production of weapons, tools, and utensils. Almost all of the forged ironwork that we see produced today, often described as wrought iron, is actually steel. Perhaps this why we are so excited when we stumble upon a truckload, or two, or three, of magnificent antique ironwork!

The load of wrought iron that we received this week is the most impressive collection that we have ever had! Several of the pieces can currently be seen on our New Arrivals page with many more to come. Stop by our showroom and browse our outdoor iron lot to shop our latest finds! We are open Tuesday – Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Written By: Lisa Jones

The most impressive set of iron gates we have ever had!

The most impressive set of iron gates we have ever had!

 

This cannonball fence could be dated as far back as pre Civil War. The design was specifically created as a show of power during a time of unrest and pending war. The hands that forged this fence most likely later turned their attention towards the production of cannons and cannonballs for the Union Army.

This cannonball fence could be dated as far back as pre Civil War. The design was specifically created as a show of power during a time of unrest and pending war. The hands that forged this fence most likely later turned their attention towards the production of cannons and cannonballs for the Union Army.

 

This gorgeous wrought iron fence contains a "makers mark" which tells us that this piece was fashioned by a fence company in Pennsylvania.

This gorgeous wrought iron fence contains a “makers mark” which tells us that this piece was fashioned by a fence company in Pennsylvania.

 

 


Meet Garlan Gudger, Jr.

Garlan Gudger, Jr.

Garlan Gudger, Jr.

Garlan Gudger, Jr.’s earliest memories as a little boy are following his father around in muddy junk yards, antique, and salvage stores throughout the Southeast. What began as a part-time hobby for his father in 1969 has now turned into one of the premiere architectural salvage businesses throughout the nation. Thriving on the family’s passion for rescuing, restoring, and preserving items of historical significance, Garlan, now at 38, has been the owner of Southern Accents Architectural Antiques, Inc. for the past 13 years. Garlan enjoys utilizing his artistic ability, coupled with his years of hands-on knowledge of the salvage industry, to breathe new life into the antique pieces that he rescues. His passion for historic preservation and architectural salvage is evident to Southern Accents customers as well as those in the community who know him best.

Speak with those who know him best and you will hear stories, not only of his passion for “rescuing old things,” but of his heart and passion for helping those in need. Garlan has a deep love for his community and the people who call it home. He consistently and quietly extends a helping hand to those in need through unspoken acts of kindness and generosity.

Wesley Meier

Wesley Meier

In a recent conversation with Warren Meier, a business associate of Garlan’s, Warren expressed his appreciation for one of Garlan’s acts of kindness. Warren, originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, moved his son Wesley to Alabama at the age of 9. Wesley has a deep love of sports, the greatest being baseball. As a teenager, Wesley worked odd jobs, traveling back and forth by bicycle, raising money to pay his own way to baseball camps at the University of Alabama. Years of hard work, determination, and many hours of practice finally paid off for this young man when this past fall he made the Clay Chalkville High School baseball team. Finally, having an opportunity to play the sport that he is passionate about, the Meier’s were faced with an obstacle, the financial burden of participating in high school sports. Garlan, knowing the struggles of this family, extended his support by purchasing a sponsorship that helped offset the cost for Wesley’s team participation. “Without Garlan’s help, along with a couple of other sponsors, the financial burden for my family for Wesley to be part of the team would have been out of reach.” Warren said. Warren requested that his story be shared with our readers as his way of showing his appreciation for the support Garlan has shown his family.

Garlan Gudger, Jr. - Southern Accents Architectural Antiques Garlan’s giving spirit doesn’t stop there. Our community was devastated almost two years ago when hit by F4 tornados. Garlan and his wife, Heather, have worked alongside many businesses and individuals in town helping to oversee recovery efforts . While most local businesses affected by the storm have since recovered, Garlan’s own business still shows signs of damage. As his wife Heather explains, “We always try to put others first.”

Garlan’s community involvement extends even further. He is currently serving a third term as president of the Cullman City Council. As a Council member, he has been instrumental in the facelift currently underway in downtown Cullman. Fellow Council member Johnny Cook says, “Garlan, being the president of the City Council, devotes a tremendous amount of time to the detriment of his family. I could not imagine doing what he does with young children at home. With that being said, he does this with the full support of his family. In addition to promoting the revitalization of the downtown area, Garlan spearheaded the formation of the Architect Review Board and the Grant Program to incentivize the Downtown Merchants to rebuild and/or improve buildings after the 2011 storms. Even though Garlan suffered a significant amount of damage to his own home and business during this storm, he refused to accept any incentives from the Grant program even though he met all the requirements.”

Garlan’s love and passion for his family, friends, community and business fuels his ability to juggle a demanding daily schedule. Even on his busiest days, he is always ready and willing to share his passion for preservation and his vision for his community.

Written By: Lisa Jones


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