Tag Archives: antique mantel

Southern Accents – A Designers Delight!

We love working with designers, especially those who share our passion for salvaging and preserving architectural treasures. We are fortunate to have worked, and continue to work, with some very talented designers, including Samantha Oaks from Nashville, Tennessee. Samantha came to us recently upon the recommendation of her client! She was looking for a set of doors to use at the entrance of a listening room. Not only did Samantha find the perfect set of doors and hardware for this project, she also walked away with a second pair, which she converted to sliding barn doors, as well as an antique mantel for the clients home.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The set of doors that Samantha selected for her client’s listening room was originally covered with several layers of black and white paint. Although the doors were too short for the 9′ opening, Samantha was drawn to the character of the doors and was determined to find a way to make them work. We stripped all the paint from the doors, which revealed the gorgeous wood grain and detailed carving. Samantha came up with the idea to use iron window grates at the top of the doors. Not only did this solution balance the height, but it also allowed light to stream through. Being a big fan of vintage hardware, Samantha chose the fantastic antique handle which added the perfect finishing touch!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

When asked what it was about salvaged architectural items that appealed to her as a designer, Samantha replied, “Having migrated from New Orleans to Nashville I’ve always had a vision and affection for architecturally salvaged items. Anything with a story of it’s history that needs a little extra love and a new home fascinates me. I also love looking at an item that can be repurposed into something it was never intended to be or adding an element that makes it shine brighter than it ever had before. I gravitate towards textures and blending them together in a simplistic and sophisticated way.”

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Samantha also told us that the use of salvaged architectural items was one of her favorite elements that she often includes in her custom designs. She loves incorporating vintage items into a new construction to create a truly unique space for her clients.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We loved working with Samantha and think that the finished project looks amazing! You can find Samantha online at lucienporterdesigncompany.com. You can visit Southern Accents at sa1969.com or visit our showroom in historic downtown Cullman, Alabama!

Samantha turned these two salvaged doors into sliding barn doors for her client's new home.

Samantha turned these two salvaged doors into sliding barn doors for her client’s new home.

The antique mantel Samantha selected from Southern Accents added the perfect finishing touch to the new family room.

The antique mantel Samantha selected from Southern Accents added the perfect finishing touch to the new family room.

No Fireplace, No Problem

Visit Pinterest and search for mantels and you will get an endless stream of pictures of beautifully decorated mantels. This time of year there seems to be an abundance of  creative ideas and how to’s on decorating your mantel for the holiday season. But what if you don’t have a fireplace? No fireplace, no mantel, no stockings hung for Santa!


In preparation for Southern Accents Christmas Trunk Show, I decided to haul a mantel up stairs and decorate it with items from our showroom. I rummaged through the mantel warehouse and found a small mantel that I thought would fit the bill. The dark stained wood had a natural distressed finish that would look great with all the old iron and industrial pieces I already had in mind for the display. Jeff graciously took the mantel to the wood shop for a little cleaning and then hauled it up a flight of stairs! Thank you Jeff!!


There is no fireplace in our upstairs showroom but I didn’t see that as a problem. I have seen quite a few gorgeous wall displays using old mantels. If wall space is available, why not? If I were using this in my home, I would secure the mantel to the wall. Since this is a temporary display I simply leaned the mantel against the wall.


I filled one of our small antique wooden barrels with heavy hardware pieces and placed it in front of the mantel to ensure that the mantel would not tip over. I placed a heavy industrial piece on the other side of the mantel to serve the same purpose. The beautiful cast iron fireplace screen and antique tool set helped create the exact look I was going for. Some fresh greenery from my yard and a big burlap bow added the perfect touch!


I needed a partner in crime so I enlisted the help of my good friend Vicki. Vicki has a wonderful knack for pulling odd pieces together and making them look gorgeous. She is also gifted when it comes to making bows! I would have spent half the night on the two bows… she twitched her nose, blinked her eyes and they were done! Thank you Vicki for all your help!!


I constructed a wreath from magnolia leaves  which were also cut from my yard. I used small gauge floral wire and wired each leaf to an inexpensive wire wreath frame. Once the wreath was finished Vicki added the burlap bow. We then attached the wreath to an antique beveled glass window. The window was simply placed on the mantel and propped against the wall.


I feel in love with this cast iron piece from the moment it came through the door. The shape reminded me of a Christmas tree so it was the first piece I chose for the display. Vicki added the antique glass door knobs to soften the look of the iron.


I imagine that these antique iron finials at one time graced the top of some majestic iron fence. They were somewhat hidden on a downstairs shelf but when I saw them I immediately knew they had to be part of the display. The greenery on top of the mantel created the perfect bed for all the antique items. I cut yew and rosemary which also created a wonderful, woodsy, holiday fragrance.


This small industrial piece is one that I’ve had my eye on for this specific purpose because it resembles a star. I was afraid that someone would snatch it up before I had the chance to use it in the display so I’ve had it tucked away upstairs for the past few weeks! We needed one more tall piece to balance the display. Vicki found this iron bracket downstairs. Perfect!


I saved my favorite piece for last. As I was walking through the store this little piece jumped out at me. It is an iron piece from an old pocket door roller. When I saw it I thought it looked like an old wooden toy car. It reminded me of Christmas’s past when times were simpler.

The mantel came together quickly. It was as if we were putting together a puzzle. Each piece fit perfectly and seemed to tell a story. When I think about it, I’m sure each piece could tell a story. I wonder who once peered out the beautiful window and what did they see? What fields have been plowed with the industrial pieces? What lay beyond the iron fence that once housed the perfect finials? Whose hands held the glass knobs? Every old piece has a story to tell. Not knowing the stories behind each piece, how much fun would it be to create my own?

Don’t let the absence of a fireplace keep you from having a beautiful holiday mantel. A little wall space is all that’s needed. The stockings can be hung and the mantel can be enjoyed year round. With each new season comes an opportunity to create a beautiful new scene.

Southern Accents has a large selection of mantels and half mantels in a wide range of sizes and prices. Most of the antique items used in this display are available for sale in our showroom. Browse our website or give us a call at 877 737-0554 to inquire about any of the items shown.

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