Tag Archives: Little Rock

Meet Mauldin

Jason Mauldin - Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesJason Mauldin, affectionately called “Mauldin”, is the newest member of the Southern Accents team. Mauldin was born in Cullman and a childhood friend of Southern Accents owner Garlan. Mauldin says, “I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t know Garlan. We grew up together in school and have always been friends.”

After high school, Mauldin headed to Tuscaloosa to study at the University of Alabama, eventually transferring to Shelton State upon accepting an academic scholars bowl scholarship. Although at the time he never had any immediate plans of returning to Cullman, he eventually found his way back to his hometown and would not want to be anywhere else.

Upon leaving college, Mauldin enjoyed successful stints in the business world brokering freight for a trucking company and working in insurance sales. Not feeling satisfied with his work, Mauldin knew that he wanted something more. Not yet knowing what that something was, he approached Garlan, asking if he had any part time work in the interim. Garlan, at the time, had a huge salvage job lined up in Little Rock, Arkansas. He offered Mauldin an opportunity to travel with the team to Arkansas, telling him that if he worked hard he would pay him a fair wage. Mauldin had never held a job requiring physical labor, but willingly accepted the challenge and rose to the occasion.

Returning from Arkansas, Mauldin continued to show up at Southern Accents each day consistently ready to work. Garlan, whose philosophy is “work hard, play hard,” presented Mauldin with tasks that were physically demanding. Garlan says, “Mauldin is incredibly smart. His prior work experiences required the use of his brain, never his brawn. The architectural salvage business is a hard, dirty, physically demanding job, especially when you have a boss that rides his guys hard! Mauldin was not accustomed to the physical challenges this business presented, but he was persistent and stuck with it. The first week, he could not unload and carry a door upstairs without assistance. This past week he unloaded an entire truckload all by himself!”

Jason Mauldin - Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesMauldin recently confessed to Garlan, “Ending each day sore and physically exhausted is rewarding in a way that I never expected. Each day brings new challenges that leave me feeling as if I have accomplished something worthwhile. I have never been happier!”

When asked what his goal/dream was for this year, Mauldin said that he wanted to become proficient in a sport. This past weekend Southern Accents sponsored Mauldin in his first PDGA (Professional Disk Golf Association) Frisbee golf tournament. The mountainous tournament terrain once again presented a physical challenge to this Trivial Pursuit beast. Mauldin conquered the daunting terrain and finished the tournament. Passionate about his new found sport, Mauldin has joined a local league with plans to perfect his skills… perhaps one day soon bringing home a trophy!

Garlan expressed, “We are all extremely proud of Mauldin who not only has become a member of the Southern Accents family, but also an asset to our team. Mauldin is a team player. It is easy to see that he loves his work and takes pride in it. No task is too menial. He is always willing and ready to do whatever is asked of him and consistently gives valuable input into many aspects of this business.”

We invite you to stop by our showroom and meet our team. Mauldin will be just one of the smiling faces here waiting to greet you. You can easily pick him out… he’s the one wearing the overalls!

Written By: Lisa Jones

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


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.


Cantrell House - Little Rock, ArkansasIf you have been following our blog, Facebook posts or newsletter, you already know that this past week found us very busy with a sizeable salvage project in Arkansas. We were questioned numerous times on site in Little Rock as to why we were taking apart these beautiful historical homes. Our primary mission has always been: “To promote the preservation of our architectural heritage through rescuing, restoring, and protecting artifacts of historical significance.” We have always prided ourselves in never taking historical fabric from a structure that has not already been scheduled for demolition. There is nothing more enjoyable to us than seeing historical structures renovated and brought back to life. But we all have watched in horror as buildings have been crumbled and reduced to rubble by a wrecking ball, taking with it recyclable material and, at times, beautiful, irreplaceable architectural pieces that could have been rescued. When a historic building or structure has been scheduled for demolition, for whatever reason, Southern Accents is the company that you want to see on the scene ahead of the bulldozers.

The purpose behind our recent salvage job in Little Rock Arkansas, and every structure that we have gone into over the past 54 years, is so that we can rescue and restore the artistry of the architectural pieces we are able to obtain. By restoring these fragments, the history and craftsmanship are protected for many more years to come. What we do is nothing short of an architectural rescue mission… We save old stuff!

Brunner House - Little Rock, ArkansasMuch of the architectural salvage pieces that we call “building art” is hand crafted and/or hand carved. We value these pieces as treasured works of art. Most items would be hard to replicate or even impossible to reproduce because of cost, time and lack of craftsmanship. We parallel the intent of purposely destroying these architectural pieces as being equivalent to the destruction of a prized historical painting. By helping protect these building arts, we believe that Southern Accents is at the forefront of historical preservation by salvaging and recycling as much as possible before the wrecking ball arrives. If given enough time, we try to save everything we can right down to the wall studs, rafters, exterior siding, and brick as well as any architectural component that has any character or integrity in the interior.

Everyone should realize that the SUM of the individual pieces, taken out of a structure during a salvage job, will never equal the TOTAL of the architectural splendor when it was placed together in its entirety. Knowing that fact, it is our goal to salvage the historical, artistic, hand-crafted relics of architecture from each structure thus allowing the story of each home or building we tear down to live on for generations. We love it when people walk through our showroom and we are able to give them the history of an architectural relic. When we tell the story of a particular item, we know, that in a small way, we had a hand in preserving and documenting the history and story of where that item came from for future generations. We take pride in the accomplishments we have been able to make these past 54 years of business and look forward to continuing our mission of rescuing, restoring, and protecting for years to come.

Salvage Adventure in Arkansas

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques Being passionate about historical preservation, it disheartens our soul to see a beautiful old home or property reduced to rubble. Whether it is the result of urban sprawl, neglect or natural disaster is irrelevant… in our book it is still a sad passing. However, we do find fulfillment in being able to salvage pieces of historical significance before the wrecking ball turns it in to rubble. Although it is never our purpose to demolish any property, we consider it an honor every time we are afforded an opportunity to salvage an old structure that has been scheduled for demolition.

This week we traveled to Arkansas for a salvage project involving two 1890 Victorian houses. These beautiful old houses have been sitting on private property that was recently sold. Both houses are scheduled to be taken down to make room for a private school. When contacted about our interest in the structures, we were thrilled to come to the rescue of the beautiful architectural pieces contained within. This is one of our largest salvage projects to date and several trips will be required to complete this project.

Phase I saw us returning with beautiful solid wood paneled doors, carved fireplace mantels, Eastlake Victorian cast brass door hardware, antique lighting, fencing, gorgeous fireplace tile sets, claw foot tubs and much more. Some of the large architectural pieces have already pre sold to interested buyers on site. We will be posting all available pieces to our website and Facebook account as soon as we are able to unload, process and picture each item.

Brunner House - February 2013

Southern Accents is returning to these historical structures for Phase II in March to continue to salvage and recycle as much material as we can possibly rescue. The architectural pieces that will be lovingly restored, only serve as a reminder for the new owners of what once was, and will be part of a new story for the next generation. They will provide future memories as they might someday be seen in family photos yet to be taken. Other salvaged artifacts could be re-purposed into other useful items and creative projects. Playing a role in the challenge of transitioning these historical artifacts is a measurable task and is one of the reasons we are so passionate in doing what we do!

Please keep a close watch on our New Arrivals page as items and artifacts from this project will be posted here. If you are looking for particular items and are interested in pre sales for the many pieces that we will be bringing back, please contact our showroom at 877 737-0554. We also invite you to browse our other blog posts about this project. You can read a bit of history on the houses and view pictures from the interior of both. Make sure you follow our blog as we will have more interesting stories to share about this project.

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