Tag Archives: picking

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.

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


Road Trip!

Southern Accents was on the road last week on a “picking” trip! A “picking” trip, unlike a salvage mission, is when we go in search of vintage and antique architectural items that have already been salvaged. This trip took us north around the Philly area. These areas are rich, in history and architecture, because they were home to some of the first English settlements in the 1600’s. Several days on the road with many stops along the way left us with a truck full of fabulous finds!

A few of our fabulous finds from Philly!

A few of our fabulous finds from Philly!

Check our New Arrivals page. We’ve already added tons of awesome finds from this trip with more to come!


Bella Rustica Bound

Bella Rustica is all the buzz this week around Southern Accents! Garlan Jr. along with several of our team members will be heading north to Pulaski, Tennessee this weekend… we can hardly wait!

Bella Rustica is a three day, Vintage Barn Marketplace, held on the Milky Way Farm in Pulaski. This annual event is held as a fund raiser for AGAPE. Well over 30 juried vendors will have booths set up in a beautifully restored stone barn on this magnificent estate built in the 1930’s by the candy bar giant Frank Mars. In it’s prime, this 2,800 acre farm was home to over 30 barns, many containing chandeliers, paneled walls and wrought iron detailing. We are taking our truck with hopes of shopping this event. We are also looking forward to touring the estate and taking in all of it’s architectural and historical beauty.

While we are at Bella Rustica we also hope to meet with our friend Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage. Gina is giving away a $100 gift certificate to Southern Accents! If you haven’t signed up yet, you have till midnight on Wednesday, September 26th to get your name in the pot. Hop on over toGina’s Blog for all the details!

Garlan will be leaving Bella Rustica and traveling on down the road to a house in Tennessee that is scheduled for demolition. Our crew will start tearing out all kinds of treasures from this old home next week. As soon as the truck is full, it will head back South so that we can share our finds with you. We will have doors, wood, and anything else we can salvage from the scheduled demolition along with whatever catches our eye at Bella Rustica.

Make sure that you Like us on Facebook and that you areFollowing Our BLOG so that you will be one of the first to know about our latest finds! We will be posting info and pictures from our trip to Bella Rustica as well as the demolition as early as this weekend! You do not want to miss it!

Junking Survival Guide

We ran across this picture last week and found it quite humorous, primarily because this could be one of our customers! We have had good folks show up in a Volkswagen and try to figure out how they can use it to transport a door or bathtub. This lead’s us to this week’s question.

Q. I’m ready to go junking. What do I take with me?

A. At the top of our list would be a truck, however, this guy should have taken a bigger truck! Before starting your venture you need to give thought to the notion that although you may not be looking for furniture or large sized items, there’s a good possibility that you will come across a large ‘must have’ item. How will you get it home? You need to be prepared to transport a large item just in case. Making a separate trip later to transport might cause you to decide to walk away from a really great find. You also need to have blankets, rope, and anything you may need to pack and secure your new found treasures.

2) Having cash on hand is a must. The obvious reason being that many sellers may not be set up to accept credit cards and may be hesitant to accept a check. However, the main reason to carry cash is because it is a great bartering tool. Many sellers expect buyers to try and negotiate the price. Offering a cash payment can sometimes get you that discount!

Speaking of discounts… if you have a smartphone and ‘check in’ on Facebook when you enter our store, you can receive a 10% discount on your purchase of any regular priced items (delivery and woodshop services excluded)!! All you have to do is pull up facebook on your smartphone and show us that you’ve checked in at Southern Accents. How easy is that?

3) Other items that can definitely come in handy: measuring tape, magnifying glass, flashlight, calculator, notebook and pen. You may need a magnifying glass to look at small details or inscriptions. When considering large items you need to know if they will fit into your available space before making the purchase. Keeping a notebook or journal is a great way to keep track of information you may gather from a seller. Asking questions and recording any available information could be useful in tracking the history or provenance of an item. This information may also be beneficial if you decide to resell down the road. Log each item along with the name and contact information of the seller, the price paid, and any other important or interesting information you are able to obtain. If the end of the day finds your truck loaded down, you won’t remember where you scored all those hard-to-pass-up treasures!

Taking a little time to plan your trips and being well prepared before embarking on them will lend itself to a fun and successful junking adventure!

Junking 101

The idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” is a phrase often heard in the antique business. Picking through another man’s trash to find that treasure has become a popular past time thanks to cable shows like American Pickers, Pawn Stars, and Storage Wars. We’ve been picking, or junking as it is also known, since 1969.

While many of our customers and newsletter subscribers are seasoned pros, others are just developing an interest in all things old. We are going to dedicate some space in several upcoming newsletters to focus on a few questions that we are commonly asked. We hope to provide some helpful answers as well as pass along a few tips about junking that we have learned over the years.

Q. Where are the best places to junk or pick?

A. That depends on what you are looking for. Flea markets are great. Typically you have a large variety of items available in one location and prices are generally good. Most sellers expect buyers to bargain with them and are willing to do so. Yard sales are a good option but can be very time consuming. You need to do a bit of research ahead of time to map out locations. It takes time to travel from one sale to the next. You also have to sort through a lot of junk and may walk away at the end of the day empty handed. However, a little time and patience can reap some sweet rewards. Estate sales are an option worth looking into but keep in mind that prices will be higher. Most estate sales are managed by estate liquidators who have to be paid for their services. EBay and Craigslist are both popular online avenues especially if you are looking for a very particular item.

Our favorite shopping venue of course is Southern Accents! Although we deal primarily with architectural antiques and salvaged items you’ll also find hoards of interesting picks around our store. Our store, like other antique stores and malls, need to be shopped often. We acquire new inventory on a weekly, if not daily basis. When you come for a visit be prepared to spend some time browsing our showroom, warehouse and lots. You will find treasures tucked away in corners, hanging on walls, sitting in an old coal bucket… they’re here! If you are looking for architectural pieces we have the largest collection in the South. If you are on the hunt for old hardware, salvaged items to use on a fabulous Pinterest project, or unique items that will add charm to your home, office or business decor, pay us a visit. We think you will be pleased, if not surprised, by all we have to offer.

Visit our New Arrivals page to view some of our latest picks!

We’ll be providing more tips in upcoming issues of our newsletter as well as on our blog. In the mean time, if you have a question that you would like to see answered, e-mail it to info@sa1969.com

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