Tag Archives: tennessee

A Tale of Two Cities & One Set Of Doors

We are always fascinated by the many stories we are able to uncover about some of the architectural pieces that we salvage. One story involves our good friends at Billy Reid and a set of antique doors salvaged from a building in New York City.

Southern Accents often travels north in search of salvaged architectural antiques. One such trip saw us return with an incredible set of tall exterior doors. This particular set of doors was simply gorgeous with lots of detailed carving and loads of character. The doors were so striking that Southern Accents owner, Garlan, decided to keep the doors and place them in his home. The doors were temporarily moved to a storage area of our warehouse until they could be retrofitted for his loft.

Billy Reid - Nashville, Tennessee

Billy Reid – Nashville, Tennessee

A few months later Billy Reid visited the SA showroom looking for items for their new retail shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Billy spied the New York doors and decided that he had to have them for his Nashville location. After a bit of negotiating, Garlan reluctantly agreed to relinquish the doors to his friend. The magnificent set of doors currently grace the entrance of the Billy Reid store in Nashville, Tennessee, along with a number of other items acquired from Southern Accents.

Billy Reid - New York City

Billy Reid – New York City

Fast forward one year later… Billy Reid is preparing to open his retail store in New York City on 54 Bond Street. Billy selected a variety of material from Southern Accents for his new location that needed to be delivered. Garlan had a trip to New York already scheduled so he decided to drive up and deliver Billy’s materials himself. Upon arriving in New York, as Garlan began unloading the items, he noticed something that looked strangely familiar. The front doors of Billy Reid’s New York store looked identical to the front entrance doors of his Nashville location. Garlan snapped a few pictures and took a few measurements, confirming that the doors were indeed identical. After a bit of investigation, Garlan discovered that the doors he had fallen in love with and purchased almost two years earlier had indeed been salvaged from that very building in New York City! Garlan was thrilled with this discovery as it confirmed that the doors ended up exactly where they were supposed to be. Billy had unknowingly selected entrance doors for his Nashville store that were the original doors that hung on the front entrance of the exact building that would become the location of his New York City store.

Coincidence? Perhaps, but this story and others like it are what inspires us to continue doing what we do… rescue, restore, protect and document architectural elements of historical significance. Next time you are in Nashville or New York City, make sure you pay a visit to Billy Reid and pause for a moment before entering the shop to admire the doors!

Written by: Lisa Jones
Pictures courtesy of Billy Reid


The Tanner House

Southern Accents at The Tanner HouseSouthern Accents is a 45 year old family owned and operated business that resides in the heart of historical downtown Cullman, Alabama. We love our community and the small town values of the people we are surrounded by. While the internet has allowed us the opportunity to reach customers worldwide, having a physical presence in a second location has been an idea that, in recent years, we have considered. We’ve always believed that for this idea to become reality, the right opportunity would present itself and that when it did, we would know it. That right opportunity was recently presented to us! We now have a presence at The Tanner House in Nolensville, Tennessee and we are beyond thrilled!

Nolensville is a small, thriving town in East Tennessee. The area very much reminds us of downtown Cullman. When our good friend Mike Minard approached us with an idea that would allow us to showcase some of our architectural finds there, it just felt right. This past April, Mike and his wife Gretchen opened for business. The Tanner House is a vintage market located in an early 1900’s house that sits on the strip in Nolensville’s historical downtown shopping distract. Visit The Tanner House and you will find a unique collection of antiques, vintage goods, gift items and architectural finds.

Southern Accents has placed a unique collection of architectural antiques, including antique doors, mantels, bath fixtures, lighting, windows and more, at The Tanner House. Our hope is that expanding our physical presence will allow more people the opportunity to see the quality and beauty of the architectural pieces that we are salvaging. Pictures are great and words can be very descriptive, but there is no replacement for being able to physically see the grain and patina of aged wood or run your hand over the lines and curves of a piece of antique wrought iron. While this is a new venture for us… it is one that we hope will grow and expand over time.

We invite you to stop by The Tanner House and shop all of their beautiful inventory of antique and vintage goods, including architectural pieces from Southern Accents! Located about 15 minutes outside of Franklin, Tennessee, you can find them at 7307 Nolensville Road. They are open Monday through Saturday from 10 am till 6 pm. You can reach them by phone at 615-776-7307. When you stop by, don’t forget to tell them that Southern Accents sent you their way!

Written by: Lisa Jones


The Tradition of “Barn Red”

One of the most sought after items at Southern Accents wood warehouse is salvaged red barn wood. What is it about the old red painted wood that is so irresistible? For that matter… why are so many barns painted red? A little research uncovered quite a few very interesting facts as to why barns are painted that wonderful color of red!

This picture of a beautiful red barn in Tennessee was taken by artist Mellissa Meeks.

This picture of a beautiful red barn in Tennessee was taken by artist Mellissa Meeks.

As research has it, some settlers in the early 1700’s left their barns unpainted because they simply could not afford the paint. By the late 1700’s farmers began to experiment with ways to make their own paint in an effort to protect the barn wood from the elements. Linseed oil, which has a dark coral hue, was often mixed with skim milk and lime which sealed the wood to help keep it from rotting. This mixture was inexpensive to make and lasted for years. The linseed oil mixture, however, did not address the issue of mold. Mold, in large quantities, posed a health risk for people as well as the animals. Growing on the barn, mold trapped moisture in the wood causing it to decay. Farmers began adding ferrous oxide (rusted iron) to the linseed oil mixture. Rust was plentiful and was a known poison to many molds and moss. The linseed oil and ferrous oxide were both responsible for the red color, but it was more of a burnt-orange red.

Another theory, which has some credence dating back to the American Indians, states that some farmers added blood from a recent slaughter to the mixture which turned the paint to a darker red. Some believe that the darker red color was an effort to make the barn covering look more like brick from a distance, giving the appearance of affluence.

Salvaged red barn wood from Southern Accents was used to cover this wall at Grabow Outdoors in Fultondale, Alabama.

Salvaged red barn wood from Southern Accents was used to cover this wall at Grabow Outdoors in Fultondale, Alabama.

There is also the belief that farmers chose red so that their cows could find their way home! Given the fact that cows are colorblind and can’t see red or green hues, that strategy failed!

Through the years farmers discovered that painting the barn a dark color kept it warmer during the winter since dark colors absorb heat from the suns rays. Black barns were the norm in the tobacco regions of Kentucky and North Carolina, where the barns were used to cure tobacco. The additional heat absorption from the dark paint helped the tobacco cure faster. This discovery could account for the transition through the years to the use of darker shades of “barn red.”

By the mid to late 1800’s as paints were being produced with chemical pigments, red was the least expensive paint color to purchase making it the continued color of choice. Today, many farmers paint the barn red in honor of tradition. After all, what is more picturesque than a beautiful red barn set against a backdrop of a green field or pasture?

This salvaged red barn wood currently sits in our Wood Warehouse.

This salvaged red barn wood currently sits in our Wood Warehouse, waiting to be given a “new life.”

Written by: Lisa Jones


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!


Take Me Down To The Little White Church!

One of the most fulfilling tasks that we undertake at Southern Accents is going out on a salvage job. Once we purchase salvage rights to a building that has been scheduled for demolition, we go in and take everything that we deem reusable. One of our favorite salvage expeditions to date was Center Methodist Church in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Center Methodist Church, Shelbyville, Tennessee

This little, white, one room church was built in 1887 by German Morgan and his son on land that had been donated almost 50 years earlier by a man named Michael Holt. The building was expanded in 1963 when Sunday School rooms were added. By 2008 the little building was no longer in use and found itself sitting on private property. The property owner had concerns about safety as well as vandalism which lead to his decision to have the structure removed.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Salvage of Center Methodist Church.

Southern Accents purchased the salvage rights and was thrilled to discover that we were able to salvage almost every piece of the building for re use.

Oil Chandelier from Shelbyville, Tennessee

Oil Chandelier from Shelbyville, Tennessee

Our favorite item from the church was this incredible three tier oil chandelier. The picture above shows the original light as it hung in the church on the left. The picture on the right is the light as it hangs in our showroom. The bottom is a picture of a wooden board that was found by the owner while tearing out the walls. One of the names on the board is Mrs. Sue Riggs Gill and the date 1887. Mrs. Gill donated the oil chandelier which was later converted to electric and used until the building was taken down in 2008. The detailing on this unique light is magnificent! The original shades were removed and stored for safe keeping.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Closeup of gas chandelier.

We love uncovering and preserving historical content. Being able to trace the history of an item and pass it on to the new owner is the most exciting aspect of what we do. This light currently hangs above the staircase in our showroom and is available for purchase. Visit our website to view details and pricing information on this unique light.


Bella Rustica – Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents at Bella RusticaMy alarm clock rang early this past Friday morning. I had purchased two early bird tickets to Bella Rustica in Pulaski, Tennesse and I meant to get there early. My friend Patty, who is by nature an early bird, and I hit the interstate and headed north. It was an easy drive… pretty much a straight shot from Cullman, Alabama. We would have been there by 8:00 am, probably first in line, had we not been chatting and missed our exit off the interstate. Thankfully we did not venture too far into Tennessee before we realized our gaffe. We took the next exit, turned tail, and got back on track. It was a gorgeous drive. Driving north into middle Tennesse always is. We could not have asked for better weather. An hour and a half after our departure and only a few minutes off course, we arrived at Milky Way Farms!

Southern Accents at Bella Rustica

Southern Accents at Bella Rustica Vintage Market in Pulaski, Tennessee

If you love antiques, vintage goods, and repurposed items, this was definitely the place to be. The organizers did an excellent job screening the vendors. The booths were all very well done. The merchandise offered was exactly as expected. A wide range of antique items and small furniture as well as a lot of creative goods made from salvage material. Even the local church ladies got creative by placing delicious cakes in jelly jars, labeling each jar with the cake name and even attaching a spoon to the jar with a piece of string. Yes, we had cake. Actually we had cake before lunch… this was a special occasion!

We made our way through the restored stone barn which was a beautiful sight in itself. We then ventured to the few outdoor booths and continued to ooh and awe over all the goods. We grabbed lunch which was also delicious! I’m a true foodie and am a really hard sell when it comes to eating out. I typically walk away from most meals proclaiming “I like mine better”. For me to proclaim something as being delicious is HUGE! I had a BBQ taco and it really was scrumptious. I had hoped to hang around for the workshops that were scheduled for later in the day but by noon the crowds had arrived, the dust and hay got the best of me, and I had to move on down the road. I was so disappointed that I did not get to sit in on the workshop as I’m sure it was wonderful!

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

Milky Way Farms was offering tours of the manor during Bella Rustica. We could not pass up the opportunity so before heading home we headed towards the manor. It is spectacular! The 25,00 square foot home, built in 1931-32 by Frank Mars,  boasts 21 bedrooms and 14 baths. The architecture throughout the home was splendid. Arched doorways throughout. Iron gates inside the home leading to an incredible dining room that houses the largest known privately owned dining room table in the United States. The view from all rooms was breathtaking.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

As incredible as the home was my favorite part of the tour were two stone cottages that sat within a stone’s throw from the manor. Each single room dwelling was built with the lay of the land. One of the cottages was curved on one side, the walls and ceiling within covered in bead board. The exposed rafters from within look new, giving hint to the idea that these beautiful buildings are being lovingly restored. I hope that is the case.

Southern Accents at Milky Way Farms

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques at Milky Way Farms in Pulaski, Tennessee

History records that this majestic farm was once home to 30 barns including the world famous “crooked sheep barn”. Most of them are no longer standing, the exception being the stone barn that hosted Bella Rustica this past weekend. As we were exiting the farm I had to stop and snap one last picture of this old barn. It is sad to see what used to be a grand dwelling, possibly for one of the thoroughbred horses this farm once housed, slowly deteriorating. As much as we love barn wood at Southern Accents, we would love nothing more than to see this barn restored to it’s original splendor.

If you happen to be within driving distance of Milky Way Farms, it is worth the trek to visit the manor and tour the grounds. You can visit their website for information on the farm, tours, and events.


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!


Fayetteville, Tennessee Historic Home

We get asked all the time, “What is the best piece you’ve ever salvaged?”. Luckily for us, that changes all the time! We are so lucky to be in this business and love what we do. On Monday, Garlan and his Dad took a road trip to Tennessee to look at some doors. Usually, this turns out to be a fine experience. Drive a few hours, spend time together, and pick up something pretty great for the store. This trip was no exception. There were some really nice doors. Then, we see the reason why we do this job. We found a door that is absolutely the best door we have ever seen in our 43 years of business! The Victorian home was built in 1884.


This unit is complete with the door frame, outside casing, original etched glass, exterior heavy trim sidelights and circular top
Mahogany door unit with original hardware
Complete history available of the original establishment upon purchase
If you want a piece of the South , this has it all!

Door dimensions: 2 1/4″ thick x 44″ wide x 9’4″ tall left hand in-swing with original hardware
Frame – depth 15″
frame with trim – width 65″ and height 13′ tall

$$18,750.00 door, frame, transom and trim


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