Tag Archives: vintage

Piano Keys Unlocking Beauty

A couple of weeks ago we salvaged an upright piano from a structure in Birmingham. The piano was in such a state of disrepair, that it could have never been used to produce music again. This once fine tuned piano seemed to have lost its luster in the dirty abandoned building. Our SA team has usually seen these discarded to the nearest landfill or even to the burn pile. Most upright pianos are bulky, heavy and hard to move. But unlike most pianos, this particular one, for some reason, attracted our interest. Of course a few minutes later, it was being loaded and hauled back to Cullman.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

After we arrived back at the store, the instrument that was once carefully constructed by the hands of a skilled craftsman, was now being de-constructed by the hands of an artist. As we began this process, we started to see the beauty of the interior parts and patina of the individual pieces that was hidden inside. We saw the strings tightly pulled against the cast iron harp. We saw the wood wrapped velvet hammers that once created the soft tones of sound when they struck those strings. We imagined the small hands of a child sitting at the keys, carefully pecking out a simple melody. We will never know how many fingers ran across the keys during its lifespan or the amount of pure joy experienced by the many listening ears, but we can appreciate the history of the “pieces” that made up the “whole”. But now, it was our time to create a new history for the piano using our team’s imagination. Our future goal is to adapt these individual parts into a work of art that will be available for future generations to enjoy. Continuing the story of its history by up-cycling its salvageable parts in the present, only allows for its continued appreciation in the future.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Stay tuned for the big reveal as in coming weeks we give new life to a piece of this old piano by transforming it into a useful piece of building art!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

We would love to hear your ideas on how you would repurpose all of these piano parts. Visit our Facebook and Instagram page and share your ideas! Tag us with #saaa1969 and #SApianoart.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Written by: Lisa Jones & Garlan Gudger

 


Tarnished, Totally Terrific Tin!

One of the things that we enjoy most about salvaging architectural elements is exploring ways to repurpose them. We brought back several large pieces of salvaged tin from our last trip to Philadelphia. The tin, dated around the late 1880’s, was salvaged from the turret of a building similar to the one shown here.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

As soon as we saw these pieces, we immediately knew we wanted to use the tin in a way that would showcase each magnificent piece. SA team member Josh Howe turned several pieces of the tin into gorgeous wall art by framing them with salvaged pieces of door and window trim from another salvaged structure.

Whether framed or used in other creative ways, the beauty of this tin is deserving of a second life! Stop by our showroom or give us a call at 877 737-0554 regarding our inventory of salvaged tin. Custom framing is available through our wood shop.

Salvaged tin pieces framed in salvaged door and window trim to create wall art.

Salvaged tin pieces framed in salvaged door and window trim to create wall art.

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia

Salvaged decorative tin piece from Philadelphia


Milling Around

Southern Accents has been a family owned and operated business since 1969. Second generation owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr., saw the need last year to take SA’s salvage operations to the next level by adding the ability to mill our own salvage lumber.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

A growing part of Southern Accents business is salvage wood. One mile from the showroom, on Janeway Drive, sits our warehouse, fully stocked with salvaged barn wood, bead board, beams, fireplace timbers and more. As people are becoming more environmentally aware, the demand for salvage and repurposed wood continues to grow. The patina and beauty of naturally aged wood is simply unmatched. When using the wood for flooring, most want the antique wood milled. Milling the wood ensures that the planks are uniform in width and thickness. It can also give the wood a “clean” face and open up the wood pores, allowing it to be more susceptible to receiving stains and finishes. Having our own mill allows us the ability to fulfill custom orders more quickly and efficiently.

Stop by our wood warehouse and shop one of the largest selections of salvaged wood available in the Southeast! Our warehouse is open Tues-Fri from 9 to 5 and Sat from 10 to 4.

Our current wood stock includes this gorgeous chippy paint breadboard recently salvaged from Selma, Alabama. We have approximately 3,000 square feet while supplies last, priced at $1.00 per linear foot. There is a mix of colors that include white, grey, avocado, haint blue, electric blue, lime green. The salvaged breadboard is a popular choice for wall and ceiling coverings as well as an endless number of craft and DIY projects, including frames, headboards, and more. The ends have been cut and the wood is ready to be repurposed!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

beadboard4
Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


The “What” of What We Salvage

A question we are often asked regarding our salvage projects is, “What all do you salvage from a house?” To answer that question… We will salvage any architectural element from a structure that can be safely removed in good enough condition that we believe can be reused or repurposed. Architectural elements can include any or all of the following: doors and accompanying hardware, door frames with trim, crown molding, wainscoting, fireplace mantels, sinks, tubs, light fixtures, wood flooring, floor joists, baseboards, wood walls, wood beams, newel posts, stairways and railings, decorative wood trim, decorative tile, ceiling medallions, porch posts and columns, windows, garden gates, iron fencing and at times brick and stone.

Quite often, before we can begin a new salvage project, the first thing we do is remove items from the house that have been left behind. Most often these are small items or furniture that have been stored away in the attic. Once these items have been removed, the real work begins. When salvaging a house, we basically “deconstruct” it. The first elements that we remove are typically the last elements that were installed in the house such as interior doors, mantels, bath and light fixtures. Once these items are removed, we then begin pulling the wood. We start at the top of multi level structures and work our way down. The last items taken are structural elements such as wood beams, columns, and posts.

Most often the property owner will schedule a demolition company to come in right behind us. If we are salvaging brick or stone from the structure, we will often coordinate those efforts with the demolition crew.

We are typically given a set amount of time to save what we can. At times we may only have a single day! Several years ago we were given the opportunity to salvage wood from a house that was scheduled for demolition. We worked hard for a full day pulling as much wood as we could. We arrived on day two to continue our efforts only to discover that the fire department had already set the structure ablaze! Once we begin a new project we work as efficiently as possible to ensure that we are able to save as many elements as possible.

We believe our work here at Southern Accents is truly preserving our history through salvage. We’ve recently added items to our New Arrivals page that were saved during phase I of our latest salvage project. In the coming days, we will be returning for phase II. Make sure you are following along with us on our social media accounts as we continue what will be our largest salvage project to date!

Here are a few of our latest finds!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques


Minton Pictorial Tiles

Occasionally we run across an item that shines amongst all the dirt, dust and debris of being on site of an architectural salvage job. The item that shined the brightest on our latest salvage mission was a set of 19th century sepia-toned ceramic tiles. This set of pictorial tiles was installed as a fireplace surround in what once was the elegant keeping room in a majestic home.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The tiles were fabricated by Minton China Works, Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England. This well known manufacturer was originated by Thomas Minton in 1793. Through the years the very successful company grew and expanded at the helm of several generations of Mintons. Thomas’s son Herbert, who succeeded his father, not only developed new production techniques, but also enlisted the services of artists and skilled artisans which helped establish the company as the most famed and prolific manufacturer of ceramics and china for most of the Victorian Era. Minton tiles were used in countless prestigious buildings and homes.

The Minton tiles that we were able to salvage were simply stunning and in great condition. Because this Minton set did not combine to create a larger scene, like most American tile sets, the tiles were perfect collector pieces. Each 6″ x 6″ glazed tile was a work of art.

Each of these tiles have already found a new home! We can’t wait to receive pictures from their new owners showing us how these lovely tiles are being displayed!


Antique Trail

Autumn is our favorite time of the year! This past week the leaves on the trees began to “pop” and there is a cool, crisp breeze in the air. Although we think any time of the year is a great time to visit Cullman, Alabama, this time of the year seems especially magical! No matter what direction you are traveling from to get here… the drive is simply spectacular.

While we think a day trip to Southern Accents is well worth the trip to Cullman, there are numerous antique shops in Cullman worth visiting. Many of our customers who have made the trip tell us that one day is not enough time to take it all in!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Several months ago we put together a brochure listing the trail of antique shops in Cullman. There are twelve shops within a 15 mile radius of downtown Cullman. Although the bulk of our inventory is antique and salvaged architectural items like doors, mantels, claw foot tubs, ironwork, chandeliers, newel posts, hardware and salvaged wood, you will find a huge variety of unique small items, artwork and gifts offered by the multiple antique stores. Whether you are looking for a particular item or are just “junking”, Cullman should be a stopping point on your map!

Before you leave our showroom, pick up one of the free brochures. The trail of antique shops begins just one block from Southern Accents. While you are in the downtown area you will want to stop in and enjoy lunch at one of the unique downtown eateries that we have listed on the back of the brochure.

We love our town and the people who call it home. Our hope is that you will come for a visit, find it as charming as we do and will want to return often!

Downtown Details

Downtown Cullman is loaded with small town charm! There’s plenty to see and do. If you are traveling from out of town we encourage you to come and spend more than a day. We want you to get the most out of your visit so when planning your trip, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Most of the small downtown shops, including Southern Accents, are closed Sunday and Monday.
  • Most downtown shops close at 5:00pm during the week and many close early on Saturday so please check the days and hours of operation of the various places you plan to visit ahead of time.
  • Cullman has a wide variety of festivals throughout the year. Check the events calendar on the Cullman Chamber of Commerce website for a list of upcoming events.

Chapel Market or Bust!

We loading up the truck last week and hit the road early Friday morning for our last road trip of the year! Southern Accents was at The Chapel Market this past Saturday, October 25, 2014. The Chapel Market was held in a stunningly gorgeous neighborhood in Pike Road, Alabama, located just outside of Montgomery. Layla Palmer of The Lettered Cottage blog was the event organizer. This year’s market drew an incredible crowd of happy shoppers! Southern Accents was one of 17 vendors offering a varied selection of “vintage goods and pretty little things!” Saturday turned out to be a gorgeous day and we are so thankful for everyone who stopped by our booth. We really appreciate everyone who made a point of letting us know that they read our newsletters and follow us on our social media accounts. We were SO busy Saturday helping shoppers and visiting with so many of you that we didn’t have an opportunity to snap any pictures once the gates opened! We did however take just a few on Friday. If you weren’t able to attend, this is what you missed in our corner of the tent!

A few of the goodies we loaded and took to Chapel Market!

A few of the goodies we loaded and took to Chapel Market!

This was the scene early Saturday morning as we entered the market venue!

This was the scene early Saturday morning as we entered the market venue!

Exact same entrance location... just the opposite side of the road!  What a view!

Exact same entrance location… just the opposite side of the road! What a view!

We worked hard all day Friday setting up our booth.

We worked hard all day Friday setting up our booth.

It was great to have our Cullman neighbors, Littleville Blue in the booth next to us!

It was great to have our Cullman neighbors, Littleville Blue in the booth next to us!

The guys in the SA wood shop worked hard all week making a variety of beautiful items from some of our reclaimed wood.

The guys in the SA wood shop worked hard all week making a variety of beautiful items from some of our reclaimed wood.

Thanks to our wonderful friend Kim Whittaker! Kim brought her gorgeous Haul Couture bags and hung out with us for this event.

Thanks to our wonderful friend Kim Whittaker! Kim brought her gorgeous Haul Couture bags and hung out with us for this event.

The weather was perfect! Lots of sunshine!

The weather was perfect! Lots of sunshine!

Our booth this year was outside under a big tent which meant that we were able to "spread out"!

Our booth this year was outside under a big tent which meant that we were able to “spread out”!

If you missed this awesome event, make sure that you are on our mailing list so that you know about all of Southern Accents adventures! To sign up, simply visit us online at sa1969.com. You can sign up on our front page.

Written by: Lisa Jones

 


DIY – How To Patina Copper

Southern Accents has an incredibly talented team of artists and craftsmen who are constantly coming up with creative ideas. Recently, we decided to add a bit more interest to a four panel, round top door that we custom built from cypress wood. SA Team member Josh Howe came up with the idea of covering the panels with patina’d copper. He had several scrap pieces of shiny copper in the wood shop. All that was needed was a method of aging the copper. Josh did a little experimenting and the end result was so fantastic that we decided to share his recipe!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The process of aging the copper so that it gives off that lovely blue/green hue is fairly simple. It is a matter of treating the copper with an acid then allowing it to oxidize. The specific form of acid used will result in different color changes within the copper. While there are several chemical compounds you could purchase, Josh used a mixture of common household ingredients: vinegar, ammonia, and kosher salt.

Josh started with a clean, quart sized spray bottle purchased at our local hardware store. He filled the bottle with approximately 1/2 inch of salt. He then added equal parts of vinegar and ammonia to the bottle, leaving enough room at the top to be able to throughly shake the mixture until the salt was completely dissolved. The copper was cleaned and degreased using a lacquer thinner. The cleaned sheets were then taken outside and sprayed with the acid mixture and placed in the sun to dry. Heating the treated copper speeds up the oxidation process. While we took advantage of a sunny day you could use something as simple as a hair dryer to heat the metal. Depending on the desired result, the copper may need more than one treatment. Once the desired color was achieved, the copper was rinsed with warm water, dried, and sealed. If the copper is to be used outdoors we recommend a spar urethan which offers UV protection. For interior use, any clear sealant will do. When treating the copper, if the desired color change is not achieved with multiple treatments, scuffing the copper just a bit with a piece of steel wool will open up the metal pores allowing it to more readily absorb the acid mixture.

The copper we used was originally purchased from a local air conditioning company and was approximately 1/16″ thick. You can also use copper flashing from the hardware store. Do not however use the copper foils commonly found in craft stores as these are too thin and the acid will likely eat a hole right through these sheets.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesThe method we used is one of many that could be used to create a lovely patina on copper. This process is not limited for use on copper sheets, but can be used to antique any copper item. Old copper pots, pans, pennies, bowls and other finds you may want to use as decorative items can be treated using this method.

To add another dimension to your creation, before you treat the copper with the acid solution, paint on a design using a cotton swab and petroleum jelly. Every spot covered in the petroleum jelly should remain shiny!

Copper is such a versatile metal. In addition to the beautiful colors it emits when oxidized, it can be etched, hammered, and molded into almost any shape. We’ve added a board to our Pinterest page filled with crafting and DIY projects using copper as well as a few pins on additional ways to add a gorgeous patina to this fabulous metal!

Written by: Lisa Jones


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!

 


#Hashtag This!

It’s been said that a picture paints a thousand words. We agree… pictures tell stories. They capture a moment in time, preserving them for future generations. We love telling stories, preserving history and the part that pictures play in doing both. This is one of the reasons why we love Instagram. If you are on Instagram we would like for you to follow our Southern Accents adventures! If you are not on Instagram… what are you waiting for?

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

In the past few months, Southern Accents has traveled to Nashville, Atlanta, Asheville, Washington D.C. and all over the state of Alabama. We’ve been featured in ALABAMA and NO’ALA Magazine, was a curator for Southern Makers, built a stage for “NASA On The Square” and created awards for Main Street Alabama. And… we’ve salvaged some pretty cool structures along the way! Following our Instagram feed gives you instant access via pictures to our latest travels, events, and salvage finds. To make it even more interesting… we are going to have a contest!!

Here are the rules:

  1. Follow Southern Accents on Instagram! You will find us at@saaa1969
  2. Tag us! @saaa1969
    • If you visit our showroom, see us at an event or out on the road, make sure you snap a pic, post and tag.
    • If you have purchased from us in the past, we want you to post pictures of your finished projects.
    • We love gorgeous architecture. Snap a picture of your favs and tag us so we can enjoy the view as well.
    • We also love pictures of “forgotten” structures. Beautiful old homes, barns, and buildings that are time worn and have a story to tell.
  3. Each week we will pick one winner from all pictures tagged @saaa1969 and notify you by commenting on your post. Prizes will vary. The first prize is a $25 gift certificate. Winner will be announced on Tuesday, September 30th.If your picture screams Southern Accents… we want to see it! Ready, set, SNAP!!

SA #Hashtags

Southern Accents has several hashtags that we use on a regular basis. In addition to following @saaa1969, look up our frequently used hashtags!

  • #digmygig
  • #lovesomething
  • #ceaselesssearch
  • #architecturaladventure
  • #passionisourcommonthread
  • #wesaveoldstuff
  • #salvage
  • #create
  • #passion
  • #imagination
  • #inspire

Written by: Lisa Jones


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