If you like vintage and reclaimed furniture you know how versatile they can be. People often are resistant to using architectural salvage because they can require more forethought than simply deciding where to put a chair. But the reward can be quite striking and in many cases the forethought is minimal.
Architectural salvage comes in all forms; it can be a finial used as a decorative piece, a fireplace mantel, a piece of stained glass framed for hanging, or it can require a lot of planning like using the wall panels from an old estate. The salvage can come in the form of rustic pieces like weathered exterior trim or more refined items like whole hand carved ceilings.
Take a look at some of our favorites and see if they don't spark some ideas.
Here are some hand carved exterior columns salvaged for their incredible detail and patina.
The fireplace has always been the centerpiece of the vintage home and you can see the effort put into their decoration in surrounds like this stone one from the North of France.
The king of estate salvage in Europe is Marc Maison. He can be counted on to salvage entire rooms intact from high end estates but also has more accessible pieces like beautiful examples of stained glass and fireplace surrounds. Marc even has a scale model of the Eiffel Tower made by Eiffel years before the project began—it was declared a national treasure of France so don't ask the price.
How about this nice gothic door set? Perfect for that man-cave!
If that is a little too primitive how about a nice paneled room?
Not to worry he has something that will not require a second mortgage just to ship. How about this stained glass art? A neo-renaissance portrait from the 19th century.
Or something a little more modern from the 1950s.
We just got back from a trip to Andalucia, the part of Spain most deeply influenced by the Moors. The mix of Islamic and European architecture was quite interesting and unique. Here is an example of the Moorish influence which survived the 'reconquista' until now. This door was made in the 19th century. The 'horseshoe arch' of the lower left panel was actually taken from the pre-Moorish Visigoth inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula but became a key signature of the Moors.
Marc has an extensive collection of notable fireplace surrounds too.
These pieces come in so many styles and are so versatile. They really are something that deserves a new life, so the next time you are trying to make a room distinctive think about architectural salvage.
Sources: Marc Maison