Architectural Salvage Tutorial

Building Character: 4 Ways to Use Architectural Salvage in Your Home Decor

Architectural salvage is a hot new trend on design boards these days, so we thought we’d indulge ourselves with an article that celebrates our favorite ways homeowners are reusing vintage finds. “Incorporating antique—but still useful—pieces is a creative way to insert historic charm, character, and a storied past into new or remodeled spaces,” says Wendy Ballou, VP of Operations at JM Construction.

“Reclaim” Your Bedroom with a Salvaged Wood Wall

Reclaimed wood can instantly warm up a modern space, whether it’s used as a feature wall or a headboard (or, in this case, both). This example from Portland, Oregon uses salvaged barn siding, but you could use reclaimed wood flooring as well to achieve the uniform look and feel. For additional dimension, consider varying the thickness of the wood by adding spacers, ripping down a few planks to make them thinner, and staining the wood in different shades.

Architectural salvage headrest

Antique Sinks Know How to Keep It Clean

When you find a vintage porcelain sink in pristine condition, it’s not hard to incorporate it into a bathroom design. “Porcelain sinks are made to last and we see them a lot in our historic Boston homes,” says Ballou. “It’s also made to be pretty heavy, so if you reuse an original sink, make sure whatever it rests on top of is strong enough to handle it.” Custom tabletops with steel supports, like the one made by this homeowner in Ireland, are up for the challenge.

Vintage sink architectural salvage

Sweet Dreams Hinge on Vintage Doors

Anyone who’s ever scrolled through an architectural salvage warehouse has found a rack of old doors and wondered how they could use them at home. (No? Just us?) From barn doors to headboards, vintage doors like these open up a whole new world of possibilities for texture, color, and practical use.

Headboard architectural salvage

Stained Glass Adds a Bit of Class

Many of our historic homes in Boston feature gorgeous stained glass windows—some of which are removed during remodeling projects to make room for energy efficient replacements. “No one likes to throw away stained glass windows, but not everyone knows what they should do with them,” adds Ballou. “I love the way these Seattle homeowners salvaged a matching pair and used them as a ‘picture-in-picture’ window.” Hung simply with eye-screws and small chains, salvaged stained glass can add a layer of privacy and interest.

Architectural Salvage glass windows

Whether you are designing a remodeling project around a specific piece or looking for ways to incorporate a recent find into your home decor, we hope we inspired you to introduce (or keep!) a little slice of history in every room of your home. Share your ideas with us on Facebook—we can’t wait to see what you have!

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