When you are trying to salvage antiques from a home it is hard to know what to take and what to leave behind. So many things look cool or seem worthwhile that are really not. It is just a fact of life that some things are easier and better to salvage then other things. To help you out in your salvage, here are some commonly salvaged items that both sell well and are useful in your new home:
1. Tiles – Tile flooring, walls and decorations are a big draw for most people. The old homes have some very interesting colors and shapes with tiles. Some homes even have hand crafted and hand painted tiles that were used as decoration. If you are careful you can salvage some of these tiles and reuse them as decoration in your own home. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes from large rectangles to tiny squares and even octagons. If you want you can also take whole sections of tile flooring out, cement and all, to make cool pathways and for other uses.
2. Fireplace Mantels – Mantels are an expensive and beautiful centerpiece to many old home. In the days before central heating, a fireplace was the heart of the home and the place where everyone gathered. Antique mantles can be made from a variety of materials from wood to stone to metal and even granite. They usually have awesome architectural detailing and can fetch a pretty penny.
3. Bathroom Sinks – The old fashioned appeal of antique bathroom sinks is remarkable. Such a simple thing can make such a big impact in a room. These are usually easy to remove and transport, provided you are careful of the porcelain. The hardware is usually replaced and updated with a modern version, but you can salvage the faucet too if it looks to be in good condition.
4. Exterior And Interior Doors / Barn Doors – Doors are what I always think of first when I think about architectural salvage. As they say, they sure do not make them like they used to. A solid wood door has the majesty and presence of nothing else, and decorative doors can light up your entire home. From the plain to the interesting to the glass paneled, doors are always a big hit. They are also easy to remove and transport, so that is a big plus! Barn doors are also a big thing right now. Those huge doors may be a pain to lug around, but they are featured in many of the most fashionable homes nowadays so it is worth the work.
5. Hardware – When you think of architectural salvage you typically think big, but not for these. Hardware like cabinetry knobs, drawer pulls, and faucets are small things that anyone can salvage. These typically metal pieces offer great value for a very small effort and most can be shined up beautifully or left as is for a rustic feel. Even door knobs and handles fit into this eclectic category.
6. Kitchen Sinks – If you have everything but the kitchen sink why not get that too? Kitchen sinks are typically more durable, and more expensive, than bathroom sinks. After all, they have to hold up against a lot more banging around and heavy dishes. From the deep farmhouse style sinks to the shallow and wide sinks of yesteryear, kitchen sinks are a great salvage to pick up in an old home.
7. Tubs And Toilets – Although you typically do not think of a toilet as something you would want to pick up as salvage it is often a good idea to do so if it can be paired with an entire bathroom set. The classic claw footed tub is a great item to salvage as well. As many homes love to have that classic feel, especially in the bathroom, these tubs make for great salvage opportunities. An old tub is a heavy thing, but it can sell for a pretty penny if it still looks nice. There are ways to bring worn tubs up to par too, so don’t pass one up just because it has a scratch or two.
8. Grates And Register Covers –Grate and register covers in older homes have an appeal all their own. Some of them are very decorative and cannot only replace similar covers in a new home but can also be used as wall art or included for other artistic designs around the home. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are usually in pretty good condition because they are made of sturdy metals and not usually used or abused.
9. Newel Posts – Because you can’t always take a beautiful old staircase with you there is this option. Taking just the newel post from a staircase is a great way to get the visual interest of the staircase in a small package. Many new homes like to integrate their sturdy modern staircases with a taste of the old, so this is a great opportunity for you to salvage something simple that will go far.
10. Windows – Old windows, especially stained glass ones, are a visual treat. They have so many levels of complexity and beauty to them that each one is a work of art. If you tried to get this kind of handwork done nowadays it would cost you a pretty penny, so salvaging it is a great alternative option. Be careful because many times stained glass was made from lead based metals and can be harmful if improperly handled. These are also delicate and should be carefully removed to prevent damage.
11. Woodwork – We all know how expensive things like crown molding are, so why not salvage it instead? Decorative woodwork is found in many homes, from the ceiling to the floors. You can salvage many of these pieces easily and without much damage with just some elbow grease. Things like columns, decorative panels, brackets, arches and railings all fit into this category.
12. Cabinets – From built in corner units to beautiful cabinet doors, there are many things that you can salvage from a kitchen. Old fashioned glass cabinet doors fetch a pretty penny, as do things like pie coolers and ice boxes. In the bathroom you can also salvage medicine cabinets with old world appeal. These cabinets usually pull out of the wall in one piece, so they are easy to salvage.
13. Flooring – Flooring covers a multitude of options. Most often, old growth wood flooring is what is salvaged from old homes. These beautiful examples have years of shine and beauty to them that are not found in modern wood flooring options. They can be re-purposed into new flooring, wood paneling, ceilings and even art. There are also options like stone, tile and brick that can be salvaged. Indoor and out, there are many things that stand the test of time that can be salvaged if you look under your feet.
14. Lighting –This covers a lot of things. From chandeliers to sconces to shades and brackets, lighting can brighten up a whole house. Be careful with the delicate glass to not chip or break any of it or bend the soft metals often used in old chandeliers. You should also make sure to get pairs of groups of lights for the best value. People want their lighting to match, of course. Even outdoor and industrial lighting make for great salvage opportunities.
These are just a few of the many things you can salvage as you go on the hunt for architectural treasures. Old homes are full of value, even when they appear to be picked clean. Do not look past the beauty of the old things and remember that nearly any item is worth the effort it takes to get it.
Jason Miner an expert freelance writer loves writing articles on different categories. He is approaching different bloggers to recognize each other’s efforts through “www.blogcarnival.com”.
Primitive Wooden Crates From Country Home Magazine
Romantic Finland Home Photography by Kimo Virtanen – Photo Credit