| Sheila Howell

Recycling the Past with Architectural Salvage

Many lovers of antiques recycle the past by incorporating architectural salvage into their homes. Professional interior designers, architects and builders practice #AntiquesAreGreen and covet salvage to incorporate into their projects.

Architectural salvage is antique or vintage pieces recovered from a building that is decaying or being remodeled or destroyed. For lovers of antiquity and architecture the waste and loss of these pieces is the loss of history. Repurposing one piece or a whole room - and even a whole building! - of architectural salvage into your home provides a story and individuality. 

Architectural antiques are attractive to homeowners for many reasons. 

  • The quality of workmanship and materials used in antique pieces is often superior than today's products.
  • Antiques are unique. In a subdivision or apartment building your home will not look just like your neighbor's.
  • Architectural antiques give authenticity to a custom home built in a specific style. 
  • People are often committed to "living green" and practicing their philosophy of recycle, repurpose and reuse in all aspects of their life.

Not every antique can be easily incorporated into modern homes. Issues such as weight, size and materials used often prove challenging. Design industry professionals are often consulted to make sure the piece can be installed, and to make any needed adjustments such as door size, wiring or . Ideally, architectural antiques are incorporated at the design stage, but realistically many pieces are retro-fitted into existing homes. 

Architectural antiques from both the United States and Europe are coveted by homeowners, interior designers and builders. Popular architectural salvage includes:

  • wooden floors
  • staircases
  • light fixtures
  • stone pieces for the garden 
  • fireplaces
  • fences and gates
  • door hardware 
  • bricks 

In the 19th century, it was popular for America's wealthy elite to import whole rooms from castles owned by impoverished European royalty. Nicknamed "Robber Barons," families such as William Randolph Hearst and John D. Rockefeller imported entire rooms and even whole buildings from Europe to build their own American castle, complete with a lineage. 

antique Bronze Gilt Lantern  

Bronze Gold Gilt Rounded Glass Lantern Fixture Chandelier 1 of 3 

This is one of three lights we had the opportunity to rescue from a renovation project in Miami. It has 5 lights that are surrounded by impressive rounded glass.  

Europe circa 1950

31" H X 18" W - height measure to the top of fixture and does not include decorative ceiling mount 

European Finds has antique and vintage accessories, furniture, lighting and mirrors available in our online antique warehouse. If you don't see what you are looking for, give us a call, and perhaps we can help you find the perfect piece!  We also provide antique sourcing services if you are looking for a specific piece. 

Contact: customerservice@europeanfinds.com 

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