Did you know some of our best DIY home refresh projects come from antique and vintage inspiration? In this post, I’ll show you how much fun you can have shopping at a local architectural salvage yard and what we found to refresh our drab hallway.
Many of you already know how much I love my vintage treasures and flea market finds. But when you can take a special vintage find and use it for a home refresh project you’ve had on your to-do list for several years, that’s just icing on the cake!
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Table of Contents
- Hallway Refresh Project Idea: Add Wood to the Existing Ceiling
- A Trip to the Architectural Salvage Yard
- The Hallway Refresh Find: Architectural Cedar Planks
- The DIY Ceiling Project
- Other Places to Shop for Vintage and Antique Finds
- Why Architectural Salvage Works in Our Home so Well
- More Thrifting Tips and Flea Market Finds
Hallway Refresh Project Idea: Add Wood to the Existing Ceiling
I don’t show this area very often.
It’s the VERY SMALL hallway between our kitchen and the laundry room. The walk-in pantry is to the right of the hallway entrance.
There isn’t any natural light here, so we use mirrors and light-colored walls to open the space.
The shiplap wall with the mirror hanging was added after we moved in to create a walk-in closet on the other side.
We lost a lot of space by doing this, but the walk-in closet made much more sense than having an odd area we didn’t need.
The original room could have been the house’s eating area when it was first built in 1920. But I think a new kitchen eating nook was added to the front of the house in the sixties, so it was no longer needed.
What is Architectural Salvage?
So let’s start with what exactly architectural salvage is.
Architectural salvage is the reclamation of materials, fixtures, and other features from old buildings for reuse in new construction or restoration projects.
It’s an important part of the green building movement because it allows for reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away and can help create unique and interesting interior and exterior focal points.
Architectural Features You Can Find
Some of the vintage and antique architectural features you can find at an architectural salvage yard include:
- old glass and solid doors
- hardware like door knob sets and hinges
- mantels or fireplace surrounds
- columns and corbels
- paneling and wood planks
- crown molding
- lighting fixtures
- vintage appliances
- fencing and gates
- decorative elements and so much more
A Trip to the Architectural Salvage Yard
We’ve spent a lot of time at Earthwise Architectural Salvage in Tacoma, WA. throughout the years while we were renovating our 103-year-old beach cottage.
The antique and vintage inventory comes from old houses and buildings. Each piece has its own distinctive style.
Many architectural elements like a pedestal sink, entry door, French doors, and salvage ironwork have all been incorporated into our home.
You’ll find a huge selection of antique and vintage windows from all eras, from the classic Victorian style to mid-century modern.
The prices fluctuate between semi-reasonable to crazy, or as I like to call it, “Are you out of your mind?”.
Columns can add a classic, timeless look to any room and create a stunning focal point. They can be found in a variety of styles, from classic Greek and Roman columns to more ornate styles from the Victorian era.
Whether you’re looking for a single column or a set, you’re sure to find something perfect for your renovation project at an architectural salvage yard.
Corbels are decorative pieces of wood or stone that were once used to support exterior features such as balconies and porches. You can find various antique corbels at vintage architectural salvage yards, ranging in style, size, and materials.
Whether you’re looking for a subtle accent piece or a bold statement piece, you’ll be sure to find the perfect corbel to add some charm to your home.
Decorative Crown Molding
Finding vintage crown molding at architectural salvage yards can be a great way to add unique character to your home. Not only are these pieces often one-of-a-kind, but they are also often much cheaper than buying brand-new crown molding.
You can find a variety of styles and sizes to fit your needs. Salvage yards are the perfect place to browse for vintage molding, so if you’re looking for a special piece to finish off your home, it’s worth a visit.
Wooden Trim Pieces and Vintage Doors
Shopping for wooden trim pieces and vintage doors at architectural salvage yards is a great way to add character and appeal to your home.
Remember, you’ll be helping the environment by reusing a door that may have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Door Knobs & Handle Pulls
If you’re looking for truly unique vintage door knobs, a great place to start your search is at architectural salvage yards. These shops are treasure troves of antique and vintage door knobs, offering various styles, shapes, and materials.
From crystal door knobs to rustic cast iron pulls, you’re sure to find something to accentuate the character of your home.
Architectural salvage yards are a great place to find vintage light fixtures. Not only can you find unique pieces to add character to your home, but you can also find items no longer available in stores.
With a little searching, you can find fixtures from different eras and styles to fit any room. From antique chandeliers to wall sconces, the possibilities are endless for finding the perfect fixture for your home.
Other Architectural Finds
We found this white picket fencing with other salvage treasures for the yard.
How about this vintage dental chair? Everyone needs one of these, don’t you think?
Our local architectural salvage yard had plenty of antique and vintage household appliances.
The Hallway Refresh Find: Architectural Cedar Planks
It was love at first sight!
All I could think of when I first saw the cedar planks architectural salvage finds for my hallway ceiling project was how perfectly imperfect each board was.
I could also visualize them as flooring for our 1920 beach cottage. But for now, the mission was to cover the existing drywall on the hallway ceiling.
We took home the best four boards (114 ft long) and cut them in half. The final bill was $160, which I’m estimating the cost would be if I had bought new lumber at Home Depot.
The DIY Ceiling Project
Our contractor renovated every inch of this old house. And he did a great job. But when it came to drywall, our friend was pretty much hit or miss.
And sadly to say, after inspecting the original hallway project, there were quite a few flaws that needed to be redone.
Adding wood ceiling planks is a great way to cover any drywall imperfections. This would also be an easy way to cover a dated popcorn ceiling.
Wood and White Combination is a Winning Choice
I originally wanted to continue the white tongue and groove from the kitchen ceiling into this space.
The problem was that this small hallway already had white shiplap walls. I felt like it needed something other than white paint. This was the right place to add natural wood rather than paint the planks white like the rest of the rooms in the house.
I liked the idea of a rustic wood ceiling playing off the white walls. It reminded me of how the dark, distressed wood beams in the living room play off the shiplap walls so well.
The wood tones with white wooden planked walls would be just the thing to add more visual interest and also add a more cohesive look to my cottage.
This hallway refresh DIY project ended up being an easy DIY project. The good news is we could keep the cost of wood planks down because this was such a small space. The wood was in good shape, so we didn’t have to do any staining, sanding, or varnishing.
We could have used wood paneling to cover the drywall, but a plank ceiling gives an updated and modern twist to wood paneling. I’m a fan of the real thing!
How We Installed the Vintage Cedar Planks
The 1×4 wood trim from between the shiplap and ceiling was first removed. This allowed the wood trim to be reinstalled over the top of the cedar planks for more of a finished look.
If you don’t have any trim, you can push the planks up against the wall and hide any spaces with quarter-round molding.
The 10-inch wide wood boards were cut with a chop saw, and table saw, leaving the plank a little over 6 feet long. The entire ceiling needed the four boards we bought and then cut in half.
Ceiling planks were installed with a 16 gauge fish nailer.
Other Places to Shop for Vintage and Antique Finds
If you are looking for vintage treasures like a distressed mirror, an aged clock, or heirloom antiques, an architectural salvage shop may not be the right place for you.
Check out these places to shop for your perfect and most fabulous find.
- antique markets or antique stores
- a flea market
- thrift stores
- estate sales
- an antique shop
Why Architectural Salvage Works in Our Home so Well
When someone asks me what my favorite decorating style is, I almost always blurt out COTTAGE style without even thinking about it.
But the more I look around my home, I would call it more of a vintage cottage style.
I became obsessed with hunting for antique and vintage pieces after buying our 1920 beach cottage. Anything with a feeling of nostalgia fit right in. We made so many visits to the architectural salvage stores so we could reuse older pieces that were left behind that still had a story to tell.
Being part of this timeless culture and feeling a sense of history throughout my home has become important. I want to show off those special pieces that add character to a room and start a conversation.
We have taken the most memorable journey as we renovated, remodeled, revamped, and refreshed our timeless beach cottage. Our goal is to keep a classic look that will stay timeless as our home ages.
This hallway refresh was such a fun project, and the best part is that the cedar planks were found on our first visit to the architectural salvage yard this year.
I’m looking forward to the next project!
Each month my friends and I get together to bring you our favorite thrift store finds, vintage tips, and flea market ideas. Be sure to click the links below to see their blog posts for this month.
Until next time,
More Thrifting Tips and Flea Market Finds
My friend Stacy is sharing 7 thrift store decorating ideas for the bedroom.
JENNIFER | COTTAGE AT BUNKER HILL
Antiqueing and thrifting for home decor on the seacoast sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it? My friend Jennifer is going to show you how it’s done!
My friend Lora shares how to repurpose a vintage vanity into beautiful side tables. You don’t want to miss this one.
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Kristin | White Arrows Home says
Kim, this looks absolutely amazing! Stunning! And what a fun store! I wish there was something like that by me. I’m excited to share it with my followers in my weekend round up.
Renae Frey says
Kim, your ceiling is gorgeous! What a Beautiful transformation. I love it
Thank you, Renae! I really love it.
Rachel Harper says
That place looks amazing! So many great finds. I love what you did with your finds.
Thanks, Rachel. It is such a cool place, and I have so many finds in my house from the salvage yard.
The ceiling looks amazing!
I love the warmth the wood brings to the space.
Thank you, Candice. I have wanted to do this for years. I’m so glad I can check this off the list.
Wow! what a great place to find some stuff!!! The hallway looks amazing but that architectural salvage stuff has great stuff – is that near you???? I need to go!
It’s about 45 minutes from us and every time I go I ask myself why I don’t go at least once a month.
Lora Bloomquist says
Architectural salvage stores are sooo fun to poke around in; it’s like a candy store! Love how the planks look in your hallway; I’ve always loved the rustic wood/paint combo. It’s like the whole space turned into a showstopper! So fun to see everyone’s vintage decor today!
They do have some great pieces. The deals are hard to find sometimes but the timeless finds we have added to our home are totally worth what we paid for them.
Jennifer Howard says
I’m in love with your salvage yard! Oh, all those door knobs are so gorgeous, especially all the glass ones!! The ceiling really looks fantastic and I love that little hallway space. Hope the knee rehab is going well!
We have a lot of those door knobs in our house. Their collections are amazing! Thank you for your well wishes, Jennifer. The knee gets better every day.
What a great idea! It turned out so well.
Thank you, Nancy!
Kim I love what you did with your ceiling it looks incredible! What a great idea! Hope you’re feeling better after your knee surgery🏻
Thank you, Ann. I sure wish we could use that wood for flooring. It’s just so pretty.