Decorating with Architectural Salvage

How to Repurpose Architectural Salvage as Furnishings and Home Decor

architectural salvage store
"New Orleans | Fifty for Five | Preservation Store" by Charles & Hudson / CC BY-SA 2.0 |

As people remodel (or demolish to make way for new construction), beautiful bits of architectural salvage often end up in landfills. The next time you cruise past an in-progress remodel -- or when you find the discards from one for sale at the flea market -- consider all the ways you can decorate with architectural salvage.

How to Repurpose Old Shutters

If you favor cottage, country, shabby chic or beach-style decor, turn old wooden shutters into furniture, home accessories, garden ornaments, or even home organizers. Shutters look particularly charming when you leave the old weathered paint intact.

Hunt for shutters at the flea market -- or just keep your eyes open as you drive the streets of an older residential area.

How to Recycle Old Wooden Windows

Whether you need new furniture, a greenhouse, or a memo board, you can make it out of old wooden windows.

If you spot one, snag it. You won't have any trouble finding a project for it. You're more likely to wish for another window or four.

For some projects, it's best to have the glass intact. For others, such as a pot rack or garden trellis, you'll need a window with dividing muntins and you'll need to remove the glass panes.

10 Flea Market Finds to Use as Headboards

There's no need to make do with a mattress on a plain metal frame until your furniture budget gets bigger.

Give your bedroom a finished look by making your own do-it-yourself headboard. You can use an old fireplace mantel, an old door, or an antique iron garden gate.

Turn Flea Market Finds into Tables

Instead of buying your tables at the furniture store, look for flea market finds you can turn into tables. It's environmentally responsible -- and the results are far more unusual than anything you'll find in a showroom.

You can make a desk from an old wooden door, for example, or end table from an old radiator. You can even make a wall-mounted table using the corbels from the exterior of an old building.

Hang Flea Market Finds as Artwork

If you can hang it on the wall, you can turn it into artwork, according to Memphis Interior Designer Gwen Lausterer-Carpenter. She's right -- and old bits of architectural salvage look especially striking as artwork.

You can hang everything from an old plaster frieze to vintage tin ceiling tiles, alone or as part of a grouping.

8 Flea Market Finds to Use as Pot Racks

If you need a pot rack to save space in your kitchen, don't head out to buy a new one. Instead, turn a flea market or roadside find into a charming DIY pot rack. 

You can use iron gates or sections from a fence, old furnace grates, and even window security bars. You'll get a vintage look in your kitchen, and you'll be keeping old objects out of landfills.