Create and Craft, Vintage Style

Decorating with Vintage Architectural Salvage

Decorating with Vintage Architectural Salvage vintage corbels vintage windows

Hello vintage lovers! I am so excited to be joining my friend Cindy of County Road 407 and several other talented blogging friends for July’s vintage “Lifestyle of Love” blog hop! The Vintage Lifestyle of Love group periodically gets together to share ideas all about vintage treasures, antiques, repurposing items and all things related to the vintage-loving “lifestyle.” Today’s subject is one of my favorites…architectural salvage!

Lifestyle of Love graphic

 If you are coming over from Lora B. create and Ponder or if you just happened to stop by today, I am so happy you are here! Lora’s vintage “junk” is always so cool, so be sure to check her post if you haven’t already. You will also find links to all of the other participants’ creative posts at the end of this post.


Searching for Vintage Architectural Salvage

Amazing vintage finds at the Country Living Fair 2017 top ten booths

One of the first questions friends ask when they visit my home and see my salvage junk used as decor is “Where in the world did you find that?”  When it comes to salvage, I have found the best pieces at flea markets and vintage shows, but consignment shops, yards sales, estate sales, antique stores, at demolition sites (by asking permission of the workers) or even the side of the road have all yielded great finds.


Number one booth at the Country Living Fair


Top Ten Country Living Fair Vendor Farmhouse Frocks

Chippy shabby corbels used to be hard to come by, but due to their popularity they are now readily found at the more popular vintage and antique markets such as The Country Living Fair. However, they can be a bit pricey these days due to their desirability. 



 Several years ago I lucked into two large porch corbels for free when a historic home on our street was being renovated. On a drive by I saw the corbels tossed in the yard near the roll off dumpster, so I took a chance and just asked the contractors if I could have them. They were happy to get the corbels out of the way, and I was happy to take them off their hands!


shabby chic farmhouse style decor faux fireplace

The corbels were quite large and heavy, so after a while I only ended up keeping one for myself to use in holiday displays. I sold the other one in my antiques booth at the time, (profit which was then in turn spent on additional vintage junk!)



Architectural salvage

I always keep an eye out for old doors, chippy windows, and tin ceiling or wall tiles and old porch posts or other mystery salvage pieces.  I paid $3 each for the posts shown here. Even though they weren’t chippy-shabby, they were still vintage so I couldn’t pass the up. With a little white chalk paint, sand paper distressing and dark wax, I made them fit right in with the rest of my shabby treasures.


My salvaged porch posts are usually tucked in corners around the house or propped up against other chippy furnishings.




In this photo you can also see a bit of a salvaged corbel (turned on it’s side) up on the shelf above the window. I only paid a quarter for this   unfinished wood corbel at a yard sale. Again, I just used a little painting and waxing tricks to give it more of a vintage look. The corbels supporting the shelf are reproductions from Hobby Lobby.







For Christmas I created a giant “peppermint” stick porch post simply by wrapping farmhousey red striped ribbon around the post and securing the ends with tape. 


A Quick Salvaged Peppermint Stick Porch Post


At Christmas I also bring out my favorite large architectural salvage tin tile piece to use in wintry vignettes on the vintage chest of drawers in the dining room.





Additional favorite architectural salvage pieces include chippy windows (especially stained glass or leaded glass) and antique fireplace surrounds. Often times I will buy a salvage piece and it will just sit around looking pretty until I find a spot for it. I had this favoite stained glass window for two years before I finally figured out the perfect spot for it on the front porch.


Spring Porch Refresh

Last spring I finally realized it would look great on the front porch hanging behind the plant etagere by the front door.




A larger architectural salvage leaded glass window is most often propped in front of the salvaged mantel in the dining room, but it also rotates between other rooms seasonally. 



vintage farmhouse patriotic styled tray and vintage patriotic living room decor



Beinvenue Summer! French Farmhouse Summer Porch

Sometimes I will use it out on the front porch propped in front of the big picture window.




Architectural Salvage Tin Tiles

How to display antique ironstone platters Creative ideas for farmhouse kitchen decor

The salvaged ceiling tile shown here in the kitchen floor was also without a permanent spot for quite some time. I usually just tucked it into vingettes for extra chippy vintage goodness or to use as a background photo prop in other vintage posts.


Beautiful shabby chic, vintage French Country crafts DIY FIve MInute Lavender Pots


small bathroom ideas white powder room French farmhouse vintage bathroom ideas

I finally found the perfect spot on the wall beside the pedestal sink in our 1920’s powder room when the room received a much needed makeover in 2019.


French vintage powder room all white powder room 1920's bathroom ideas elegant mirror above pedestal sink



I love the extra bit of vintage goodness the “architecture” adds to the powder room.


Architectural Salvage Tin Tiles In The Garden

I absolutely love using vintage architectural salvage and other vintage junk finds in the garden. Here, two long chippy ceiling tiles (leaning against the wall behind the bird cage) add visual interest and height behind a whimsical sitting area in the garden. 




When we created our Backyard Cottage Garden last year, I moved most of my junky salvage from the side yard to the backyard, including one of the long tiles. I sold the other to a vintage junk-loving friend for a bargain price.


My favorite all time architectural salvage piece is also in the backyard, hanging above my vintage-sink-turned-potting bench.


This peice is actually ornate tin crown molding salvaged from a “fancy” 1800’s hotel in Portsmouth, Ohio. It was one of my first architectural salvage pieces scored at a flea market back in 2011. 


My husband added wood to the back to make a shelf and/or planter. I am waiting until we get back from the beach to fill it with late summer flowers, but I think it looks great as a statement piece without flowers too.



garden potting benchn with rosemary topiary french garden pots bottle drying rack with pots and vintage bottles



rustic potting benchrepurposed vintage sink potting bench green potting bench mums fall garden

Last fall I decorated the crown molding planter with foraged bittersweet from across the street. I loved the look, so I  plan to fill the “planter” with more bittersweet this fall.


wild bittersweet spilling out of a rusty salvaged piece of crown molding


Stunning salvaged tin ceiling tile brocante shabby chic cottage salvage

While on the subject of cool tin salvaged tin pieces, here is a close up of another fireplace cover that I sold in my antiques booth  a few years ago (now having a bit of seller’s remorse now!) When it comes to vintage architectural salvage, the beauty is in the details!


Additional Ideas for Small Architectural Salvage

Beautiful shabby chic French vintage entry way vignette with handmade vintage door knob wreath

Vintage door knobs, door plates, and hardware can also be considered architectural salvage. I have been collecting these items for years! You will often see them used in my vignettes or various creative craft projects.


Unique handmade vintage door knob wreath shabby chic vintage style wreath

Vintage Door Knob and Hardware Welcome Wreath




vintage glass door knob crystal door knob antique door knob

Sometimes salvage can be used for it’s original purpose. When we moved in to the yellow brick home in 2016 we were thrilled that all of the crystal door knobs in our home were original 1921 knobs, with the exception of two vintage metal door knobs in the powder room and on the hall closet in our in progress “mini-mudroom.” 



vintage crystal door knob bathroom

When we redid the powder room, we replaced an old metal knob with a vintage crystal knob from my stash to match the rest of the antique door knobs in the house.



In addition to door knobs, wooden block door and window “rosettes” are great for adding just a little bit of interest on a vintage farmhouse styled tray or any other vintage vignette. 




Rosettes and other architectural salvage wood pieces can easily be repurposed into vintage wall hooks by adding coat hooks or other hardware.


The salvage wall hooks can be used for scarves or hats, but I often further repurpose my repurposed junk into unique wall art.


When it comes to architectural salvage, one person’s “junk” is certainly my treasure!



Where to shop for antiques in WIlmington, NC

I am headed to the beach soon and and I can’t wait to hit up Vintage Marketplace in Wimington, NC for some amazing chippy-shabby architectural salvage and beachy-chic treasures (check out the link above for a dreamy virtual store tour.) I will definitely share what I find in upcoming posts so be sure to stop back by often or better yet, subscribe by email so you don’t miss all the great junk and vintage inspiration!




Decorating with Vintage Architectural Salvage vintage corbels vintage windows

I hope this post (and all of the other creative architectural salvage ideas shared on today’s hop) has inspired you to hit the junkin’ trail to find unique salvage to use in your own decor. If you missed any of the posts you can find them via the links below.


Do you decorate with vintage architectural salvage in your home or garden? I love hearing from you, dear friends!

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  • Reply Paula@SweetPea

    I so much enjoyed every single picture that you shared. You have a wonderful collection of architectural salvage pieces that you’ve beautifully styled for decorating your home.

    July 10, 2021 at 9:09 am
  • Reply Laura Ingalls Gunn

    Amber, I adore how you creatively include salvage in every area of your home. Every vignette is like a jewel box of wonderous ideas!

    July 10, 2021 at 10:19 am
  • Reply Christy Little

    You have so many gorgeous pieces and quite the talent for arranging them just right for your home. I can’t believe you got those corbels like that! What a find!

    July 10, 2021 at 10:34 am
  • Reply CoCo

    Love all the ways you’ve used treasure-hunted finds in your home, Amber! I don’t think I’ve ever tried to incorporate them for the holidays but your pictures have me all kinds of excited to try it this year in our decor. This year is flying by so fast the holidays will be here before we know it! Hope you’ve had a fun one. Big hugs, CoCo

    July 10, 2021 at 10:54 am
  • Reply Debra Oliver

    You have so many wonderful pieces, Amber. I could spend all day at your house just discovering new vignettes and bits of vintage fun. I especially love that old sink in the yard. I had a green “frenchy” sink but had to sell it. I see so many things that tug at my heartstrings!

    July 10, 2021 at 3:01 pm
  • Reply Cindy@CountyRoad407

    Oh my lanta, I could look at each photo for days! The little column, the piece in your dining room, the mirror and tins in your bathroom… it’s all fantabulous! And I totally need to get to that Country Living Fair one year. It sounds amazing. So glad you could join us. Enjoy your trip!

    July 10, 2021 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Michelle @ The Painted Hinge

    Amber, I always love touring your home and seeing how you style all your gorgeous vintage and salvaged finds. I enjoyed seeing how you use your salvaged finds throughout your home as well as throughout the seasons. So much salvaged vintage goodness!

    July 10, 2021 at 6:26 pm
  • Reply Cindy

    You have so many goodies. I like you love the same kinds of finds. I’m sure you’re not surprised because as know we like similar things.

    I wish we had the ability to find more of these pieces in NJ

    If I can’t I try to make my own new pieces look old and loved.

    July 11, 2021 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Lora Bloomquist

    So enjoyed seeing your collection of amazing vintage architectural pieces, Amber! Love how your new garden area turned out. It was so much fun to see all the posts today! Cindy sure knows how to pick the right subject matter;)

    July 11, 2021 at 4:54 pm
  • Reply Cindy@CountyRoad407

    Just popping back in to say we love your post so much we are featuring it on Farmhouse Friday tomorrow! Woo hoo! Thanks so much for linking up and supporting us. Pinned

    July 29, 2021 at 5:13 pm
  • Reply Emily

    you have such great pieces!!! That huge corbel is amazing!!! Absolutely beautiful! I love using old architectural pieces in my home too! So pretty!!!

    August 4, 2021 at 1:57 pm
  • Reply Rachel

    This post was amazing!! I love architectural antiques as well…corbels are my favorite. You are so creative with how you use these beautiful pieces.

    February 17, 2022 at 1:08 pm
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