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Incorporating Architectural Salvage in Home Designs or Renovations

Terrific-one-of-a kind architectural salvage is just waiting to be found in second-hand and antique stores.  Most towns have places where building materials, fixtures, and other reusable items are removed from old buildings and saved to be sold.  Check your local phone book to find stores.  Use these tips to reinvent your architectural finds in your home remodeling.


  • Cabinetry:  Put them in bathroom, home office spaces or in storage room where you want to add character to the place.  Seal all peeling paint surfaces with a matte acrylic sealer.
  • Vintage Lighting:  There are plenty of great style options that are unique.  Hang an antique lantern as a porch light with one of a kind flair.  Rewiring is simple and inexpensive.  Rewiring and installing antique lamp or lantern can be a do-it-yourself project or you can hire a qualified electrician for the job.
  • Old Doors:  Doors are good items to repurpose.  They can be stripped of old paint or stain and simply apply polyurethane to let the old wood grain character come through and give them unique look.  You can repurpose old doors as do-it-yourself headboards.  If you want to install an antique door to an existing house, be prepare to trim the door to fit or replace the door jambs and surrounding trim.
  • Old Windows:  You can remove the glass and replace it with plywood sprayed with chalkboard paint for a message board.  Old windows can be use as a room divider which gives visual interest to interior walls while still let the light through.  Be creative.
  • Vintage Doorknobs:  You will find styles that are not made anymore giving your doorways, cabinets, or furniture pieces new and unique hardware.  Use them for coat hooks or pegs.
  • Old Sink:  Could be perfect for a workshop, a garden room, or outdoor kitchen.
  • Vintage floorboards:  Install salvage wood for flooring will give your home an instant warmth and age.  It is an eco-friendly choice.
  • Bathtubs:  Old claw-foot tubs are great for period style bathroom renovation or addition.  You can get them resurfaced inexpensively.  Pair the salvage tub with new faucets in water-conserving, modern technology models for functional fixture with character.
  • Antique Brick:  Salvage brick tends to get mixed up in several different sizes.  Use them for fireplaces or patios.  For outdoor pavers, set them on sand rather than concrete to give them old fashioned and aged look; plus the sand helps level odd-size bricks.


Very nearly everything in architectural salvage can be repurposed and can almost always be recycled through creative eye.  The possibilities are endless.  The appeal of something old and unique finds is that it has been somewhere; it has history; it has character and style; and it can live on.  Give your home a character with vintage finds; reuse, recycle, repurpose and renew.  They deserve a second chance.

April 7, 2016 / by / in
Mediterranean Style Architecture

The Mediterranean style homes convey exotic living experience.  The Mediterranean architectures are characterized by a combination of details which evolved from several eras of European Renaissance palazzos, and seaside villas, and reflect the architectural influences of the Mediterranean coast: Italian, Byzantine, Moorish themes from southern Spain and French.  The homes are designed and built to be comfortable and livable in a humid and scorching heat, a climate of Florida and southwestern region of the U.S., where their deep, open air porches offer respite from heat.




The Mediterranean architecture incorporate exteriors of natural stone combined with stucco, clay tile roofs, arched windows large and small, arched portal surrounds and stone columns, vestibules entrances, and towering turrets.  The style includes a passage between the entrance and the interiors of a building sometimes defined by sculptured arches and grand columns.  Solid wood entry doors are tall and often include wrought iron grilles.  Traditionally, Mediterranean property exteriors are fenced and gated for privacy.  The roofs are low pitched, hipped roof and covered with terra-cotta colored barrel roof tiles.  The roofs have wide, overhanging eaves with large brackets under the roof line.  Inside, high beamed ceilings of dark weathered wood lift the heat, ceramic tiles keep the floor cool, and wide outer doors help with air circulation.  The Mediterranean style houses have open, practical floor plans that integrate casual indoor and outdoor living.  The walls are predominately textured with either stucco or plaster.  The interior floor plans are mostly informal and asymmetrical in arrangement.  Arched openings separate main rooms or areas.  Interior colors are those that echo the sea and sky; it can also include warm terra-cotta, lavender, and yellow.  The houses are often single-story asymmetrical wings rambling around shady fountain-cooled courtyards.  Instead of the front porch, pools, patios, loggias, and lush garden rooms wraparound these homes.


General Characteristics:


  • Plan shape:  asymmetrical or U-shape to create a courtyard.
  • Building materials:  generally masonry, concrete block, hollow clay tile.
  • Exterior surface treatment:  stucco (smooth or rough textured) finishes in natural tone, white, ochre, pale pink, yellow, and gray.
  • Roof type:  combination; gabled; hipped; shed; pyramidal.
  • Height:  one to two-and one half stories.
  • Window type:  casement of wood or steel.
  • Foundation:  continuous concrete, slab concrete.




  • Broad areas of uninterrupted surfaces with cast stone, limestone, carved stone, terra cotta, or concrete ornament concentrated around arched windows and doors.
  • Covered open areas, the full width of the façade, created by arcades and loggias.
  • Wrought-iron decorative ornament as grilles, wall scones, chandeliers, hardware, and railings.
  • Use of towers, especially at corners.
  • Tile coping along parapets.
  • Barrel tile roof coverings.
  • Arched openings connected interior living spaces and arched niche in walls provided a place to display pottery and other art objects.
  • Carved stone ornamental designs in balustrades, top rails, balconies, columns, window and door trim, crown moldings, coping, interior flooring, exterior flooring, fireplace surrounds, and mantels.


The Mediterranean architectural style is a composite of ideas evolving many periods and many regions.  By borrows, copies, and adapts architectural details and forms, the blended elements emerged into a sun loving style that is able to mediate the heat which, while becoming an American style home with its amenities, it is distinctly Mediterranean in its spirit.

April 4, 2016 / by / in