Decorating with Salvaged Items


Have you noticed my crush on all things salvaged?


In the past few months, I’ve added this salvaged wood piece to my foyer . . .

architectural salvage decor


. . . found this quirky “Q” at the same salvage place as the foyer piece . . .

salvage metal letter


. . . and salvaged a few old things out of my own basement, like this old frame (it’s since been touched up with stain markers, and its new spot will be revealed soon) . . .

salvaged frame


. . . and this cute little stool you may remember from my first post about Annie Sloan chalk paint:

stool before

painted stool after


And I haven’t even shown you the salvaged items I already had, like a pair of tiles I found in Kansas City, hanging in my dining room:

salvaged tile


decorating with salvaged tile


or these vintage trim pieces:

vintage trim piece and pottery

The one above has a distressed gold finish, and hangs near my kitchen desk with a favorite pottery sculpture, and the one below sits on a living room shelf for a little pop of green and texture.

painted vintage trim piece


Apparently, I’m on a salvaging roll.


So why stop now, right?


I hit another local salvage place a couple of weeks ago with a friend.  It was freezing, but we managed to scour the place, and came up with some fabulous finds.

My favorite being this:

salvaged wood before


What exactly is it, you ask?


I have no idea.


I just like it.


When I found it at the salvage yard, I had a couple of possible places in mind for it.  It ended up here:


salvaged wood painted


I painted it (Annie Sloan chalk paint strikes again), and hung it above the doorway between our kitchen and living room.


salvaged wood after


Where I absolutely love it.  (Pay no attention to the crooked chandelier shades in my kitchen.  Or the lamp shade in the sunroom.  Ahem.)


salvaged wood reflection


I can see it from my kitchen, reflected in the mirror above the mantel.  It makes me happy.


Painting it was a breeze, and I used the Annie Sloan dark wax to finish it, which really highlights the carved details.

painted salvaged wood piece


I sanded it off here and there so that some of the wood shows through a bit — and that was it.


What’s great about salvaged pieces is their uniqueness, their character, and their sheer potential.  This latest find didn’t look like much when it was sitting on the dusty floor of a warehouse, but I knew it would be a beauty with a little bit of polish.

Salvaged things — especially architectural salvage like my latest additions — help to add history, texture and interest to newer houses (like mine), and keep things out of landfills — definitely a win-win in my book.  The look may not be for everyone, I know, but I do love a good treasure hunt!


I’ll be away for a while for our spring break — I’m hitting the road with all of my boys except this one:


He’s pouting.


We’re headed to Atlanta for the big basketball games.  Our beloved Hoosiers may not have made it to the Final Four, but we’re all excited anyway.


Plus, I hear there are some great salvage places there . . .



Sharing at Wow Us Wednesdays at Saavy Southern Style, Inspire Me Please Weekend Blog Hop,

TDC Before and After

I want to know what you’re crushing on. I love your comments and try to reply to them all, so keep ‘em coming!

  • Shirley @ Housepitality Designs April 3, 2013, 8:52 pm

    I so love salvaged items too…they make the decor in the home so much more interesting!…love all your “salvages”….Have a wonderful week!

  • Janet April 4, 2013, 9:26 am

    You are motivating me, as I love salvaged pieces too. Where do you go to find all these treasures?

    Happy Spring break!

    • Kerry April 4, 2013, 1:03 pm

      Janet — Doc’s Architectural Salvage on 30th and the place I went to most recently (Architectural Salvage on 96th west of Michigan) both have great stuff!

  • Melissa April 4, 2013, 9:34 am

    I love all your salvaged pieces. You have done such a beautiful job incorporating them into your home. I’m am curious too, when you say salvage places, do you mean goodwill, junk yard, flee markets? Just wondering if there is some “new” cool places that I haven’t heard of (and may be missing out on :) ) Thanks for sharing!

    • Kerry April 4, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much Melissa! I find salvaged things everywhere from Goodwill to some awesome architectural salvage places where I’ve lived. There are some great spots in Kansas City as well as here in Indianapolis where I live now. These tend to have the kinds of salvaged items I showed in this post. Thanks for visiting!