Salvage Savvy: Make a Home Your Own with Architectural Salvage

Posted by Julian Yates on Thursday, December 17th, 2015 at 2:17pm.

Once you've found the perfect house, it's time to make it your own. To give your home that “lived-in” look in an incredibly unique way, you may want to consider something vintage or repurposed. Such are the joys of architectural salvage.

Sarasota is fortunate to have a few places to choose from, and since they're all roughly in the same block, they've created what I'm calling the Architectural Salvage District on 10th Street between Rosemary Court and Old Town. It started quite a few years ago, when Jesse White opened Sarasota Architectural Salvage with an assortment of reclaimed fixtures, lumber, signs, doors, and other odds and ends that made anyone who visited the shop say, “well, you don't see one of those every day” at least a few times.

A few years ago, Greg Pemberton opened Circus City Architectural Salvage, offering his own menagerie of colorful artifacts and creatively functional furnishings. Since then, Sarasota Architectural Salvage has opened another store in the Ice House building across the street with a grand selection of unique tables, chairs, cabinets, and more. With Good Stuff just slightly north on Central Avenue, stocking their own collection of reclaimed fixtures, the Architectural Salvage District is sure to have some signature pieces that you're going to love.

"I think it's really about finding a piece that speaks to a person and establishing a vignette around that,” said Jesse White about helping people find what (they may not even be sure) they're looking for. “The centerpiece tells the beginning of the story, and then you tell the rest of the story around that."

With chairs made from skis, benches made from boat parts, and tables made from live edge woods, a number of stories can be told.

“Especially popular is recycled flooring,” said Steven Russell, assistant manager at Sarasota Architectural Salvage. “We find a lot of people 10,000 square feet or so of heart pine or oak flooring. People also tend to get really creative and make walls out of recycled windows.”

That's a trend with which TJ Broom is also familiar. As a partner at Circus City, he sees quite a few people looking for windows.

“What's really popular now are the doors with five panes,” he said. “People are cutting them down and using them to make hand-painted signs. We've seen a lot of people using glass doors to make chalkboards, picture frames, and artwork as well.”

Recycled barn wood is also a popular feature, with people using it for accent walls or making tables and other furniture. Visiting architectural salvage stores gives you a great opportunity to find one-of-a-kind chandeliers, antique signs, vintage plumbing fixtures, baluster replacements, fireplace mantles, and, if you can believe it, much more.

Of course, architectural salvage isn't just for the interior of the home.

“We get a lot of people using wrought iron gates as entryways into their gardens,” TJ says. Using antique columns and planters can also enhance landscaping, while reclaimed brick has been utilized with great success in paths and patios.

Whether you're looking to add character and charm to your home, or you want to be a bit more earth-friendly and sustainable by repurposing and reusing, our local architectural salvages may have the perfect solution waiting for you in their treasure collections.

Are you still searching for the perfect home to call your own? Or trying to find the next owners of your property? Contact Julian Yates, your local full-service resource for homebuyers and sellers.


Sarasota Area Real Estate Specialist

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