Architectural Salvage Decorating

I love architectural salvage yards and stores!!! It always amazes me how much beauty is in so many of the old items I see there. Something like an old iron gate or vintage window can become a beautiful piece of wall art. An old corbel or a clawfoot from a vintage tub can be used as a bookend or as a decorative piece on a book shelf. The ideas are endless as I look through all the great stuff! Each item has character, age and tells a story. If you haven't been to an architectural salvage store yet, check the yellow pages or a local directory to find one in your neighborhood... Shopping salvaged items is considered "green" because you are repurposing vintage and antique items.

Flea markets are another great way to find great vintage pieces and often great prices... But at an Architectural Salvage store you get to see a large collection of beautiful items all in one location.

 My favorite shop is Architectural Salvage of San Diego. It is located in downtown San Diego. It is an easy visit since it is just off of the 5 freeway. The above photo is from their store.

Nicely detailed old radiator cover. With this piece I picture putting a nice wood top on it and using it as an entry hall table. It would be stunning! It could also be used in a dining room as a small serving table. If you are decorating a small space, you could use a glass table top. It wouldn't feel as heavy in the room and you would be able to see through the glass to all of the beautiful scroll details. These vintage and antique radiator covers can often be found in bare metal or iron usually with a nice patina or painted with shabby chippy paint. The aged look adds so much character. Just wire bush off any loose paint or debri and then I like to seal the with a clear polyurathane.

Old barn doors.. Some would look at these and think they are junk... but they make great interior barn style sliding doors... and they add so much character! (see photos below). Use your imagination and take risks in decorating. It can be so much fun...

Shopping Architectural Salvage can give you ideas for things you may never think of when shopping your local hardware store... Just be willing to think outside the box. There are many unique treasures to be found. And the nice thing is, most vintage items can be mixed into any decorating style. Mixing old and new is in!!!


  1. I would love to find 4 antique corbels to create shelved for my office makeover.

    The next time I am in Sand Diego I will visit this store!

  2. wow that radiator cover is really delightful! it's amazing what great finds one can come across!! glad I stumbled upon your lovely blog diana :) i'm a newbie to the blogosphere so if you have a moment, hope you might have a look!
    xo ellie


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