Home Decorating: Salvaging Treasures
by Sonya Weiss
When considering ways to decorate your home, don't forget to scout out salvage yards for some great finds. If your area has a salvage yard, you can find all sorts of treasures-everything from antique French doors to fireplace mantels to give your home a look ranging from Victorian to a more modern one.
The way salvage companies work is they acquire items from old homes-the dates can range anywhere from the 1800's to the early part of the 1900's. They then warehouse and catalog the items to sell to consumers, collectors, etc.
You can find stained glass windows, doorknobs from yesteryear, lighting, hardware, woodwork, doors, grates...almost everything you can imagine. Some salvage companies also offer reproduction items.
If you don't know where a salvage company might be in your location, go to a search engine and type in the name of your state. Or break it down by the name of your city plus the words salvage company. If there's not one within a reasonable distance from your home, look for online salvage companies. There are a few out there. You'll pay shipping costs, but the unique items for your home will be worth the extra cost.
Fixing up your older home and have some architectural salvage you'd like to sell? Try selling to an architectural salvage company rather than just tossing it into the garbage.
Also, if you're looking for someone to do some specialty painting around your home—such as a mural for a baby's nursery or walls with handpainted borders, check your local college for art students. Many art students can offer great artwork at a fraction of the cost you'd pay with a more established artist.