Salvaging Savant

You might be asking what I know about salvage. I have always had the mantra: “something old can be something new,” especially when you apply creativity and resourcefulness. This is truly my go-to plan when designing spaces. Indoor rooms as well as outdoor spaces can benefit when the unexpected is repurposed into something needed.

As I focus this month on my new interiors book (launching in September!), my awareness of my casual luxury philosophy is heightened as I write my way from room to room, documenting my work and happily tuning in to how items were resourced and linked to the overall design.

Today’s modern homes offer little in the way of structural design details, unlike the charming homes of yesteryear. It’s very rare to find a newly constructed home with moldings, carved details, or architectural elements. Something as simple as reclaimed wood can offer color tones and divine inspiration for creating a unique color palette. Iron, metals and even vintage fabrics can infuse a room with character and interest by adding details that are one of a kind. 

Last week my love of repurposing for a room was all too clear when I discovered Black Rock Auction & Design Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut. A twenty thousand square feet facility filled with furniture, antiques, fine arts and home accessories.  I was in heaven!  A great new local resource that offered my mind explosive opportunities to create. Imagine the coincidence when I was informed by my assistant about a new HGTV show (okay, perhaps only new to me) called Black Dog Architectural Salvage. Based on a real salvage company in Roanoke, Virginia, that also specializes in repurposing and resale, with a focus on architectural, industrial and commercial elements and fixtures. I’m not alone in my love of this stuff! 

These are only two such resources but many more can be found. What do you have near you? It may even be an attic, garage or estate sale. Truth be told, there is no better way to be green. Helping save the planet begins with discovering your design options—from a small garden finial to a large vintage commercial sign. Whenever I wander in these types of stores I hear a whisper from mother earth validating my mantra. “Something old can be something new” may be a basic principle of Life on Mar’s,but I’m proud to be a salvager on this planet!

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