Adventures in Architectural Salvage

The weekend before Thanksgiving, Mr. Marvelous and I set out for my favorite architectural salvage place in search of our long-awaited fireplace mantel.
I wish you could see this store in real life, it’s absolutely incredible. Most of the inventory is reclaimed items from historic homes. Whatever you are looking for, this store has it:
Cast iron clawfoot and slipper tubs by the dozen?
Yes, please.

Vintage coke machine?


Pedestal sinks and chandeliers galore?

Check, check!

Hundreds of antique glass door knobs?


Your very own phone booth?

Of course!

And for the spare $45,000 you have sitting around, your very own confessional!

But saving the best for last, this place is just full of fireplace mantels!!!

If you missed Part One of our mantel story, you can read it here.

Mantels of all sizes, shapes, and price points. The fully restored mantels like the one pictured above were several thousand dollars. I point this out to prepare you for the blue painted madness we purchased for much less πŸ™‚
Of course this solid marble number was Mr. Marvelous’ first choice:

But here is the “beauty” we came home with. I promise it is so awesome in real life and we are going to restore the ugly duckling to its former glory. We are having a mirror cut to fill the upper rectangle and Mr. Marvelous will work on stripping her-I’d love to work on that myself but with the baby I cannot be around the fumes and lead paint dust.


I would love your input as to what you think we should do with her stainwise/colorwise. All of the trim in our house is wide and flat and white. I’m leaning toward a distressed blue grey stain, as in the photo below. Thoughts? Suggestions? Bring them on, I’m all ears and will be forever grateful!

Speaking of grateful, baby and I reached our “viability day” on Thanksgiving Day. How perfect. For those of you who aren’t familiar, viability day is the point at which modern medicine says the baby would have a fighting chance of survival with medical intervention if he was born. My boy is growing big and strong!

(your eye sight is fine, this is just an unfortunately blurry self-photo!)


  1. erin…first you look beautiful! i love pregnant mommies πŸ™‚ and congrats on the mantle find….i can’t wait to see what you do to it!

    and WHERE is this salvage place?? i’d love to know! πŸ™‚

  2. doc keys? i thought about you (and doc keys) on our travels through the crossroads of america. can’t wait to see the fireplace all spruced up! πŸ™‚

    and you look so cute!

  3. Love the fireplace and the grey/blue color.

    But I have a question about something completely different. Where did you purchase the two twin white bed’s in A and B’s bedroom? I am looking for that same style in a full or queen and can’t find them anywhere…well except PBkids for a ton of money. Please help!! (Thanks!)

  4. I love old stuff, we had a 1940’s house that thankfully had a beautiful mantel in tack. Being that you are pregnant (congrats!) and that the old mantel could have lead paint, I highly recommend having it stripped (not sanded) away from your home.

  5. You picked a beauty… I am anxious to see how it turns out! Congrats on the healthy growing baby! πŸ™‚

  6. Ah, architectural salvage. There’s no better way to infuse a house with character and a touch of the past. Unfortunately, the prices are usually ridiculous. Well, I guess you can’t have it all. Or can you? Thanks for sharin’, Mommy Erin. πŸ™‚


  7. LOVE it Erin! And I think the gray/blue would be beautiful!

    Is that salvage place in Indiana? I’m drooling! πŸ™‚

  8. Hello Erin,
    I found my way to your lovely blog through Lettered Cottage. I wondered if you would be willing to share the name and address of the architectural salvage place?

  9. Can you tell where this salvage place is? I would love to find one here in Mississippi!

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