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Design Ideas
Give a New Home an Old Cottage Look with Architectural Pieces
See how to add bold style and interest to any room with old windows, moulding and trim.
Do you think you have to own a historic cottage to get that charming vintage architecture? Think again. Sharon Brandt imbued old-house character into her Redlands, California home by decorating with found architectural salvage. What is architectural salvage exactly? The short answer is that it’s any piece of architecture found and reused in a new... Keep Scrolling
Written by Jickie Torres
Photography by Bret Gum
Styled by Sharon Brandt


Do you think you have to own a historic cottage to get that charming vintage architecture? Think again. Sharon Brandt imbued old-house character into her Redlands, California home by decorating with found architectural salvage. What is architectural salvage exactly? The short answer is that it’s any piece of architecture found and reused in a new way with the goal of saving these historic building materials. But today, the spirit of architectural salvage can be seen simply when you use an old shutter as a piece of wall art, or as a room divider. Or if you happen to find a piece of iron scrollwork particularly beautiful and use it on your wall or maybe even as a shelf bracket.

Give your new space vintage architectural and design appeal by repurposing salvaged materials. Using old windows as photo frames is a great way to create a focal point, shown here.
Sharon added a pair of old windows to her wall to create a larger focal point in the living room. By adding old family photographs to the glass she’s added a second purpose to the salvage—as photo frames!

Truth is, adding architectural pieces, millwork and other details to your space can help give a new home a more storied look. And they don’t necessarily have to be truly old or historic. A good way to combat bland builder walls is to add a bit of architectural embellishment. Along with furniture painted in a distressed finish, using architectural style pieces in a new way helps give Sharon’s living room has the charm of a period cottage.

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