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From the Floor to the Wall: Repurposing Old Floor Joists

Olde Good Things is known throughout the salvaging, interior design, and preservation communities for our commitment to upcycling, repurposing, and restoring old, neglected, and forgotten items.

We have removed tin ceilings and repurposed them as mirrors and new, colorful ceiling and wall decorations. We’ve salvaged marble, slate, terracotta, and metal from crumbling, demolished, abandoned, or neglected buildings. We’ve given new homes to religious relics, art, statues, mantels, and vintage and antique furniture. We’ve bought and sold at auctions, flea markets, online, and through our 9 locations. A lot is happening with Olde Good Things, but nothing gives us more joy than taking something old and giving it new life.

Rows of reclaimed wood in the aisles of our Scranton PA warehouse

 

Repurposed Old Wood

Did you ever look at the rotting, pitted, splintered hardwood floor of an abandoned building and think to yourself, “these would make an amazing table”? No? Well, we did. We’ve taken old, salvaged floor joists and repurposed them into stunning tables using vintage salvaged wood and other industrial metals or wood pieces for table legs. We’ve taken something some would consider the garbage and made it into something people sit around to enjoy their meals, share important news about their day, play board games, or just sit and contentedly sip tea.

 

Scrap Wood Skins

When we make our tables, the carpentry process requires we plane and cut the wood to piece together the tabletops. What happens to the scrap wood that doesn’t go into the tables? Well, we have another story for you. Those scraps of wood that were cut from the beams that were once floor joists were repurposed into something you have to see to believe.

 

Coffeeshop Showcase

If you’re a Gregular at Gregory’s Coffee in NYC, you’re frequenting a coffee shop that is a buzz for coffee lovers.  Here the customers gaze up at the amazing accent wall…the one covered completely in salvaged, repurposed floor joist wood scraps. Gregory’s Coffee has twelve locations in Manhattan.  Be sure and visit all of them, quite a few have this fascinating wall cover.

 

 

To learn more about our floor joist tables or the wall at Gregory’s Coffee shop, contact us. To see our growing inventory of handmade reclaimed wood tables, click here.  If you are interested in purchasing some of these amazing reclaimed wood beam skins, inquire here.  To take a look at any of our other amazing salvaged, reclaimed, repurposed, or restored items, click here.

A Short But Sweet History of Chandeliers

14th – 17th Century  – Medieval & Middle Ages

Chandeliers are one item that originated in high status and one which has consistently remained so throughout its development. Humans have typically reserved their best—and, in the case of chandeliers, brightest—resources for their places of worship. Churches and abbeys were one of the few areas where large crowds of people were able to go at the same time and unite for a common purpose. The clergy and the structures themselves were revered by the people and typically well cared for. This is where the first recorded uses of these innovative light fixtures developed back in the fourteenth century.

Having derived its name from a French word that means candle holder, the earliest chandeliers hung in churches and literally held candles with drip pans. The relatively simple designs were made of wood and shaped as crosses to serve practical functions: to provide light for as much of the inside of the church as possible at one time and reduce the possibility of fire from low lying, lit candles among large groups of moving people. The chandeliers were attached to the ceiling of other large spaces where crowds gathered, also, such as meeting halls.

The cost of the light fixtures was inhibitive even then, with only the common areas that benefited from crowdfunding and rich citizens able to afford to use the larger ones. Some households of modest means may have owned small versions of the wooden lights, with simpler designs and fewer candles ( seen below). It took no time for chandeliers to become the wealth status symbols they remain today, with castles commissioning the most elaborate fixtures for display.

18th & 19th Century – Victorian Era

18th-century glass chandeliers were produced by Bohemians and Venetian glassmakers. French leader, Louis XIV, ordered sumptuous chandeliers to adorn his castle and chandeliers became all the rage for the wealthy elite. During the Victorian Era, chandeliers dictated a social order for the aristocracy. The detail of the design, what they were made of, and the size determined how much clout a person had. Queen Victoria sent the heaviest chandelier known, to a fellow royal in Instanbul. This magnificent structure weighs just over four tons and holds 750 light spaces. A gift of a chandelier this substantial spoke of the Queens’ immense power and highest social status. The receiver of her gift must also have been in the top area of the royal ranks. This chandelier is still known as the largest Bohemian crystal chandelier in the world today, pictured below in Dolmabahce, Istanbul.

Chandeliers were then made of various other materials, metal being the most common choice, although crystal embellishments soon took over a great part of the design.  The technology of glass production helped to develop crystal details for chandeliers. By the time the 1800s rolled around and gas was used in producing light, chandeliers were customized to accommodate the changes. However, once electricity began in the 1890s to be used for general lighting needs, chandeliers were no longer necessary for light but held steady as home décor.

20th Century

Today, chandeliers still reign from up high as one of the most innovative ways to show household wealth and taste. Even though chandeliers have been somewhat losing to history; pushed aside by bolder, more industrial lighting options, the architect-urologists at Olde Good Things have gone out of their way to hunt down, salvage, and reuse vintage and antique chandeliers in 21st-century homes. The chandeliers in stock at our warehouses are made of almost any type of material, such as brass, bronze, glass, crystal, & iron.

We recently acquired a unique collection of chandeliers from Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The Waldorf Astoria opened its doors in 1931 and in the 1980s went under extensive renovation. So the collection is a mix of styles from the whole century. You have to see it to believe it.

Shop all Waldorf Astoria Chandeliers online

Shop all Waldorf Astoria Lighting online

Industrial Style Dining Room Tables at Olde Good Things

Who would have dreamed that interiors once reserved for factories and warehouses would one day grace our living spaces? The industrial style movement has taken the design world by storm — and we love it! Here at Olde Good Things, our salvage team seeks out the industrial with our careful excavations of historic buildings.

 

Not only is the loft look the epitome of sleek and modern, it adds a simple, utilitarian vibe to household effects. By combining the durability of historic craftsmanship with contemporary design, hard, manufactured edges with soft, discreet undertones, the industrial living space achieves a robust balance between nature and the innovation of man.

The secret to achieving this ambience is by using open space as a design element and breaking up the space with a few signature items. The industrial look may include, but is not limited to: marine salvage, industrial carts, pulleys, salvage machine bases, and salvage lockers illuminated by industrial lighting fixtures. Lighting can be achieved by utilizing overhead holophane fixtures from a factory, or repurposed steel cage sconces. Earthy elements like copper, tin, iron, and corrugated metal are salvaged from the discard pile and made by Olde Good Things shops into mirrors and furniture.

Custom Industrial Tables

One of the most highly revered pieces of the modern design aesthetic is the custom, industrial style dining room table. Olde Good Things prides itself on repurposing pieces of unassuming, natural materials into beloved and substantial tables. Custom tables can feature surfaces constructed of reclaimed wood or steel, paired with steel or cast iron legs. Clients have the option of ordering matching wood benches to complement their custom industrial dining table. Tables are made-to-order with a 6-8 week production time. Table top sizes can be customized to fit need and usage.

For a custom piece of history like the rustic table, Olde Good Things offers a selection of pine, oak, maple, walnut, and steel for the surface. Slabs are available in smooth, rustic, or semi-rustic textures with a selection of stain colors. Cast iron or steel legs serve as a base.

To learn more about our distinctive crafting process, visit our website page here, or come see us in person at our Scranton, Pennsylvania warehouse.

Decorating in Style with Vintage Mosaic & Subway Tiles

When most people think of tiles, they conjure up images of those horrendously tacky squares of cheap porcelain that crowd the floor of many older homes. Fortunately, when we talk about tiles we are talking about the classic, beautifully made, and carefully salvaged vintage and antique tile that we’ve had the privilege of adding to our growing inventory.

Vintage Off White Subway Tile – Photo Credit: Bloglovin’

With so many exquisite pieces entering our showroom we are eager to share with our customers a few creative decorating ideas that incorporate vintage and antique tiles.

Decorating your living room

Decorating with tile requires that you have either a friend in construction or a skill at creative repurposing. If you want to make a show stopping conversation piece, why not take on old coffee table and decorate the top of the table by making a mosaic of broken salvaged tiles. All you need is sandpaper, tiling cement, your choice of color or plain grout, and a selection of hand-picked vintage tile from Olde Good Things. If you don’t have an old coffee table, consider using a side table, or repurposing an old trunk. Get creative and enjoy the process.

If you’d rather leave your furniture as is, why not reface your old fireplace? Using vintage or antique tiles to add color or drama to your fireplace is a great way to make something old sooty into something “olde good”.

 

Wining & dining on vintage tiles

The sheer number of remodeling shows on TV can be staggering, but many of them provide our customers with great repurposing ideas. If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen and you want to add flair that cannot be bought at Home Depot you should piece together a backsplash made entirely of salvaged vintage tiles.

Check out this photo of a backsplash that literally catches the eye and makes the heart smile! Bright, colorful, and fun!

 

Why reusing vintage tiles is “green”

If you’re looking for something that will stand the test of time and make you feel great about your materials choices, you have to call Lowes, cancel that order for bathroom tiles, and tile your bathroom using salvaged subway tiles. When you reuse old tiles you are adding an “eco-friendly” stamp to your project which can actually increase the value of your property.

Here is a selection of tile that would be perfect for a bathroom remodel.

Olde Good Things is doing its part to make the world a beautiful place, one tile at a time. It’s up to you to check out what we have in stock and let your imagination run wild.

Do you have any creative ideas for reusing vintage and antique tile? Let us know and feel free to share your photos on our Facebook page.

From Ruins to Reuse: Find Your Fireplace at Olde Good Things

This shabby looking dilapidated mansion recently was slated for demolition.  Of course, the salvage team at Olde Good Things was on the scene to see what treasures they could uncover prior to its demise.

Pictured prior to demolition, this was once a beautiful mansion.

Once a beautiful mansion, here seen prior to demolition

Well they didn’t have to look far, as almost every major room in this once stately home revealed carved Federal and French style mantels from a well-known American mantel company built at the turn of the century.

These mantels were fabricated by the E. Bradley Currier Co. in the early 1900’s.  Each one has a label with the date of manufacture, hand-crafted in the U.S.A.   These can be purchased online, just in time for mantel season.

Click on the picture to see this mantel online

Click on this picture to see this online

Olde Good Things has the largest selection of antique marble, stone and wooden mantel pieces.  The cold of winter is coming and we’re sure we can help you warm up your surroundings with a beautiful antique fireplace surround.  Each one of our four Manhattan locations as well as our Scranton, PA warehouse and California location has a vast selection of many styles of wooden and marble mantel pieces.  From heavily carved French mantels to simple Victorian arched Brownstone marble fireplaces, we most likely have the exact piece you’ve been looking for to fit into your decor.  Both of these mantels can be seen at our Bowery location in Manhattan.

Heavily carved French oak mantel

Heavily carved French oak mantel

Simple Victorian arched marble mantel from early 1900's

Simple Victorian arched marble mantel from early 1900’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a look at our inventory online or visit us today.  Think of the warmth you will enjoy this season in front of your new antique fireplace from Olde Good Things.

Nomad Mexicue: Tin Roofing Reuse

With an abundance of places to dine out in New York,  you can only assume that as new restaurants crop up, they are always looking for a unique strategy to attract clientele.  Well Mexicue Kitchen and Bar is no exception, first they arrived at an exclusive menu inspired by two of America’s favorite comfort foods: Mexican & BBQ.  They took the flavorful tastes of Mexico and blended them with smoky bbq flavors to create a mouthwatering union.  Although the food is most important at any dining establishment, the atmosphere and decor has to be top notch to spark the interest of the hungry public who have the choice of 24,000 restaurants at which to dine in New York City alone.

Restaurant designers often shop Olde Good Things looking for the unique unconventional items that will make their restaurant just a little different than the next establishment.  Mexicue designers opted to go with a warm, rustic look with an industrial flair and went shopping to find just the look they wanted to accent the reclaimed wooden planks and copper window mirrors used for decorating their Nomad location.

Galvanized roofing

They made a call to Olde Good Things and shopped no further, expected in:  corrugated roofing tin from atop a Manhattan building with that rusty look warm enough to complement the pine plank wall covering.

Galvanized tin sheet metal once protected this small mechanical shack a top a Mid-town skyscraper.  Now showing weathered wear from years of exposure to the elements, it was time to make way for the new and dispose of the old, rusty metal that once protected the small structure.

Hearing of the salvage opportunity, Olde Good Things was on the scene to remove the sheet metal and give it a chance for re-use.

 

OGT in the process of salvaging roofing tin

Mexicue was on the hunt for this very look and when they called OGT they hoped to locate the materials.  Well fortunately for them the materials were just in – and the same day it came off, it was delivered to their new 25th and 5th Nomad location just in time to complete the look they wanted.

Reclaimed galvanized tin now reused to cover the facade of the bar

Reclaimed galvanized tin now reused to cover the facade of the bar

Come dine and enjoy the comfort food, atmosphere and design of the Nomad Mexicue location.  And when you’re looking for just the right look for your next restaurant project, shop Olde Good Things, we just may have what you’re looking for!

Mexicue Kitchen & Bar

 

 

The Test of Time

Nothing accents new design projects better than an old piece of architectural beauty given new dimension and life. Here is an old steeple clock, six foot in diameter which has been refurbished and given that new dimension in this high end residential redo in Hollywood by Julie Berchtold of Berchtold Harris, a design / build firm located in Los Angeles.

A six foot diameter bronze clock face overlooks the dining room table

The clock face is solid bronze and is over 100 years old. Here you see it up and running as a center piece to this vast open living area.

The clock face forms the center piece of this vast living area

Although the living area is ultra modern, the back-lit and now fully functional antique clock fits right in as it has stood the test of time.  Julie found this clock at our Grand Ave. Los, Angeles location and had the vision for it’s renewal in this penthouse apartment.  Take a look at this project and many others on her web site at this link.  Come visit us at one of our six locations and find that perfect piece for your next design project.

BH Tshirt Logo Back

 

 

Creating an Outdoor Oasis Using Salvaged Items

Having an outdoor living space can be a wonderful, relaxing addition to your home. Continuing the decorating style you already use indoors into your outdoor space can also help to increase your home’s value. It can be difficult to know how exactly to do this, however, particularly if you’ve used salvaged items to create a unique look for your home. As the top salvage company in the country, we have the opportunity to create many interesting decorative pieces and spaces using salvaged items in ways many people don’t even think of. Read below for how you can create a beautiful look for your outdoor space using items from one of our many locations.

 

Every garden should have a gate or a door, but not necessarily as an entry point.  Above is just a small selection of iron entry ways available at Olde Good Things.  An antique French door that no longer contains the glass (like the one from our online selection shown above) can make a beautiful trellis for climbing flowers or decorative vines. Refinishing or painting the door in a bright, bold color can also make it a lovely accent piece when placed against a fence or a garden wall. For a more traditional look, two solid doors can be connected with other wood pieces at the top to make a beautiful arbor. Consider placing a bench or reading chair beneath it to create a peaceful nook for reading, relaxing, or late afternoon naps.

An old bicycle can be used to decorate an outdoor space

An old bicycle, like the one shown here can make an excellent conversation piece. Turn the handlebar basket into a planter, and
consider weaving climbing flowers or vines through the wheel spokes and around the frame. The color of the bike can be incorporated into your garden’s theme, or it could be used as an eye-catching piece to liven up a more drab area of your outdoor space.

Tables missing their tops, or chairs that are missing their seats also make excellent planters, and can be very interesting pieces. These types of items also work quite well in smaller spaces, or on patios that don’t have any real planting space.

An open top table can be used as a garden element

An open top table can be used as a garden element

Stone pieces are a traditional choice for decorating an outdoor space, but that doesn’t mean that they have to be boring or ordinary. Consider moving beyond traditional stone planters and statues, and search for something more unique. Using a piece with an interesting design can really bring your personality to your garden. Salvaged stone pieces from mantels, decorative walls, columns, and other elements can really make your garden a unique and interesting place to relax or have friends over.

 

Here a salvaged garden stone makes a centerpiece in this garden

Here a salvaged garden stone makes a centerpiece in this garden


For larger gardens, consider breaking up the space with an interesting element like a piece of stained glass, or an antique chandelier draped in glass beads. No only will elements like these look interesting, the light shining through and reflecting off of them will create beautiful patterns and colors that will really help your garden stand out. Use a bit of a strong, antique chain to hang these elements securely from a tree, arbor, or trellis. If you prefer the look of wood to glass, an antique window frame with the pane of glass removed can make an excellent hanging planter and define the space in a similar way.

A salvaged window makes a great garden element

A salvaged window makes a great garden element

Using salvaged or antique items in your garden can be a wonderful way to set your garden oasis, and your home apart from the others in your neighborhood. Using pieces that are unique and different is a great way to create a space that shows off your style and personality, while giving you a wonderful place to relax and get away from it all.

With the help of Olde Good Things, you can easily transform your backyard into a hideaway just for your enjoyment, or a mindblowing entertainment space that you and your family and friends can enjoy.

Customer Showcase: Antique Hand-Stenciled Wooden Ceiling

42 Star Island designed by first registered architect Walter DeGarmo in 1925

42 Star Island designed by first registered architect in Miami, Walter DeGarmo in 1925

A closer view of the Star Island mansionThis home, once one of the most visibly and architecturally noteworthy mansions along the MacArthur Causeway in Miami Beach was lost to the wrecking ball in 2014.  Fortunately, the architecturologists from Olde Good Things were on the scene, to salvage some of the original architectural elements prior to it’s demise.

One of those fascinating elements removed was this hand-painted stenciled ceiling done in the mediterranean style, here seen in it’s original setting.

Hand-stenciled ceiling in muted green and red tones

Hand-stenciled ceiling in muted green, orange and brown tones

These pictures show the architecturologists gently removing the ceiling piece by piece.  Each piece was numbered carefully in order for it to be repurposed by a future owner.
Piece by piece, the ceiling is being removed
Each piece has been numbered

This unique ceiling has already found a new use.  It is being implemented in a large building project in Missouri.  Here you see pictures in the building stages:

Olde Good Things has become the dignitary associated with amazing building elements salvaged from many remarkable buildings in the United States, this home being just one of them.  Take a look at the link to famous building artifacts on our web site to see other offerings at this time.

Open Your Doors and Invite Creativity In

Because Olde Good Things has so many stores and such great warehouse space we often find that we are salvaging tons of the same types of things just because they’re neat and need to have a new home. One of those much salvaged objects is the door. There are so many old Victorian homes, old industrial buildings, and old office and apartment buildings that have incredible doors that we just couldn’t let them go to the mulcher! We had to save them! So we did. The problem is that now we are up to our eyeballs in salvaged doors that need to find a new home with our loyal and tasteful readers.

 

Entire entry door set salvaged from this Victorian Home

Seen here at our warehouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re wondering, “I already have doors in my house, why would I want more”, you should consider that you can be as creative as you wish with these doors. They can be refinished and repurposed into something totally new. Let the doors of your mind fly open, greet creativity on the threshold and…tops. Because they are long and typically pretty thick, you can design and affix legs to the flat surface of the door, and refinish and paint the door a natural wood color, or go all out and paint it to match your favorite centerpiece. You can also make a salvaged door into a coffee table.

Invite it to dine

Don’t forget that when you have a table, you should also have a place to sit! Narrow solid closet doors can be re-purposed into benches. You can either leave them as they are, or design pillowed cushions to glue on top.You can use an old door with transom to make a built in for your dining area.

Bifold doors and arched transom used for a built-in cabinet

Bifold doors and arched transom used for a built-in cabinet

Invite to rest

If you’re remodeling or redesigning your bedroom spaces, you should consider using salvaged doors as head boards and foot boards for your bed. Solid or French doors can make an incredibly eye catching headboard when place directly behind the head of the bed.

Old French door from Olde Good Things converted into a cool headboard

Old French door from Olde Good Things converted into a cool headboard

It’s recommended that your screw or nail the doors to the wall for safety. Your door headboards can be left as they were found for a vintage look, or they can be refinished and painted as an accent to put the finishing touches on your bedroom oasis.

Invite it to marvel

Neat painted door – picture found on Pinterest

Salvaged doors can also serve as a blank canvas on which your imagination can truly take flight.  Artists can take a single or dual panel solid door and paint a masterpiece upon it, which they can then hang upon a wall. A floral pattern to bring life to a living room, a geometric design to bring striking colors and shapes to a hallway or entry way, or an entire panoramic painting of the Smokey Mountains – be as creative as you want to be in order to create the space you want using salvaged doors.

These are just a few of the ideas we came up with. Do you have any great ideas you’d like to share of ways that you’ve reused and repurposed salvaged doors? Check out our large selection of salvaged doors at one of our store locations, or come by and rummage through our warehouse in Scranton. We’d love to have you, and we’d love you to love our collection of old doors.

Olde Good Things