Incorporating Salvaged Materials Into Your Home Décor

I absolutely love using anything random, unique and one-of-a-kind in my home and in my clients’ homes.

Salvaged materials are perfect for this. They show wear in an interesting way, or they’ve been repurposed into something no one else could have. They have a background and tell a story in your home. They inspire creativity. I know that it’s not everyone’s style, but it should be! 😉

antique wood

(James Sanderson via Flickr)

I love the idea of having some history, soul, character, old architecture, dimension and a little bit of dust in what I bring into my home. A lot of people just see the dust. And to each his own!

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A lot of my clients want that same antique look but find it safer to go to Restoration Hardware or somewhere else that is trusted (and accepts returns). I love Resto too!

The key for me is a mix of everything. Old and new. I wouldn’t want my whole home to be made from salvaged materials necessarily, but I could not live without the quirks of salvaged pieces.


(Jay Wennington via Stocksnap)

My biggest tip for incorporating salvaged items into your existing home decor is to go big. If your home is very modern, make your salvaged piece extreme, so that it comes across as intentional and artful. Salvaged pieces are usually more organic, so they can look great juxtaposed with clean, hard, solid surfaces.

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If your home already incorporates this organic or layered feel, then the little touches, niches and vignettes are important. A cool bench, antique books, a really ornate mirror in the powder room. Just as long as you don’t overdo it!


(James Sanderson via Flickr)

Having a unique home is truly having your home. Some feel that having the same pieces as everyone else means that they are in style. But I feel that with interiors, fashion, art and basically any facet of life, being original is better. If you are original, then you can never go wrong, because you are starting the trend. And your style is applicable to you and your taste specifically.

Being unique and local, that’s even better! If you use your local shops, materials and artisans, then you are representing your community as well.

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Modern Rust in Mount Vernon is a local wood shop that I love. They use salvaged wood to make new custom pieces and still give you that distressed look. It’s always cool to support local artisans, and you still get that unique quality in your home.

Locally I also like to shop at Community Forklift in Edmonston, Md., and Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Chantilly. And my favorite antique store is Luckett’s. You’re guaranteed to love it. 🙂


(Storm Crypt via Flickr)

If you would like help incorporating old pieces into your home, please contact me on my website.

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Teri Clar

Teri Clar

Teri is a interior designer, entrepreneur, and a writer in Washington DC area.

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