Out with the new and in with the old
There’s no doubt about it, with the influence of T.V. programmes, such as Changing rooms or the Reclaimers, the use or re-use of salvaged building materials and period home fittings and fixtures is on the increase.
More and more people these days are opting for the more traditional look, perhaps sometimes even combined with modern surroundings.
Many people who have bought an older house, that has since been modernised, will want to re-fit older fittings and features to take it back to it’s original look. Having said this, sometimes people are also surprised to find hidden secrets within the house that has been waiting to be discovered. These could be old floorboards or maybe even parquet block flooring underneath carpet; Victorian cast iron fireplaces buried under modern plasterboard walls or sometimes ornate pine panel doors that have been hidden under hardboard panels. The clues are there if you know where to look.
However do not despair if these types of features are missing from your home many original fittings are still available from reclamation and salvage yards, or if not they can normally find them for you.
If the traditional look is not for you, you might still consider using reclaimed materials. It must be said that as many architectural salvaged items are used in modern designs as are in more traditional designs with many people now opting for the bespoke look, combining traditional materials with newer minimalist clean cut designs. There doesn’t seem to be any rules either, who says antique wood looks out of place besides highly polished Stainless Steel? What about a decorative cast iron radiator to heat your conservatory? a traditional roll top bath surrounded by modern tiles in your bathroom or even an old ship's beam placed proudly above your gas fire? the possibilities are as many as your imagination!
Maybe the DIY option is not for you but you would still like to use reclaimed materials. You will discover that many trades and building companies are used to working with salvaged items on a daily basis. Indeed, many craftsmen and businesses alike are still surviving or even thriving today, due to the popularity of reclamation. Everything from specialist carpenters, to re-lay block flooring, to stained glass restorers, which Swansea is renowned for, can be found in your local Yellow pages.
Be sure to get a few quotes for any work to be carried out.
Finally, don’t forget the fact that every reclaimed item has a story to tell, always a good talking point at dinner parties. Doors from ships; Granite kitchen work surfaces from long gone gent’s outfitters and perhaps a lectern more used to holding bibles now supports your recipe book. Who knows? – The possibilities are endless! - Good hunting.