Friday, June 06, 2008

A Lovely Wall

I love this bedroom for its simplicity, its spare decor, and tranquil colours. But my favorite element, by far, is the giant bas-relief carving over the bed. What a find! This delightful and rare sculptural piece lends character and drama to the already-charming room.

Architectural-looking pieces like this carving give rooms an old world, sophisticated feel without much fuss. They're an interesting alternative to the typical framed art which adorns most of our walls. But the real effort is finding these gems! While you don't stumble upon massive carvings like this every day, some delightful character pieces can be found at many architectural salvage shops. These pieces can be used as-is or re-fashioned into wall art.

Architectural salvage shops collect and sell myriad architectural elements used in home and garden design. Many come from historical buildings being torn down or renovated and the best classical gems come from old Europe. These include old balusters, corbels, columns, windows, doors, gates, and statuary. Garden decoration, including urns, fountains and ironwork furniture, is often available too.

For the more down-to-earth collector or renovator, many shops in North America specialize in old house parts, industrial salvage, and barn and farm salvage. Some specialize in custom parts, say for every imaginable light fixture ever invented, while others have massive collections of hinges, knobs and pulls. Still others specialize in windows and doors.

Imagine your bedroom with a stunning old character window, installed in a wall, or hinged and hung against a wall. Ironwork gates re-fashion into unusual wall hangings or charming interior windows. The possibilities are endless. In Calgary, architectural salvage is available at Uniquities and Traders of the Lost Art. There may be others, but I have only visited these two.

From my visits, Uniquities is a smaller and tidier store which seems to focus more on British finds, with many things geared toward the garden. There are also some large architectural and smaller decorative elements. Traders of the Lost Art is a very large, meandering shop which features a larger and broader European collection. In addition to their great architectural collection, they also carry antique furniture, mirrors, lighting and smaller decorative elements.

If you are ever in town, look them up, and take home a rare and exquisite find!


  1. i do *love* the carving. but i have to say that even more than that, i love the sleigh bed! mmm, i just have so much bed envy!

  2. This is a room that I would love to sleep in. The carving is wonderful and I also like the door. A bit of Gothic touch!

    Since I adore William Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement, this really would be a room for me...

  3. I love that room too. So tranquil. The carving is perfect because it adds some needed interest to the room without overwhelming. I wonder how heavy that thing is?!