In this internet age, there is very little that you can’t find on YouTube so I have put together a list of old house restoration videos, arranged by skill/trade/interest for you to view. Whether you plan to do a project yourself, or hire a professional tradesperson, it is wise to know about bungalow, their history, their features. It’s also a good way to educate the people that you hire who might be looking to improve their knowledge & would be willing to watch these old house restoration videos to expand their skills.
The people who have made these videos are at the tops of their fields. They are experienced & skilled not only in their areas but also are good communicators & have stellar reputations for their abilities to teach others. They are also very nice people so their videos are pleasant & easy to watch. In fact, I watch them when I’ve had a bad day just to chill!
I’m not going to describe the videos individually because most of the titles explain the content. Just click & find out!
ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE VIDEOS
The terrible tragedy is that old buildings will be demolished, by the short-sighted, by the greedy & the ignorant. We are fortunate that there are people who come in & save the beautiful bits & pieces & offer them to us. Even if you are not involved in a project for which you might need their wares, a visit makes an interesting field, or even a road trip!
Architectural Salvage tour- TREASURE HUNT! Finding clues from the past. (10:20)
Southern Accents and the Journey of Architectural Salvage (2:48)
This is Alabama
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
I have curated a wonderful playlist of helpful & entertaining videos for your viewing pleasure. Bring out the popcorn & learn about everything from wood window repair to the history of the bungalow to how to take care of yourself when you dealing with the physical & mental challenges of restoring an old house.
I put a call out to my Facebook followers for their favorite bungalow architectural salvage resources. I have long been a fan of the idea of salvage, as well the the practicalities of the practice. In my previous article, I write about the cultural, economic & ecological benefits of salvage & in this article, I write about the ones that they recommend & ones at which I have shopped over the years.
I tend to get a bit mesmerized in a salvage shop. While you see a plethora of objects, of all ages & types, the story is incomplete. Riveted by these bits of story. I get unpopular pretty fast because I ask so many questions but I’m a woman who loves a story, mine or someone else’s, & I feel untethered when I don’t know the details.
Occasionally, it is difficult is even understand an object’s purpose! The object to the left, provided by Doc’s Architectural Salvation, is clearly a product of The Aesthetic Movement, an art movement in the late 1800’s which valued the beauty of the the applied & fine arts over any social ramifications. You have heard the expression, “art for art’s sake?” This philosophy was manifested in the work of the Aesthetic Movement.
(I’m rather partial to this design style myself, & my dishware at my home in Eagle Rock, the Hare House, was of an Aesthetic pattern. I displayed it on my plate rail in my dining room & heck if it didn’t look wonderful with my Craftsman built-ins & my Restoration Hardware, Stickley knock-off dining table.) But more importantly, what is this thing?
Now you know how I feel in a salvage store!
BUNGALOW ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE RESOURCES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY
I’m going to split up the country into sections. As I hear from you (hint, hint-see the comment form below?) I will break it up by state. So let’s get salvage shopping!
ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE SOURCES IN THE NORTHWEST
Established in 1999, Aurora Mills is a multi-facted store offering antique & vintage architectural items, lighting, reclaimed lumber, iron gates, doors, fireplace mantles- pretty the much the full array. They have an extensive website with a large online inventory as well as a tour of the warehouse which I opened on my big screen. Wow!!!
For the bungalow crowd, they carry Arts & Crafts tiles & other Craftsman pieces.
My Instagram pal, hosshouse1879 tells me, “They do an excellent job of organizing the materials that they have salvaged. If you go in looking for a house part, they know what area to go to & make the search pretty easy.”
Norm, the proprietor has a great affinity for Arts & Crafts & is always on the look-out for items appropriate to the bungalow. He has a good stock of lighting, doors & hardware for us & often has some furniture & even colonade sets that would we would love.
“We partner with communities to transform the home building and design industry into a circular economy.”
Referrer Amy K. says, ”It’s a fantastic place to just wander & look at all the treasures they’ve saved.”
So, I wandered through their website & found many items in their 50,000 sq. ft. jam-packed warehouse, in various categories that would be appropriate for bungalows, such as doors, windows, flooring, hardware, cabinets & cabinet doors, lighting, mantels, even kitchen sinks with drainboards (they come & go.)
In speaking with them I discovered that all items are on consignment, which encourages homeowners to recycle instead of contributing to the landfill. They even have several elderly pickers who bring things in to them to supplement their incomes.
In my world, there is simply not enough wacky so I’m a big fan of Schiller’s. My wood flooring company purchased reclaimed flooring from them & I was occasionally allowed to accompany my husband when he was there for a pick-up. It’s the sort of place that invites a long, quiet browse & husband wanted to get the flooring & scram.
Click on the PRODUCTS to see their array of items & don’t miss the Oddities page!
First of all, when you are on their site, you have to hit the OUR STORY link. The tale of this family business will both touch & amuse you. Dad started it out of love for salvage & over the decades, the business & the family just grew!
Martha L., my follower on Facebook says, “They have a huge selection & it is very organized. Their inventory is updated continually. Prices are reasonable.”
Speaking of huge selection, when you click the INVENTORY link, a full page menu drops down & each category displays another page plus.
Over 20 years ago, when I was restoring my 1910 Craftsman, the Hare House, I frequently visited Architectural Details in Pasadena, home of the Gamble House, the Blacker House, Bungalow Heaven & an glorious abundance of historic homes & commercial buildings. I was astounded that the huge space could not only be so full of old salvage, but so tidy & organized. The inventory was meticulously kept in an index of 3’X5″ note cards & there was nothing that was untracked or out of place.We drooled over the Batchelder tiles kept behind the counter wishing our fireplace was in need of mending.
A quarter of a century later, after the owner’s retirement, Architectural Details has morphed into Pasadena Architectural Salvage with just as many wonderful, orderly items (tracked electronically, I’m sure!). The folks here are very friendly & I’m sorry I’m so far away! However, looking at their website is quite the treat & even includes a couple Batchelder fireplace surrounds.
MORE! I WANT MORE!
I know that there are other great salvage outlets scattered about the U.S. & I want to know about them & why they are special. So plunk your magic twanger, Froggies & zip on down to the COMMENT section. Become visible. (For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, click here to see a click for a very strange children’s show in the 50’s. I shudder to think what the exposure of this to my 5 year old self had on my development.)
If you should be fortunate enough to have a bungalow, architectural salvage can be your BFF. Merriam Webster defines salvage as “property saved from destruction in a calamity (such as a wreck or fire).”
Cambridge adds, “to try to make a bad situation better.”
Not surprisingly, the derivation is from the French, “to save.”
Personally, I consider the destruction of a historic building, by Mother Nature, Father Time, or the hand of Man to be a crushing calamity & I have spent my adult life trying to get people to understand their value.You can read my story here.
There are so many arguments against it financially, culturally & aesthetically that it both puzzles & pains me that our built heritage is destroyed so casually. Whether by neglect, natural disaster or ignorance & short-sighted greed, the stories of our communities are turned to rubble & to dust.
Making lemonade, making “a bad situation better,” out of this sour mess, are those who are involved in architectural salvation. Architectural salvage involves carefully removing materials from a historic (or even a newer) structure that is going to be remuddled or completely destroyed. Instead of ruining these materials, & sending them to the landfill, salvagers give them a new life. Here’s a page of recommended by my Facebook followers outlets all over the U.S.
ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE IS GREEN
The footprint of architectural salvage materials is generally only that of transportation, from the original site, to the warehouse, to the new home. (hm-m-m.) I don’t think transportation is figured into the numbers for the turbine or for the panels.) This of course varies considerably so I’m not going to give you any figures on this but I think you get it!
My buddy, Doc, of Doc’s Architectural Salvage and Reclamation Service, outside of Nashville, who provided me with all these gorgeous images, (including the PG one, is a master of the art. His well-ordered, abundantly stocked shop, Architectural Salvation is 38,000 sq. ft. of fine salvaged materials from homes, churches & commercial buildings & even ships. He & his crew have meticulously extracted these items from doomed structures, hauled them to his shop, cleaned & repaired them & offer them for sale to those who understand & appreciate their value.
I’m not going to try to ‘splain about Doc or Doc’s Architectural Salvation to you here when his website & social media do a good job of it. However, in the interest of full disclosure, Doc allows me to use his images for my blog & social media & buys me tacos when I visit him for the mention. I love tacos.
Please visit the BUNGALOW ARCHITECTURAL SALVAGE RESOURCES page to see outlets from all over the U.S. that were recommended by my Facebook followers. I encourage you to add the ones that you like the best too. Just scroll on down to the comments section.
by Jane Powell, author & Linda Svendsen, photographer
“The hands-on source book for creating or restoring a stylish Arts & Crafts/bungalow bathroom.”
If you really want to know about bungalow bathrooms, you need to get ahold of Jane Powell’s Bungalow Bathrooms. It is full of well-researched facts about bathrooms as well as an abundance of images of historic bathrooms, restored & newly created retro bathrooms. A variety of beautiful hardware, fixtures & multi-colored tile gleam from the pages.
It is getting more difficult to find, so I suggest doing an online search for it, or checking with your local library.
Jane was a dedicated scholar & hands-on restoration expert. She was a thorough & meticulous researcher, motivated by her passion for bungalow & their preservation. She was dubbed, “The bad girl of bungalows,” because of her firm stance on accurate restoration & apposition to the demolishing of historic structures. She spoke at events all over the country & I met her when she came to speak at a neighborhood event I produced. We got along great!
There is no fact that exists about historic bathrooms that she doesn’t cover. So, this article by me is going to tell you what you can find in her book- not Cliff’s notes, but more like an outline so that you will understand how much you need to read the dang book. Additionally, the book is comfort food for the eyes. Jane has a deep & thorough understanding of design so the book is laid out impeccably.
I personally created or restored 5 bathrooms with the help of this book. It is not only the encyclopedia of bathrooms with more data than you could even imagine, but also the owner’s manual. Jane was a hands-on preservationist & in none of her books is this more apparent than in Bungalow Bathrooms. It is a labor of heart, head & hands.
THE FASCINATING CONTENTS OF BUNGALOW BATHROOMS
The book starts out with the history of the modern bathroom. She sends us back to Knossos, a city in ancient Crete, 1700 B.C. The book opens with her statement. “The evolution of the modern bathroom is neither linear nor orderly. Some ancient civilizations had bathrooms that were far more modern than the average bathroom of the mid-nineteen century.”
This is where her research & writing most interest me. Building design & decor do not stand alone but are influenced by the science, technology & culture & resources & politics of the time. I am always intrigued by building design & decor because these things influence the science, technology & culture & resources & politics of the time. In them we see life today, & if we are astute, life tomorrow.
She takes us from Crete through the Roman Baths, the Dark Ages, Henry III’s palace privies (for the hoi polloi it was chamber pots dumped into the streets) to the appearance of showers in the 16th Century. She treats us to a poem written in by Jonathan Swift 1729 about, well, pooping & then informs us that the bidet was invented in 1710.
We are introduced to the more modern flush toilet with its high tank sending water down to propel waste.
She explains that most of the bathing in the 19th Century had to do not with cleanliness, but with health, & it was not until the end of the century that bathing & cleanliness became connected.Her information is peppered with great illustrations making it easy to travel back in time to understand these discoveries. She includes a great number of old advertising pieces so you can see how the old fixtures & old bathrooms really looked.Jane continues on to describe the evolution of plumbing & by 1900, the bathroom starts looking like the rooms we recognize.
PICTURE PERFECT BUNGALOW BATHROOMS
As with all of Jane’s books, the photographs by noted architecture photographer Linda Svendsen, are abundant & beautiful. They show us a vast range of bathrooms from the pristine white of the early 1900’s through the wild- colored examples in the 1920’s- 30’s. We see complete rooms & bits & pieces of rooms, all described in detail, along with a ridiculous amount of fascinating trivia.
This is not one of Linda’s images, It is of one of the 5 bathrooms I restored/created with the help of this book. When I did the restoration in this house, my 1925 bungalow in Tampa, Daltile made this pinwheel pattern only in black & white. I picked out the black centers & my poor tile installer stuck in all the green ones. In 2 bathrooms! Most of my fingernails have grown back.
Did you know that “Toilet paper made its first appearance in 1857, when Joseph C. Gayetty introduced, ‘Gayetty’s Medicated Paper- a perfectly pure article for the toilet & for the prevention of piles?’ ” Betcha didn’t. In each section she gives tips for Obsessive Restoration (Me, me, me!) & also offers a Compromise Solution. Her suggestions are very detailed & well expressed. She also includes a resource list, some of which might be out of date because the book was published in 2001. (Not to worry, I’m working on a resource list.)
Interesting towel racks, cup & t.p. holders & shelves
There’s also a diagram that shows different types of cabinet latches, hinges, pulls & tile edging
Cabinets & knobs
Walls & ceilings
Doors & windows
Tile- some amazing tile!
Layout and Design
Determining the original layout
Installing a new bathroom
More beautiful tile!
Assessing Your Needs and Dealing with Professionals
Contractors & subcontractors- tile setters, painters, flooring pro’s, carpenters, cabinet makers, electricians & plumbers
Interior Designers & building inspectors
I have purchased several copies of each of Jane’s books. As the local preservation maniac in 2 bungalow neighborhoods, I loaned them to many people & had to replace them multiple times. Bungalow Bathrooms is the only one that I have that is signed. I bought it at the first event I ever produced for Jane, not knowing how dear she would become to me. (If anybody out there has one of my signed books, which she sent to all the people whose homes were in her books, I’d love to have them back. I’ll give you one of my replacement copies. You aren’t Suzanne & Dennis so it will be just as good!)