The beauty of incorporating architectural salvage into your decor is that it reduces your need for new items, preserves a piece of history, and keeps useful items out of our landfills — all at once. Preservationists might want to restore a structure with pieces out of a particular era; a more eclectic aesthetic might incorporate different time periods. I prefer vintage and salvage because of the quality and craftsmanship evident in the details. Below are websites where you can find architectural salvage online, a modern alternative to the serendipity of scouring stores and flea markets for that particular piece.
First up is the site where all things random reside: Craigslist. Unguided tagging and categorizing lead to an arduous search experience, but try out different queries and you might find exactly what you're looking for. I searched "architectural salvage" and the results, as you can see, were interesting to say the least. Price negotiation and instant gratification are the perks here.
Ebay is of course a convenient place to find special and specific items. Mid century lamp? Brass chandelier? Search for the item you want and take your pick! Make sure to note if the item can be shipped or is pick up only. I've been disappointed many a time by that phrase "pick up only".
New York Salvage is a family-owned business located in Oneonta, NY. They specialize in pre-1950s house salvage but also carry home accents like tin picture frames and vintage prints. The prices seem reasonable; most items will need a bit of TLC, so read the descriptions carefully.
Olde Good Things is a mega-store for reclaimed salvage. Subtitled, "The Place for Architecturologists," they have locations around the US, an ebay store, and offer shipping, delivery, and even returns. The prices are pretty high, but the selection is incredible. If you need a specific piece for your renovation, this is the place to look!
These next four technically sell online, but have less straightforward ways of doing so. Usually, you have to call or email and inquire about the piece you want.
Whether you are restoring or just adding architectural interest to a space, architectural salvage is a sustainable alternative to buying new reproductions. It's hard to put a price on owning a piece of history.