Archtectural Salvage

A panel taken from the antique metal balcony railing that started the Old House Chic business.

Welcome to the Old House Chic Blog!   I’m Bernadette and I am so excited you’re here.  This blog has been four years in the making after I almost fell off the balcony of an old, abandoned home.

I was fueled by the crazy idea of starting a creative antique, vintage and salvage business. This particular old abandoned home had a gorgeous cast metal balcony railing that I just had to have- no matter what it took.  I had an impressive amount of tools and had used every one to hack away at the rusted screws that held the railing to the hot, tarred balcony roof.  It would not budge.  I was determined but it was, too.  It was now a competition.

I sat staring at it and finally used the best tool of all- my foot.  I gave it a boot and it swayed out, then sprung right back into place. I was getting frustrated at this point.  I kicked it again.  Nothing.  Argh!  Kick.  Why!  Kick. Won’t! Kick! You! Kick! Give! Kick! Up!  Kick Kick Kick!  I sat breathing hard with a crazed look I my eye- the fight was now on.  Yes, I know.  I’m talking about a metal railing.

At this point, I can honestly say I was mad.  I think I mustered up everything that had ever made me mad in my entire life and kicked that railing with everything I was worth.

It was a beautifully comedic moment.  My foot smashed straight through the railing, destroying part of it in the process, and then, and only then, did the railing finally give up…with my foot stuck in its teeth.  Apparently, it was mad, too.  I know.  It’s a railing!

The railing gave a giant groan and began to separate from the roof, with my foot still caught in its snares- I swear it was saying, “If I go down, you go down, too, girl.”  I felt my body being dragged to the edge and look over to see the overgrown ground below and my best friend’s little brother staring back at me with total fear.  The poor thing was my hired help for the day.  No, he didn’t come back.  Can you blame him?!

The railing kept tipping towards the ground…and suddenly stopped. I’ll admit- I cussed a whole lot…and then I moved.  Don’t think I didn’t start doing a panicked scramble to take full advantage of this new lease on life with two legs….and realized I was stuck.  My rear end was glued to the tar of the roof which had melted in the hot summer sun.  It was the tar that saved my rear.

I fell backwards, stared at the sky and thought: I wonder if there’s a blog out there featuring crazy, determined people obsessed with antique, vintage and salvaged anything and, please God, I hope that blog has a posting about how to get tar off your… rear end.

Yep, it went through my pants.

So, here is what you can expect from this blog: an obsession with all things antique, vintage and salvage, all the Do it Yourself, How To’s and Before and After projects you can stand, combined with laughter (lots of it), plenty of adventure, a good dose of inspiration, lots of encouragement and the leading authority on how to remove tar from really bad places.




  1. coffee
    July 25, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum
    it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your
    blog. I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to
    everything. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers?
    I’d certainly appreciate it.

    • bernadette
      July 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm

      Hello and thanks for your response! I am very new to writing in the blog world and can only pass along the same guidelines that I try to follow:

      1. Develop and write in your own “voice”- my voice is in the style of telling a story and with as much humor as possible.

      2. Realize that it will take a while for your blog to catch on. Have patience.

      3. Research and read everything you can about the blog world in the subject matter you will choose to write about.

      4. Keep on keeping on. In other words: don’t give up.

      Let me know how it goes- I am a small fish in the big pond of the blog world and could use advice as well 😉

  2. Clement
    August 7, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for.
    Would you offer guest writers to write content for
    you personally? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or
    elaborating on many of the subjects you write related to here.
    Again, awesome website!

    • bernadette
      August 7, 2014 at 11:43 pm

      Thank you! I hadn’t really thought about using guest writers just yet, but will keep you in mind when/if the time comes! Thanks for taking the time to send such positive feedback!

  3. Lora
    August 20, 2014 at 4:02 am

    Congratulations on your baby blog! Found you on the MMS site, intending to find out more about your online store, and have been enjoying reading about your salvaging forays! Think you’d enjoy reading about our junking adventures up here in Minnesota…patinageneral.typepad.com. Wish I could say we had totally cool Texas architecture like you dug out, but our neighborhood curb-side clean up days have been quite the adventure through the years! I’ve had your same thoughts, “what the heck am I doing?”…but therein lies the adventure=)
    Good Luck with the business and the blog…I’ll keep checkin’ back. BTW-would love to see your pictures bigger…the better to see your finds!

    • bernadette
      August 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read my blog! I’ll be getting in touch with you- I love yours as well, by the way!

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