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Decorating With Architectural Antiques

By Rachel

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Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Rachel Granholm

Let’s talk about decorating with architectural antiques!

Decorating with architectural antiques includes items like lighting, corbels, tin ceilings, mantels, or old doors and windows. The show Fixer Upper is where I have pulled inspiration from for using architectural pieces in my home. Home decor influencers, such as Joanna Gaines, are very classy in picking these decor pieces and have shown me where in a space are pleasing places to use them. These architectural elements are helpful in creating a unique space that is true to you and your definition of home.

Decorating with architectural antiques makes your home unique and special because no one else has these pretty pieces!

Table of Contents

Antique Light Fixtures

This is a broad category and includes many different types including Victorian, art deco, schoolhouse lights, or enamel. If you live in a brand new home or your home feels too new, replacing the traditional lighting with antique fixtures makes a huge difference in the way that your home feels. Sometimes, people will move into a historic home only to find that the lighting doesn’t match the era or the architecture of the home, alas needing antique fixtures!  Or, if you want to replace an outdated fixture but brand new ones just don’t seem to be ‘you’, go search for an antique one that you love! Many antique malls carry old lighting and you can also find stores that only sell antique lights.  Old lighting can be such statement-making pieces while also adding historic charm to your home.

Antique Doors

Old doors contain such nostalgia! By incorporating old doors into spaces in your home, you are welcoming in warmth and infusing vintage style. You can find doors in just about any size and shape imaginable, but the arched doors are my favorite. Old doors can be used in many ways in your home and here are some ideas:

  1.  Create a sliding barn door for a closet or hallway.
  2. Hang it horizontally on a large wall as a piece of wall art.
  3. You can use them as their intended purpose as a door… one creative place to use an old door is in a pantry opening!
  4. Turn it into  a coffee table!
  5. Create a bench by adding legs to it.antique wooden doors on a building

Tin Ceiling Tiles

Some may say that these tiles are old and rusty, but clean them up a bit and you will find stunning texture and design work on these old tin tiles; think an old cafe or diner! By incorporating tin tiles in your space, you are adding a hint of vintage industrial design to your home. Besides using them as ceiling tiles, you can:

  1.  Use one square and frame it with wood to make a pretty piece of wall decor.
  2. Design an accent wall in your bedroom or office using the tiles.
  3. Create a tri-fold screen room divider!
  4. Inlay a square into the top of a table.antique tin tiles on a ceiling

In my kitchen, we did a faux tile backsplash just behind the stove and it looks so pretty. If you feel like the antique tin tiles are just too much for you, try looking at faux tile at the hardware store and see if you like that better. Either way, tin tiles create a striking vintage effect that is one of a kind.


These antique pieces are extremely versatile and fancy! Traditionally made out of wood, these were weight-bearing brackets in homes used to hold up roofs, doorways, and ceilings. Today, corbels can be used in other ways such as:

  1. Holding up a board for a shelf
  2. As accent pieces in doorways
  3. On a fireplace mantel
  4. Underneath kitchen cupboards
  5. Use them as bookends!
  6. Larger corbels look pretty turned on their backs and used as shelf decor.

You can find corbels in many different sizes, styles, materials, and colors. By using corbels in your home you are infusing charming character, texture, and depth.

a side view of antique wooden corbels in a doorway


Antique mantels, simply stated, are absolutely stunning. Typically made out of wood, old mantels are intricate with so much detail. The wood also shows the age of the mantel by featuring a beautiful patina. Old mantels add depth and texture to any space in your home. You can find antique mantels at antique stores, estate sales, junk yards, and sometimes even garage sales! Here are a few ways to incorporate an antique mantel in your home:

  1. Strip the wood and refinish it to use as an actual mantel for your current fireplace.
  2. Use it as a frame, such as framing a television that is mounted to a wall.
  3. Turn it into a headboard for your bed!
  4. Repurpose it into a furniture piece such as a book shelf or a cabinet.
  5. Create a faux fireplace in your bedroom!a vintage mantel in a moody living room

Old Windows

These are such a beautiful addition to any room in your home. You can find old windows with or without glass, panes or no panes, and in shapes such as arched, curved, or straight. They can be ornate or simple, you just have to hunt and find the right window that speaks to you and your style. Old windows can be used in unique ways and here are some examples:

  1. Make a pretty piece of wall decor by hanging a wreath on it.
  2. Repurpose it into a mirror.
  3. Create a storage piece with hooks to hang towels or jewelry.
  4. Turn a window into a chalkboard!
  5. You can even use windows with glass and turn them into a small greenhouse for growing plants!

There you have it! Architectural antique pieces create such an elegant feeling and, when used in the right places, adds character to any space in your home. These architectural items can be a bit more expensive than other decor pieces but they are worth every penny. You are giving an antique piece a new life so it can add joy to your home and that’s a beautiful thing.

I hope this encourages you to consider decorating with architectural antiques in your home! They add character and texture that is unique only to your home!

signature from The Antiqued Journey

Let me know in the comments below what kind of architectural antiques you would like to display in your home!

Check out more inspiration for your home here!

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Clifford Piepkorn
    August 29, 2020 4:56 pm

    Really nicely written I like it good suggestions. Way to go set another one out of the park!


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Hello I’m Rachel.

I’m so glad you are here! Old things are my jam. Antique malls and thrift stores are my happy places.

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