Architectural Salvage Project to Add Character and Excitement to Your Home

Hello to all you "archeologists" (of the salvage variety) here is a great idea to bring the "outside" into the "inside" of your home before the weather hits and you are "confined to quarters"!

The idea is a outdoor inspired mirror made at very low cost from a old architectural window and a pair of shutters in complimentary size and scale to the window. Generally the window can have as many panes as inspire you or be one solid piece of plate glass. A really interesting window and our "design idea" is created from diamond pattern windows. Put your "creativity hats on" here goes the idea:

Step 1. Find a very inspiring window that has the "patina" or old character that inspires you. Your local salvage store, demolition yard, antique or thrift store, flea market or a really inspiring garage or estate sale should provide a treasure for you to "recreate"!

Step 2.

Add a pair of shutters from the same source of supply that are complimentary in scale if you want a "cottage front style" or leave it window only if your inspiration dictates.

Step 3. Cut the window caulking away from the glass with a razor blade knife and remove the glass. Take the glass to your closest mirror store and have them cut inexpensive mirror pieces in the same size as the glass. (many times they have "mis-cuts" that they will offer to you at very low prices). Home Depot will also cut mirror for you at low prices. If you are handy get a piece of plate glass mirror and a glass cutter and do it yourself.

Step 4. Place the new mirrored panels into the window frame and re caulk the mirror around the edge of the window frame. "PRESTO / CHANGO" you have a wonderful architectural design element for your home.

You will be surprised how dramatic this element is creating a feeling of depth to your room.

Step 5. Add picture hangers to the back to mount this to the wall or screw in your new mirror to the wall.

Here are some other variations to inspire you:

Variation #1- Add a pair of shutters. Mount the shutters on either side or your "window mirror". This will create a "cottage wall" type of effect to your mirror creation.

Variation #2- Add a flower box. A really cool idea to either find or build a proportionally sized flower box below your mirrored window. You can purchase one inexpensively from your local home improvement store or build one from some new wood (with a paint job of your choice). 1x6 redwood or cedar fence boards (under per 6' board) work great plus their rough surfaces are better with the old patina of your window mirror. Mount your window box under the window mirror (with or without) the shutters and add silk flowers or green plants and you will have a bit of the outside to cheer your soul (for those of you who deal with inclement winters).

I hope you enjoy this inexpensive architectural adventure to add rustic character to your home. I will be sending you more architectural information and ideas in the future! Stop by any time and get architecturally inspired and educated. There is great satisfaction and fun in "doing your own thing and finding new and wonderful uses for salvaged items. You also are doing a "ecologically solid" thing by rescuing salvaged materials from the landfill!

If you live in Southern California, please stop by and visit our two acre primitive and architectural store, Silverado Warehouse in Rainbow, California (4 mi. so. of Temecula). We will work with you personally to find new uses for great old things! Visit us online at