You could once pick up architectural remnants almost for the price of carrying them away: columns that held up porches, brackets that held up balconies or other extensions of the roof, fanlights that capped the front or back door and leaded glass panels that allowed light to enter the front hall.
Today, such pieces are highly prized and highly priced, and often hard to find. But where there's a demand, there's a supply. Many old architecturl details have been reproduced and are available on today's market. The prices, though surely not as inexpensive as the real thing was a decade ago, are still gratifyingly low.
For one dining room Ii recently designed, the owners told me they wanted an eclectic look. All they had in hand were some lovely ceramic vases in pastel colors and a truly gorgeous antique bronze jardiniere.
I used a newly minted fanlight, cleverly combined with a simple square mirror, to help enlarge the room visually. This large element, finished in crisp, gloss white, was the focal point in the green-painted room, and balanced the tall, white-framed glass window on the adjacent wall. The charming rose-colored brick of the patio continued indoors to the dining room, providing an expansive feeling that fools the eye, as well as a serviceable dining floor.
Using a pair of white reproduction brackets to support a thick glass shelf under the mirror, I made a focal display for the ceramic vases. I placed the treasured jardiniere, holding a splashy palm, on a wicker stand near the window.
Contemporary basket chairs were framed with a bleached oak pedestal and a laminated top to create dining ambiance for the tiny space.