Last week, we shared a nod toward Preservation Month — focused on a love of historic spaces and places — by rounding up some historic homes on the market in Nashville. If you have a deep love for homes with history, we encourage you to take a look — there are some fantastic properties all around Nashville in there, from the early 1800s to the mid-1900s.
This week, let’s spread the love by looking toward the step that sometimes comes right after buying a historic property: restoring some of its original charm.
That could mean repainting with period-appropriate colors, patching up brick or tile, maybe installing light fixtures or door knobs… some homeowners just want to sharpen the place up a bit; other historic home aficionados feel driven to get every inch to reflect the era in which the home was built.
So, how do you find the ingredients you need to restore a historic home in or around Nashville? There are a handful of places that gather up ingredients, spanning styles and eras. Here’s where we’d start your hunt:
Where to find materials for your historic home restoration in and near Nashville
1809 8th Avenue South, Nashville
Probably the best-known local providers of historic architectural elements, Preservation Station has been stocking everything from antique lighting to doors to heat registers since 2003. Owners Aaron Hetrick and Julia Petrova wander all over the place to find period pieces, and their inventory is vast, so if you’re in need of something super specific — you’re down to that one missing Art Deco doorknob rosette, or need to replace a Newel Post in an 1800s Victorian — this is probably where you’ll find it.
The Franklin Antique Mall
251 2nd Avenue, Franklin
When you’re restoring a house, antique stores aren’t always the goldmine you’d hope, since they usually focus more on furniture, jewelry and the like than, say, period door hinges. But if you’re in Franklin and on a chandelier/light fixture hunt, the Franklin Antique Mall might be a good place to look — they usually have a pretty good collection.
230 Franklin Road, Franklin
A big part of what you get out of Franklin’s CR-71 is custom-built furniture made with reclaimed materials. But they also round up lots of vintage pieces suited for restoration projects — doors, stained-glass windows, light fixtures, cabinets, fireplace mantels and more. And it’s definitely worth checking out their furniture, too, if you’re thinking about rounding out a historic restoration with furniture that has history but isn’t necessarily an antique.
Habitat for Humanity ReStores
Various Middle Tennessee locations
The finds are random in type and timeframe at Habitat for Humanity ReStores — they sell new and used home goods that were donated, so sometimes you’ll find solid but unremarkable ‘90s kitchen cabinets, sometimes you’ll find a cool solid-wood door for your mid-century ranch. But bargains can be had, so it can be worth a look — and there are several locations in Middle Tennessee, including Nashville, Franklin and Gallatin.
Nashville Flea Market
625 Smith Avenue, Nashville
There’s kind of no telling what you’ll find at Nashville Flea Market at The Fairgrounds every month. But since there’s an average of 2000 booths with hundreds and hundreds of sellers sharing everything from home goods to clothing, there’s a fair chance you’ll find that perfect piece you’ve been hunting for. (There’s a fair chance you won’t, too, but that’s part of the adventure, and part of the fun.) You can find market dates, times and themes on the Nashville Flea Market website.
1300 Clinton Street, Suite 130, Nashville
You know the TV show American Pickers — the one that has treasure hunter Mike Wolfe and his compatriots adventuring in search of antique/vintage finds? Well, Wolfe has a shop here in Nashville (in Marathon Village, specifically), stocked with items from his personal collection that he’s rounded up while Pickers picking. It’s small, and the collection of stuff there isn’t particularly broad, so the likelihood of finding that specific-era light fixture isn’t as great as it is at, say, Preservation Station. But you never know — you may find that weird piece of art that fits your timeline perfectly, or stumble on an ideal piece for your rustic farmhouse. Either way, if you’re into the show, it’ll be an entertaining stop.
If you’re working on a historic home in the Nashville area, these places should be a good starting point for sourcing the materials you need. And if you feel like sharing photos of your projects with us, we’d love to see them — tag us on Facebook or Instagram!
Need help finding that perfect historic home to restore? Let us know!