White Station Architectural Finds

“The legs are salvaged balusters from a Victorian house in Virginia. The apron is window trim off a farmhouse in Tennessee and the oak boards for the top are barn wood planed from a barn in Tennessee. This is a table with a story!”

“The legs are salvaged balusters from a Victorian house in Virginia. The apron is window trim off a farmhouse in Tennessee and the oak boards for the top are barn wood planed from a barn in Tennessee. This is a table with a story!”

It’s been awhile since we’ve highlighted a local maker, but we have a treat for all of you! If you have a love for architectural salvage or re-purposing beautiful old pieces, look no further. White Station Architectural Finds is the brainchild of Blair Wright, a local Knoxvillian who finds, restores, and re-purposes all kinds of pieces, picked from all over the US.

Blair Wright. Window pediment and box of balusters

Blair Wright. Window pediment and box of balusters

About 5 years ago, preparing to be a vendor in an antique show in Clinton, Blair’s daughter Natalie suggested his Alma mater as a potential name for his craft. White Station High school in Memphis, where Blair attended, has roots dating back to the late 1800’s.

Baluster lamp

Baluster lamp

Baluster lamp

Baluster lamp

Blair loves the hunt and he loves the process of restoration and re-purposing. Blair comes by his love for picking honestly as he spent much of his childhood being drug through old homes all over the deep south by his mother and grandmother. Read more about how his journey with architectural salvage began and evolved, here. (click on the “story” section to expand)

Newel Post, corbel, and stool

Newel Post, corbel, and stool

In regards to picking, his favorite place is New York as he has access to many kinds of things there that aren’t available in Knoxville. Because Knoxville doesn’t have as many fancy historic houses, it’s harder to find the more intricate and elaborate pieces here or in surrounding areas. With a network of salvage yards in the North East, Blair enjoys digging through barns, shops, back rooms, and estates to find his treasures. He much prefers stumbling upon a barn or shed full of stuff than walking through an organized, barcoded storeroom.

corbel

corbel

 
baluster leg sofa table with reclaimed oak tabletop

baluster leg sofa table with reclaimed oak tabletop

corbels and window pediments

corbels and window pediments

spindles repurposed as jewelry stands

spindles repurposed as jewelry stands

window pediment

window pediment

antique column

antique column

plinth block vase/decor

plinth block vase/decor

On a recent trip to Virginia to pick up some balusters that he bought through Craigslist, he ended up being invited to look around the rest of the home and barn, resulting in the finding of a large amount of antique shutters and a pair of arched french doors. These jackpot moments are part of the thrill for Blair. With Facebook marketplace becoming so crowded, Blair often finds pieces at Auction as well.

Arched french doors

Arched french doors

Shutters repurposed as decor. We love the texture these add to the space.

Shutters repurposed as decor. We love the texture these add to the space.

Aside from selling his pieces in Clinton antique fairs, Blair sells to a few local and regional shops, and through pop ups like Help You Dwell’s Flea markets and Pineapple Consignment. The next opportunity to see and purchase his work will be at The 15th Annual Clinch River Fall Antique Fair

Part of being a good picker is knowing what your buyers are looking for. Blair has a working relationship with local shop The Back Porch Mercantile (take a closer look next time you are there-- the corbels holding up the back counter were finds from White Station), The Painted House in Cookeville, and a few other stores in the area. One shop may cater to a more primitive style while another may have a french provincial style. Blair has a system in place that allows him to do the grunt work of digging and picking to supply local shops with pieces they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to.

Of all the salvage he has seen, this piece still haunts him-- he refers to it as “the one that got away”. While on a trip in New York he found this gable from an old house and after trying to think through transportation and a plan for the piece, he had to pass it up.

Of all the salvage he has seen, this piece still haunts him-- he refers to it as “the one that got away”. While on a trip in New York he found this gable from an old house and after trying to think through transportation and a plan for the piece, he had to pass it up.

If you can’t make it to the Clinton Fair, you can always direct message Blair through Instagram if you are interested in something you have seen of his. Additionally, if you have architectural salvage that you are trying to offload or are hunting for a particular piece, contact him. He’d love to take a look!

5 Tips for the Back to School Routine

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One thing I love about a new school year is, it’s new. We begin the year with all As, we get fresh notebooks, new teachers, and get to start again. It’s also a great time to adopt a few new habits surrounding the school routine to help stay on top of the schedule, the clutter, the schoolwork, and to encourage your kids to have their best year yet. We’ve compiled a few tips to get your year off on the right foot!


5 Tips to Streamline the Back to School Routine!


Image:  Magnolia

Image: Magnolia

1 . An Established Landing Space

This will look different in every home, entirely dependent on your home’s layout. This is an area that should be relatively close to the entry and exit point used each morning. Landing spaces can be useful to collect bookbags and store to-do baskets. Think of this as the command center of the morning on the way out the door. Check out this blog by Joanna Gaines for tips on how locker baskets can be used in your landing space!

 

2 . Routine Checklists for the Littles

Printable checklists ( laminated or put behind a glass for use with a dry erase ) can be so helpful to guide littles along their new morning routines, this gives them a sense of ownership of their morning and you can still be directly involved to keep them on track.


*We’ve created these two printable options as a framework to your morning routine!

 

3. Streamlined Schedules for the Big Kids

For kiddos that aren’t exactly kiddos anymore, a virtual approach could keep the entire family on board the same ship! Google calendar app can be a great option for synchronizing sports schedules, events, and the heavier after school schedule that the teen sports/club years can come with.

Another option is a centralized large chalkboard or dry erase calendar in the home. This is a great addition to the landing space or command center and can be a great reminder when headed in or out the door each day. There are definitely pros and cons to each calendaring options, find what works best for your people.

 

4 . Art & Schoolwork Management

A great habit to adopt for school work brought home is “touch it once!” If the assignment is a worksheet or test from class that has no emotional connection to your child, and your child is ready to let go, after acknowledgment of their efforts and skill they now have by doing the practice, it goes to the recycle bin immediately.
As for artwork, a great rule of thumb for what to keep is to see if you can see the unique work of your own child in each piece. Once that decision is made, a clear Rubbermaid tote with your child’s name and school year(s) can be used if originals want to be kept.
Another option we love is ARTKIVE. ARTKIVE lets you send in all the originals to be professionally photographed and bound into a hardback book or a framed piece!

 

5 . Designated Homework Areas

This can be such a stress reliever in many ways encouraging productivity, organization, and quality of work. Establishing a homework zone can communicate the same thing to a child as “going to the office” can for an adult. You set the tone for their work flow and focus by designating study areas. This can be as simple as a lazy susan with cups of supplies easily moved to the middle of a table, or as established as a study nook in the home. Wherever the investment, the reward will be worth it!  

Choose Your Absence

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This was the title to chapter 16 of the book that’s been hovering on my nightstand for the last few weeks and it got me. Mrs. Freeman had me at the title.

As some of you know, we’ve been doing some revitalizing over here at Help You Dwell. To be honest, we had some pretty major leadership shifts that rocked my little world. Back in May, our sweet Katie Martin, HYD’s first ever employee, left our team as she and her husband prepare to relocate to London next month. We are beyond thrilled for this incredible opportunity for them but my heart still aches a little in losing one of my favs from our crew.

Soon after, the organizer of the organizers, Kellye, our office admin, had an awesome opportunity to reunite with her family up in Virginia after a long time away and made the move back home. She was such an incredible asset to our team in creating systems and smart, efficient ways to communicate with the team and clients and did it all with such grace and love like few people I know.

Then in mid-July, sweet Ada Jane joined the world and Caroline became a mama of 2 under 2 and clearly has her hands very full. Thankfully everyone is doing so well and Hank is slowly learning that Ada isn’t going away and from now on he’ll have to share his mommy & daddy. : )

And just like that, summer came and my kids were home from school and I was steering the HYD ship by myself. Or trying. It wasn’t going so well.

In the 5+ years that HYD has been serving clients, none of us have ever done it alone. Caroline and I had each other from day one, so I had no practice in making decisions without a partner. I have no doubt that “it takes a village.” But here I was flying solo and our lovely clients still needed us and all my incredible organizers and packers still were eager to get into homes and work their magic.

By the time July rolled around, I knew something had to change. I had some big conversations with God at this point about how to best care for HYD and for myself. With the counsel of dear friends and family, we decided to rest. HYD took a short and sweet break from taking on new clients, from marketing, social media, presenting, blogging, and just reflected.

We chose our absence, as Emily P. Freeman, so eloquently talks about in her book, The Next Right Thing. She articulated exactly what I knew to be true as we pulled back the reins and chose to be absent for a bit.

Choose your absence so that your presence will have more impact.
— Emily P. Freeman

These last few weeks of stepping back from HYD have been a gift. Personally, I’ve been much more present with my own life in lots of ways, but what has been such a wonderful surprise is that I’ve also been able to see how much more HYD has to offer. Help You Dwell is its own entity. Caroline and I have always felt that the company was given to us to steward and share with others. That’s one reason we’ve had over 20 folks work for us over the last 5 years. It’s a service to share, share with employees and share with clients. It was never meant for just us.

I’m not sure I would have come to this realization had we not chosen our “absence.” This season of rest has created a great joy and excitement in me to continue growing HYD in a way that allows more people to find order and peace in their homes, their workspaces, during the moving process, or through a transition of losing a loved one or an estate transition. HYD’s current team of organizers and packers is incredible. The life experience and creativity paired with the work ethic and servant hearts of these ladies still blows me away. There is work to do and HYD is ready to do it.

So here we go, again. It’s a reset for HYD. Thanks to so many of you who have been here all along and to those of you who just discovered HYD. We look forward to helping you dwell.

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Much love —
taryn