If you are in the Savannah, Madison or Greensboro, GA area you have to check out Pinch of the Past!! Such a great store for any DIYer or antique/vintage lover. It is an Architectural Salvage but they also have many other random vintage finds. Piles of old windows, mantles, columns, doors, knobs, ironwork and much, much more. Pinch of the Past is definitely the kind of place you are going to want to spend some time sifting through to find great pieces for your home. No, I don't work for them, I just really love this shop!! ( I should totally get an extra discount though for all of the name dropping I do for them)
Many of the things they have would be great to use in a restoration project or permanent changes in a home that you own but there are plenty of opportunities for finds that can move with us renters. The old corbels and wall brackets would really dress up a book shelf, the old columns could be cut down to use as table legs and I think a few pieces from the old pipe organ would just be cool to hang on a wall as an art piece.
They have stacks of old mantles, in good and bad shape. Some are ornately carved and others are simple and classic. I love the old iron fireplace grills and summer covers so much that I convinced my parents to buy one for the home they are building (keep an eye out for how that project turns out).
The random accessories are great too. I would love to paint the bust and globe some crazy metallic or fluorescent color and those doors are amazing. I just have to find the right project and customer to convince.
Are you thinking, hey not cool, I don't live in Georgia? Don't worry.
Most towns, especially older ones have some place similar to this, it just takes a little searching. Because they are small businesses you aren’t likely to find them on Google so ask around. Any local designer, decorator or small shop owner should be able to point you towards some great hidden gems. Most antique/thrift store owners know about all the other local places too so don’t be afraid to ask them to point out a few others. Some of the antique/ thrift stores in Savannah have even put together a brochure with a directory of all the local shops and they often trade and work together.
Also, Pinch of the Past has a catalog on their website of select items you can order.