Michael Tunson, owner of Eterne Architectural Restoration, utilizes salvaged architectural elements and details to remodel structures. Now based in Portland, Oregon, Tunson’s ‘salvage style’ renovations has been featured in Apartment Therapy as well as Oregon Home Magazine. The character of the salvaged pieces that he finds is what makes his projects so rich and unusual. Since Tunson’s work relies on what salvaged materials he can find, this makes his design process a bit unusual. His work takes him on scavenger hunts in search of just the right detail. These scavenger hunts have lead him to Aurora Mills more than a few times, and we would like to share some of what he has found!
A fluid process, Tunson’s design evolves as he scouts out one-of-a kind architectural elements that will work well with the project at hand. A great example of this is a fireplace surround he designed for the Maita-Westlin household. Though these tiles came from three different sources, they blend together seamlessly. The purple urn centerpiece tile was discovered at Aurora Mills.
The Maita-Westlin’s Victorian house had been hidden under a layer of 1950’s siding. After removing the siding, Tunson got to work giving the structure an appropriate Victorian makeover. Salvaged house parts were crucial in restoring the structure’s Victorian character.
Westlin found the perfect Front Doors to complete her home at AMAS. The double Victorian doors with intact beveled glass, came from a shop in Philadelphia, and are reminiscent of the painted ladies in San Francisco.
Tunson’s work can lend the structures he designs a theatrical quality. By following his artistic gut, Tunson found the perfect transom window for the Byrnes-Montgomery household.
Here Tunson has added a leaded glass window to a stairwell, which adds both light and a beautiful point of interest that appears to have always been part of the house.
Tunson’s artistic sensibilities coupled with a talent for finding great materials are at the heart of assembling thoughtful and unique detailing. “Old house parts have stories to tell,” says Tunson. “They have history” (Oregon Home 2007). We’re glad to serve as suppliers of history to the structures that Tunson renovates. Next time you’re searching for that perfect something to give your household a lift, check out your local salvage. Finding new uses for the old treasures is all part of the fun!