Reclaimed materials are a hallmark of custom builder Josh Wynne’s projects. They help foster an Old World, traditional look that his high-end homeowner clients adore.

Antique pieces dating back as far as 400 years grace many of his custom homes. “It adds instant character to my projects,” he says. “I started doing it on my own accord and now clients are asking for it to help recreate a certain type of interior atmosphere.”

This Sarasota, Fla., home features a set of 400-year-old teak shutters from Burma repurposed into pantry doors and the fireplace surround was customized with massive cypress beams salvaged from the nearby Ringling Towers Hotel before its demolition in 1998. Furniture and artifacts from the former landmark, built in 1926 as the El Vernona Hotel, were sold and auctioned by Sarasota Architectural Salvage.

Even though the home is the highest-scoring LEED dwelling in Florida, the project did not receive points for the reclaimed items. “It’s really a novelty, I can’t say that I’m using so much reclaimed material that it’s making a massive difference to the environment, but it does go along with an inherent philosophy that ties into the sustainability part of my projects.”

To find these treasures, Wynne peruses nearby warehouses and salvage shops and does some hunting himself when he travels. His favorite spots are out-of-the-way antique stores or warehouse sales of demolition projects.

While it takes time and money to track down these hidden gems, Wynne says he does not pass the extra cost on to his clients. “It’s a marketing tool that sets our projects apart,” he says.

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