Julia Shantz, founder of Uniquities Architectural Antiques, grew up in Wales surrounded by history.
This love of history travelled with her when she emigrated to Canada in 1983. In 1992 she and her husband Doug purchased a 1915 heritage home and went about the painstaking and often frustrating task of renovating. It soon became clear that the period hardware and architectural details needed to complete the house were impossible to find in Calgary. Where most would have settled for repro, Julia was inspired to research and develop the concept for Uniquities Architectural Antiques.
Doug Shantz joined the business full time in 2004. His experience as a building contractor is a valuable asset to Uniquities. He works with clients and builders to help with restoration and installation, as well as designing and building amazing bespoke pieces for commercial and residential customers. Most importantly he can lift very heavy things!
Since then we have hired on two of our sons, Ben and Tom. Whom have brought great value to expanding and reshaping the business!
Ben Shantz joined in 2008, and handles all IT within the business, as well as photography and website development. Integration of social media and beautiful photography to capture just a glimpse of the beauty and vast history of what we do and create.
Tom Shantz joined shortly after in 2011, and quickly gravitated to the custom building side of our business. Working closely with Doug to create incredible pieces of bespoke furniture, commercial retail and restaurant additions.
We travel to Europe four times a year. A growing part of our business is the “locator’s service” offered to clients looking for specific pieces. Through relationship building and mutual trust, Uniquities can source and supply anything from a single item to a complete building!
Building with Salvage
Call them architectural antiques, architectural salvage, urban architecture, deconstructed materials or irreplaceable artifacts – it makes no difference, as they all refer to elements of structure and fabric that were once permanent fixtures on or in buildings. They can include everything from a simple Victorian doorknob to 16th century hand hewn beams recovered from a barn or an impressive 12 ft high stone chimneypiece that once graced a chateau in the Loire Valley.
Where do we source?
Uniquities sources its architectural antiques and salvage primarily from the U.K., France and Belgium. We have acquired salvage from many types of buildings including mills, schools, hospitals, factories, farm buildings, churches, manor homes, Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian houses. The decline of the manufacturing industry, the nationwide trend of revitalizing the inner cities and the migration of business into newer industrial areas creates an opportunity for dealers to acquire wonderful reusable materials. The UK salvages 3 million tonnes of building material a year. Consequently, we have the sources and experience to provide quality salvaged building materials.
What we offer
- Architectural Antiques: fireplaces, urns, benches, gates, railings, balusters, statuary, chimney pots, sinks, troughs, garden furniture, etc.
- Bricks: pre Industrial Revolution hand thrown to early 20th century machine made. From creamy beige, to Staffordshire blue to Suffolk red.
- Roofing Tiles: Welsh slate tiles, Cotswold Stone, Westmorland, Rosemary’s
- Reclaimed wood: paneling, flooring, baseboards, trusses, beams, bressumers, planks
- Building Stone: Coping stone, lintels, flagstone, cobble setts, kerbs
- Flooring: Quarry tiles, encaustic floors, marble, limestone, slate and terrazzo
- Decorative stone: windows, columns, doorways, bridges, walls, capitals, coping stone
- Buildings: Barns, granaries, cart sheds, summerhouses, gatehouses, period houses
The costs and benefits of using salvaged materials
Salvaged building materials are comparable in price to quality new materials. With our many sources we are able to negotiate the best price, organize shipping at reasonable cost in one of our containers, facilitate the transport of the materials in a safe manner and deal with export and import issues. We oversee all aspects from ordering to delivery and take our role as suppliers of quality reclaimed materials very seriously.
There are many benefits to using salvaged material. Reusing original building elements diverts waste from landfills, saves energy and manufacturing costs, and preserves valuable mineral and forestry resources. Repurposing material is really the most environmentally friendly way to build.
Building with salvage also helps to preserve architectural history. When a panel door or a length of hand carved cornice is thrown into the landfill it is gone forever. The superior craftsmanship, authentic period detail and beautiful patina of old materials simply cannot be reproduced.