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A Modern-day Salvage

Photo by Mark Lohman

To keep a modern-day kitchen from appearing too cookie cutter, it can pay to look to the past. "Antiques offer such one-of-a-kind beauty," says Fifi O'Neill, who wrote Romantic Prairie Style (Cico Books) and helped design the space shown here. Anchored by a stock island customized with oversize corbels, the room features almost entirely second-hand (or third- or fourth-hand) finds, from the freestanding pine dish cabinet to the painted breakfast stools. A soft palette of white, cream, and gold brings out the faded patina of these furnishings—and ties in the few new pieces, including bronze cabinet hardware and a home-center pendant lamp. Read on for more ways to mix off-the-shelf with salvage.

Victorian-Style Towel Bar

Photo by Mark Lohman

Keep dishcloths handy by mounting this simple rod on the side of an island. $25; bedbathandbeyond.com. Printed cotton cloth, about $7 for four; homegoods.com for stores

Vintage Stool

Photo by Mark Lohman

This former milking perch boasts a handsome painted patina. Spice up your kitchen's seating with similar models, found at online auctions. From about $20; green.ebay.com.

Cup Pull

Photo by Mark Lohman

Lend drawers old-school appeal with classic zinc hardware coated with an oil-rubbed bronze finish. About $7; rockler.com.

Slim Pendant

Photo by Mark Lohman

Balancing the flash of the room's other overhead fixture, this simple lamp puts a sophisticated spin on task lighting. About $120; shadesoflight.com

Painted Bracket

Photo by Mark Lohman

Take a page from the homeowner and create a custom shelf by topping a pair of ornate cast-iron supports with a painted board. About $18; hoah.biz

Crystal Chandelier

Photo by Mark Lohman

Mimic the look of the homeowner's 120-year-old antique for a fraction of the cost with this equally glamorous fixture. About $350; homedecorators.com

Glass-Door Cabinet

Photo by Mark Lohman

With two drawers and three shelves, this walnut-stained hutch provides practical storage while letting you put treasured tableware on display. $280; target.com

Decorative Corbel

Photo by Mark Lohman

Give a standard island architectural detail by installing one of these sculptural maple carvings on either side. $120; vandykes.com

Salvaged Sink

Photo by Mark Lohman

A utility-sink-and-backsplash-in-one, this gently used earthenware workhorse is a budget-friendly alternative to buying new. $350; noreast1.com

Tumbled Marble Countertop

Photo by Mark Lohman

Rustic travertine tiles deliver unexpected heft to pale wood—and are tough enough to stand up to daily food prep. About $4 per square foot; lowes.com