Tomorrow on an episode of Open House NYC I will host a segment on how to use reclaimed materials in design. I absolutely love this topic as it is so near and dear to my heart. I have been renovating this way for years since I bought my first place in Baltimore. That space like my current one was in a great location with high ceilings, wood floors, and generous rooms - the drawback no character. To bring these spaces back to life I started doing what a girl does best - shopping. Far from the traditional mall in the dust and dirt of a salvage yard I found my obsession - collecting pieces of history. This type of shopping requires flats and a tape measure and lots of imagination...
The sources I found over the years locally and nationally are truly amazing. There are salvage dealers in most large cities and in small towns across the US and abroad. Flea markets are great resources too. If shopping online always factor in the cost of shipping and cross your fingers if buying sight unseen. Locally I shop at Olde Goode Things and Demolition Depot in NYC. When I go to Philadelphia I hit the Architectural Exchange and Second Chance in Baltimore. I never met a salvage yard or an antique shop I didn't like, so I ALWAYS stop in no matter how it looks from the outside.
The key pieces I look for are: mantles, doors, mirrors, columns/pilasters, lighting, transom windows and hardware. They key is to collect between renovations and snap up great pieces when you find them; because if you are shopping with a deadline, you never know what you will find, if you will find what you are looking for, or when you will find it.
The fun part for me is fitting all the pieces I find into the puzzle of a renovation. I love making a space truly unique and rest assured no two will ever look the same! Shopping for reclaimed materials is like treasure hunting. In looking sometimes I stumble across a find that I know will make a room, so I spend a little more if I have to and put it into storage if I have no place for it. I have done this long enough to know that the cost in the end will be far less than the value it will bring - not just to me but to everyone who walks though the door.
Tune in tomorrow and enjoy... If you miss the episode (Repurposing 101) you can watch it anytime by going to http://lxtv.com/openhousenyc/