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A Look Into A Customer’s Bathroom

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“LL” purchased a British telephone wall mounted faucet from us months ago and she was kind enough to send an update on the entire bathroom renovation. Love it when readers/customers send in their renovation photos! It means less writing for me.

Everything except for the tile and towel racks was previously owned. The floor is polished concrete. Just goes to show you that a clean, modern look can still be achieved using second hand materials. Although some of these fixtures are antique, they look spectacular.

Thanks, LL! And mazeltov on your new bathroom!

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New Old Home for Old Items

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Sconces - wide view-1 We don’t usually think about where our beloved merchandise is going, nor do we often care when we’re out to make a buck. The pair of cherub sconces were exceptional because they were originally purchased for private use. We are delighted to report that the update from our happy customer shows that they went to a good home. Couldn’t have been a better match!

We love it when people send photos of our items in their new environment. Oh, that’s right. They usually don’t. That’s a hint. Cherub Sconces - Close UpIMG_8843


Clean Out Sale

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Attention y’all! We went on a shopping trip yesterday and ending up doing a clean out. Now instead of having great new stuff to sell in the shop, we have an overabundance of inexpensive finds. Plus, we’re adding to that our own basement mess, so there’s a plenty of items for cheeeeep.

Let’s do this! Last minute sale!!! It’s all at the shop. We‘ll set up an area separate from our regular merchandise, which may or may not be slightly negotiable too, if the mood strikes.

945-947 Carroll Street

Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 10am-6pm

Please follow OUR directions and NOT your GPS!!

Flickr set. We didn’t photograph everything.

*UPDATE: That cool office chair sold.


Antique tools. 3-10 bucks apiece.

Polaroid. Typewriter. Make offers. IMG_9742

 Tschotskes, artwork, smalls starting at $2.


Heavy duty office chair in need of some TLC. $45


Metal folding chair. $ 25IMG_9728Antique chairs in need of re-caning. $35

Works in Progress

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Goodbye Summer!  Hello the unofficial end of that summer retail slump! We endured the season by moving along inexpensive as-is furniture while working on design service samples and holiday smalls (Yes, THOSE holidays), but we’re back to creating some awesome one of a kind larger pieces now that everyone is returning from vacation.

The Mickey coffee table was a mid century piece with a bland white top.  No, it’s not meant to be a kid’s table, but perhaps only a handful of adults would appreciate it.  It’s nearly done.  Just needs a coat of resin and another coat plus sealer on the base.


We were planning on making a side table out of a few skateboards when Mr. Phyllis came in and said “A chair would be so much better.”  Fine, so YOU do it, hubby!  He tried to renege, but was forced into the closed shop this weekend. The boards need to be cleaned up and maybe we’ll change the color of the metal frame.

No prices yet but keep an eye out on the shop.  They should be up by the end of the week with some other fabulous new items!

Handmade Gifty Things

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Yay!  We’re working on some smaller merchandise that we can wholesale and easily ship for online sales.  Some are completely put together by hand and the price unfortunately has to reflect hours of our time.  We do want to have affordable smalls, but that means mass produced made in China stuff that we simply embellish.  You know the old saying… You get what you pay for.

We are proud of our 100% recycled re-made in America (heck, right here in Brooklyn, USA) wares.

Wanna take a peek?  Ok, sure!

The table runner above was made from 100% recycled plaster lath.  We love lath!  It’s totally free and you can find it in most renovation dumpsters.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that each individual piece has to be sanded on both sides, cut and sealed, especially if it’s going to be around food.  At 72″ long, this runner took about a full day to make.  We’re not complaining.  We’d love to make tons more of these!  Actually, we’re adding a set of lath placemats to the inventory this week. This runner is $280.  Lengths and designs will vary in price.


Speaking of placemats, we’ve been working on sets of mats and coasters.  These are made from the bottoms of discarded antique dresser drawers.  We found the wood to be the perfect thickness.  Designs are protected by resin.  They are f*ckin’ amazing, if we may say so.  Set of 4 placemats and 4 coasters is $180.


This is the less funky, “classier” set of the two we did.  Crazy how well it matches that table.  Too bad the table just sold yesterday. Also, $180. More info here.


These recycled door and lath serving trays have been selling pretty well at $75.  We think they’re going mostly as gifts but a few folks are keeping them for their own homes.  Even the handles are vintage. Only the paint and resin are new.


This particular mirror was an Ikea hack job. We hope to find or build multiple recycled frames, but in an effort to go with a few uniform pieces that were inexpensive, we caved and embellished a new object.  The legos are second hand. $35

il_fullxfull.637777529_onnnFinally, more “new” items. The salt and pepper shakers were a close-out at Ikea.  If we buy new, we like to purchase liquidations so we’re not completely supporting production of inexpensive labor. Anyway, at least you know they are clean!  We have several of these, all with different designs.  $25 apiece.

Refurbishing Steam Trunks

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We’ve been going through some steam trunks here lately and we never do receive them in good shape, but it’s not terribly difficult to restore them.  The thing is, they are rustic antiques, so you don’t want to want them to look too “new”. At least that’s what we tell ourselves.

Take the trunk above for instance. Below is the before shot.  We’ve come across quite a few trunks with ancient paper stuck to them. Here’s what you need for the job….

1. Vinegar
2. Scraper
3. Sand paper
4. Stain
5. Poly


To remove the paper, we like to use a solution of vinegar and warm water.  You can either spray it on or take a rag and wet the paper. Leave it sit for a few minutes, then it will scrape right off.  Vinegar doesn’t harm the wood and it kills mold.

Once the paper is removed, you’ll notice that the wood needs sanding. Make sure to clean the dust and you’ll probably want to wipe it down with mineral spirits.  You can also use more vinegar but make sure it’s dry before applying a stain.

We’ve been using oil based stains on our trunks. Sometimes it only needs one coat but it usually needs two. Depending on what your particular stain suggests, you may have to let it dry overnight.

You can polyurethane over the stain or just wax if you prefer that look.

For the interior….well that depends on the state of it.  If you find mold, use vinegar, bleach or a commercial mold solution. You can take it down to the wood or just cover anything nasty with fabric or paper collage, either which you can apply with Mod Podge.

And that’s it!  But if it’s too much work, that one at the top can be purchased here for $195.

Reclaimed Weddings

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About a month ago when the retail summer blues hit us at the shop, we came up with an idea to create some wedding merchandise.  We went as far as making a Pinterest board on the subject and then thankfully got busy and never got around to executing the plan.

This week got us excited about weddings again when we received a frantic phone call from a maid of honor who had seen an Eastlake mirror of ours online. She wanted it painted white to present the seating chart.  No problem, apart from the heartbreak of painting over the original wood.


She needed a way to display it as well, which became more of a task.  Now… that one can of ivory spray paint we had in the shop wouldn’t be enough, nor did we have a display.  I searched online for a vintage easel then went out to pick up more paint. Four paint stores later and nearly killing a cyclist (HE ran into ME!), I had to go with a new color and repaint the entire mirror.

Ran over to pick up a Craigslist easel in Bushwick at 7am yesterday before the seller left for work.  Have you ever painted an easel?  It’s a pain in the ass with all of those moving parts.  Plus, she was coming to pick it up and we didn’t have enough time to let the paint dry.  All’s well that ends well.  Let’s just say she ended up with a tub of touch up paint that she’ll be placing with the emergency wedding kit.

All this reminded me of my wedding photography days and how stressful and all-consuming weddings can be.  But I loved it!

This was our official introduction to our reclaimed wedding offerings.  Maybe next time we’ll be more prepared.  Or at least have enough warning!

Some items from the Pinterest board that we like:






As Is. Make an Offer

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Yo, check it out.  We have a whole load of projects-in-waiting that we are ready to share with our fellow DIYers for a low price.  What kind of prices? Make offers! Yes, they look nasty now, but if you’re handy, you know what you can do with them. Go for it!

The wheel table is by far the coolest piece we have. We just picked it up from Long Island yesterday where someone left it outdoors for years. We know that if we took it apart and worked on it, we would have to charge in the $1500 range, but we also know the amount of work involved, so we’d rather let some other savvy person take it on.  Looking for the ultimate most awesomest project? Make an offer!


Another cool-as-shit piece that gives us a headache when we think about the amount of work it needs. Someone did a terrible paint job and it just needs stripping and repainting. No structural repairs needed. Whatddya wanna give us for it?


Piano bench in need of a bit of scrape ‘n paint. 


Could be a sweet side table with some TLC.


Oh boy, this is an easy project. It’s not in bad shape after all.  We’re just throwing it in because it’s been in the basement for awhile.IMG_9240A decent mid century coffee table that unfortunately, has a white top.  We haven’t bothered with it yet because it’s not a solid wood top, but if you like white…hey, go for it!  Otherwise, there are definitely ways to deal with the melamine.

Sweet two tier mid century round side table.


Not really a project so much as something we have in our basement that we’re willing to let go for cheeep.

Lathing All The Way To The Bank

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We got our hands on some more plaster lath and we’re excited about the projects we’ll soon be undertaking.  Since nothing is finished yet (or even started) we just pulled some images from Pinterest to show you what’s in store.  Are we stealing ideas? Sort of, but then NOTHING is original these days, is it?  There’s just so much you can do with lath.  Anyhoo, we already knew we would be doing tables, headboards and walls, so there.





Museum of Recycled Art

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We happened to come across the ND Gallery yesterday and what a find!  The online museum features reclaimed assemblage artists from around the world. Here are just a few items we chose to grab, but there are plenty more talented artists on the site.  If you are an upcycling artist who wants to join, it’s free of charge. Look into it!

Gabriel Dishaw specializes in “high end junk sculptures”.  Love that! “High end junk”.  His pieces are made from old computers, typewriters and adding machines. He has a passion for Star Wars, hence the awesome Darth Vader above.


Andrew Chase creates his menagerie out of recycled automobile and plumbing parts. Each piece takes about 80-120 hours to complete. bird

Jacques Durvie recycles furniture parts and reclaimed materials for his avian collection.

Car Boot Sales

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In the UK and Ireland, yard sales are not the way people sell things.  Instead, they have car boot sales, a flea market where people pull up in their cars and pretty much sell from their trunks….er, boots.

The vendors pay anywhere from 10 to 30 euro to park and sell. The drawback is that they have to schlep the stuff but then they do get to benefit from the organizer’s marketing efforts and having a venue where shoppers can buy in one place.

We hit a few car boot sales in Dublin over the weekend.  The ones we got to weren’t all that impressive as they were more second hand clothing and tschotskes and less vintage and antiques.  The prices were so-so.  Supposedly it’s better in the countryside.

Anyway, that’s my Monday post while I’m waiting for my flight to board, which it is just now…so I’m cutting this short.

See you soon!


THE Site for Architectural Salvage

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It’s pitiful for us that the best architectural salvage classified site comes out of Britain.  Perhaps it’s because their housing stock is a bit more historic than our own.  In any case, the good news is that there is a U.S. version of Salvo Web.  We’ve recently added some listings and they are encouraging dealers in the states to do the same.

The website is user friendly, with various categories that make it a whole lot easier than trying to navigate eBay or Craigslist looking for a pair of doors. There are sales and wanted sections, an upcycled section and even theft alerts.

We want to see Salvo Web succeed on this side of the pond.  You know why?  Because once a year (not this year though), they have a huge Salvage Fair in England and we think it would be effin awesome if they did one here!

Craft Show Friday

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In preparation for Crafts in Chelsea tomorrow, Emilia has been hard at work creating smalls like a little Italian elf.  Here are some one of kind functional art pieces she’s made. Click on each image for more info.

My favorite tray is above because I’m digging the blue circles. The tray or table “thing” is an old door panel with paint and resin, framed in polyurethaned plaster lath with antique drawer pulls for carrying.  No, it’s not dishwasher safe.  You can use it, but we suggest that you use it gently as you can’t really soak the lath part in water. The resin will take anything but extreme heat.


Here’s another door tray. This one is great because the original chippy paint remains as part of the design.


Same idea with this wall hook.  This was made from a thicker part of the door.  The trays are lighter panels.


You can’t see the numbers on these antique nails in this image, but the nails are marked with “31” and “29”.  Apparently they were used for telephone poles or something like that back in the day. Again, this piece was made from door and lath.  There was stenciling and plastering to create the raised design.

You won’t see these pieces at the shop this weekend.  Gotta come to Chelsea to check them out!

Losing My Brimfield Virginity

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Brimfield.  It’s the antique show to end all antique shows here on the east coast. THE market for dealers and shoppers alike. Five days and about twenty fields.  And yet, I had never been.  Until yesterday.

Instead of braving the trip on my own, I gladly accepted an invitation for a bus ride with the Manhattan Women’s Club. This spared me dealing with the logistics, the 3+ hour drive each way plus the daunting job of navigating parking.

So, was it a success?  Well, I didn’t come home with a monumental haul, but yes, it was a great success!  I connected with at least four vendors who I plan on visiting regularly for their stockpiles. Folks from Albany to Pennsylvania who I never would have heard of if not for this show.  Of course with only a few hours to explore, I didn’t get to cover even a quarter of Brimfield, but my take on the show as a whole was that it was a bit pricey.  Some of the vendors were asking a good deal of money for items I can find locally for less than half the price. But hey, if people are buying it, who am I to say anything?  Plus, there were some really great pieces.

If you’re looking to restore an entire home, there is architectural salvage.  Looking to furnish?  No problemo. Art?  Check. Wondering how you’ll find those vendors carrying what you need?  Yup, there’s an app for that.

The bus trip was an easy introduction and a perfect experience for those who might get overwhelmed by things like this.  If you’re looking to do a massive amount of shopping, renting a U-Haul and a hotel room and spending a few days in Brimfield would be the way to go.  There were a few things I saw that I knew I couldn’t schlep on that bus.

My friend Judy came along and the only thing she bought was a $ 5.00 tin, but the day was just so darned pleasant that she didn’t mind.  What could be better?  A bus full of fabulous women.  A day in the country. While shopping.  For antiques.

Did I mention they had wine of the bus?

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