Honeoye Falls Carriage Factory

We know you love barn wood as much as we do so we recently salvaged quite a large amount from a former Honeoye Falls Carriage Factory.  Although this isn’t officially from a barn, it has aged just as beautifully.

Honeoye falls carriage factory

One customer, Glenn came in and purchased several armloads of this wood and used it to make part of a bar and matching shelving.  He sent us some great photos to share with you as inspiration for your own “barn” wood projects.  You can see the wood on the front face of the bar, the floating shelves behind, and around the shelf opening on the back of the bar.

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What projects are you planning with this reclaimed wood?


One Front Door from Salvage to Spectacular

Have you visited our Instagram feed @rehousearchitecturalsalvage? We try to regularly post some of the more interesting treasures we have in the store and share posts from others that showcase great reuse projects labeled with #reusewithrehouse.  We also follow a great selection of like-minded and local feeds including the one I would like to share today, @vintagewalnut.

Lisa’s feed @vintagewalnut features her family’s restoration of a 1850s farmhouse.  One series of recent posts really intrigued me because it focused on her home’s “new” front door which she mentioned was purchased right here at ReHouse.  I am excited to share with you Lisa’s photos and process info for her front door restoration.  I hope you find her projects encouraging and inspiring too.


Here is the completely boring front door that was on the house when Lisa bought it 10 years ago.  I think you agree with her that it is not quite right for a 1850s anything.


“Very excited to be giving my old house a proper exterior door (previous owners removed the original 🤔). Finally found what I was looking for @rehousearchitecturalsalvage. Now if spring would get here already 🏡🙏 … Just basking in the good find glory before the work starts” – March 28, 2018


Once spring had sprung and turned into summer Lisa and her husband Ben were finally able to begin work on their front door.  “To strip the finish we used a combination of Citrastrip and sanding and scraping (using cabinet scraper).”


Taking 60+ years of finish off this beautiful salvaged door. Can’t wait for the finished result! Its only taken me 10 years to find this gem (it basically looks exactly like the door that was here before the previous owner removed it) 😆 Shout out to the simple cabinet scraper- perfect thing for getting those tough angles.” – July 1, 2018


“We used a tinted wood filler (water based that hardens to protect wood from water penetration) to fill in the gouges, cracks and any old nail holes in the door.  Then we applied three coats of tongue oil cut with turpentine and tinted with a dark oak stain. Then Behlen rock hard urethane varnish to the inside.  To the outside we applied several coats of the tongue oil stain mixture.  That will need to get reapplied for maintenance as needed going forward (doesn’t require stripping).”


“Almost done refinishing 🙌 I think deciding on a privacy solution for the window has been the hardest part.😆” – July 24, 2018

“We used the original brass hardware and found additional unlaquered brass hardware to match including lock set, hand pull, and hydraulic door closer. We had to have a carpenter build a new frame door and then my husband Ben custom built the exterior moldings.”


“Installed ✔️ Our new old door was salvaged from the College at Brockport, from this awesome building 👉 It only took me 10 years to find it 😄 Now it’s time to start on the moldings! .” – August 5, 2018


The Visual Studies Workshop building that Lisa’s door was salvaged from in 2013.  At ReHouse we try to retain the provenance of items to share with the next owners.  Obviously, Lisa found this info interesting as well.


I just LOVE the way Lisa and Ben transformed this commercial door with its brass kick plate and chicken wire safety glass into an inviting front door to their historic home.  Great job you 2, and keep on sharing your projects!

Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 4

Today we will be enjoying some nature themed benches that are available in our Create-A-Bench Auction.  If you see one you can’t live without, you can place your bid HERE before 3pm on October 20.  If you can somehow live without one of these beauties but want to share your opinion on which deserves Best in Show you can vote HERE.


by 8th Grade Art Students from Greece Olympia

What a great opportunity for these middle schoolers to learn about working together, helping others, and of course, art.  Students from Greece Olympia collaborated on this bench titled, Nature.

Using acrylic paint they worked together to depict classic symbols of our natural world.  The seat back shows a broad blue sky with a glowing sun and peaceful cumulus clouds floating by.  The seat itself is painted a bright spring green that almost seems to smell of freshly mown grass when you sit down.  Don’t sit on the carefully painted flowers, butterflies, or bugs though!

Each side, also painted green, sows a variety of flowers in more springtime colors and you may spot a ladybug or 2.  The sky blue continues over the top to the back side of the bench and is sprinkled with spots and swirls that might make you think a breeze is blowing through.  Lastly, the front edge of the seat is patterned in coordinating spots that bring all the colors together and finish the seat off nicely.


What a perfect bench for a covered porch even in the fall and winter to remind you that spring will come again.  Maybe you would like it in you child’s bedroom or family play room as extra seating.  It would be just right for storybook reading with little ones.


Time Flies

by Colleen Krawskic from Fabulous Flowers

Flowers are what Colleen does, and her bench was made to match her daily life.  Bright red and yellow dominate her bench, Time Flies.  The seat back is custom cut and extended to create 3 giant sunflowers in full autumn bloom with their stems and leaves spreading across the seat.  The black at the center of each flower is mirrored along the edges of the arms tying it together.

Instead of simply continuing one color around to the back, Colleen has created bold red and yellow vertical stripes that make her bench a statement from any side.  Being a florist, no job is complete with out live flowers.  Both ends feature glass vases with lovely bouquets from Fabulous Flowers in autumn colors also found in the painted ones.


When you bring this bench home you can swap out the bouquets when they begin to fade.  Maybe you have a garden of your own and enjoy bringing your blooms indoors throughout the year.  Then this bench is perfect for you as it will be a constant reminder to “take time to enjoy the flowers.”


She Believed

by Peterson and Clark Soccer Team Friends

You would recognize one of the soccer team friends from the bench she did on her own, Photo Inspiration which we visited on day 1.  Rhana encouraged her team to do a bench together as a donation but also as a memorial for a lost companion.

They gave the bench a wonderfully rich painted finish using at least three colors and a dry brush technique.  The combination gives the finish a textured stone look but it is still quite smooth.  The cream and greys are so universal this bench will match almost anyone’s decor.  Even yours.  They choose to fill most of the seat back with the phrase “She believed she could so she did” a powerful encouragement for all women.

The outlined butterflies that adorn the seat back as well as both ends were handpainted in black bringing a softer feel to the stone look.  The butterflies seem to be drawn to the 2 larger silk sunflowers growing on one side of the seat back or perhaps to the flowers in the vase on the other.  The glass jar vase is securely attached to one end and currently has a bouquet of silk daisies, but the new owner can swap out for real flowers and fill the vase with water.


The finishing touch to the team’s bench brings all their hands together on the back to form a larger butterfly in grey.  What a powerful reminder of what friends and women can do if they believe in themselves and each other.


Fall Leaves

by Roseanne Zinni and Jennifer Morris from 2 Designers

Keeping with the nature theme today lets move from flowers and spring to Fall Leaves by a team of 2 friends.  When Roseanne and Jennifer are not giving a much need makeover to benches for charity they are floral designers in the area.  Maybe those flowers your husband had sent to your office were arranged by one of them.  You never know.

The 2 Designers decided to keep the original pale yellow of the bench for their base coat and it complements the rest of their work wonderfully.  They collected real leaves from their own yards to use as masks for the first layer.  Arranging the leaves they used gold, burgundy, and toasty brown spray paint to imitate the brush of wind across the bench.

Once this dried they repeated the process to darken the first layer giving the bench the pattern of leaves in a variety of subtle crispy autumn shades.  They then used some hand cut leaf stencils to paint more solid leaf shadows in deep green, burgundy, and dry leaf brown.


Lastly, using a gold paint pen they added the shining details tracing some leaf edges or spines in tiny gold dots.  Don’t forget to peek at the back of Fall Leaves before moving on.  Carefully hand lettered in gold is a thoughtful saying.  “While cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn.”

Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 3

Welcome to day 3 in a series designed to take a closer look at some of the beautiful benches we received for our Create-A-Bench Auction to benefit the Open Door Mission’s Coldwater House. Bidding on all benches takes place HERE until 3pm Saturday, October, 20, 2018.  You can also vote for Best in Show HERE.

100 Years

By Lynn Miller

Lynn Miller is a local artist and quilter living in Pittsford.  She has been inspired by Rochester’s connections to women’s rights and suffrage movement.  Knowing that 2019 will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote, Lynn chose this as the theme for her bench.

100 Years is painted in stately grey and navy that will fit almost any décor.  She painted a banner across the top that says “19th Amendment” and stenciled the years 1919 and 2019 on either side.  Elegant yet simple stenciling completes the design along the bottom of the seat back.

With so much pressure to freehand lettering today, it may be surprising to find an artist interested in using stencils, but Lynn has a history with them.  When I was a child Lynn (aka my mom) stenciled borders around the tops of the walls in my sister’s and my bedrooms.  They were not simple patterns either.  Lynn cut her own stencils and used multiple colors in each room.  This was a time consuming but rewarding task.  I loved my stenciled trim.

Thanks Mom, for stenciling my room so patiently and for using your talents to benefit others.


Dream Big!

By Jackie Gasbarre

Jackie Gasbarre has three simple phrases hand lettered on her bench, Fly High, Touch the Sky, and Dream Big!  These 3 encouraging phrases could be written for every person on earth to read, but are they speaking directly to you today?

Jackie’s bench is full of movement and texture and it’s not just in the almost dozen hot air balloons soaring through the cloudy blue sky.  Each balloon is full of hot air and rising steadily toward high hopes and dreams.  It is these balloons that capture the attention right away with their detailed adornments.  Take a closer look at the rest of the bench though.

The seat and seat back are painted with detailed shading in creamy grey making it look like folded fabric from a distance.  The back of the bench is done in stripes of the same cream and darker grey adding whimsy to the back that compliments the detailing on the front seat edge.  Here Jackie has painted some wonderfully fun black and white checkers with a bit of gold pulled through mimicking a pattern we will not name similar to a style we also will not name.  Just below the checks is a row of elegant goldish fringe that is about an inch and a half wide.


So much time and though went into all the little details and shading of this bench, it is sure to be a high earner for Coldwater House.  Imagine entering someone’s house and being greeted with a seat like this to sit on and take off your shoes.  You would be sure to have a delightful visit.


Beatles Come to Rochester

by Paul Button from Salvage Monkeys

The first thing I learned about Paul Button is that he has a great sense of humor.  For one, his business is called the Salvage Monkeys, and two: the motto is, “We rescue the discarded and make cool stuff.”  This is so true.  Everything Paul makes starts with another man’s “trash,” and every one of his “treasures” takes on a double meaning or requires another way of looking.

Paul’s bench, the Beatles Come to Rochester, is no exception. All the lettering and locally recognizable but outdated sponsors’ logos were cut out of adhesive black vinyl.  The caricatures of the 4 Beatles themselves are also digital images.


Disclaimer: there is no Beatles concert at Midtown Plaza on October 11 from 2-5 this year or any other upcoming year.  Please don’t be disappointed.  Instead, bid on Paul’s bench as a souvenir for the concert that wasn’t to be.


Flower Garden

by Julie Wasson from tidbits & scraps

This is the easiest one for me to write about, because I don’t have to interview anyone.  I made it.  I will try to pretend I am not biased and it is not my favorite, but it is.  At least I can tell you more about my process.  I hope you find it interesting.

I gave my entire bench a base coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite, two coats actually.  Then I covered the seat back and the inside of the arms with ephemera, old papers, book pages, sheet music, tickets, etc.  Then I did a wash of the whole thing using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco and Provence (or Duck Egg, I don’t remember).  A wash is when you water down the paint.  I wiped off excess liquid as I was working.

Next was the most time consuming part.  I cut or tore all the flower parts and leaves and stems using papers that I had previously mono-printed using mostly acrylic paints (that’s a whole other story).  I adhiered all the pieces with Mod Podge both under and over the papers.  After all my flowers and butterflies were in place and dry I went in with charcoal and Stabilo pencil to add shading around everything.  This is the point when I stepped back and discovered I was seriously thrilled with the outcome.


I decided to seal the whole thing with a clear glossy spray by Krylon that dries super fast.  I had to do many layers before it becomes truly glossy.  There you have it.  The entire week long process in a nut shell.  And yes, I do custom orders!

Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 2

Today is day 2 in a series designed to take a closer look at some of the beautiful benches we received for our Create-A-Bench Auction to benefit the Open Door Mission’s Coldwater House.  Today we will be learning about the brightest of the benches with base coats in red, orange, and yellow.


by Sally Kamprath from ReHouse

This vibrant red bench was created by ReHouse’s very own Sally Kamprath, owner.  The bench auction was her brain child but she didn’t stop at the planning stage.  She wanted to create a bench too (actually she did 2).  It can be assumed that the owner of ReHouse has a fondness for items from the past and this includes vintage advertising.

Sally handpicked several colorful and often witty ads from some 1940s era issues of The Saturday Evening Post.  Some are from brands that have passed on into the obsoleteness like Servel, Norge, and Wonsover. Others are from brands we still see every day like Ford, 8 O’clock Coffee, and Kodak.

She found some pretty clever slogans like the Kodak one that claims, “your camera becomes a ‘color camera’ when you load it with Kodak color film.”  Did you know that the Whitman’s chocolate sampler is, “fresh as autumn air – smooth and rich and rare”?  I love the one for the General Electric radio that says, “See?  This little wife knows radio value!”  Isn’t her husband lucky?  It seems The Saturday Evening Post was just full of good ideas for the “budget-minded belle.”


Stop in to the store this week to read the other chuckle worthy ads from the 1940s.  You will also save 20% if reading outdated ads turns to buying cool stuff.


Hippie Daze

By Tracy and Jackie Tambe

Another bright and fun bench is Hippie Daze created by team Tambe.  I have a suspicion that the base color is called “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  Whatever it’s called it sure makes me smile.  Tracy and Jackie used some of the most popular icons of the hippie era in the US including the peace sign, flowers, smiley faces, and the VW bus.

They did some custom cutting and routing on the seat back to give the 2 peace signs some real dimension and then lined the openings with tie dye fabric, another classic from the 60s and 70s.  The tie dye also appears on one end of the bench but rather than use fabric there they incorporated a current popular art trend called acrylic pouring.  The process can be very messy but as you can see the results are quite remarkable.

The other side of the bench features some bold and beautiful flowers as a reminder of free spiritedness and the importance of our natural surroundings.  The largest even has a smiley face.  The center of the seat back has my favorite part, the VW bus.  A popular mode of hippie transportation, the vintage VW bus has an unmistakable portrait.  Restored buses are coming back and I regularly see 3 in particular around the area.  This one is hand painted in turquoise and white with rainbow shaded windows and a smiley on the front.


No hippie would be complete without bell bottom jeans.  The Tambes decided to incorporate denim by adding a cushion and upholstering the seat in old jeans shorts.  This really completes the fun vibrant aura of their bench and makes it extra comfy to sit on.  Great job you two!  Peace out.


The Planets

By Sally Kamprath from ReHouse

I told you Sally did two benches, and here is her second.  She had so much fun with Nostalgia that she had to keep going.  This one shows a more creative and artistic side to the boss at ReHouse.  While in San Francisco a few years ago she saw a street artist creating space scenes with spray paint and bowls and some other everyday materials.  Since she couldn’t remember all the details she went to YouTube and found a few videos similar to what she had seen.

The base coat is another in this series of bright and fun colors: orange.  It might not be a typical outer space color but is really makes the planets pop off the star speckled black sky.  You may be wondering where the bowls come in to play with this technique.  The artist used any size bowls or other circular objects as masks when spraying the black background.  Alternately, stencils are used to spray just the colors for the planets.  The planetary textures are often made with scrunched up paper or plastic wrap pressed on the wet paint to lift it and show the color underneath.


To try this technique at home search for “spray paint planets” on YouTube.  Good luck and don’t let you self get caught in a black hole!

Bidding on all benches takes place HERE until 3pm Saturday, October, 20, 2018.  You can also vote for Best in Show HERE.  We were also featured on Spectrum News yesterday.  You can see a short video montage on the Spectrum’s Facebook page HERE.


Create-A-Bench Auction, A Closer Look Part 1

Let’s take a closer look at some of the beautiful benches we received for our Create-A-Bench Auction to benefit the Open Door Mission’s Coldwater House.  Bidding on all benches takes place HERE until 3pm Saturday, October, 20, 2018.  You can also vote for Best in Show HERE.


Garden Bench (item #10)

by Mary Unger and Nicholas Schoenwald from Mary Unger Upholstery

Mary Unger volunteered to be a bench artist to help raise money for the Open Door Mission Coldwater House because “both sides of my family come from the coldwater area, dating back to the mid 1800’s, I’m glad to see this building in its newest incarnation, filling a community need. I was very happy to donate a bench to the cause, I look forward to other fundraisers.”

Mary runs her own upholstery company in Rochester and used her skills to masterfully makeover her bench.  She adding cushioning to the seat and seat back for comfort and covered it with Lee Jofa fabric, Stuart.  This fabric, with a cream background, depicts birds, trees, and flowers in a folk art style and color scheme.  The superior quality of the piece is evidenced in the details; a row of antiqued brass tacks lines the piping on each arm, and the front edge of the seat is adorned with decorative wood trim featuring a row of delicate leaves.

Mary has worked for designers and architects for 35 years, mostly doing wholesale work.  Her most public job would be the first and second renovation at the Spa at the Del Monte (designer Jonathan Ragusa).  Otherwise she has worked in some of the loveliest homes in Rochester including the Gannett Estate and the Frank Lloyd Wright house.


Her business partner and fellow artist, Nicholas Schoenwald, was able to use his painting expertise to perfectly compliment the colors and style of the fabric and upholstery work by adding a custom cut and hand painted thistle flower to each end of the bench.  In fact, says Mary, “his fanciful interpretation of a thistle drove the design.”



Photo Inspiration (item #12)

by Rhana Mufasta

Rhana Mufasta is a local high school student living in Webster, NY and attending school there.  She has a particular passion for nature and portrait photography.  She has been able to take some classes in school and hopes to further her knowledge and experience by taking college classes as well.  Rhana wanted to use her bench to showcase some of her own Best in Show photos from the last few years.

Rhana chose 15 photos for her bench which she painted in an energetic pattern using neutral colors.  The bench itself feels like a small art gallery which images of flowers, waterfalls, and vignettes from her families travels.


When Rhana delivered her bench I discovered a poised and delightful young woman with an obvious desire to capture the world around her.  She showed me other photos from her portfolio and I loved every one.  She recently shadowed a professional portrait photographer doing a senior portrait shoot.  I am certain that the photos she showed me were every bit as good as the pros must have been.  I hope she is available to do my son’s senior portraits next year.


Turtlewoods (item #4)

by Sue Keating

Sue Keating has found a unique niche in the art world, and it all begins with food.  That’s right, among other things Sue eats a lot of avocados and olives and other foods with seeds or pits.  Unlike the rest of us who simply discard the annoying little seeds in an orange or stick an avocado pit in a cup of water hoping it will sprout, Sue makes art.

Maybe it started as a project with the kids in her life or maybe it was a Pinterest post she just had to try.  Either way it has taken off and now she is surrounded by tiny turtles.  It is these turtles that in turn inspired Sue to create a bench for our auction titled, Turtlewoods.  She used a base coat of Glidden Paint in Garden Path green to set the stage for a hand painted woodland scene.   Trees grow up and over the back and arms surrounding the sitter in a forest.  Be careful though!!


Sue’s bench has 8 of her tiny turtles crawling around on it.  Each of these has a body made of ½ an avocado pit and head, legs, and tails made of olive pits.  These are specially prepared to prevent the turtle from any sort of rot or decay.  It fact, if you are careful of the little guys, they might last longer than the bench.


All Blinged Out (#6)

by Maureen Robbins from Maureen Robbins Art

Everything Maureen Robbins creates gives off a sparkle.  Maybe it’s because she uses so much bling in her art.  I contacted her on the recommendation of another bench artist and she was thrilled to participate.  Her bench showcases enumerable pieces of costume jewelry she has collected from various locations.  She collects beads, necklaces, bracelets, not to wear to the ball but to create her art.

Visit her Facebook page and you will soon realize that bling is one of her most used art supplies.  A really good glue is probably number 2.  For her bench she created an edge to the front and back of the seat, arranged her chosen jewels, and encased it all in clear resin truly making it a showcase to display the whole collection.


Pictures do not capture the vast assortment of bits and baubles in this piece, but I hope you can get a sense of just how sparkly it really is.

Come back tomorrow for a closer look at a few more benches.

Local 2017 Reuse Contest Results

Every year ReHouse partners with The Reuse People to bring you The National Reuse Contest.  There are 2 categories, Furniture/Art and Remodeling/Construction, and the goal of each project should be to showcase reused materials.  ReHouse staff has voted and we are awarding 1st and 2nd place in the Furniture/Art category and 1st place in the Remodeling/Construction category (we did not receive enough entries to vote for 2nd). The 2017 local portion of the contest has concluded, and we are delighted to share with you our 3 winners who live in 3 different states!


First Place

The Rattlesnake Zephyr by Jonathan Postal, Memphis, Tennessee

art Jonathan Postal

This is a Postal Delta Zephyr, a handmade guitar that began its life as a Maple board in Tennessee.  Jonathan incorporated reused materials throughout.  The control plate is made from a brass vintage Skyscraper door plate (from ReHouse).  The Jack Input is fabricated from the back plate of a drawer pull as is the Truss Rod Cover, which has been covered in Rattlesnake skin.  The Switch Plate is a vintage US coin reproduction.  The Pick Guard and Neck Plate are hand made from brass door kick plates that were salvaged from the old Memphis Central Train Station.  The sides of the instrument are covered in the skin of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Second Place

A Dining Table with Family Ties by Sarah Shank, Washington, DC

furniture Sarah Shank1

Sarah Shank is one of many ReHouse customers who have given new life to bowling alley reclaimed from The Polish Heritage Society in Rochester, NY.  She said, “When I saw this bowling alley from the Polish American Club available, I couldn’t resist. As a child, my grandma was an active member of the PAC and we spent many nights there at spaghetti dinners. My grandparents were both bowlers and so it’s been a huge part of my family.

“We bought an 8 ft piece of lane, hauled it back to DC (where I now live) and began deciding how to turn it into my dining room table. The piece was so heavy that we had to have folks help us lift it into the house.  We worked with a friend who does some metal work to help with the welding. I found the legs at a yard sale – we believe they are from a machine shop in WV.”



First Place

Kitchen and Bath Remodel by the Zuech Family, Rochester, New York

The Zuech household in Franklinville, NY underwent a kitchen and bath remodel this year.  Repurposed materials for the project included an antique dresser, a section vintage bowling alley, a 1952 Chambers stove, light fixtures from an old car garage, an antique claw foot tub, and dozens of vintage hankies.


A huge thank you and congratulations go out to all entrants and winners.  We are immensely impressed with all the customer projects we receive.  Get ready to send in your 2018 entries starting in just a few months.

Best of Bowling Alley Salvage

“Do you bowl?”

Shortly after moving into my new home the lady across the street, who was then 84, walked over to welcome us.  After “hello,” the very next thing out of her mouth was, “do you bowl? We need another woman in our league.” I think my jaw hit the floor.  The truth is…I CAN bowl, but I don’t make a habit of it.  What I would like to do is build something out of reclaimed bowling alley wood.  I didn’t tell her that though.

I have put together a compilation of the Best Bowling Alley Re-Builds by customers here at ReHouse.  We don’t want to brag, but they are also some of the best anywhere.  In my search for primo projects on Pinterest I discovered that most reclaimed bowling alleys become one type of finished product: the top of something.  They become the tops for desks, coffee tables, dining tables, counters, bars, and islands.  Here are some amazing creations by our very own customers (in no particular order).

Extended Kitchen Island

The Johnson-Kercsmar family chose an 8 foot section of bowling alley with inlaid arrows.  They refinished the wood with a warm stain, painted a reclaimed kitchen cabinet, and added some wood legs and framing.  Those industrial stools appear to be made to match!  And how amazing does it look with that stone fireplace and those vintage style lights (which are also available at ReHouse)?  Can I come over?rehouse

Custom Kitchen Island

Here is another kitchen island.  The Zuech family also chose a piece with inlaid arrows to add some direction to their cooking.  They refinished the top but kept the light finish, trimed the edge with metal, and went with a white base to compliment their amazing Chambers stove (ReHouse has one of those right now too).  I’d love to poke around the rest of the house!bowling alley_Zuech_2017

Dining Table for…a crowd?

This dining table is the longest project I am featuring today.   Our customer, who resides in a loft apartment in Rochester, apparently enjoys hosting large dinner parties because he has this table set for 18 guests!  He chose a 12 foot section (the longest we have).  On the near end you can see the lane’s original pin decking and a few bowling pins for some interest.  I don’t know what the base is for this table, but I can assure you it must be heavy duty to hold up this grand table.  (Sadly, I am not certain which customer created this beauty.  If it is you, please let me know so that I can give proper credit.)  How do I secure an invite to the next party?bowling-alley-table-2bowling-alley-table

Bathroom Vanity

The Church family used 2 lengths of the approach for their double-decker bathroom vanity.  The approach is the section of lane before the point where you release the ball.  This material is thinner because it does not usually need to withstand the abuse of heavy bowling balls.  The approach was also salvaged in narrower pieces, so there was no need to cut down the width of these pieces before installation.  Both levels are edged in strips of beautiful matching wood trim.  Some steel pipes for supports gives this a sophisticated industrial feel.  Do you mind if I use the facilities?bowling alley vanity

Kitchen Table & Benches

The Femecs, a local husband and wife team, designed and constructed a built-in breakfast nook including a table and benches on 2 sides.  The alley section they used for the bench seat features small circle markings on the far right.  The metal table base was custom made by Rochester company General Welding and Fabricating.  All other work on this inviting corner of the kitchen was done by the couple.  The edge of the table was left without trim to show off the many narrow strips of wood that make up the alley.  I like my eggs over hard please.BowlingLaneTableAndBenches

Have you purchased bowling alley from Rehouse?  Have you done anything with it yet? We want to see it!  Email your project pics to rehouseinfo@rehouse.com.  We LOVE to see what our customers are doing.  Don’t you have a project to start?

Photos have been provided by the customers and have been used with their permission.

Top 10 Architectural Salvage Items to Repurpose for Your Home

It’s a hot word in today’s online world of DIY blogging and made over décor: Repurpose.  But what does it really mean to “repurpose” something? Google has informed me that to repurpose means to “adapt for use in a different purpose.”  This is one of my favorite words, and working at ReHouse I have daily inspiration.  It got me to wondering, what are the most popular architectural salvage items to repurpose?  I’ve done my fair share of upcycling, as it is also called, but I turned to the DIY pros via Pinterest for some guidance on the topic.

I conducted a search on Pinterest for “repurpose architectural salvage” and gathered my data on the frequency with which each item or category appeared in the results.  I then compared those results with our own POS database and the quantity of each item or category we sold in 2016 and 2017 so far (these numbers will be listed in parenthesis for each category or subcategory).  I have concluded that the top 10 architectural salvage items to repurpose (in no particular order) must be

Doors (1081)

Interior (709), exterior(209), paneled wood, metal, wood with leaded glass, rustic/barn (53), sliding, folding, painted or natural, hundreds of DIYers are adapting doors to fit their décor needs and styles.  These photos all come from ReHouse customers who have reinstalled or repurposed the doors they purchased here.

Top left: Tim repurposed a pair of oversized doors from a garage or barn into outdoor privacy walls on his deck. Top right: Exterior door with side lites and arched transom from Victorian home in Hornell, NY reinstalled at MCM Natural Stone in Rochester, NY. Center right: wood interior door with beautiful grain turned on its side is now a customer’s headboard. Bottom right: an assortment of paneled interior wood doors pieced together to make the sales counter at Grossman’s Nursery also in Rochester, NY.  Bottom left: side folding wood and glass garage doors became a space divider in a clothing store in NYC.

Windows (955)

Technically these are window sashes or one part of the whole window unit.  Most DIYers using windows seem to choose older wood framed sashes with divided lites (256), leaded glass (100) or the occasional stained glass (31).  Pinterest has window project round ups that include “25+ DIY Repurposed Window Ideas” and “40 Simple Yet Sensational Repurposing Projects for Old Windows.”  Wall decor seems to be a very popular result, and here are a few I would be happy to hang in my home.

Left to right.  1. Frame a fun favorite poster within the divided lites and add a whimsical accent to the front like Cassie from Little Red Window.  2. Feature a collection of small stained glass windows on an empty wall like this arrangement from Pinterest said to be in the home of John McGivern.  3. At Right Up My Alley Design on Etsy I found inspiration for painting on glass just as I would on a canvas.  4. I could not find any one to which I can attribute this creative enclosed frame except that it is obviously from the family of Sgt. Gregory W Ball.  Cases and cabinets seem to be a natural progression in window repurposing.

Left: By Your Hands featured this cabinet with windows as doors but did not know where it originally came from.  You could use a pre-built cabinet or build one to suit a found window.  Similar to one at my house, this cold frame from Grow Garden Tomatoes will protect your sprouting plants in the cool spring.

Metal Accents

Metalwork that was a part of something else in a former life often peeks through or sometimes even dominates architectural vignettes.  In ReHouse these items fit into all categories.  Among the top choices for salvaged metalwork are fence sections or pieces (73), gates with some sort of latch (7), heating grates (180), tin ceiling (361), lamp/lighting parts (320), and other metal do-dads, tools, and thingies from who knows what (I don’t have a number for that).

Top row, left to right: Narrow console table using reclaimed wood and wrought iron fence pieces, this post led me back to Cass at Remodelaholic. An aged run-of-the-mill chain link fence gate becomes a decorating focal point when hung above the fireplace and adorned with a natural arrangement at Back Porch Musings.  Those little dod-dads come in handy when making unique wind chimes as Rebecca discovered from life. by hand.  Tear that ugly fabric off an old lamp shade, invert, and let it hold up your tulips (no attribution).  Bottom row, left to right: Antique heating grates set into the ground and filled with colored stones become and enchanted walking path aparently from Hometalk. Make your own toilet paper holder out of pipe pieces or purchase at Reclaimed Art.  This lovely bouquet accent lamp is made of lamp parts with a touch of hardware for the blossoms by Jack at Jack Riley Lighting.

Hardware (9725)

That leads us into another broad category that spans all types of door knobs (816), door plates (688), drawer pulls and knobs (2451), latches (205), hinges (1348), hooks (217), escutcheons (162), and brackets (64).  I was surprised to discover that many hardware repurposing projects are resulting in beautiful and unique jewelry.  There are also many customers at ReHouse who want to give their kitchen or furniture a makeover with new knobs or pulls.

Top row, right to left: ReHouse customer, Alissa Laine, restored this beautiful dresser by replacing the knobs with original glass.  1/2 of a hinge + 2 typewriter keys = a classy hook for necklaces made by Paul at Etsy shop StrangeTanks.  An antique eschutcheon (that key hole thing) and a few beads create a simple and elegant statement from a web page that is no longer active.  Some shabby chic door knobs are retrofitted for candles and rented out as wedding decor at Something Borrowed.  Bottom left:  One of my favorite uses for antique hardware has to be the addition of a door plate from ReHouse to a real and functioning guitar by Jonathan at Postal Commerce.  A statement piece worthy of a red carpet event this necklace features an antique drawer pull and (I think) precious stones made at Retreaux Girl.  Another ReHouse customer (whose name has been sadly misplaced) used 12 point glass door knobs and a wood door header to create an elegantly rustic coat rack.

Wood Trim and Accents

This is admittedly a large and varied category.  People are using corbels (76), plinth blocks (76), door headers (over 150 linear feet), column capitals, and pieces of wood appliqué.  It also includes all types of turned wood findings such as balusters (149), newel posts (8), columns (57), and furniture parts like chair spindles (145 chairs) and table legs.

Top left: An antique extra large corbel mounted on the wall becomes a plant stand at the Bachman’s Spring 2011 Ideas House and captured by Itsy Bits and Pieces.  Top center: Using some salvaged wood trim our customer Ms. Farnung created a lovely space to display her jewelry.  Top right: Decorative plinth blocks used to adorn the bottom corners of doorways where 2 types of trim meet.  Add a hook of your choosing and mount them to hang hats, necklaces, or dish towels like My Desert Cottage.  Bottom row: Matching corbels are used to support a shelf in the dining room at the Red Chandelier.   An unidentified but beautiful piece of salvaged wood repurposed as a table lamp by Meyer Interiors.

Mantels (33)

Pinterest viewers are not inundated with mantels as they may be doors or windows, but the end results are so beautiful and inspiring I feel they have earned a spot in the top ten.  These mantels are might be striped, sanded, painted, and/or stained.  Many live their new lives simply as restored mantels for real or imagined fireplaces, but often they are transformed into headboards, book shelves, or even a mirror frame.

Top left: upholstered mantel headboard by Rhonda at My Blue Creek Home.  Top right: shabby chic arched mantel headboard from a compilation at Country Design Home.  Middle right: mantel turned bookshelf found on Pinterest from an old Ebay link.  Bottom right: small mantel repurposed as a bathroom mirror frame at Neighbor’s Hill Bakery and Cafe in Arkansas (photo by Aunt Ruthie at Sugar Pie Farmhouse).  Bottom left: imagined fireplace vignette at Chateau Chic.

Shutters (224)

Both interior and exterior, shutters are used in a variety of household vignettes and projects.  Interior shutters are usually shorter and narrower.  These were more for privacy that for protection as large outdoor shutters were.  In case you’re interested, the most popular exterior shutter color is green if our inventory is any indication

Top row, left to right:  Gail Wilson at My Repurposed Life made this handy magazine rack with one wide interior shutter.  A tool caddy using 2 small interior shutters made by customer Gail Miller at a ReHouse workshop last year.  Four small interior shutters painted white and attached to form a box hangs from a chain and lights up the space (unknown source).  Bottom left: A lovely autumn vignette featuring a pair of shutters in another customer’s home.   Bottom right: I’ve seen many display shelves made with a shutter as the back but this one includes a light at the top and doubles as a hall tree with coat hooks (unknown source).

Furniture (1633)

At ReHouse our furniture sales are topped by cabinets of all types (1027).  Far below that come chairs (145) and tables (131) and then just drawers all by themselves.  Many DIYers are following the painted furniture trend which is sometimes covered by the repurposed umbrella.  Here I would like to show some amazing examples of furniture repurposed as some totally unexpected things.

Top right:  wooden head and foot boards become a sunny bench for one customer.  Center left:  a refrigerator on its back and covered in barn wood will now hold all the cold drinks for the party at another customer’s house.  Top right: dresser – drawers + wallpaper = dollhouse (unknown source).  Bottom left: another foot board with some shabby chic paint and a dozen small hooks can hold all your tea cups and saucers on the wall (link went to Hometalk). Bottom right: From Gypsy Barn this upright piano has been gutted and fitted with shelves and a drawer to be used as a dining room feature.

Lighting Globes & Shades (528)

Although we do sell the occasional fabric shade for lamps or sconces (24), most of the Globes & Shades (427) category consists of antique or vintage glass ones.  These come in every shape and size and fit all different lamps ceiling mount, chandeliers, pendants, table, wall, even under the cupboard and over the vanity.  They are available for indoors or outdoors, attic, basement, or garage.  I never knew there were so many! On top of that, individual chandelier crystals (101) make up a significant portion of all lighting related glass sales.

Top left: Use round glass globes as a mold for these trendy concrete spheres by following the tutorial by Steve & Kathy at The Garden Glove.  Top right: Search out ridged white globes, add a “stem” and create an autumn display that won’t rot before Halloween, Homeward Found Decor.  Bottom left:  Another great tutorial, this one from Addicted 2 Decorating, shows how to turn the classic school house globes into a succulent centerpiece.  Bottom center:  Two very different glass shades come together with some glass glue to become your new favorite cake plate worthy of the finest celebrations like these from DIY Homer.  Bottom right: Solar lights with a twist, this DIY project uses normal outdoor solar lights and glass shades from a common ceiling fan to light up Gail’s porch at My Repurposed Life.


Ok, I hear you…”what kind of category is commercial?”  This may not be on the top ten for Pinterest posts.  It may not even be defined as architectural salvage at all, but this year ReHouse has sold over 700 square feet of bowling alley.  That’s right, bowling alley.  I’m taking a guess that the customers who purchased these 700 square feet are not installing a home bowling alley.  The other option?  They must be repurposing it.

Now 700 square feet is very heavy.  It requires commitment to salvage, commitment to purchase, and commitment to repurpose.  With all that commitment I shall add my own.  I commit to giving Bowling Alley its very own post within the next few weeks featuring only projects completed by ReHouse Customers.  If you haven’t sent photos of your bowling alley project yet, now would be a good time.

Until then, what will you repurpose today?


Cast Iron Radiator Restoration

One category of salvaged items that weighs us down with questions are cast iron radiators.  Yes, we do carry them. No, we do not restore them.  Some, we are able to test and others we are not.  That being said, we salvage and re-house hundreds.  People who use them say the heat they generate is significantly better than newer methods.



Our customer, Michelle, shared these photos with us of her adventures in radiator restoration.  Michelle is not a professional but a DIYer with energy and imagination and a well-stocked Project Pantry.  Her radiators were purchased at ReHouse recently, and as you can see they were partially painted in the past.  These 2 were marked down because they were non-working having been tested by a customer.  Michelle and her family took on the challenge, and here is the process through her photos.

Before: Paint and Rust

Ammonia Bath, Pressure Wash, Wire Brush


Prime and Paint



If you are interested in taking on a similar job, please do thorough research before starting.  Speak with someone who has working knowledge of the process, and remember that this restoration is not a one day project.  Here is a sample budget for this type of project.

Michelle’s Radiator Restoration Budget

2 non-working radiators at ReHouse, $30

replacement bushings and fittings at Debbie Supply, $50

2 cans spray paint, $16

Gallon of ammonia, $3

Castalloy and flux  to fix leaks, $80

Total  Cost:    $180

Heat in the living room: priceless!


Thanks Michelle.  Great job!