So much room
There are no rules for how you display an old
typewriter or a ticket-stub box from a former movie
theater. And there isn’t just one way to turn an
old front door into a great table. Maybe you give
it four typical legs, or maybe you stack a bunch of
vintage suitcases, glue them together and place
them underneath the door as pedestals. Stoltz, of
Construction Junction, sees how much satisfaction
Pittsburghers derive from finding items they can
use for their own designs. “There is just something
unique about creating something out of salvaged
materials,” he says. “You can make something that
is common in function but unique in form.”
Good things are going
but definitely not gone yet.
If the hunger for this stuff continues, it won’t be too
many more years before attics and basements are
tapped out of cool, old treasures. For now, though,
there still are plenty of awesome items out there at
yard sales and flea markets — much of it available
at low prices, Ryan says.
Uncovering is way more fun
(and less expensive)
It takes elbow grease to strip layers of plaster from
brick walls or remove an old drop ceiling to expose
the ductwork above, but it’s work you can do yourself, says Daniell Walker, one of the co-owners of
Industry Public House. She and her partners spent
the better part of a year stripping the Lawrenceville
storefront that became their restaurant. Customers praise the raw, unfinished feeling of the space.
“Everything that for decades people have tried to
conceal — we’re all just really excited about it,”
Industrial mixes beautifully
with other decorating styles.
Some people choose to go entirely industrial, but
this style also works brilliantly when sprinkled
into other décor. An elaborate old metal typewriter
provides great contrast in an otherwise sleek, mid-century modern room. A set of vintage glassware
picked up for a bargain price at a local estate sale
adds unexpected style to a simple china cabinet
(and costs far less than new crystal).
The environment will
Assuming you go with real old items instead of new,
faux-vintage décor, you’ll be doing Mother Nature a
very welcome favor.
IN LOVE W;TH
WHERE TO GE; ;HE GO;DS
Construction Junction: For 15 years, the folks at CJ have been salvaging items from old buildings
and accepting all kinds of donations — then they offer those reclaimed goodies at rock-bottom
prices. Some items are always there: You can count on finding fabulous old doors and used bathroom fixtures. A selection of exquisite old doorknobs and metal hinges are located in a case at the
front desk. Otherwise, it’s pretty much a mystery what you’ll come across on any given day — and
that’s part of the fun.
Flea Markets: Oct. 19 is the final date for the Allegheny-Kiski Valley Historical Society’s long-run-ning Flea-tique. Visit flea-tique.org for details. Or try one of the numerous flea markets scheduled
in other neighborhoods around western Pennsylvania throughout the year.
Etsy, eBay and Elsewhere Online: You can search for “industrial design” in general or hunt for a
specific item such as a vintage gumball machine or old carnival sign at a slew of online stores. The
site twentygauge.com has fabulous retro metal office furniture and will create custom furniture
Pop-up Stores: Last year in East Liberty, the pop-up project “Townhouse” offered a carefully curated mix of new and vintage items. Although this eight-month experiment has ended, keep an eye
out for similar creative projects.
Metal chairs and old card
catalogs are just some of
the salvaged items Kevin
Ryan sells on his online Etsy
shop, Urge Studio.