I was super excited when I got the chance to review Salvage-Style Projects!
The author, Amy R. Hughes is an editor at The Old House and a fellow DIYer.
This book is full of great project ideas and tons of inspiration.
As you guys know, I love crusin' around the salvage shops here in Seattle, and typically come house with a few great finds. But sometimes those great finds have simply moved from store to my garage...can you relate? This book is a great inspiration for turning those great salvage pieces into functional pieces.
I was also super excited to interview Amy to better understand her salvage-style.
I understand your love of re-purposing salvage supplies came from your parents. What part of the process initially inspired you?
The mystery of old things. My mom, a serial house-hunter, used take me to these incredible wrecks that she wanted to buy and restore. One of them was an enormous Tudor that had been damaged by fire, but there was one room that seemed untouched. Its door was locked, and we didn’t have a key. I still wonder what treasure lay behind that door.
I see that you are a self-proclaimed "junker", are you always on the hunt for another great find?
I'm always looking. It drives my husband bananas. He thinks I cook up reasons to visit these quaint little towns just to hit the antiques and junk shops. Things like 'oh, there's a great farmer's market' or 'I think there might be a micro-brewery.' I hate to admit it, but he's right.
Before you set out for a shopping trip, do you have a specific project in mind or do the pieces spark your creativity?
It's a bit of both, but more often I look for things that fill a need. For instance, I recently searched Craigslist for a wood, wall-hung medicine chest to turn into a message center and mail holder for my front entry. I rolled a couple coats of blackboard paint on the door’s front and fitted the inside with cup hooks for keys. It's a real clutter-buster, because it keeps us from tossing stuff on the counter when we come home.
Are there certain salvage supplies you find yourself buying over and over again?
Barn boards, crown molding, baseboards, flooring, door and window casing; I integrate this old wood into so many reuse projects.
In the book you talk about how to spot a fake, do you ever purchase pieces and end up having to donate them back?
I’m pretty good at telling the difference between an original and a reproduction, so I have yet to return anything. But that’s not to say I haven’t knowingly bought a repro. Some architectural antiques are so expensive that you’d have to be a Robber Baron to buy them. Garden ornaments are like that. I actually bought a used, but not super old, cast iron urn to turn into a fountain. The genuine article would have cost $700 or $800, compared with the $150 I spent.
What is your favorite reclaimed project to date?
It would have to be the headboard I made out of a paneled wood door. I avoided this project for so long because I thought it had been done to death. But it turned out to be the piece I am most proud of. I tried to make it a little different than what I had seen before, adding sconce lights to the ends and topping it with solid crown molding that closely matched the door’s aged white oak. I’m no finish carpenter, but I kind of felt like one the day I finished that piece.
Do you have a dream project? Is there a "Holy Grail" piece you continue to hunt for?
I've been hunting for a 1930 or 40s American Standard Ming Green farmhouse kitchen sink with double drain boards. It's exceptional—the kind of thing you build a room around. We featured one in a story I produced for This Old House magazine. Truth is, I found one. But I won’t reveal my source because I still have to pick it up.
Which one of your 22 great projects featured in your book, would you recommend for someone who is a bit timid about taking on a salvage project?
That message center is really handsome and easy to make. If you’re comfortable with a paint roller and screwdriver, you can do it. Even better, let me help. The step-by-step is in my book.
This book is now on sale wherever books are sold for $16.95.
Now, not only do I now get to add this great book to my shelf, but
3 of my lucky readers will also receive a copy!
Oh, yes - it is giveaway time!
To be entered in receiving this book for your collection,
simply leave me a comment and a winner will be
randomly picked this Friday!
Thank you This Old House and Amy R. Hughes for letting me review this book!