Trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore — Midwest Edition

avocado-laminate-counter-with-sinkMaking a trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is something I try to do on a regular basis — you just never know what you might find. Being constantly on the look out for parts for my 1962 ranch — especially for my upcoming master bathroom remodel — the Restore is a good place to frequent. On this trip, there wasn’t anything for my bathroom remodel — but there were several photo-worthy pieces to share with the Retro Renovation community.

faucet-on-avocado-laminate-counterThis avocado laminate countertop and sink combo would be perfect for a late 60s or 70s bathroom. The faucet — with its teardrop/starburst design — was ubiquitous! In fact, the ReStore had a whole pile of these exact faucets for sale. I wonder if they were removed from an office building?

stainless-sink-with-drainboard-cornerSince we recently covered five ideas for stainless steel counter tops and drainboard sinks — this corner stainless steel sink/drainboard combination caught my eye. It might have been from a restaurant, but in the right kitchen, this could be a showpiece — and amazingly functional.

stainless-steel-sink-largeImagine my surprise when turning the corner and seeing yet another stainless steel drainboard sink combination. This particular sink was huge — nearly as tall as me (I’m 5′ 5″) — and must have been used in a kitchen island, maybe in a commercial installation. Note, it’s very similar to the wonderful oddity sink that was used in the Corbett House, except this ReStore version also has drainboards, super special.

chrome-soap-holders-retroThese chrome soap holders with plastic soap dish have been at the ReStore for the last five months or so. I’m surprised that they haven’t moved faster. New Old Stock — galore!

soap-holder-chromeShould I bring one home for my master bath remodel?

Azrock-linoleumThere weren’t many interesting tiles during this trip — however I did find a stash of Azrock vinyl tiles.

Azrock-linoleumThey were a light beige and would be perfect for a retro kitchen remodel, as long as you could get enough quantity.

mid-century-light-fixtureDown the lighting isle I went — to find a few more treasures — like these three mid century pendant lights. If only I had a split level house with a spot for these lights. I couldn’t tell if they were $10 each or $10 for the set — either way, what a steal.

vintage-pull-down-lightDown the next isle was this charming pull down kitchen light. I think the old owner must have painted it white, aqua and purple.

matching-vintage-lampsThere was also a matching flush light — with a matching paint job.

starburst-light-retroMy last find in the lighting department was this cute ceiling light with starbursts etched into the glass — again, a style that was ubiquitous back in the day. This light would be perfect for a small entryway.

retro-wood-chairsNext was the furniture section — one of my favorite parts of our local ReStore. I first came across a whole stack of these mid century wood and leather chairs. They were likely used in an office setting — but could be great dining chairs.

cosco-step-stool-retroThis cute little metal Cosco step stool cried out for a good cleaning and a new home — but I couldn’t think of a place to put it at my retro ranch — so I left it for the next shopper.

end-table-record-stand-retroAnother adorable find — this record stand — which could easily be used as an end table or bedroom nightstand. I really liked the door pulls too.

mid-century-end-tableThis end table would look right at home at my house — it just needs a good cleaning.

mid-century-end-table-with-flowered-drawerpaperWhen peeking into the drawer — another surprise — it was lined with flower power drawer paper. What a steal for only $15.

steelcase-office-chairThe only purchase of the day was a 1987 Steelcase office chair — mine for a mere $10. It is quite comfortable — though I don’t think it is adjustable and wish it were a few inches higher — even with that small caveat, its an upgrade in comfort and style from my previous office chair. Even when I come home empty handed or not with what I intended to buy, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is never a disappointment.

What have you found at the ReStore lately?


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  1. Miked says

    Wow! I have been to our local one a few times and nothing. It’s probably a good thing because for $10 here and $10 there I would have a ton of stuff and nothing to do with it

  2. Nate says

    Oh my gosh! An American of Martinsville end table for $15?!? Is there anything I could do to convince you to buy that and ship it to me? 😀

    • Jennifer Knighten says

      I picked up an American by Martinsville dresser at a yardsale last summer for $20. I didn’t know what it was – I thought someone had drawn on it with glitter paint or something. It needs refinished but I love it!

  3. Wendy M. says

    My last find at our Habitat store was a Hallmack robe hook identical the other hardware in our bathrooms. I was so happy to find a perfect match!
    (I really like the wood and leather chairs you posted…I’m glad they’re not nearby, as I have a bit of a chair addiction! I’ve been told by my dear husband that he won’t exactly welcome any more additions to our collection. 🙂

  4. Pat says

    I used to love the Habitat store, but the last few times I was there I noticed the prices are just horrendous. They want new prices for alot of stuff, I only visit them now when I happen to be in the neighborhood. It’s so sad, as just a few years ago I picked up my kitchen sink for a song.

    • Jay says

      The offerings at my local Restore are not good and the prices seem to be a little high for the quality. I think people may be turned off by the location and clientel. I think what they have in their favor is that they take the old furniture and cabinets and light fixtures that Goodwill and Salvation Army won’t take plus the Restore has a truck to come to the house. I try to give them donations but it is a bit of a trip compared to the Goodwill donation center just a few miles away where you sometimes have to wait for a parking spot.

      • Marty says

        That was my experience with our local one–seemed to be a lot of contractor or big box store overstock. Most of the furniture was office stuff from the past 10 or so years.

  5. beth says

    I found a black leather Overman chair with the ottoman, I’d say great vintage condition. $10 bucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Lee in Florida says

    Wow, judging by the pics, you could put our whole re-store in that furniture section alone. Ours is pretty sad, and their focus is on books… no good furniture or lighting at all.

  7. TappanTrailerTami says

    LOVE the big stainless island sink, way too great and looks very functional too.

    Maybe you and Pam should send all of us readers out to our local Re-Stores on one particular week for a photo tour and do a weekend uploader of everything we find. We could tag our pictures with the ReStore location and price!

    This was a very fun trip through yours, I’d love to see others as well.

  8. Robin, NV says

    I just figured out where our Restore is locally – right next to my favorite fabric store. Bonus!! I guess I know where I’m going tomorrow on my day off . . .

    I’d love to have one of the chrome soap dishes. The one in my tub is grungy and, oddly, dented. How do you dent a recessed soap dish?

    • Sarah g (roundhouse) says

      I know from experience on trying to remove some of those old chrome bath fixtures from a house that was to be torn down, that it is quite easy to dent them… : (
      I’ve learned that if you want to remove them you must go through the Sheetrock on the other side of the wall

    • 52PostNBeam says

      Most of these old chrome recessed thingies are chrome plated brass – an extremely soft and easy to dent metal. I had two recessed spinning toothbrush/soap holders shipped to me, the postal carrier tossed the box over my fence and the metal crushed like a tin can. I was able to get them banged back into shape though 🙂

      I went to my ReStore yesterday – big ft zero, same as last time! I have scored at the ReStore many times, but one must be diligent in CA, the good stuff is few and far between.

  9. Diane in CO says

    We have three of those exact teardrop bathroom faucets in our condo in Door County WI (built 1969-70) which I just cannot WAIT to get rid of. Someday….

    They are so badly designed the water barely clears the back edge of the sink and you flood the counter just washing your face! I’m not surprised they have a surplus in your Restore, Kate! Terrible faucet….

    I’m actually taking some items to our Restore today and will have a look around…. thanks for the tour.

    • Diane in CO says

      I wrote above: “….bathroom faucets in our condo in Door County WI (built 1969-70) which I just cannot WAIT to get rid of.”

      The FAUCETS, not the condo!! 🙂

    • Kate says

      This is the one in Milwaukee near highway 45 and Burleigh St. — though they just opened a new one on the south end of downtown. Haven’t been to the new one yet.

  10. says

    Gosh, I remember those faucets!

    That double/single basin drainboard unit is something else!

    I’ve only been to one Restore, a very small one at the coast, but it was an interesting mix of stuff.

  11. Dulcie says

    We’ve got 3 or 4 different ReStores within decent driving distance and I have to say, not all ReStores are created equal. One had very limited stock at VERY expensive prices, the others are awesome and have really come in handy for restoring our old house on a very small budget. So, if you’ve had a poor experience at one ReStore, don’t give up on them all. One of ours even has half-off days occasionally, first come first served. I felt like one of those crazy black Friday shoppers waiting with a bunch of other people for them to open the doors so we could rush in an scoop up our deals. We’d gone there the day before to see what they had and to develop a quick-shop battle plan. I got 15 feet of wall cabinets for my laundry room for about $30.

  12. Chutti says

    Yep- the REstores vary widely by location. Where we used to live, it was a festival of great old stuff. Coffee cans full of drawer hardware, loads of neat lighting, cast off cabinets waiting for a home, etc. Our best find there was some 1970’s modular shelving that when refinished extended our good danish set to fill two rooms. I think we paid $40.

    Now that we’re back in the big city, RE Store is almost all home despot contractor rejects. They won’t accept most things from individuals. I tried to give them a perfectly good 1990’s stove from our house and they said they only take appliances less than 5 years old. WHY? This is situated in a very impoverished area where folks would be thrilled to have working appliances. The only thing we’ve ever found there were opened boxes of VCT. Nice to have but no huge bargain at $30 per.

    I guess the moral of the story is check lots of them.

    Now, the ReUse People next door is a different story. We refer to it as “going to church”….it’s that good. Yummmm.

  13. Kyle says

    About a month ago I was out on a research trip to any kind of re-use place (there are other non-profits that do this too) to look at bathroom sink undermounts. I did come across a set of rectanglar peach cast iron sinks set in grey boomerang formica which were very nicely intact and helpful to look at for my upcoming sink transplants. My greatest frustration, along with many of the staff in the reclaimation business is the lack of metal railings that are turned in for re-use. It seems as though contractors are scrapping them for quick cash. I don’t have a problem with this unless they are under contract to a municipality to reclaim all usable house parts, which in my area, they are supposed to be (according to everyone I interviewed). Years ago I remember looking for iron bed rails forever and my grandfather told me it would be tough because most of them went to the war effort. I didn’t have a problem with that either. What I have a problem with is theft and the loss of the intent of worthwhile community program. I had to travel 75 miles for one interior iron stairway railing after a lengthy application process. Times are tough I guess.

    • 52PostNBeam says

      I live in Los Angeles and regularly see scrap metal collectors driving pickups piled high with vintage metal railings, fences, and furniture, all going to the scrap yard for pennies on the pound. Last week I saw one hauling off two Brown Jordan chaise lounges that would have sold for hundreds on Craigslist. It makes me crazy.

  14. SusanD says

    I noticed the end table with the ‘stars’ in the corners is similar to a piece my mother has in her house. It is a low table, square, about 3×3 feet. Maybe a coffee table? I don’t know. Its been there forever! Funny to spot something retro/vintage that I grew up with 🙂

  15. Erica says

    Second Chance in Baltimore has entire 50s and 60s kitchens on a regular basis, sometimes even with the original appliances. They also have random retro cabinets not in sets and vintage appliances. Right now they have a beautiful blue and yellow metal kitchen from the early 60s (that’s a guess) that is in pristine shape and includes the oven, stove, and dishwasher. Every time I’m there I see so many things I wish I could share with the people on this site! If there was a forum I would definitely post the more impressive kitchens and bathrooms since they would be worth traveling for.

  16. John K says

    What is the street address and city of this store? I am going to be in the midwest for a couple of days in the spring and I would like to visit this store.

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