Shopping at the ReStore, Springfield, Mass. — My first day with Aunt Pam

My nephew Matthew Kinkead is visiting, to learn how to blog and be my intern. There is no better way to learn than to do — so here is his first guest post. Matthew writes:

After traveling from Louisville, KY my retro-wonder Aunt Pam picked me up from the airport with a mid-mod packed week planned for us. Less than an hour later we had stopped at a place we both know and love, the ReStore in Springfield, MA- and as always, they did not let us down. I guarantee if you dig in and get your hands a little dirty you will find some great treasures, although at first glance the ReStore seems a little intimidating with items everywhere. Before we even got to the entrance we checked out their wonderful collection of window shutters.  Oh man, did they have all colors and sizes. We really like these little ones with the “pine tree” cut out. Wouldn’t they look great with a fresh coat of paint? Remember, when buying shutters make sure you measure your windows height and the width so they can close perfectly.


After spending a good ten minutes in the blistering heat digging through shutters we entered the main building and our eyes about popped out. Right there, like it was waiting just for us, was a full set of white Geneva cabinets- complete with two lazy susans (which are rare, Aunt Pam doesn’t even have them in her Geneva kitchen). Just look at those green countertops with the steel edging…alas, if I only had my own house. I counted seven 1 inch spacer pieces. Isn’t that a lot for a kitchen this size? For $600 these cabinets are deal. As with everything in ReStore, just a little TLC will go a long way.
Just a few feet away was this mid-century, baby blue cabinet base. It came with the kickboard and still had the original shipping label. Notice the large spacer piece. Many reader are looking for these (both large and small) so if you find some and can get them for a good price, we recommend hoarding them. Although harder to find, St. Charles cabinets are manufactured in heavier steel and overall better put together than many other  steel cabinets of the time.
Check out this huge yellow oven hood. It was hard to get a good picture since it was high up and weighed a ton. I love the visible bolts and seam lines. This would look great if you had a stove, or kitchen, to match it.
Aunt Pam was ecstatic about this find: stove knobs made by the fabulous Robert Shaw. These are rare, and for only $5 there was no way we were leaving without them.
This wide pink American Standard Gracelyn sink was a beauty. Look at all that space on the sides and the original hardware. This was an almost buy for Aunt Pam, but after realizing she already has seven sinks in her attic and one in the garage (not to mention what DH would say when we brought this big thing home) we decided against it. Still, it was hard to resist.

Affordable plumbing fixtures

I call this sink “wasabi” green and my, do I love it. It is masculine, not too big, but still eye catching. The short faucet fits it so well and looks so good. I would totally put something like this in my bathroom, if only I weren’t 850 miles away from home.

Perhaps our most wanted item was this three bowled, stainless steel sink (we couldn’t find a manufacturing mark). Those buttons on either side of the sprayer retract the faucet/sprayer when removed. And look how the hot and cold faucet levers are built right into the sink. There also were squared-off drain covers that Aunt Pam tried to buy separate from the sink, but they wouldn’t let her. It would look perfect in many types of kitchens, if only you have enough room to fit it. We were still reminiscing on its beauty during the car ride home.
Here are the clips for an under-mounted — and also for a hudee-rimmed– sink. Notice how one is turned so you can see how they hold up the sink. The screws are just drilled a bit into the countertop. Aunt Pam says that if you are buying a vintage hudee-rimmed sink, be sure to get these clips — and the hudee rim. Finding current day replacements can be difficult — for the hudee, nearly impossible.  Are clips like these still used today in new sinks?  If so, it makes installing so much easier. Changing out your sink, hardware or toilet is not as hard as you would think. If you do the proper research you can save a lot of money doing it on your own, but only if you are comfortable and know what your doing. I recently redid my own bathroom and was able to put in new toilet, tile, and faucet in only a day without much trouble — besides the back and forth trips to Home Depot.


Another one of Aunt Pam’s finds/summer projects (her list keeps growing). Wouldn’t this hudee ring be perfect to make into a bulletin board?
Her bulletin board idea was reinforced when she picked up these cork tiles for $1 in the next aisle.
If you are ever in need of hardware of any sort, go to ReStore. They will most likely have what you need, or you’ll find something better. Look at all these chrome sink legs, chrome stands, and pretty much any other piece you could need.
These old vent covers would bring character and charm to any room. Just paint and screw.
Aunt Pam picked up this old chimney cover just to check it out. I came up with the idea to make it into a fire pit. You could set it on a chunk of stone or marble, sit around and make some s’mores.
The ReStore’s tile collection was something to be amazed at. There were all different colors, shapes, sizes and materials. They had both small and large in these white with gray speckles.
Look at all those curved tiles. That green would great with the “wasabi” sink, the yellow with that large oven hood. I believe there was even some pink in that box.
They had a box of lavender plastic tiles. Very easy install. If you ever wanted to DIY tile, definitely consider plastic. They are cheaper, can look just as good, and easy to maintain.
These beautiful blue tiles were all connected. You could break them apart of stick them all together. Would you not have to caulk between these tiles if you didn’t break them apart?
ReStore had all kinds of light fixtures. We liked these rounded ones. I think they look like they belong in a bathroom but they could really go in any room. Do you like the clear or opaque more?
We loved this fixture and even saw one almost identical in a historic home we just visited (I will feature it in a week or two). The detail and the metal edging can bring a lot of flare to a room, although it’s a smaller light.
These next two were great as well. They would look perfect outside a front door. Too bad they didn’t have doubles. Don’t you love the shape and detail on the first one?  The second was my favorite. The heavy, ornate iron really gives it that mid century feel.
Another one of Aunt Pam’s buys was this wagon wheel light for her office (another summer project). This one looks more like a ships wheel. But with those wonderful Hob Nail shades and metal fittings she had to get it.
In the last aisle we found this great mid century door. The three windows and beautiful stain  made it a definite for the website. Again, ReStore has lots of everything for great prices. A new, solid front door could cost you hundreds of dollars. You can pay a fraction of that at ReStore and get one with more charm then you would find in the store.
With our first adventure at an end we went to check out. Everything came out to just under $30. However, Aunt Pam left her purse in the car so she had to ask me, her 19 year old nephew, to pay for it. This is what we came home with. That is a LightoLier shade in the back — very retro, the address numbers are for crafts projects.I’m sure Aunt Pam has said this before but I’ll say it again. There is no reason why you should ever buy something new. Get something older, something with character. Get something that has a story, something that you can bring back to life. As an archeology student I love the going on the hunt for my treasures. Having to get a little dirty and do a little work always makes me feel more satisfied with the finished product. Anyone can go out and buy something new from the store. Not everyone can bring something seen as junk back to it’s original glory. I’m glad that you dedicated readers can, and will always, appreciate the beauty of the retro community. I hope you enjoyed my first post.
To view slide show, click on the first thumbnail, and move forward or back via the arrows below each image.

About Matthew Kinkead
Matthew Kinkead is a sophomore at the University of Louisville, studying anthropology and archaeology. He is Pam’s nephew and clearly has inherited the Kueber collecting gene. At 19, he already has extensive and out-of-control collections of: ceramic mushroom kitchenware from the 1960s… Asian figurines… flower vases including donkeys with carts… ladies head vases, etc…. presidential figurines… trolls… and more. Watch for his continued, occasional guest posts.

  1. Katelyn says:

    I rencently purchased (unknowingly) a Gracelyn sink. When I researched I found that cabinet came with it (mine didn’t). Any ideas on how to mount the sink or do I need to build something? Thanks for the help and great resources!

    1. Pam Kueber says:

      I’d suggest checking with deabath.com to see what they suggest — consult with experts! Good luck!

  2. vic ziter says:

    In need of 2 pairs window shutters 14w x 63 L in vinyl please would you have these in stock? I am located about an hr away…..thank you

  3. Gene Brake says:

    Great job Matt on your first blog post. Love the orange sink and the great front door. I too love the ReStore and we had a GREAT one back in Seattle. The one here Chantilly, VA is a bit of a let down, but I understand there is a better one in Alexandria, so will have to check that one out soon.

  4. Andrea G. says:

    Wow! Thanks Matthew and Pam for coming to see us and your kind words! The pictures are great, it’s so interesting to see our products with a fresh perspective, through the eyes of a customer (especially ones who appreciate retro!) We were contacted immediately after your blog post went up about the “wasabi” sink, which unfortunately had sold—but is now back on our sales floor, just after we marked down ALL drop-in and wall-mount sinks to $5 each! I have a feeling that customer is going to be pretty happy…

    Matthew, would you mind if I shared this blog post on our Facebook & weekly eBlast? Thanks again to both of you, I’m glad you enjoyed the trip down and left with some treasures. Pam, BTW—your kitchen makes me drool!

    Have a great weekend!

    Andrea G.
    The ReStore
    (413) 788-6900

  5. jill says:

    omg, that mid mod door is the one i have been searching for! i am going to visit our local ReStore on monday…wish me luck!

  6. Northside CJ says:

    WOW! Wish the ReStore in St. Louis had that kind of a selection. I’m sooooo jealous. Great post.

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