We went to two different hardware stores today to look at the exterior lighting that was on sale, but we weren't overly excited about any of them. The most affordable ones looked okay, but seemed a little flimsy, and their faux finishes were unconvincing.
When we finally got to the ReStore, my daughter spotted these gorgeous light fixtures sitting on a shelf. Not only are they the style we were looking for, but they're made of solid bronze and weigh a ton - nothing flimsy about these babies! They've also got that slightly nautical flavor that we were wanting for our coastal home (the style is called "Lighthouse"), and we were stunned to discover when we Googled them that they normally sell for over $300 (more than 4 times what we paid)! They're new and in their original boxes, however they do have a few minor imperfections, (which I like to think of as a "patina" - something those cheapers ones were trying to replicate with their faux finishes), but that's something we're happy to live with in order to get fixtures that we really love.
While there, I also scored a stack of the bushel baskets that I love so much (for 25 cents each!). They're great for storing things like onions, potatoes and squash, so they will be a great addition to our new pantry and/or cold storage.
We also came away with several bags of Hypertufa mix (four bags for $1!). For those unfamiliar with hypertufa, it's a combination of cement, perlite, and peat moss that can be used to make planters and other containers or sculptures that end up looking like old stone. I've always wanted to try it, and with the pre-mixed bags I'll have no excuse.
One of my best ReStore finds was these amazing napkins. They spent the first half of their lives in the dining cars of our province's passenger trains, but there aren't very many of those running anymore, so the napkins were in need of a new home. Since we've sworn off paper napkins around here, I happily adopted three dozen of them (at 50 cents each, I couldn't resist). They're very thick, and are of such good quality that they come out of the wash looking like they've already been ironed (which is a huge plus for someone who despises ironing).
So, if you haven't already done so, why not check out your local Habitat ReStore? Not only will you find some great recycled materials, but it's nice to know that your money is going to support such a worthwhile cause.