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July 30, 2007

Habitat ReStore

When building a home on a budget and trying to reuse and recycle as many materials as possible, your friendly neighborhood Habitat ReStore definitely makes things a whole lot easier. Habitat for Humanity is a charity that builds homes for families who can't afford to get into the real-estate market on their own. Good quality used (and sometimes new) building materials are donated and sold at their "ReStores" in order to raise money to fund their work.

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.

15 comments:

The Unusually Unusual Farmchick said...

What wonderful finds. I checked out the site and there is one not far from us. We have decided to go with a private builder and try to reuse items such as you, to offset costs and give the home a true feeling of Farm cottage. Thank you for sharing such GREAT information. I love the prices and hope I too can find some of the items you were lucky to find. Love the napkins and bushel baskets. The lights are beautiful. i bet you are having a blast shopping for all the details and getting such bargains. Well done!

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

You have the MOST amazing second hand stores! I am always envious of the neat things you find Cheryl!
Monica

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

By the way---SUPER lamps for your house!

heather said...

inspiring, as always cheryl. and such taste! your home is going to be incredible.

Joanna said...

I didn't know these existed, and just discovered there's one in my city! thanks for the tip- I expect to be working on a house in a few months, and we'll definitely check the ReStore out. As you said, it's good to know the money's going to a good cause.

Shawna said...

Wow! I am familiar with Habitat for Humanity, but I didn't know about their Restore. I love your light fixtures--very nautical looking. And those bushel baskets--I bought mine at a Kmart about 7 years ago for $4.00 a piece ON SALE!!!! You got a deal! And the napkins...what a great fine--love a history to anything I own, especially a local or romantic history such as a train car.

Chelee said...

I wish we had one of those here! You find the most amazing stuff there.

karl said...

i'm so envious of your score at the re-store--especially the bushel baskets.

Midlife Traveller said...

I'm envious of your ability to find great finds! I had never heard of Habitat ReStore before. The things you learn on blogs!

I was wondering if you could maybe write a post about the economics of building your own house versus buying one. Especially given the route you guys are going, with finding all these great used items. I'd be interested to know how it compares.

dawn said...

Wow, those are wonderful finds. I haven't yet gone to a restore, but I do know where one is. I will have to check it out. Thanks for the inspiration.

Carla said...

I LOVE that light fixture. Definitely better than what you find at the hardware stores...I've looked. I definitely want to check out the Habitat ReStore next time I'm in Van. How is the house progressing?

Debbie said...

I'm so glad I stopped by your blog today. I didn't know about the Habitat ReStore and was pleased to find one in my own neighborhood. Thanks for the link! The light you have looks fabulous and those bushel baskets are quit the lucky find. I'm hoping to find some at my store too. I always need bushel baskets.

Congratulations on your new house, btw! :)

Monica said...

Those are fantastic finds! I located a store not too far from me. :) I can't wait to check it out.

Cheryl said...

Tammie - I'm glad you were able to find a ReStore near you. I hope you find your dream property soon!

Monica - Thanks! I see that there are two dozen ReStores in Georgia, are none of them close to you?

Heather - Thank you!

Joanna - You're welcome. I hope you find some great deals!

Shawna - I love that the napkins have such a neat a history too!

Chelee - You do! I checked the website and it says there is one in your city.

Karl - I love them too, there's something nostalgic about them.

Midlife Traveller - Thanks for the suggestion, I'll start thinking on that.

Dawn - It's definitely worth checking ouy the ReStore before shelling out more money somewhere else.

Carla - The house is progressing, but slowly. We'll hopefully break ground in the next month or so.

Debbie - Thank you, and thanks for stopping by!

Monica - Happy hunting!

Steffi said...

You found wonderful things for your house!I like your new lamps!

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