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A Chicago Salvage Shop with Purpose

Remember the Great Door Hunt of 2013? We learned a lot of lessons that summer when it comes to shopping second-hand, and although our silly story saw us through ups, downs and in-betweens, we came out on top. Hooray! As frustrated as that journey felt at the time, can I admit something? I secretly loved that we spent so much time hopping from here to there, peeking our heads into every salvage warehouse in the city. It’s almost impossible for either of us to drive past an architectural salvage without pulling over (like, we’ve tried, and we just can’t not stop), so when we were introduced to ReUse Depot a few weeks ago, we were all, where have you been our whole life?

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Knowing of our love for all things salvage (and knowing that we are unable to resist a well-earned score with a little digging), the team behind Reuse Depot personally invited us to check out their 25,000 sq. ft. warehouse. It’s located in Maywood, just west of Oak Park in Maywood, which was a 20 minute drive along I-290 from Logan Square. As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by Katie (hi, Katie!) and Roxy (world’s cutest shop dog!), and she gave us a tour of their massive home, all while sharing their back story and allowing us to roam around their community garden (below), future event space and eventual workshop.

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Their soon-to-be event space, below, was so beautiful – and huge. Almost all of the windows had been bricked over, but they’ll be uncovering them this year. (Can someone we know please get married here?)

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ReUse Depot’s purpose is well-put, simple and effective:

Our mission is to save quality reusable building materials from being thrown away and forgotten. Every time a home or commercial building is remodeled or rebuilt, there are thousands of pounds of materials that can be restored & reused. We pride ourselves in partnering with our local deconstruction contractor to ensure every inch of a property is considered for reuse […] With a sincere belief of reducing the amount of waste that is taken to our landfills every single day, the obvious idea was to have a vested interest in the entire process of deconstruction.  From removal of materials, to onsite auctions, we realized the missing piece was creating a retail location for all reusable materials that could be sold affordably to the general public.

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We had too much fun digging through the warehouse ourselves, spending the most amount of time in their bath section. Even though we’re in the home stretch of our own bathroom renovation, we couldn’t help but fall in love with the cast iron tubs and colorful sinks. We even found a few of the very same Kohler decorative bath plates we’re using in our tub surround – and for a song!

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Chandeliers and lighting hung from the ceilings above the tubs, and smaller sconces and flush mounts took up an entire aisle:

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Their scrap wood was so reasonably priced, that you often found us doing double takes at the tags. There are so many future projects in all this lumber!

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In the very back of the warehouse, we found entire kitchens. We weaved throughout the rows of stoves, dishwashers and antique ovens, and we were stunned to see that the sink wall boasted brand new, in the box Kohler cast iron sinks for less than $200(!).

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One of our favorite sections hovered around the middle of the store. Everything from vintage chairs to fireplace screens to old mirrors to marble mantels and small bath accessories dotted the aisles. The shop cat was ultra friendly (and pretty!), and it’s only too bad I didn’t come prepared with a larger purse to sneak her home. (Well, okay, that’s probably a good thing, really.)

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ReUse Depot has a serious selection of vintage doors and windows, with an additional back room containing stained glass and the largest double pocket doors we have ever seen! Sadly, I don’t have proof of these doors, because they were so big, I couldn’t stand far enough way to get the whole thing in the frame. Crazy.

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In the front of the warehouse, they curated groups of one-of-a-kind pieces, which was set against the backdrop of an entire staircase from an old Victorian(!). It’s really taking all of my might to not end every sentence with an exclamation point, but you guys! We were in our own adult candy store, truly.

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On our way out, we stopped through their lumber yard – because, yes, they have an entire outdoor lumber yard, too.

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But we didn’t leave empty handed! We brought home this perfectly antiqued mirror, which’ll get nothing more than a quick wipe down. The aged glass is just right. We’ve been debating on where it’ll go, but now I’m thinking… laundry room? The answer changes almost daily.

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Needless to say, we are thrilled to have learned about ReUse Depot, and if you’re in the Chicagoland area, it’s a must go! If you’re not in Chicago, they also have an Etsy shop for small non-breakables. If we cheer loud enough, maybe we can get them to include a few cast iron sinks, too?

Locals, have you been? Also, who do we know that’s getting married so we can party in that event space?

This post is in collaboration with ReUse Depot, where you’ll now find us at the beginning of every new project. You’ll also find cute dogs. And cute cats. ReUse Depot is located in Maywood, IL and open to the public every day from 10AM – 6PM. 

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  • Heather4.1.16 - 6:44 AM

    How did I not know about this place!? I walked past it just the other day and didn’t notice it. I’m excited to go and check it out!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.16 - 7:24 AM

      You gotta! Give yourself plenty of time!ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square4.1.16 - 10:10 AM

    I can’t believe I didn’t know about this place either. It’s just one town over from us – I think we’ll have to pay them a visit extremely soon. Love to see what you’re going to do with your new-old mirror!ReplyCancel

  • SLG4.1.16 - 11:02 AM

    This place sounds amazing! I don’t live in IL so my main question is: how do you find places like this? What do you google? I want to find all the awesome ones near me.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.16 - 11:25 AM

      Whenever we travel, we always check in on the Yelp app and search terms like ‘vintage shop’ or ‘architectural salvage’ or even ‘thrift shop’ (which helps to pull up a lot of the straggling categories). Once we find at least one that looks promising, we’ll click on the category they’ve filed themselves under to see what else pops up!ReplyCancel

  • Josh @ The Kentucky Gent4.1.16 - 1:34 PM

    THAT EVENT SPACE THO! Especially whenever all those windows are uncovered.

    Oh the parties that could be thrown in there, or the amazing studio sessions that could be had.ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.1.16 - 2:04 PM

      I know, it’s crazy, right?! It’s going to be so beautiful. I think it’s beautiful NOW.ReplyCancel

  • Meg | Hello Farmhouse4.1.16 - 5:20 PM

    I’ve seen this advertised on Craigslist and I want to go SO bad!! Next time I’m near Chicago, I’m definitely going to check it out!ReplyCancel

  • misie4.1.16 - 7:54 PM

    1. that place is the jam! I’m going to start asking around to see if there is something similar in our neck of the world.
    2. crate and barrel blog – thumbs up – duvet cover and insert combo – does it float around or stay snug within the duvet?
    3. where did you find that fantastic army green jacket with leather sleeves?ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.2.16 - 10:02 AM

      Misie, thank you!

      1. It really is the jam.
      2. The cover has ties, and the duvet has a little loop on all corners, so it stays in place! The nicest combo we’ve ever used.
      3. I found it at Zara a couple years ago! It’s my favorite mid-weight jacket for this in-between weather. :)ReplyCancel

  • Leah4.1.16 - 8:56 PM

    I’m in Montana and we have a place called Restore,it’s run by Habitat for Humanity. I know they have them throughout the US but it’s basically the same thing as this just way smaller scale. Reuse Depot looks insane!!!! I would spend days there,maybe even weeks :) I’m definitely jealous. I was getting excited just looking at the pictures!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, this would be a place I’d never want to leave! They’d have to kick us out at closing time…and they are only a few hours from us so we will checking them out soon. Nice article!ReplyCancel

  • Lydia G4.2.16 - 8:54 PM

    Love this! I’m in Wicker Park, and I frequent Rebuilding Exchange, but this place is soooo big! I love digging around, even though I am still in a rental, I dream!ReplyCancel

    • Kim4.5.16 - 3:11 PM

      Our favorite places are the ones that sort of force you to dig. It’s the best feeling when you feel like YOU found something!ReplyCancel

  • Dani @ Danielle and Co.4.5.16 - 3:01 PM

    This looks so amazing! We live far far away, but are from Illinois/East Chicago. If we ever move any closer, this will be a for-sure stop!

    http://danielleandco.comReplyCancel

    • Kim4.5.16 - 3:11 PM

      That’s not too far! It’s worth the trip.ReplyCancel

  • Shelby4.6.16 - 3:21 PM

    OMG – that place looks like my HEAVEN. We moved “home” to Indy about 2 years ago from Chicago, and I never heard of that place. Maybe it didn’t exist then? Whatever the case, next time we visit Chicago we are definitely going to pay this place a visit. I meannnn….give me all those doors and windows, sinks, mirrors…all of it. :)ReplyCancel

  • […] Lets all move to Chicago and go thrifting with Kim.  Seriously. […]ReplyCancel

  • Christin Mueller4.14.16 - 12:28 PM

    This place looks amazing! I think we may need to make a trip out that way!ReplyCancel

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