As Seattleites, we learn the words “reduce, re-use, recycle” at a very young age. And they aren’t just words to us – we can separate trash from recycling in our sleep, have been composting since before it was hip, and wouldn’t dream of watering our lawns in the summer. Luckily, this “sustainable” mentality has also translated to how we build our homes – or so it would seem. Whether you are looking for authentic mid-century cabinets, a custom dining room table or reclaimed wood flooring, the Seattle area is a mecca for salvaged and recycled building materials.
As you embark on your next home improvement project in the area, here are six local stores that are well worth a visit:
Second Use: Second Use was started twenty years ago by Roy Hunter, a local contractor and environmentalist who was frustrated with the amount of materials he saw being thrown away at construction sites. Today, the store is a great place to find anything from ducting fans to pedestal sinks to granite counter tops. Second Use catalogs all of its inventory online so you can find what you want before you make the trek to SoDo. You can also feel good knowing that many recovered materials are donated to Habitat for Humanity. 3223 6th Ave. S., (206) 763-6929.
Earthwise Architectural Salvage: With the motto, “Respect the past. Sustain the Future”, Earthwise Architectural Salvage is a veritable warehouse of salvaged goodies. In addition to practical items like toilets and radiators, this is the place to go for more specialized wants, offering everything from gorgeous stained glass windows to quirky taxidermy bear heads. 3447 4th Ave S. Ste. E., (206) 624-4510
Ballard Reuse: Formally RE Store, Ballard Reuse culls reusable fixtures and raw materials from construction projects and resells them to the public in an effort to “keep them from landfill”. At Ballard Reuse, you will find anything from old gym bleachers to a clawfoot bathtub. The store also sells some custom furniture made from salvaged materials by craftsman James Taylor. Plus, if you are looking to offload old building materials, donations from the general public are accepted. 1440 N.W. 52nd St., (206) 297-9119.
Rhine Reclaimed: Recently commissioned to help build Seattle’s Bullitt Center (considered the “greenest commercial building in the world”), Rhine Reclaimed specializes in transforming unused timber from construction projects and derelict buildings into vintage-inspired wood flooring. Not limited to floors alone, Rhine Reclaimed also creates beautiful wooden beams and ceiling panels. 1313 112th Street East (Tacoma),(253) 531-7223.
Urban Reclamations: Part art gallery and part furniture retailer, Urban Reclamations sources local recyclables and turns them into everything from boardroom tables to garden benches. Urban Reclamations specializes in taking simple reused materials and transforming them into heirloom quality items that can be passed on from generation to generation. 2225 1st Ave South, (206) 659-6477.
Rejuvenation: Rejuvenation is a key destination for reclaimed lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, and furniture. They’re a small Pacific Northwest chain (although parent company is now Williams-Sonoma) with a large catalog, a good portion of which is dedicated to reclaimed items that can be found at their store or on their website. Rejuvenation is great for finding vintage furniture or unique looking light fixtures that can’t be found anywhere else. 2910 1st Ave S. (at Forest St.), (206) 382-1901.