Posts by Laurie Harquail (page 4)
My name is Laurie Harquail, but for
blogging purposes I go by the ‘nom de plume’ of Scout.
Ten years ago, I relocated from San
Francisco to Portland, and much to my surprise, never looked back. I think one reason
is that I was fortunate enough to land a job with Rejuvenation, where I’ve worked
since September 2001. I spend LOTS of time working on our catalogues, which is
how I fell sideways into location scouting (hence the pen name). Scouting is a
fun part of the job, and has allowed me to visit many lovely homes and creative
businesses – and meet many cool people. More often than not, interesting stories fall
out of these sessions, which is what I intend to share via this blog.
Two truths and one lie:
- I hate bad pens.
- I am in search of the perfect wind
- I churn my own butter.
The Portland Salvage Home Tour happens October 6th. For those of you who can’t make the event in person, we’re featuring a few of the the five homes here.
This post is by guest contributor Nancy Ranchel, home décor enthusiast, salvage supporter, and blogger. Her home was featured in Salvage Secrets by Joanne Palmisano. Here, she shares her impressions of Anne and Richard DeWolf’s home. The DeWolfs are the principals and owners of Arciform, a design-build company specializing in the restoration and remodel of historic and vintage structures.
Anne and Richard bought this c.1908 house as a duplex. For a time, a tenant lived downstairs and Anne and Richard lived upstairs. When the tenant moved out, Anne and Richard threw a huge country-western poker party to celebrate that, once again, the house was a single-family dwelling. (To this day, Anne will tell you to that bringing bales of straw into your house is NOT a good idea.)
And then they started to renovate.
That was 10 years ago – and they’re still not finished. In almost every part of the home, you’ll find salvage incorporated into the design and décor.
So many rooms are worth delving into, but let’s begin by looking at their kitchen (which happens to be my dream kitchen).
The DeWolfs’ kitchen
The stove is from the ’40s, and is in original condition. The sink is salvage from Rejuvenation. The floors are sheathing from a neighbor’s project. And the rolling islands? The wood came from Anne and Richard’s coastal property. In order to build their beach house (also a work in progress), they logged and milled hemlock and alder on their land. The wood has been put to good use on other projects as well.
Now, we’ll take a peek at their downstairs bath. Both the sink and toilet are salvage from Rejuvenation.
Downstairs sink and bath
On to the upstairs bathroom. The antique washstand came with original tile and countertop.
The tub and hardware were also salvage from Rejuvenation.
Salvaged hardware from Rejuvenation.
The striking sunflower showerhead is more than 100 years old. According to Anne and Richard, the water flow was very intense, so a handheld unit was added later for practical purposes.
100-year-old salvaged “sunflower” shower head
The DeWolfs are always on the lookout for salvage and antiques, and never pass up a good deal. During a trip back east, they happened upon antique bookcases, paneling, and a grandfather clock – a collection representing an entire library from a French country house. Anne and Richard bought the set, and had it trucked back home. At the time, they didn’t have room for all the pieces in one room. However, they are currently working on adding a library, so the collection will soon be reunited again.
Anne and Richard’s antique bookshelves awaiting assembly
The antique grandfather clock stands by
The DeWolfs’ love of salvage extends beyond the architectural. While looking for a present for Richard at a swap meet, Anne instead found something for herself: a vintage motorcycle kiddie ride. This one still takes a quarter and is actively used.
Motorcycle kiddie ride
And finally, beyond the toilets, sinks, bookshelves, grandfather clocks, and sunflower showerheads, Anne and Richard’s ability to integrate vintage items into their life even extends to fashion. Here, Anne is wearing a vintage Karl Lagerfeld dress and Richard is wearing a vintage tux. They look smashing – and so does their home.
Anne and Richard DeWolf, with their dog, Phinneas
We’re thrilled to introduce four luminous new light fixtures to Rejuvenation’s Mid-Century Modern Collection: the Gamma, Meteor, Luna, and Foton. These forward-looking, space-inspired fixtures were first manufactured between 1953 and 1960, reflecting the excitement and optimism of the times.
The Meteor with Lacquered Brass inner bowl
The Meteor lifts up a dining room
The more elaborate fixtures of the group, the Gamma and Meteor, are defined by their striking crystal-ball-tipped rays. A description of these fixtures from the original catalogue still rings true today: “Radiating brass rods, capped with crystal spheres, add to the verve of this design.” We couldn’t have said it better. And indeed, our desire to preserve this “verve-factor” inspired us to reproduce these fixtures. These lights aren’t quite like anything else on the market: the perfect balance between retro and contemporary, sophisticated and spirited.
We think they’re a natural fit for mid-century homes, but they would also look stellar in stark industrial spaces or glamourous jewel boxes. Because they include hang-straight joints, they work on vaulted ceilings; and because you can select the length you want, they suit high ceilings, too.
The glamorous Gamma with Etched Glass inner bowl
Slightly more restrained but no less elegant are the Luna and Foton, well-proportioned semi-flush fixtures that can carry a space. Their smart, compact design makes them a good choice for rooms with lower ceilings. Think of them as a great way to add some pizazz to a quiet hallway or bedroom.
The Luna (left) and the Foton (right)
All four of these fixtures share an unusual double-bowl construction. The large glass outer bowl – produced by a family-owned, Indiana-based manufacturer – sports a lively “spirograph” pattern screen-printed on the glass. The glass itself is then heated in molds until it “slumps,” resulting in the graceful saucer shape.
For the inner bowl, you can choose etched glass (Luna and Gamma) or metal (Meteor and Foton). The choice will influence the type of light: etched glass will produce a diffuse semi-indirect light, while the decorative pinholes in the metal bowl create a subtle starlight effect. As for the metal finish, all four fixtures are available in Polished Chrome or Lacquered Brass.
Whichever design you choose, and wherever you choose to place them, just know that these new fixtures are conversation starters for sure – we can’t promise that they won’t steal the show at your next party!
For more stellar views of these fixtures make sure to check out our Flights of Fancy Pinterest board.
Porch lighting and accessories are near and dear to our hearts. Why? Because outdoor lighting, especially when combined with colorful shades, handsome entry door sets, and solid-brass mailboxes can be transformative – taking a ho-hum zone many of us just pass through and turning it into an inviting destination.
A pair of Amity fixtures flank the front door, while three Bandons provide overhead light
For older homes, we usually recommend sticking close the original architectural style. Because all of our fixtures are period authentic and organized into collections by era from 1860 to 1970, it’s easy to choose the lights that suit where you live. With fixtures and accessories that look like they’ve been there since the beginning, you help maintain the architectural integrity of your house and your neighborhood.
If your tastes are more eclectic or you live in a newer home, you still have lots of choices. Warehouse lights look good on nearly any style of architecture. Or try a sleek Mid-Century Modern fixture to perk things up. Our customization options – the ability to choose finish, length, and shade – allow you to create your own just-right lights.
Lights are just the beginning, though. Think of your home’s entry as another room, a place to exercise your design style and create a welcoming mood. Incorporate a flagpole holder to express your patriotism. Add a crystal doorknob for a little glamour. Set out a bench and small table to create an outdoor seating area. Doorbells, umbrella stands, flower pots, door knockers, mailboxes – they all contribute to the charm and utility of your porch.
To see how outdoor fixtures and accessories create a particular feel, visit our Pinterest boards: Curb Appeal – Warm (darker finishes that create a cozy, inviting, more traditional feel) and Curb Appeal – Bright (reflective finishes that create a fresh, open, more contemporary feel).
Justin Grow is one of our salvage buyers. Like many of our salvage folks, Justin’s eclectic background informs his work. He’s studied historic preservation. His father was a fine artist who loved restoration projects. His mother taught music and owned a frame shop. He grew up visiting antique stores with his parents and “playing” with salvage. Together all these experiences have helped him understand the mysterious connection between salvage objects and the people who find them. Here Justin recounts the story of a salvage transaction that took place in our Portland store.
Recently, an antiques dealer came through our store on his was back to Albuquerque, New Mexico. He had a nice old sign – a vintage Mobile Pegasus – and after a bit of research, we agreed to purchase it. I brought it inside, and within 20 minutes I was approached by a gentleman named Jim who was shopping our salvage area.
Salvaged Mobile Pegasus sign awaits installation
It just so happens that Jim owns a building less than a mile from our Portland store, which he is currently renovating into a spiffy high-end auto restoration shop. Jim collects automotive memorabilia and, coincidentally, had been looking for this exact sign for some time. After some neighborly dickering, money exchanged hands and Jim became the proud owner of the Mobile Pegasus sign.
Though we only owned our Pegasus briefly, we did get attached, and we’re very happy he has found a worthy home.
Our new Deco Drum Shade is yet another piece of lighting history we felt just had to be saved. This oversized shade debuted in 1935 as “The Wonder Unit” so called because it reflected the technological advances in lighting at the time.
Admittedly, we love the name. But mainly we were intrigued and impressed by this shade’s scientific pedigree, based on a three-part construction: a large, opaque glass drum connected by a brass ring to an etched glass bottom lens. Originally the lens was tinted blue to balance the light emitted by warm incandescent bulbs – an early version of color correcting that created the effect of daylight. (In a slight departure, Rejuvenation’s version of the Deco Drum Shade substitutes uncolored etched glass for the blue lens.)
The shade’s “scientific” design also produced an ambient glow and even, diffused downlight. Functionally speaking, this quality of light was highly desirable for commercial applications, including offices, schools, and stores. (We like to think that more than one engagement ring may have been examined under a light such as this.)
In today’s environments, this oversized shade makes a bold decorative statement, particularly when used to replace a more expected chandelier. (Above, a pair of Hollywoods outfitted with Deco drums light up a large kitchen island.) And no need to be intimidated by its technical attributes – this shade is user-friendly. The brass lens ring (which comes in 13 hand-applied finishes) is removable, along with the lens, making it easy to change the bulb.
We’re always happy when we preserve the best from the past, and in this case, that means preserving the wonders of The Wonder Unit, whose features are just as exciting today as they were in the 1930s.