This weekend I met my sister in Golden Valley to peruse a neat little thrift store called Empty the Nest in search of a new restoration project! Empty the Nest is a unique thrift store - when people move houses, they take clients’ furniture and home goods out of their homes and bring them to their storefront to sell. The store’s inventory rotates every weekend, so there’s always incentive to visit. My uncle Ben introduced me to the place a couple of years ago and I’ve been a frequent visitor ever since. You truly don’t know what you’ll find on any given visit, and that’s part of the draw in coming - there’s always a wide scope of unique treasures there. They place an emphasis on caring for their clients’ past belongings and are passionate about cultivating re-use. I especially admire these principles, as they reflect the values Ravivé was created to embody!
Some of their pieces, like the beautiful mid-century modern set pictured above are intrinsically beautiful and not in need of much restoration work.
Others, like these chairs above, are in obvious need of some serious doctoring up. This sort of mess - something I can restore - is the type of masked treasure I love to find. When I first arrived I ran a fast lap to get a feel for what was for sale that day. As you can see, there was certainly no shortage of furniture (odd chairs especially) to scoop up to restore.
However, I decided to pass up on the random chairs (as beautiful as some of them were) to get a few other fun finds! I scored on a handful of unique treasures - for both restoration projects and just plain fun.
First and foremost - this little side table is now on my ‘upcoming projects’ docket! I’ll be taking you all through its restoration journey in the upcoming weeks. I was excited to run into something that contained a lot of character yet was in need of a lot of love. I can’t wait to dig into this project and get to know it personally; to strip the piece of its finish, discover what natural color is underneath, and get up close and personal with all of the little nooks and crannies. More to come with this guy later!
Another golden nugget from this experience - while I was out hunting there I happened to run into the owner of Empty the Nest- a neat serendipitous moment. I had the chance to discuss my restoration endeavors with her and hear about the ways her business features the furniture restoration work of those who buy furniture from them. Connecting with someone who shares similar passions to me was encouraging and enriching, especially as I continue to march on with this initiative.
It prodded me to reflect on the significance of the way we spend our time, the meaning we create through our work, and the importance of sharing it with the people around us. Restoration is certainly one of the ways that I search for meaning. The pieces that fall into my hands prod me to dig into the historic eras and people that have preceded me; they help me bridge generational gaps and come to a fuller understanding and appreciation of the world we’re in. Holding onto these snippets of time and place has become something extremely precious to me.
But back to the hunt - here are some of my other fun finds from the day!
I’m really loving this wicker hanging pendant light! I was just about to check out and leave Empty the Nest when I looked up to the ceiling and spotted this gem - I’m so glad I did. I’ve always loved the subtle scallops that this style of fixture features and felt lucky to snag this guy! This hanging lamp is a nod towards the 1970s, the era in which this style of light was most popular. Can’t wait to give it a home with other groovy finds of mine (once I untangle that awful mess of cords and chain…).
Lastly I found some old, undated, brilliantly blue blueprints to the home of a Mr. Crisostimo in Wahiawa, Oahu. This city is nestled between two Hawaiian volcanoes and is home to the Dole Pineapple plantation and about 17,000 people today. I have no way of knowing how the blueprints to Mr. Crisostimo’s home wound up in Minnesota, or even who Mr. Crisostimo was, but I’m fascinated by the intimate way I’m now connected to him. The blueprints will make for some beautiful art and a great conversation piece!
Here’s another look at the piece I’ll be working on in the weeks to come - stay tuned for the fine tuneup process!