DIY DESIGN | Secret Salvage Yards



Photo courtesy of Salvage One

Sometimes the most precious pieces are ones are those you find in unexpected places. The antique mirror you scored at a flea market, the Phillipe Starck chairs you got for $69 each at Hotel Surplus Outlet, the handsome used Eames Lounge Chair knockoff bought on eBay for $50 (yes, it’s true. The lounger is in my friend Michael’s apartment and what I wouldn’t give to steal it away). If you have an eye for spotting a diamond in the rough, you might consider checking out another insider source: salvage yards.

What’s so special about salvage yards?

These are forgotten pieces of mid-century modern furniture, perfectly good kitchen and bathroom fittings, abandoned fireplace mantels replete with mosaics of cracked paint, and collectible flotsam covered with abstract, oxidized patinas.” – Christopher Brown, Senior Editor, Dwell

Thanks to Christopher Bright’s post on his favorite salvage yards, I parsed out a few favorites of my own to share:

Salvage One: Chicago, IL

The crème de la crème of salvage style can be found at the Salvage One store in Chicago. Lots of collectible furniture, lighting, as well as architectural elements, vintage sinks and clawfoot tubs. With so many pristine pieces, it seems a shame to call them salvage.

OLD GOOD THINGS: Manhattan, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Hallandale, FL; Scranton, PA

ogt-peanut-tin-mirror.jpg ogt-sienna-majolica.jpg

Old Good Things has a good selection of handcrafted tin mirrors, and decorative tiles.


Earthwise gets more into salvage materials (like the wall paneling above) but also offers a good selection of tiles, doors, wrought iron and antique tin mirrors. The website pretty easy to search for items (we’d love to see a “view all” button). There’s also a “Fun” section for those looking for inspiration on how to design with salvage.

Ohmega Salvage, Berkeley, CA
Nice layout of categories, lighting is broken out by decorative period. Seems to be the most user-friendly website of the bunch
Gems include tiles, doors, cabinets, metal lockers, display pedestals from art museums.

If you’re new to salvage style you may want to start with these ideas: mirrors, ceramic tiles as coasters or tabletop decoration.

Cast iron or brass floor registers: Powdercoat paint them white, black, silver, peacock blue, or a fire engine red and hang them as wall art.


3 Responses to “DIY DESIGN | Secret Salvage Yards

  1. Very inspirational.

  2. 2 alyssa huskinson

    In that very first picture I’m looking for a chaise exactly like that one if I may ask where was this wonderful piece found?

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