We took the kiddo up north to Stumptown last weekend to visit OMSI, and when he'd tired of watching paper cups fly and making little foam balls hover in mid-air, we packed him back into the car and shuffled him off to my little dreamland of the day.
When you see Paul Bunyan, you know you're getting close.
Yes, my idea of a good time was visiting Salvage Works, which now shares its space with Boys' Fort Furniture and Solabee Flowers and Botanicals (they do weddings!). You can see your intrepid blogger reflected in the window below . . . and now I'm gonna link this post to Amy over at While Wearing Heels, whose photo challenge of the month was to photograph your reflection. Bam! Two with one blow.
You can probably guess as to the nature of Salvage Works. They sell architectural salvage, house parts, and assorted oddities. And they dress it up so that the place looks and smells (and costs) boutique. Boys' Fort and Solabee help with that, though it's at times difficult to determine where one venture ends and the next begins, they're all so integrated.
For example, we have here a gorgeous cabinet with drawers full of hardware and . . . succulents.
A wall built with reclaimed timber sports a vertical wall planter made of old coffee cans; more barnwood planters fill the desk.
Because all three businesses operate so symbiotically in the front area of the store, I think it'd be better for you if I just show you some vintage + green eye-candy and give you a scavenger hunt list.
*antique green house/plant stand full of plants
*stump used as a low stool/table
*vertical wall planter made of reclaimed wood
*vintage mail slot
*oleo margarine trough . . . er, bucket
*painting of Vincent, called Vincent, by a local artist
*really old trunk
*an arrow made of reclaimed wood
*an old stool
*a stained concrete floor
in this wall installation
*grape crate from the Coachella Valley
*Anglo roast beef crate
*a shout out to San Francisco
*a Scotch Whisky crate
*a yardstick photo frame
*old yearbook photos
*a well-loved glass display cabinet
As usual, I missed taking snaps of some of my favorite things inside, like the labelled cabinet full of drawer hardware, a leaning pile of huge reclaimed timbers, and a rolling stool made with a stump and some casters. Some day I'll get the hang of this blogging thing, readers, and you can say you knew me back when I sometimes still resorted to phone camera pictures and sometimes neglected to document the good parts.
Oh heck, let's do a little scavenger hunt outside, too, shall we?
*really BIG chain
*creepy head watching your every move
*fabulous cabinet full of tools (?)
*stack full of singleton drawers and wooden crates
*a "staff only" sign I totally missed
*a "detour" sign that someone else hit . . . possibly with a truck
*$1 license plates
*sign that either reads "she said" or "shed sale" (I'll never know, and it's killing me, Smalls)
*more wooden crates
*old red orchard ladder
*army green lockers
*two cast iron bathtubs
*spoked metal wheel
*a good reminder
*the word "schmick's"
They also have a decent-sized reclaimed lumber yard which the weather (and lack of flat bed truck) kept us from exploring, but we mean to take a closer look should we visit again.
So let me tell you the best thing about this place: the really sweet ladies running it for the day. I can't imagine better spokespeople for their businesses.
The woman from Solabee was headed out on a quick delivery, but paused at the door as we were entering to see if she could answer any questions or offer any help on her way out. She swore she'd be back in a snap before pointing the guys toward a pile of vintage Fisher-Price for the kiddo to paw while I wandered around.
I think Terry was the name of the knowledgable, helpful, and friendly woman at the Salvage Works counter, who directed me to all and sundry and helped the mister pick out a surprise t-shirt for me. When I came back through with a fistful of purchases (two little succulents, two old coat hooks, and a letterpress card with Paul Bunyan on it) she told me all about the fabulous Hidden Portland project Carye Bye (the card's artist) runs. Carye also runs a bathtub museum. (You can file that little bit o' knowledge in your "Weird Portland" drawer.)
Summary: Put it on your bucket list of places to visit in Portland if you're interested in really lovely modern botanicals, vintage finds repurposed and reused, or the raw materials to DIY. It's not as big a heaping heap of supplies as you'll find at my perennial favorite stomp (Bring), but more a carefully curated collection of treasures big and small, and a really enjoyable place to spend some time exploring and imagining possibilities.
Thanks for reading!
p.s. you can make these photos bigger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that, clever you.
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