Interiors & Renovation

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Imagine our surprise when we cracked the Post’s real estate section this weekend and saw our friends’ basement speakeasy profiled as evidence of some kind of trend in home bars. When Jeff Krasnow, who co-owns music label Velour, and Schuyler Grant, the brains and the body behind Kula Yoga in Tribeca, bought their ground floor condo in Williamsburg’s Smith Gray building four years ago, they made the most of their windowless but rather large basement by turning it into a bar-slash-music space. And while we suspect that the reporter may have exaggerated the frequency with which the now-parents tear it up in the hang-out room, we can attest to the fact that it is a much nicer place to unwind than most bars. Then again, we can’t remember the last time we made it out to a bar.
The Pour Houses [NY Post]

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The Times picked up on the salvage story we reported two weeks ago and fleshed out some important details. First, the story confirmed that the house was being gutted to make way for a drug treatment center in Crown Heights at the corner of Park Place and Brooklyn Avenue. Evidently, to bring the building up to fire code, all the wood material has to be removed. Second, the article answered the burning question of how much Circa Antiques paid to get all the goodies. The answer? A trifling $2,500! Pretty hard to believe, considering there’s got to be easily $100,000 worth of salvage there. Granted, Circa had to expend a lot of labor to remove the stuff, but still a nice profit margin. We’re pretty sure that the treatment center did not bid the project out, which is too bad for them since you know Olde Good Things would have paid considerably more than $2,500. Oh well, in the end we’re just happy that the fixtures and materials didn’t end up in a dumpster like the doors we showed earlier this morning.
Class, Brass and 23 Doors [NY Times]
Huge Arch Salvage Haul [Brownstoner]
Architectural Salvage [Circa Antiques]

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Always a bummer to see people throwing out doors like these, especially since we spotted some original hardware. Unfortunately, we were already late for work and couldn’t exactly run back to the house for a screwdriver. Would any techies out there like to design a salvage alert system where people could send in a photo and location from their phone and it would appear somewhere on Brownstoner? Would be very cool.

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We have spent much of the past year scouring the local sources of architectural salvage and we’ve never seen a one-off haul like this. Circa Antiques on Atlantic Avenue has taken possesion of the entire inside of a historically perfect brownstone! They’ve got everything from staircases to paneling to fireplaces to bathroom fixtures. Truly mind-boggling and certainly raises our curiosity about why a house like this is being gutted. A new modernist-leaning owner? A developer putting in slick new condos? Wish we knew.
Architectural Salvage [Circa Antiques]

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No secrets or deals here, but all good resources nonetheless.

Olde Good Things
124 W. 24th St.
(212) 989-8401
Good for: Affordable hardware
This 10,000-square-foot Chelsea salvage hot spot has everything and the kitchen sink. That’s because this outfit works aggressively in the removal and preservation of architectural elements from all sorts of residential and commercial New York City sites. You can also check out Olde Good Things at local flea markets. You can find the schedule at their Web site, which also offers more than 2,000 items. Salvage newbies might want to begin with old hardware, lighting, plumbing fixtures, tin mirrors or stained glass. If you’ve got the SUV, you can haul away columns, decorative iron, bronze and brass castings, and terra-cotta and building stones. The Chelsea shop offers hot deals on salvage from residential and commercial sites all over New York city.

Architectural Antiques
715 N. Second St., Philadelphia
(215) 922-3669
Good for: Antique bars and pub bars from American saloons, Irish pubs and French cafes
Feeling royal? This 30,000-square-foot, two-story warehouse offers an impressive collection of regularly reclaimed objects from French and Belgian castles and churches, American mansions, and saloons and pubs worldwide. Special collections dating from the late 1700s through the 1930s include antique mantels, doors, ornate armoires, street lamps, leaded and beveled glass, mirrors, bars, signs, urns and paneling. Their collection includes items from bars and French castles.

Urban Archaeology
143 Franklin St.
(212) 431-4646
Good for: High-end salvage
This salvage veteran has moved heavily into repros, but this is the place for salvage if you’ve got big bucks. Need a statue from the Place de la Concorde in Paris? Price tag is a mere $1 million. Looking for a glazed terra-cotta clock from a historical train station or stone from MoMA’s sculpture garden? This is your stop. On the other hand, you can pick up $4 subway tiles or lighting from $200 to $2,000. This major salvage player offers everything from affordable subway tiles to one-of-a-kind, million-dollar pieces.

Demolition Depot
216 E. 125th St.
(212) 860-1138
Good for: More than 3,000 pieces of plumbing
This colossal Harlem operation – it’s the size of 10 football fields – is a favorite haunt for decorators and designers. Spread over 12 floors, it offers vintage plumbing, doors, fireplaces, lighting and garden ornaments. Looking for Frank Lloyd Wright windows or safes from the Biltmore Hotel? Stop on by. This place is a treasure trove for architects working on residential and commercial projects. This massive Harlem destination offers 12 floors of vintage treasures.

Treasure Trove [NY Post]

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We can’t get enough of these renovation tales–like this Red Hook loft redo by a couple of creative folks–but are always left feeling a little lacking ourselves by how how neat and tidy this stuff ends up sounding when it’s packaged in an article and tied up with a bow. We guess that’s why they call it real estate porn–it’s missing some of the messy details that make the actual act so much more real when you’re doing it yourself.
His-and-Her Loft Story [NY Times]

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We’re recovering slowly from the psychological trauma we suffered upon witnessing the Niagra Falls-like flooding of our rental unit during the deluge of early October. Wish we could say the same for our cellar ceiling. We haven’t fixed it yet, but at least it looks like the insurance will fairly generously compensate us for the damage to the house. For a photo of ensuing mold, check out the reno blog today.
Cellar Ceiling Damage [Renovation Blog]