Archive for August, 2011

Furniture made from doors, reclaimed lumber, trim and hardware

Little table from REvision Division

Table made from flooring samples (top), newel post, cabinet door (base), reclaimed lumber and hardware

The REvision DIvision is building functional and affordable furniture in it’s not-so-secret laboratory. Doors, cabinet doors, reclaimed wood, used hardware and other materials are being upcycled into chests, tables, armoires, cabinets and other household items.  Eberhard Eichner is the mastermind behind The RE Store’s long-envisioned program that got off the ground in the spring of 2011.  These pieces are being designed and built locally and are flying out the door as fast as Eberhard can build most of them.

The Seattle Times reported on the new line of furniture – read the article, “Seattle’s RE Store makes junk work” from 8/28/2011

View REvision Division pieces in our showroom. More photos and info can be found about this affordable and beautiful furniture here.

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Posted in: Green business, Stories about stuff, Things you never knew about The RE Store, Transforming the building industry, Video posts, Why blog about The RE Store?

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Salvage Materials Transformed into Fun Garden Art at The Purple Bench

When Lynn Cushway built the little out building on her Oak Harbor property in 2002, she had no idea that it would eventually become The Purple Bench – Antiques & Gardens shop.  But as this creative lady retired last year, she realized that all her years of collecting antiques, recycling materials and creating beautiful landscapes had an obvious intertwined outcome, and she began her business in June of 2010.  This unique shop carries an array of refurbished and repurposed antiques and items for home and garden.

Best of all are those unique items that she creates herself.  She says that inspiration usually comes from the item itself that she has saved from going to the landfill.  She has transformed everything from culvert pipe and oak barrel metal bands to claw foot tubs and watering cans.



“Orb” was created with metal bands from collapsed oak barrel planters, old glass or metal doorknob, metal rod. The bands were drilled with hole at either end. A 36″ metal rod was inserted through the bands, leaving enough at top for a finial ( i.e. door knob) and enough in the bottom to stick “Orb” into the ground.





The “Bubbler” Fountain was made from a piece of concrete culvert pipe.  It is about 4’ tall and the pump sits in a hole dug in the ground covered with a pond liner.  There is a piece of PVC pipe running up the length of pipe through a recycled plastic butter tub which contains glass beads.  The water fills the tub and spills over the sides.


“Watering Can Fountain” spills into an old 4’ claw foot tub (you can see the sprinkling water if you look hard).  The pump is in the bottom of the tub and the hose runs through the waste holes and is buried in the bark.  The hose runs up the back side of the purple bench through a hole in the watering can and down in the spout.  In the background is an old manure spreader.   The “Patio Labyrinth” is a combination of recycled bricks and flat rocks creating a labyrinth design.   “I saw this done at a shop in Coupeville using whole and half pavers” Lynn says “You can find inspiration anywhere you look around!”

"Watering Can Fountain" and "Patio Labyrinth"

Do you have a RE Store-inspired project to be proud of?  Please, show off & share your story!








Posted in: RE Store Rockstar Project

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Green Demolition – A Conversation with Noel Stout

Recent Gig Harbor green demolition project. Seattle Deconstruction Manager, Noel Stout, top left.

Green Demolition, aka “Deconstruction”, is a form of building demolition that utilizes a combination of machine and hand-dismantling to recover materials for reuse.  The RE Store specializes in whole-building deconstruction, which is economically competitive with regular demolition and allows for the reuse up to 50 percent of most structures, recycling as much as possible of the remainder, typically leaving only 1-2 percent of an entire building as trash.  Our services are fully adaptable to full or partial removal of structures.

We sat down with our Seattle Deconstruction Manager, Noel, this week and talked about green demolition and his position at The RE Store. His favorite part about being a Deconstruction Manager is “swimming up the waste stream to spawn. Seriously though, I do like going against the business-as-usual mentality that Demo has to be wasteful.”

Noel has many memories of doing green demolition in the last couple of years, but this one stuck with him the most:
“Most of my memories surround the good feelings of seeing people’s reaction to what we are doing. I once had a subcontractor who looked like he just got kicked out a cage fight for unnecessary roughness lock eyes with me and approach fast. He stopped in front of me and I sorta winced, waiting for something unpleasant. Then he told me a story about how his Grandfather used to make him deconstruct everything and even hammer nails straight. He smiled as he left and waved.”

Another great story he has is the dirtiest job he’s done for a green demolition project.  He could never forget this one either:
“Pulling down rat tunneled insulation on my back in a 18″ crawl space lined with rough concrete. It was 85 degrees out on hood canal I had on a Tyvek suit, respirator, glasses and still managed to shower myself in rodent flavored tic tacs.”

Noel says that most of the people that hire The RE Store for building deconstruction or green demolition are those people that know that demolition is not the only option. “Once the job is done most people are excited to find that they were right to question the Demo tradition and overjoyed to find out that we exceeded their expectations.”

He also said that green demolition is very competitive with traditional demolition. Some advice from Noel:
“Don’t let any Demo contractor try to talk you out of it. Like all services that require estimating we may be more expensive at times on a job by job comparison, but overall we are very competitive and infinitely more satisfying. It starts off that what we do is too good to be true then ends up a pleasant realization that they [customers] have just participated in changing the way it was.”

To find out more, or to discuss your Green Demolition project with Noel Stout in Seattle, or Wade Johnson in Bellingham click here.

Posted in: Green business, Stories about contractors, Stories about people, Stories about stuff, Things you never knew about The RE Store, Transforming the building industry

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Moving and restoring a historic building on San Juan Island

Historic photo of Argyle Suites building

Historic photo of Argyle Suites building, formerly Churchill House, built in 1893 - Friday Harbor, Washington

When the historic Churchill House of Friday Harbor was about to meet its fate with demolition in 2005, Lynn Danaher came to the rescue. She saw the house had potential in serving Friday Harbor with many more glorious years, as it has since 1892.

N.E. Churchill and Sarah Jane McKay Churchill, his wife, originally occupied the house in 1892. When Churchill passed, his wife helped house boarders, mainly students from Lopez Island attending school in Friday Harbor. After they both passed, the house has served as the Kellogg Rooming House, art studios, lawyer’s offices, quilt shops, restaurants, hair salons and more.

Argyle Suites building - fully restored in 2009

Argyle Suites building ~ fully restored in 2009

Lynn said, “I think it is an important distinction to make that property can be developed and historic structures can be restored in good taste, all the while maintaining the historic character of our wonderful town and its historic structures. All this is possible by using sound environmental and economic principals.”

With those principals in mind, the entire building was moved from the waterfront after more than 100 years to Argyle Avenue in 2006, where it is now called Argyle Suites. Lynn, with help of many others, carefully renovated the Churchill House back to its original state back in 2007.  As the house has been functional for many different types of services, it now serves as office spaces and a one-bedroom studio apartment.

“I used a lot of recycled building material, as much as I could. I abhor waste of any kind and if something can be adapted to a new use I will use it. For instance all the old used brick used in the parking and landscaping is from the original Churchill House chimney. Many light fixtures, the architectural salvage details and most of the tile is from The RE Store in Bellingham,” Lynn said. “The entire project was a lot of fun and there were many people that shared ideas as to how best to design and adapt and modify a historic structure to a modern day use.”

Loring House before restoration

The Loring House before restoration

In 2009 Argyle Suites was awarded the Stewardship Award, along with the Carter house that Lynn also renovated in 2009. The Loring House was moved and restored in 2010 by this preservation patron. She has now renovated five buildings including the Ace Hardware building, and her own home. Lynn and her son also own Archipelago Properties LLC of Friday Harbor, which manages Star Storage and Surina Business Park.

The Loring House - moved and restored

The Loring House - moved and restored

Danaher’s passion around historical structures extends far out into the Pacific Ocean. She spearheads fundraising for The Pacific Islands Research Institute (P.I.R.I.).  P.I.R.I. is a  South Pacific island culture archeology and ethnography institute, supporting leaders of the research in the wonders of Easter Island and other remote island locations since the 1970s. Fortunately reusable and salvaged materials are being created abundantly by the current culture, so we can leave historic mysteries intact for study and inspiration.

Posted in: Stories about people, Stories about stuff

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