Homefront: Rescue Me
You could buy new windows — or use a set from a 19th-century Presbyterian church. Salvaged items are about more than recycling; they have an innate beauty that can’t be mass-produced. “We’re trying to do smart design,” says Frank Piller, owner of Manayunk Design Group on Main Street, which salvaged the church windows from a demolition site at 63rd and Vine. The shop has refurbished wrought-iron fences, windows and mantels.
Across town, ReStore collects and cleans solid wood doors, claw-foot tubs, pedestal sinks and tin ceilings. “Today’s home goods are pretty predictable,” says co-owner Linda Mellish. “The items we sell, you can see the handwork. There’s a sense of craftsmanship.”
In Lambertville, Monkey Hill not only restores salvaged goods, but transforms them. There are rugs and throws made from recycled wool sweaters, vintage brushed-metal furniture and reclaimed frames. “There’s a touch of nostalgia in vintage pieces,” says co-owner Jobert Abueva. “Restored items are versatile, and still stylish. But, above all, just so unique.”