Last week, Jack needed a fitting for our bedroom light and was headed over to Hippo Hardware, our local outpost for salvaged house parts. I decided to tag along and see if there was anything available to round out our lighting in the kitchen now that we had chosen the two Alabax fixtures.
We'd been to Hippo several times before in years past, and I had always found the lighting department completely overwhelming. It really helped to return this time with an open mind and without my children. Bored kids + crowded shop of breakables = frustration.
Some other tips for shopping salvage:
- Ask for help. Chances are what you're looking for is tucked away on a shelf in the back or buried in some corner. When we told the salesperson we were looking for porcelain fittings (to coordinate with our Alabax fixtures), he couldn't find any, but he did dig up this white enameled fixture that we loved. We'll be using it in our mudroom.
- Use your imagination. The enameled fixture was originally paired with an ugly frosted glass and brass globe. We rummaged around and found the perfect schoolhouse shade to compliment it. There were many other fixtures that would have benefited by switching out one of the elements.
- It's okay to dicker a bit. If nothing is marked with a price, then, most likely, bargaining is to be expected.
- Return often. Inventory comes and goes daily. We really lucked out on our trip, but we could have just as easily left empty-handed.
- Take your time, poke around, enjoy yourself. You may just find something that you didn't know you were looking for. While we were waiting for our enameled light to be re-wired (which they did free of charge), Jack started looking through a box of old industrial lights and found this cage shade (originally used, we were told, to protect a spotlight). We decided it was perfect for our pantry. We'll hang it from a cloth cord pendant.
We're making great progress around here. Jack finished off the wiring this week and had it inspected. If I can ignore the great weather we're having this weekend and stay inside and get the insulation installed, we'll be moving on to great things like walls and ceilings!