By Nancy Ranchel
Let's discuss my design nemesis, Shannon. Perhaps you're saying, Ummm, aren't you being a little dramatic with the nemesis crap? I think not. Shannon and I both have days jobs, so we're not designers. That's an exaggeration. But the nemesis part is true. While we're both heavily involved in the remodeling of our own homes, Shannon, in addition to having good taste, actually has skills. He welds. He paints. His own very competent acts of being and doing really get to me. Obvs.
Nemesis or not, I have no shame about using Shannon's home as blog-fodder. In this particular instance, let's discuss his recently completed bathroom remodel. It is stunning, or as Shannon would say: It is flawless. White bathroom, quite modern. I sometimes hear people say that they don't use salvage in their design because their style is modern. But as Shannon ably shows with his fine bathroom, a modern look is not an automatic deal-killer for using salvage in the design. Looking at the pics in this story — how much salvage do you see? One item is a gimme, but the others are tough to locate!
Let's break it down:
First, the toilet paper holder is a piece of driftwood from a friend's beach property. This particular bit of stylish design requires no particular skill; find the right stick or branch or driftwood and your TP has a home. Branches not your thing? There are many alternative items that work with a modern bathroom. A particular favorite is a piece of statuary with a protuberance (good word) that can be used as a TP holder. For example, the best statuary I've ever seen was a kitschy vintage deer whose ears
were perfect for holding Charmin. Other salvage looks to try: vintage baskets, antique mirrors, an alternative sink, an old ladder for storage. Any of these looks would add texture to a modern space. (Shannon would approve.)
Check out that painting over the toilet. It came from the SCRAP Gallery on NE Broadway. Yes, from SCRAP. Get your booty over there, people - it's not just for salvaged craft supplies. There's also art made from "at least 75% reused or reclaimed materials". Folks, that's salvage. Nifty. Other vintage art looks to mix with modern: vintage botanical prints or zoological prints.
Take a good look at that ultra-modern shower. Do you think that geometric tile came from Ann Sachs or Pratt and Larson? Maybe it did originally, but Shannon found it by digging through the tile piles at the Rebuilding Center. If, like me, you are not good at digging through piles of tile, here's what I recommend. Bribe a friend who is great at digging — we've all got a friend with such persuasion — and take him or her with you. You might have to make more than one trip (salvage is not necessarily easy — but it's worth the effort), so be nice to that friend. Buy them more than one beer.
Are you inspired yet? Here’s one more factoid to get you intrigued. The countertop is from a vintage door cut down to size. The upshot of this story? That modern bathroom you've been lusting after is attainable with a diverse array of materials, including salvage. Don't get hung up on new new new — it's not at all necessary! And using salvage means you achieve your modern goal while having a lower environmental impact. What a modern concept!