MAPLEWOOD, NJ – A new shop is opening on Baker Street this weekend: Salvage Style is the brainchild of local resident Amy Hughes, longtime author of the Salvage Style column in This Old House magazine. The store will feature home décor items and furniture with an emphasis on reclaimed, architectural salvage, industrial and mid-century style.
“We will have a range of prices and a range of styles,” Hughes said. “We want everyone to be able to come in and find something they like and can afford.”
Hughes has been a specialist in this style for 12 years and has written the column about it for nine years, as well as the book “This Old House – Salvage Style Projects.” Finding ways to re-use parts of old houses that have high style and old-world craftsmanship has been a part of her life since she was a child. Her mother often took her to estate sales and buildings that were going to be demolished.
“Everyone used to tell my mom, ‘You should open a store,” Hughes said. “So many of my mother’s friends were antiques dealers. I spent my childhood hanging out in antique stores every weekend. I‘ve always had that fantasy.”
Moving out of New York City to Maplewood provided Hughes with the inspiration and the perfect location to realize her dream. She had struck up a friendship with Janean, Helen and John Harvey, owners of Alchemy Hour on Baker Street and provided some vintage pieces for them to decorate with. That led to some brainstorming and conversation about the possibility of Hughes taking over the half of the Alchemy Hour space that had been utilized for menswear (which is now consolidated with the women’s clothing on the right hand side).
The furniture for sale at Salvage Style is all vintage with no reproductions. Hughes refinishes all the surfaces with non-toxic finishes and reupholsters with natural fabrics and untreated natural latex. There are also custom pieces like the coffee table Hughes made from reclaimed wood flooring on a metal base.
“I grew up watching ‘This Old House,’” Hughes said, as her father carried in some antique mill boxes he brought up from South Carolina for the shop. “My dad has always been doing this. My mom and stepdad, too. So the store just seemed like a natural thing for me. Now, the Harvey family has kind of adopted me and made me feel very confident that I can do this.”
Hughes said her own home is constantly evolving and she has always had to restrain herself from purchasing old pieces that she knew had the potential to be turned into something great. Now with a showroom floor to fill, she is looking forward to scouring the area for amazing finds she can bring back for her customers.
Salvage Style is located at 101 Baker Street, Maplewood; firstname.lastname@example.org.