Washington, USA - Increasingly, restaurants are competing for good quality salvage to create an atmosphere which will attract customers. Hip farmhouse and industrial chic is better with the authentic old rather than reproduction. Customers sense the reclaimed, especially reclaimed with a story. Reclaimed lookalikes do not hack it.
'The provenance of the décor or building materials can be a selling point for a restaurant, touted in press releases and regurgitated by the media as if it was just as important as the food,' Jessica Sidman reported in Washington City Paper. She said that a growing demand for architectural salvage has led restaurant owners and their designers to search further afield to find new sources for the unique.
Jessica gave the example of owners Jeff Black and Danny Wells with designer Molly Allen who toured along the East Coast through Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey in search of items for their new eating house, Republic in Takoma Park.
Black said he saw over 100,000 reclaimed objects but his old hunting grounds were not what they used to be. Architectural salvage TV shows like American Pickers, encouraged more homeowners to compete for genuine salvage. This has led to a reduction in availability and prices increasing, particularly for industrial artefacts.
It was not just about refurbishing with reclaimed wood either. Designers and architects were getting more and more creative about how they refurbish with salvaged items. The women's restroom in Republic was refurbished with 50 antique mirrors. There was more up cycling, repurposing or recrafting.
Republic had metal light fixtures made from jet engine nose cones. This trend is also popular in the UK. Salvo code dealer, Antiques By Design has many examples of innovative ideas for repurposed antiques many of which find there way into UK restaurants including reclaimed sporting and musical memorabilia, antique farm tools, bygones and other unusual and archaic items which are hand-crafted into luxury lamps and chandeliers of all sizes. Guy Trench of Antiques By Design is currently exhibiting at Decorative Antiques Fair in Battersea Park, London until Sunday 26th January.
The reclaimed trend is not going away anytime soon but is expected to just be made less obvious. Designers say they are aiming for more refined looks that incorporate their salvaged finds with some subtlety, or mix old with new.
Antiques By Design Ltd
Washington City Paper: Cost and Found: Trendy Restaurants Fight for the Best Junk
Story Type: News