740 NE 1st St.
Bend, OR 97701
I love building supply thrift stores. I can’t think of a better place to spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning. Just the thought of sifting through buckets of cabinet knobs and stacks of tiles and rooms full of doors makes me downright giddy.
In Bend I happened upon the Habitat for Humanity Restore. This place is not just one building of castaway building materials; it is 5 buildings and a lumberyard full of castaway building materials!!! The main building is the showroom. This is where they keep their nicer, more décor-related items. They have displays set-up to showcase what you can do with the things you find at their store. They have little “rooms” set-up to display the furniture that has been donated. In the main building they also display their lighting and appliances with a sign that states, “Measure twice, buy once.” There are light sconces that are bigger than me and all of the appliances that you would need to start your own restaurant. The staff in the main building is happy to help and excited to share their ideas for the items lying around.
The next building is full of cabinets and countertops, everything you would need to give your kitchen a facelift. It appeared to be under construction when I was wandering around. If you can look past the peach paint, you can walk away with some solid cabinets for a great price.
Across the yard is the building that holds the bathroom bits and pieces. -SIDE NOTE- I love the idea of never buying new again. My life revolves around what I can find at a thrift store, yard sale or on craigslist. That being said, used toilets creep me out. I have never had a problem with using a toilet in the seediest gas station or outhouse. I don’t even hover (mainly for fear that I might pee on myself), but a room full of used toilets…I struggle. – My issues with the porcelain throne aside, I love the old cast sinks and tubs. The room was well organized and had some great deals. I could just envision a claw-foot, cast hot tub in my back yard. Ahhhh.
Next, I ventured across the street to the lumberyard, door building and the paint store. As I walked through the gate my heart started to soar. There, in front of me, was a stack of used tires. My mind shot back to when I was 5 years old and my babysitter had tires laid out in the yard. I would jump on them for hours. For a child that had never been on a trampoline, this was like having the ability to fly. I immediately ran over to the stack, pulled one out and laid it on the ground. With a grin on my face, I jumped as high as I could onto the old, worn tire. Funny thing, it didn’t spring back like it did when I was 45 pounds. I turned around and my significant other was trying so hard to stifle a laugh that I thought he might pass-out. Ouch, my pride. The yard was full of wonderful bricks, blocks of glass, metal duct materials and exterior doors. It could have been a bit cleaner. The previous two weeks of rain had reduced piles of cardboard, insulation and sheetrock into gooey piles of yuck. The door room was well organized and had a couple of rolls of carpet that would be perfect for a small room or the back of a truck. The paint store was nice and clean, but the staff was a bit distracted.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip. If this is your kind of store I recommend you check out http://www.readymade.com. You will find some great ideas for DIY.
If you are ever in Bend, Oregon make a trip to the Restore and help them support Habitat for Humanity.