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restore vintage kitchen

If your accessories don't match, paint them! That's what ReStore did with the mixer and bread basket. The reproduction chair was orange when donated, as was the shade of the light fixture, which was the inspiration for the entire kitchen.

As soon as Diane Schreiner spotted the 1950s light fixture that had been donated to Davenport's Habitat ReStore resale shop, she knew she had to use it in some sort of display.

With its eye-catching colors of aqua, orange and cream, it would draw attention to vintage items and the value of reusing and repurposing rather than buying new.

Almost a year later, the fixture was the inspiration for ReStore's vintage kitchen booth at the recent home show at the QCCA Expo Center, Rock Island.

You may have seen it — it drew quite a response. Emotional, even.

"It ranged from, 'Oh, I don't want to see that again,' to 'It reminds me of my grandmother,'" Schreiner, ReStore customer service manager, said. "One guy actually started crying."

Younger show goers were interested too. "It's all new to them," Schreiner said. "It's retro, which is really hot right now."

The metal cabinets were donated one at a time, but were sufficiently similar that with a new coat of paint and new chrome handles, they looked like a matched set. They were painted off-site by a staff member and friend with a specialty automotive paint called Seafoam Mist and looked almost-new.

A donated dinette set got new life when Schreiner reupholstered the chairs in black.

Rounding out the donations for the kitchen were stainless steel countertops, a white cast iron sink with faucet and a vintage General Electric refrigerator.

Normally ReStore accepts only newer-model, energy-efficient appliances but made an exception because of this model's antique value.

All of those items, plus a roll of black and white checked vinyl that ReStore purchased for the floor, were sold for $2,800 to an out-of-town couple.

The woman wants to use it in her outdoor canning kitchen/potting shed, Schreiner said.

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The light fixture, a KitchenAid mixer painted orange and a bar cart used to hold brochures were sold separately.

Before and after the show, the display was set up at ReStore where it drew a lot of response as well, with people stopping to take photos.

"It's really neat sitting at the cash register and seeing people come in the front door and smile," Shreiner said.

The kitchen was a team effort, including Schreiner, Joe Ryan, customer service, and Gail Yingling, volunteer coordinator.

ReStore, at 3629 Mississippi Ave., Davenport, sells new and gently used building materials, furniture, appliances and home health equipment at a discount.

Proceeds go to Habitat for Humanity-Quad-Cities, a Christian housing organization. 

  

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