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Ballard Reuse, a used building materials superstore. (Image: Malia/Karlinsky/Seattle Refined)

Old treasures made new again at Ballard Reuse

Where else could you see a row of lockers that remind you of high school, an oven like the one grandma had, and a stylish Scandinavian light fixture that looks like it was swiped from the set of sixties movie?

Only one place: Ballard Reuse.

Once bound for the landfill, there are all kinds of treasures waiting to be discovered at this unique and charming, one of a kind store in Ballard.

From chandeliers to card catalogs, street signs to stoves, toilets to vintage tools they truly do "have it all" at Ballard Reuse. Co-owner Pat Finn Coven describes his unique shop as a "used building materials superstore, with a very eclectic inventory of vintage and reclaimed materials for people of all kinds."

It's stocked with both the sublime and the standard. According to him, some of the pieces you will typically find include doors, windows, lumber, cabinets, gym bleacher boards and furniture handmade from salvaged materials.

Strolling through the maze of rooms is like taking a trip down memory lane a real breath of fresh air in this era of big box stores.

Experiencing a wave of nostalgia is a pretty common feeling for customers at Ballard Reuse. "People often get emotional about materials they find here when they are reminded of a special time, place or occasion in their lives," Finn Coven explains.

Much like the mix of inventory, there is no typical customer. Finn Coven counts "contractors, designers, restaurant owners, film crews, homeowners, apartment-dwellers, artists, teachers and kids," among his loyal patrons. "It's really interesting and inspiring to watch the people come in and hear their stories."

The shop has old-fashioned values to match with all the vintage goods it carries. The ever evolving inventory is a result of relationships they've carefully cultivated with contractors, business owners and the community.

Items arrive at Ballard Reuse in various ways. Sometimes people pull up with a car packed with stuff. Other times, a special highly skilled team of salvage specialists travels to the location carefully culling items from all sorts of projects.

While there may not be a "usual" day, there is a "daily mission." We do this every day to keep things out of the landfill and preserve pieces of history but what we absolutely love, what moves us, is seeing how excited people get when they come here the first time and a light gets turned on in their head."