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Bargain Hunters: Discover Restore

Have a room in your house that needs a makeover—who doesn’t? Or, feeling really ambitious and plan to renovate the whole house? In either case, there’s a local organization you should know about. It’s a treasure trove for the bargain-hunting rehabber, plus you’ll feel better when you leave—and not just because it’ll save you a bundle.

It is Restore.

Whenever you buy from one of Habitat for Humanity Chesapeake’s six local Restore locations, you’ll contribute to the nonprofit’s mission of providing decent, affordable housing to hardworking, low-income families (100 percent of profits from the discount-priced home improvement stores are invested back into Habitat Chesapeake). The organization is able to pass on great prices to customers because the items are donated, and many are gently used. But others are brand new, and they’re all worth a look. The fun for customers, of course, is in the hunt—and the bargain finds!

One afternoon in March, I met up with local interior design pro Kerry Leikus at the Timonium Restore and was soon pleasantly overwhelmed by the plentiful inventory in the spacious warehouse. I went with the right person: Kerry’s an expert at spotting a bargain, and she offered some good advice for a newbie such as myself.

“This is the kind of place you go to when you’re like: ‘Gosh, I would really like to replace x, y or z.’ Something that’s not big-scale. You might just want to paint your garage, or get a new back splash in your kitchen. Something that’s been gnawing at you that you want to do on the down-low. You definitely have to have a project in mind,” she says.

Good advice.

Walking from one room to the next in the airy Timonium location, my mind soon swirled with all the furniture, hardware supplies and fixtures that caught my eye. In one room, big heavy wooden doors lined an entire wall. In another corner, I spied scores of shutters in multiple colors. Dozens of shiny silver designer knobs, still in their original packaging, promised to spruce up my entire kitchen. Each price was unbelievably lower than the last.

An hour or so after arriving, I walked out of Timonium’s Restore feeling exhilarated, as if I’d just been let in on an incredible secret. And I had: Previously, I’d passed by Restore a thousand times without ever knowing what I was missing.

I left my first trek to Restore empty-handed. But on my way home, I started planning mentally my next return trip. My bathroom floor tile needed a refresh. I could use a new front door. And those shiny silver knobs? They were calling out to my tired kitchen cabinets.

I’ll definitely be back.

Restore has six locations in Central Maryland. Find out where they are, and learn more about Restore, on the nonprofit’s websiteKerry Leikus, owner of Kerry Leikus Designs, specializes in home design and staging. You can check out her website or email her at [email protected].

About Elizabeth Heubeck

Elizabeth Heubeck, a native of Baltimore, is the editor of Baltimore's Child and the mother of two teenagers. Currently, she spends much of her spare time wishing she was a gourmet cook (or at least a solid short-order cook), hoping the piles of laundry would disappear and, in the warmer months, battling weeds in her flower beds.

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