Salvaged Materials Spark New Home Projects

There’s plenty to absorb the minute you walk into All American Reclaim, in Lake Barrington. That’s because the 22,000-square-foot showroom, formerly a greenhouse and flower nursery, is filled floor to ceiling with salvaged goods.

True to its name, All American Reclaim specializes in wood and other materials salvaged from old barns, factories and other Midwestern structures. The showroom and yard outside are filled with graying old planks and timbers. Inside are countless other treasures, including old hardware, rusted signs, hand tools, hinges, doors, porcelain sinks and many surprises. There’s also a selection of wood slabs, harvested from massive trees and still bearing the live edge – the rough exterior bark – on its side.

“The biggest thing is to come in, walk around and take it all in,” says owner Andy Michaelis. “People are distracted when they come in here because there’s so much to look at and touch and feel and do. The best thing is to just come in and get your bearings. When you’re ready, come find us and we’ll help you out.”

Whether they’re looking for one piece or a thousand, customers can ask the sales team to help them find whatever it is they seek. The store draws many do-it-yourself decorators, but it’s also frequented by home remodelers, commercial designers and other business owners who want to use these items for decor at home or work.

“We get a lot of creative customers,” says Michaelis. “I always joke that they come in here with one project but they leave with 10 projects, just because of all the stuff that’s here.”

For those who want something more, All American Reclaim also has an on-site wood shop where carpenters transform barn wood, tree slabs and other finds into functional furniture such as dining room tables and fireplace mantels upon request.

Michaelis and his team also take down the barns where they acquire much of their inventory. He invites people to call him if they have a barn to salvage.

“My favorite part is going into a barn for the first time and seeing all of the stuff that’s in there,” he says. “Every barn is so different.”

All American Reclaim is located at 990 W. Northwest Hwy., in Lake Barrington, (224) 209-8283.