One year ago, Laura and I took a trip to Massachusetts with her parents to introduce them to my parents. It was a fun weekend, although stressful for me (that’s another story!). Anyways, one day we drove over to Plymouth to show the Russell’s around America’s hometown. In one quaint, overpriced antiques shop, there was one piece that popped out to Laura. If I remember correctly, it was a really old door with a distressed blue paint finish, and the center panel was replaced with a mirror. To us, it seemed a unique idea that made a statement. Then we looked at the price tag. $1600!!! Who would pay that for an old door with a mirror in it??? At that moment, Laura’s ticker started ticking…she was determined to replicate this piece for a fraction of the cost.
Flash forward to Septemberish. There is an organization in Champaign called PACA – the Preservation And Conservation Association of Champaign County. They salvage items from old buildings that are being torn down, such as furniture, plumbing, and woodwork; all the proceeds go towards architectural preservation projects in the area. Turns out they have a LARGE selection of old doors. We actually went twice, browsing through their selection of interior doors, exterior doors, doors with glass panes, doors with wood panels, etc. Then Laura saw it. The most enormous piece of hardwood, a large office door from the executive wing of a former factory. Thinking we could fit it in our car, we brought it up to pay. And the price? $65. The doors actually start at $20, but this one was marked up, I suppose due to its size and condition. Anyways, getting it to the car proved to be a bit of a challenge. Opening the trunk, we immediately saw that this door would NEVER fit. (As a side note, I found a door that Laura vetoed, which would have fit perfectly!)
Enter Kale. There was this family browsing the warehouse while we were looking at doors. They overheard us discussing our dilemma, and the man, Kale, politely interrupted, “If you’d like, I could get my Jeep and transport your door.” What a surprise! Laura was actually heading to work, and our only other option was calling her parents to come help me pick the door up (and we had no idea where they were this Saturday morning). Laura was able to go to work, and Kale had his wife drive home to switch cars (they live in Savoy, so it was a little while!). But they strapped it on top of the Jeep and drove me back to the apartment! We actually stored it in the Russell’s garage until this Wednesday, waiting for coming up with the money to put a mirror in. Another pleasant surprise happened when we brought it into the mirror place. They measured the opening, and as we braced ourselves for the worst, they quoted us $120. It ended up being done in a day, and we picked it up yesterday with a lower-than-quoted cost of $116. So for under $200 we got an enormous floor-to-ceiling mirror unlike any other!