NEW YORK — Rejuvenation has been selling classic American products for the home for 40 years. There’s lighting both new and refurbished, cabinet hardware, and furniture in the Northwest modern style, reflecting the retailer’s Portland, Ore., roots. So it’s fitting that for the debut of its first Northeast store, in Manhattan’s Flatiron District this spring, Rejuvenation displayed a restored wooden bench from Central Park in the front window.
This rare and vintage relic of New York, which dates to 1939, is priced at $6,500. But Rejuvenation is mainly known for its more basic and industrial home accoutrements: oil-rubbed bronze push-button switch plates ($20), schoolhouse-style pendant lamps ($215) and canvas-and-steel laundry bins ($66-$319).
“We’re a general store of sorts,” says Alex Bellos, Rejuvenation senior vice president. “We want to help you with your home improvements. We aim to help you add value to your home.”
Rejuvenation’s New York store, its eighth overall, is appropriately located in an 1895 building, with mosaic floors, a gilded coffered ceiling and cast-iron pillars. Walls of little wooden drawers hold crystal doorknobs, jadeite-colored knobs and cobalt-blue house numbers; lighting of all kinds hangs from the ceiling in clusters, and there are surprises such as round leather mirrors, Japanese towels and orange zippered pillows. The light table, as it is called, is outfitted with dozens of different lightbulbs that you can switch on and off to test their glow. Kitchen and bath fixtures are shown on tubs and sinks. There are shelves of industrial laundry bins made by a Massachusetts company that has been in business since 1921.
Lighting was Rejuvenation’s original specialty. The business was started in the 1970s in Portland by Jim Kelly. He restored old lamps he had salvaged and sold them to people reclaiming the local Arts and Crafts-style and Victorian homes. He also stocked old doors, windows and claw-foot tubs that renovators were looking for. He expanded by creating his own line of locally made lighting, reproductions based on vintage styles, and gradually added other home items. The store was bought by Williams Sonoma six years ago, and it has expanded the product line and the number of bricks-and-mortar locations. The philosophy is to stock products that straddle the line between vintage and modern, and manufacture many of them in the company’s own Oregon factory. They also sell architectural salvage and antiques.
A new line by O&G Studio, a Rhode Island design firm run by Sara Ossana and Jonathan Glatt, includes modern versions of classic rockers and ladder-back chairs, in colors such as lipstick red.
So what about a Rejuvenation store in Washington, which is full of old houses and eager renovators? Bellos says the District has been on his scouting list for quite a while. “We need the right location and the right architecture,” he says. “We are looking.”
Rejuvenation, 3 W. 20th St., N.Y. 212-488-3460. rejuvenation.com.