From farmhouse to urban chic, RE: is home to the Midwest's best selection of vintage, antique, farmhouse, and urban-inspired home decor. Voted Best of KC - Home Furnishings, winner of the 435 Magazine's Most Fabulous, Top Dog and Best of KC awards from the Pitch, and most recently 1st Place in Microsoft's Small Business Contest 2016. Visit RE: on Kansas City’s "First Friday" weekend, or Tuesday through Saturday for boutique shopping hours.
Restoration Emporium, or RE:, is located in the heart of the West Bottoms of Kansas City. It is a thoughtfully curated retail store of one-of-a-kind pieces repurposed, restored and re-envisioned by a talented team of craftsmen—all co-located under one roof. And it is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Chrysalyn and Jeff Huff, forerunners in the dramatic revival of the West Bottoms area as a creative destination for home decor.
Their opening in January 2012 meant transforming an old train dock into a usable retail space. Having sat vacant for years, the Huffs were joined by family and friends as trash, mud, and flood waters were cleared from the space over the course of several, hurried weeks. Still impacted by the flood of ’93, the building required the team to haul thousands of buckets of muddy water out by hand. Once emptied, the building’s concrete floors and original stone walls were cleaned, embodying the RE: mantra of restore, repurpose, reuse, and renew.
Success came quickly. Within a matter of months it was clear RE: needed more space. With the help of architects, a new staircase was built into the existing building, opening up the basement of the old Stowe Hardware building. Word of mouth brought dozens of new vendors, and hoards of new shoppers. And it all began with a Craigslist ad and an old barn.
The Huffs noticed an online ad calling for help tearing down an old barn after the owner became injured. In exchange for labor, the barn’s owner was offering the barn’s wood. That simple ad initially resulted in the creation of a mirror frame and a table bench—but quickly launched a new career for the Huff family.
Their love of barn-board creations, and repurposed home décor has meant still-useful items are kept from landfills. Homes all over the region now include unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, repurposed by the Huffs, or one of their skilled and creative vendors. RE: is the antitheses of a chain store. RE: vendors pool their talents in workshop space above the store to reimagine treasures found from a variety of sources. RE: is a high-volume retail shop, so having onsite vendors able to quickly refresh their space with unique items means shoppers will have a quickly-changing variety of items from which to choose on each visit.
RE: has expanded into other areas of service and products as well. Amy Howard paints are used by vendors, and are available for purchase. We offer workshops on a variety of topics each month for individuals and groups seeking to learn new DIY, antique restoration and handcrafting skills. And we offer custom services, should you need a specific piece in a certain color or size.
Although RE: is a vintage store, it is not the musty place you may have experienced. It’s also not only for people with a singular aesthetic. Whether your style leans towards shabby chic or mid-century modern, contemporary or country, or something in-between—you will find a table, cabinet, wall hanging or oddity that will fill your home with a charm that uniquely matches you. From modest beginnings as an idea, Restoration Emporium has become one of the best places to shop in Kansas City.