West End Salvage follows Don Short and his crack team of pickers, carpenters and designers as they find and create amazing one-of-a-kind pieces out of salvaged treasures. Whether they’re prying unusual details off the sides of old buildings or competing with quirky Midwest pickers for the ultimate find, they take their haul back to Don’s 50-thousand square foot warehouse in downtown Des Moines to spin gold out of straw. Whether making a lamp from a bakery whisk or a bench from a pig trough, these items will ultimately become the centerpieces of stunning room makeovers for customers in the know.
Episode 1 – A salvage shop in Iowa
For the last six years, Don Short and his team at West End Salvage have been taking reclaimed architectural items and repurposing them into décor that could pass for works of art. Now they’re turning their attention to making over an entire bedroom for homeowners Lauren and Stu Steenhoek. Using old barn wood, a reclaimed pocket door and some old tin ceiling tiles, Don and the guys turn a boring suburban bedroom into a one-of-a-kind space with a real sense of history.
Episode 2 – Basement Blahs
Mark and Amy are at a loss on how to turn their boring basement into a comfortable and stylish entertaining space so they turn to West End Salvage for help. The West End team wastes no time in ripping out their drop ceiling, installing a new focal wall made from salvaged tin and retrofitting old oak tables into a sleek media center. While the team works on Mark and Amy’s basement, they’re also commissioned to create memory vignettes for a nursing home franchise. Using vintage items and collectibles they’ve bought from various pickers they assemble a wide variety of one of a kind art pieces. It’s a busy week at West End Salvage as they put the final touches on Mark and Amy’s room. The young couple love their newly designed entertainment space and are looking forward to the many parties they’ll be throwing.
Episode 3 – Dreary Den Gets Island Vibe
Tasked with redecorating a large family room in suburban Des Moines, Don Short and the team at West End Salvage pull out all the stops, including reclaiming one hundred and ten year old chalk boards from a rural school house. With salvaged slate in hand, they set out to resurface an outdated fireplace, then turn their attention to the rest of the room. Meanwhile, back at the shop, master builder Brian attempts to outdo Rex with a one of a kind wine station for a charity auction.
Episode 4 – Rustic Luxe Bedroom
Divided by different styles, homeowners Dan and Shannon ask the West End Salvage team to intervene and update their boring master bedroom. With a mix of cool tones, rich fabics, and a new star-burst ceiling treatment, the team creates a one of a kind rustic luxe style bedroom that blows away both Dan and Shannon. Adding some competitive fun into the work day, the guys set up a friendly challenge to see who can come closest to mimicking owner Don’s eclectic art projects. Honored that his employees want to emulate him, and fueled by his competitive nature, Don joins in the fun but changes the rules. Whoever’s project sells first is the winner. Game on.
Episode 5 – Dining Room To Luscious Lounge
Like many modern homeowners, Angie and Brett don’t use their formal dining room one bit. Now, these two are ready to wipe the slate clean. They want an adult entertaining space and they’re turning to Don Short and his band of misfits for a complete makeover. Using a copper cupola, some salvaged shutters, and drawers off a vintage card catalogue, the West End team turns this hum-drum dining room into a swank lounge filled with bold colours and one of kind creations.
Episode 6 – A Flippin’ Good Design
Awkward room layouts do not scare the men at West End Salvage. They embrace new challenges, which is why they accepted the job to redo Brandon and Sarah’s L-shaped living room and adjacent dining room. Their fearless attitude leads them to flipping the function of the two rooms, making the dining room the living room and vice versa. Making a bold design statement, they create a textured focal wall, build decorative shoji screen room dividers out of salvaged doors, and install new ambient lighting. The busy West End Salvage design team also finds time to bring an old Victorian chair into the 21st century with a gold and silver foiling technique.
Episode 7 – Mid-Century Family Style
The West End Salvage team meet their toughest challenge to date when they take on two adjoining rooms in a house overun by toddlers. With four little boys, all under the age of seven, Nicole and Phil have no clue on how to design a room that functions for all their needs. Building upon the Mid-Century bones of the living room and dining area, designer Hal Davis rearranges the space for better flow, but butts heads with owner Don Short on the materials for the room divider. Don insists the structure has to be kid-friendly, which forces Hal to come up with a clever idea. Using large, recycled metal letters, Hal’s new plan serves two purposes. One, it’s a great design element and two, it teaches the young boys the alphabet. To make family dinners more harmonious, the team turns an old optical wooden spool into a dynamic dining table, complete with a built-in Lazy Susan. In addition to all these projects, the team also takes on another client who gives Hal a run for his money when he changes his design request multiple times. What first started as an elegant wine cabinet made from a vintage English sideboard morphs into a stunning vanity for the client’s girlfriend. West End Salvage comes through again with repurposing discarded items into stellar custom-made pieces and designing a gorgeous family-friendly space.
Episode 8 – Industrial Americana Loft
The West End Salvage team goes full throttle as they put their unique stamp of reclaimed design on an industrial loft located in the heart of downtown Des Moines. Working with a large, open floor plan they pack a design wallop by blending the rural roots of homeowner Rodney with his new fast-paced city life as a bar owner. Designer Hal Davis creates a signature Industrial-Americana style with his use of bold, primary colors. Painting wide red and white horizontal stripes on the main wall creates a dramatic focal point. Next, the open floor plan gets sectioned off into several intimate groupings. A cozy entertainment area with hanging seats made from vintage wooden sleds is not the only conversation piece in the area. They’ll also be a lot of discussion about the custom-made hideaway bed, which is topped with a modern fire pit made from an old hog grate. Adjacent to the cozy seating area is a one-of-a-kind bar made from rare red elm. And rather than getting stumped when Rodney asks that a bear trap given to him by his Dad be included in the room design, the team comes up with a cool coffee table. This remarkable makeover has to be seen to be believed.
Episode 9 – A Roaring ’20s Family Room
Newlyweds Jason and Kati have a special place in their hearts for West End Salvage. With help from shop owner Don Short, the couple recently got married in the shop and held their wedding reception on the first floor. Now that they’re ready to upgrade the family room in their 1920s Victorian home, there’s no one else they trust. Following the couple’s lead of wanting a hotel lobby feel with a speakeasy vibe, designer Hal Davis comes up with a Roaring ’20s plan. Hal gets the nod to paint the walls a peacock blue, along with red and gold accents, but there’s hesitation when he pitches his idea for painting the ceiling and woodwork black. Playing up the speakeasy theme, they pick out a 1920s Art Deco bar which has sentimental value to Kati. Kati and her bridesmaids used the bar as a staging area on her wedding day. The West End team rework the bar, customizing the lighting features and shortening it to fit into the family room. The biggest challenge the team runs into is the fireplace. Since the tile is original and is in great shape, they don’t want to mess with it, but the orange tone doesn’t work with the new colour scheme. To minimize the colour, Hal designs a stylish Art Deco grate to cover the front of the fireplace. Searching for the perfect side table, Hal and Don pick up a 1920s operating table from one of their most valued pickers. After getting a gold foil treatment, this table fits perfectly into the design plan. In between juggling all these projects, Don lays a guilt trip on his team. He threatens to get rid of the oldest piece of inventory they have in the shop, a vintage mint green stove. The stove has been around so long that the guys have nicknamed her “Bessie/” Inspired to give her a repurposed life, the guys convert her into a fully functioning desk.
Episode 10 – Victorian Design is on Fire, Literally
Buying an 1888 Queen Anne Victorian fixer-upper sounded like a good idea at first, but after a year of renovating it themselves, Luke and Marissa are running out of steam. They want their living room and dining area to be unconventional, and to spark conversations, but they’re not sure how to pull that off. Well, a design plan that revolves around setting a table on fire is bound to get everybody talking. The West End Salvage team comes up with a dramatic design plan that includes transforming a large hay hook into a hanging light fixture, building a coffee table out of a decorative widow’s walk from a torn down Victorian home, and installing church corbels to divide the two rooms. They’ll be plenty of discussion over the beautifully framed shadowbox containing vintage hair art that’s hung on the wall. While incorporating hair from loved ones was a common practice in the Victorian era, it’s not something we see a lot of in the 21st century. But the hottest project in the room has got to be their new sleek, black, fire-charred dining room table. Unlike any table they’ve ever seen, this stunning design was created by setting the table on fire, then applying multiple coats of Danish Oil. Luke and Marissa asked for something out of the ordinary, and the West End team delivered with high marks.
Episode 11 – Small Space, Big Bold Ideas
Scott and Kenny have an awkwardly laid out living and dining room combo with a small kitchen that they’d like the West End team to restructure. Designer Hal Davis’ plan includes knocking down a wall to create one, harmonious room with better flow. Once that’s done, the West End Salavage team takes on replacing the dated 1980s bannister with a hipper version made from salvaged, bullet-riddled windmill tails. The rough but modern look of the new railing makes a bold statement when you first enter the home. Owner Don Short buys an eight foot piece of rare walnut in its raw form to use as a dining table in Scott and Kenny’s home. Designer Hal is on board with the idea, but not with Don’s plan of repurposing aerated tubes from the bottom of a grain bin into a table base. They find themselves at odds with each other, but a compromise is found, and Hal adds criss cross rebar as a decorative element. The walnut table is clearly the showcase piece in the new space. Hanging above the table is a custom-made, two-tier chandelier upcycled from a variety of stained glass pieces. Scott and Kenny couldn’t be happier with their new space
Episode 12 – Maxing Out a Downtown Loft
Daniel doesn’t know what to do with his tiny eight hundred square foot downtown loft. He wants his place to function as living room, dining room and home office to boot, so he’s hired Don Short and the team at West End Salvage to completely change the space from top to bottom. After flipping the floorplan to improve the flow, the guys install a focal wall made from salvaged lumber with some hidden storage. A playground tunnel, purchased from their favorite pickers, inspires an idea for a new dining table. Using the tunnel as a base, Hal then designs a fold out table with seating for up to ten guests. With everything headed in the right direction, Hal heads off to a concert. That’s when Don steps in and flex’s his design skills, creating a side table out of oversized wooden spools and a chandelier out of a teeter-totter. Is it the right touch for this playful space, or will Hal have to wrestle back creative control upon his return? Tune into West End Salvage to find out.
Episode 13 – A Bohemian Master Bedroom
Joe and Rachel are looking for a big change in their master bedroom. They love the high ceilings and the large footprint the space offers, but are stumped as far as decorating goes. Just so happens that their neighbor is Brian, one of West End’s carpenters, so they’ve come to the shop looking for answers. Based on their wants and some photos the couple presents, Hal and Don draw up a Bohemian design filled with upcycled elements. Brian isn’t one hundred percent behind the idea, and rides Hal at every turn. He’s especially freaked out by a collection of birdcages he’s tasked to turn into a chandelier. When it’s all said and done, will Brian’s worst fears come true, or are Hal’s instincts right on the mark? Tune in to the next episode of West End Salvage to see the reveal and what comes after.