Where: Cherry Creek North
Go For: Unique and chic furniture, accents, and accessories for the environmentally conscious decorator
5280 Pick: Tell time in style with these funky bicycle gear clocks, a perfect way to add outdoors-inspired flair to your indoor walls. $48–$68
At Revampt, owner Daniel Louis takes the idea of turning trash into treasure to a whole new level. As the store’s tagline—”reclaimed, recycled, repurposed”—describes, everything is constructed (mostly by local artisans and woodworkers) using salvaged materials. Think: dining sets sitting on the wheels of an old tractor plow, coffee tables crafted from car hoods. But you don’t have to go big to take something home; choose among smaller accessories like recycled burlap pillows, granite serving slabs, and boxcar wine racks. Plus, there’s a selection of jewelry, sunglasses, and handbags for the shopper who’s more interested in decorating herself than her living room.
Even the space it’s all housed in has been “revamped”: Recent renovations exposed the building’s original flooring, made of 100-year-old pine. We sat down with Louis at the elegant Cherry Creek North store to find out more about his eco-chic offerings.
5280: How did you come up with the concept for Revampt?
Daniel Louis: Before opening it, I did an architecture program called Design Build Bluff at the University of Utah. We were working on the Navajo reservation down in the Four Corners area and building homes for impoverished Navajo families. Since we were a nonprofit, our budget was more than a little lacking, so all of the architecture students and I had to dig deeper and find materials that were usable but also free. So we were using piping from the gas industry, old pallets, old telephone poles. We were tearing down old sheds. In the interior, a lot of our walls were plaster walls from the soil on the reservation. It was kind of cool to see that transformation of creative thinking into an architectural masterpiece. Not everyone is going to want a reclaimed home, but people can bring components of that into their home, and that’s where Revampt comes in.
How do you make sure everything you sell is sustainable?
I’ve always been interested in sustainability, but I think we’ve gotten sort of sidetracked with green labeling. There’s a question of, when something is bamboo and it’s “green,” is it actually sustainable if you’re shipping it from China? There are a lot of things where people have that good feeling that this is green, but in reality, it’s probably better to buy something that’s not made out of bamboo that’s made locally. About 70 percent of our stuff is made here in Colorado, so that definitely helps with our movement and our idea. Spending locally obviously helps the locals as well. And it’s cool to see a face to go with each piece that’s made.
Where do you find your pieces and materials?
It’s definitely a wide collaboration. I have a network of artisans and salvage people, and they’re all communicating to me and to each other. Sometimes Revampt will buy specific quantities of raw materials so we can have a set material for custom pieces. The table we’re sitting at is made from old train-car flooring, and we bought a bunch of this about eight months ago. That way, if someone comes in and likes this table but it’s not the right size, we can make one that’s longer or wider. When I first opened, not having an abundance of material was our biggest challenge. Somebody would come in and love a piece, but it just wouldn’t work. To make another one, we’d have to go all the way back through the sourcing process to try to find that wood. Now we’ve reversed our thinking a little bit in that we’re finding a material to work with and then creating a product from it instead of creating a product and then trying to sell that product.
What materials do you use most?
We use a lot of train-car flooring, which is really cool. We also make a lot of stuff out of old wine barrels. Another big influx of material is semitruck flooring, which is really similar to train-car flooring except there are even more holes in it. We get a lot of reclaimed oak from a variety of salvage people who are tearing down old barns. Wyoming snow fencing is a cool product; actually, even driving to DIA, they have them there. They almost look like a wood fence to catch the snow drift. With the wind and the weather and the snow, the wood gets windblown so it almost looks like it’s sandblasted. It’s a really cool look. Another big company we work with goes into buildings in the heart of LA prior to demolition, and they pull out the rough-sawn timbers. It’s totally urban reclamation. A lot of people think that reclaimed stuff has to be from the Midwest and from tearing down people’s barns, but that’s not the case. There are materials out there; you’ve just got to be creative in getting them. We recently had a bunch of Douglas fir from Loveland, Colorado. There’s an old opera house up there that they renovated into apartments, and they gutted a good portion of it. One of my artisans got ahold of a bunch of this old tinder that was in there. People can connect to that; whether they’re from Denver or Loveland or Fort Collins, it’s that idea that this was sourced right here and made right here.
What kind of custom orders do you do?
The bulk of our custom orders are dining tables. People want a unique dining table. You can fill your house with the sidetables and the accents, and if your friend or neighbor also has it, it’s not the end of the world. But people don’t want the same dining table as somebody else. And here, with our wood types, even if somebody were to get the exact same design, it would always be a little bit different. A big chunk of our sales is custom work, which is cool because there aren’t many places, unless you’re working directly with the woodworker, where you can say, I want the table to be this specific width and this specific length; I want it to be exactly this wood type. People come in here because of how above and beyond we go for custom orders. We don’t have a storage unit filled with dining table tops waiting to pull out. It goes back to that longevity mindset of, if you’re going to get a table, let’s make it for your space. It’s cool to work with the customer and have them think a little creatively too. Sometimes they come up with ideas that we are able to make come to fruition, which is really fun.
Cherry Creek North’s Sidewalk Sale is coming up on July 14 to 17. Any special deals?
We always participate in the sidewalk sale. We will have a couple of big pieces that have lingered that have a pretty good price cut. The sidewalk sale is kind of a flash sale of long-lasting stuff, whether it’s long-lasting because it was too expensive to begin with or for some other reason. Some stuff is so cool but then takes a while to sell, you just never know.
Visit: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 2601 E. Third Ave., 720-536-5464