Restoration Illumination Bar Upcycle

Kuzak's Closet Bar Upcycle By Restoration IlluminationA big challenge when shopping vintage is restoration and transformation. Many times a piece has great bones, yet investing time and money into restoring it or even coming up with a new way to transform it can seem very difficult. Helping Kuzak’s Closet estate shoppers tackle these two feats, Tami Vasquez from Restoration Illumination is sharing on the blog today two amazing before and afters of pieces found at Kuzak’s Closet estate sales, as well as her passion behind her craft.

What is your vintage style?

I don’t have one particular style that would best describe me even though my 6 year old tends to sum it up as anything junky and rusty. I love a variety of styles, including Shabby Chic, Funky Junk and French Cottage. My absolute favorite pieces to work on and collect typically come from the 1900s and earlier. The older the better. I tend to stay away from Mid Century pieces as they are usually don’t catch my eye, however at a recent Kuzak’s Closet estate sale I purchased a Mid Century hutch, turning it into a French Cottage piece. I had been waiting for the right piece to come along and although it was an unexpected style choice, I knew right away this would work. A few coats of paint, distressing, some graphics and voila! I gave the Mid Century piece a new “vintage” take.

When did you start vintage shopping and what do you love about it?

I started vintage shopping at thrift stores when I was in high school. At first I would exclusively look for clothes, but walking around things started to catch my eye. Things like Figurines, glass pieces, and little wood décor. Now I collect old street signs, license plates, antique kitchen scales, all of which tend to be a bit rusty. What I love about shopping vintage is that you can find things you most likely won’t find at standard retail store.  Every piece is unique with its own story. These days I love shopping everything from flea markets to garage and estate sales!


Kuzak's Closet Dresser Bar Upcycle Before


Kuzak's Closet Estate Shopper Bar Upcycle
Kuzak's Closet Estate Shopper Estate Shopper Bar Upcycle
Kuzak's Closet Estate Shopper Estate Shopper Bar Upcycle

What is Restoration Illuminations about and where can we shop your restored pieces? 

Restoration Illumination is all about transformation. Not only do I work on pieces I find myself, but a lot of people bring me their own pieces to transform as well. I love the idea that someone can keep an old piece, but feel like they got brand new furniture. That is so important to me because I am very committed to keeping things out of landfills, repurposing them instead. That’s actually how my business name came about. Restoration Illumination is to restore old or unwanted pieces and see them in a new light. You can find me on Facebook: I post things I’m working on and also my finished pieces for purchase. I also sell on Craigslist and you can search my items by the keyword phrase: Restoration Illumination. I can also be contacted at: [email protected]

What is the favorite thing you bought from Kuzak’s Closet?

I actually have two favorite things I bought at Kuzak’s Closet estate sales. One is a vintage wooden buffet table with beautiful glass doors and glass knobs. The second is a set of old vintage music sheets. Kuzak’s Closet has been a great resource for me as they always have such a great selection. There is something for everyone! I highly recommend going to as many as you can because you never know what you will find, for each sale is completely different. I personally head straight for the garages. They are full of repurposing crafts like metal and wooden parts and knick knacks that I can take home and make something funky and fun out of. The staff is always helpful so if there is something in particular you are looking for don’t hesitate to ask a staff member for help. Also I recommend bringing your own bag to carry home all your treasures in!


Kuzak's Closet Wine Bar Upcycle Before


Kuzak's Closet Estate Shopper Wine Bar Upcycle
Kuzak's Closet Estate Shopper Wine Bar Upcycle

I hope this post inspires you to get out and shop with up sometime soon!

For more repurposed inspiration, check out our Inside an Estate Shopper’s Home Mid Century feature.

If you have curated great style through Kuzak’s Closet estate sale hunting and would like to be featured on the blog please let me know.

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2,949 Responses

  1. I have had several personal pieces Tami transformed for me. Among them a beautiful corner hutch a kitchen hutch and a desk as well as a few more used pieces I’m currently having her transform.
    She’s created signs for me, quotes on chalkboards with beautiful frames as well as wreaths.
    She’s taken my vision and created exactly what I want, but so much better then I had hoped.
    I’ve also given her the creative rights to design for me and I’m thrilled with it all.
    I love how my home is coming together!!!

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