The scent of century-old wood and worn leather hits me as I near the top of the stairs to the second floor of West End Architectural Salvage. The smell is reminiscent of summers spent with my cousins exploring boxes of forgotten toys in our grandpa’s attic.
I pause for a second, taken aback by the sheer number of salvaged items that fill this floor. An old chandelier catches my eye and I hang a left to go take a closer look. I hear my sister’s footsteps stop behind me as she, too, pauses in awe at the thousands of antique items.
As two creatives, this is our kind of shopping. We love the hunt and our imaginations run wild with ideas for repurposing items into home decor. I discover a whole section of vintage signs and call my sister over to take a look. A few minutes later, she excitedly motions me over to a table piled with gorgeous vintage glass jars. Before we know it, we’ve spent our entire morning wandering the four floors of West End Salvage.
My home state of Iowa itself epitomizes West End Salvage. Neither appears flashy or exciting from the outside but give them a chance and you will discover delightful treasures not found anywhere else.
You’ll still find the postcard-worthy cornfields, fabulous farmers markets and charming Main Streets you might expect from a Midwestern state, but you’ll also find hip cities with explosive local food scenes and lively entertainment districts. Whether you crave an urban adventure or rural getaway, Iowa really is the best of both worlds. You can get from vibrant city centers to astonishing scenic wonders in a matter of minutes.