With beautiful, hard-to-find historical gems and a very down to Earth attitude, Seth Hunter has delivered one of our favorite spots in Pittsburgh, Toll Gate Revival. From traveling the US to find these relics to finding ways to keep the restoration of those pieces to the most original state possible, Seth brings life back to what may have been forgotten or lost over time.
Who are you?
Seth Hunter, 34.
When did your love for historical pieces begin?
I grew up on a farm so I was always around old pieces, but I really didn’t start to appreciate them until about 10 years ago.
Since you travel often to find these historic gems, can you give us insight on what’s common to find in each part of the United States?
I like picking in the New England area for nautical antiques, the Rust Belt is rich in old industrial pieces, I tend to find my couches & furniture pieces in bigger market areas like NYC, DC, Chicago.
How is your restoration process different from your peers?
I try to leave the pieces I find in as close to original condition as possible, I don’t like to take away the patina and character that each piece has earned over time. I’ll usually just do some light sanding and a clear coat and leave it at that.
Most creative individuals have someone or something that inspires their work, who or what inspires you to perfect your own unique style when it comes to collecting or designing your shop?
There are a few shops I followed when I first got into this that really inspired me and still do... Manready Mercantile in Houston is the first one that comes to mind. I’ve been fortunate enough to become friends with Travis the owner and do business with them. Ive always been inspired by the style of stores like RRL & Filson... Inspired by my own friends’ shops, Birchwood Supply in Akron, The West Place in Nashville, Mello & Sons here in Pittsburgh. Inspired by traveling and seeing the country and the experiences I have in each region.
Toll Gate Revival isn’t your average antique store, what makes you stand out from the rest? What gives you the upper hand when it comes to things like working with companies such as Netflix for set design?
I take pride in finding pieces that you won’t see in your average antique store. Really hard to find pieces that everyone wants, but no one really knows where to get them, pieces that have “the look”. And I just buy what I like/what I think looks cool and try to display it in a way that people can envision it in their own home.
Photos By: Garrett "G" Yurisko