Friday, November 4, 2011

Details! Details!

Dear faithful readers, I am sorry for abandoning you for so long. It's been a crazy couple of months finishing up this renovation and easing into our first school year here. I've been tempted many times to actually post on another blog I set up long before this's more of a philosophical blog called "Perspective" and who knows, maybe there will be a post on there in the future. However, for know I'm going to stick with what I'm sure you all would prefer to opinions on interior design, not on life in general! Although, who knows which would actually be more entertaining?!?

It's no secret to those who know me best that I'm a details person. I notice the small things and I appreciate fine details. Perhaps this fact is the reason that I've been missing in action over the past couple of months. When you renovate a very old home, you've really got to pay attention to the details. One of the areas of the renovation that I put off until the end was the selection of the door hardware for the "new" doors in the renovated space.

Below is my beautiful 120 year old front door hardware! It does actually work, although it's definitely got a few quirks!

Inside the house there is a hodge podge of knobs like this one below. All of the original hardware is brass and over time has taken on a beautiful patina that absolutely cannot be duplicated by new manufacturing. Hardware companies have a variety of "examples" of their attempt at "antique brass". Nothing can take the place of natural elements over time...nothing!

After many trips to the local source for reproduction hardware and discovering that antique brass really only looks antique if it's, well....ANTIQUE, I spent hours at a local reclaimed hardware store in Wilmette, Illinois called Al Barr. I dug through bin after bin of doorknobs and backplates, latches and rosettes! My hands were tarnished and smelled of metal. When you embark upon something like this you have to be flexible. Going in, all I knew was I needed 6 knobs, 4 rosettes, 2 backplates and a latch. A few times I found 4 or 5 suitable and relatable knobs only to have to scratch that and start all over when the 6th could not be found. I had traveled to the local source for antique reproduction hardware several times where I could have ordered the exact quantities to suit my needs. However, they were not the same. Nothing can take the place of natural elements and time on brass. The new hardware even seemed lighter and not substantial in comparison to this old stuff. The price of some of the "higher quality" new hardware was comparable to the true antique hardware, so it was really all about the time it took to find the old stuff.  Now that it's finally installed, I'm so glad I took the extra time to do it right! Below is the powder room hardware I found at Al Barr.

And here are the pantry and coat closet knobs...

So simple, yet beautiful! For two months we had no knobs or locks on these sorry to our guests and the anxiety they must have experienced in the powder room!

In addition to door hardware, I tried to pay particular attention to plumbing fixtures. In the kitchen I chose this polished nickel bridge faucet by Newport Brass.

I love the artistry of the bridge design. I also love the detail on the knobs...

For the master bath I choose this tub faucet by Rohl.

More details with the master bath to follow in a before and after post this weekend. Below is  a sneak peak. Another wild goose chase, so to speak, was encountered by me on my quest for the mosaic tile on the floor. I needed it to be "not too gray" and not too expensive. Apparently, you can have really gray or really expensive and there's not a lot of "in between" due to the over-mining of carrara mable occurring these days. However, I found a compromise in a truly "Finely Frugal" fashion! That's a story for another day!


  1. I am almost envying it. You've rare and stupendous collection yeah....!!!

  2. feathering the nestNovember 5, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    MORE MORE MORE please :) love it

  3. Thanks for your brilliant idea. But I think we can apply this idea with broken tiles not broke eagerly, those tiles that is broken already.
    carrara mosaic tile