Friday, August 28, 2009

Copper Farmhouse Sink: Now That’s a Classic!

What would a classic kitchen be without a vintage-style copper farmhouse kitchen sink? The warm earthy tones of copper provide instant charm and its natural antibacterial qualities help keep your kitchen sink clean and sanitary. An apron front sink draws your attention making the copper sink the centerpiece of a classic kitchen.

Of course a kitchen can still be classic without a farmhouse sink. Classic is a matter of opinion and what one might consider to be a classic, another might consider to be a catastrophe. Never was this more obvious to me than this past weekend while I had dinner with my friends and their four sons. In a long series of fits and starts, the youngest boy shared a knock-knock joke that unfortunately finished without a punchline. As he labored to the joke's conclusion, the boy chuckled and said, "that’s classic". I suppose to a 6 year old the joke was a classic and not the catastrophe that I believe I witnessed but really how much can a 6 year old know about classics?

If you would like to avoid any doubt in your classic kitchen remodel, try a copper farmhouse sink from Shop 4 Classics. And you can't go wrong with a complementary oil rubbed bronze kitchen faucet, tumbled bronze pot filler, bronze patina cabinet drawer pulls, or handcrafted copper kitchen cabinet knobs. With Shop 4 Classics' help, your vintage kitchen won't be a joke and, unlike a 6 year old's knock-knock joke, the copper farmhouse sink will pack a punch that says classic.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Heating and Cooling with High-Velocity Heating and Cooling Systems

Difficulties heating and cooling upper stories of old homes have long been a challenging issue that is typically high on the renovator’s list of project objectives. The old home’s existing heating and cooling vent system is often inefficient or in the case of attic remodels nonexistent. The cost and difficulty of retrofitting an old home with a central-air system can be overwhelming. Fortunately there is an alternative. High-velocity heating and air conditioning systems utilize flexible small diameter tubing that can be threaded through an existing structure without requiring a major remodel. This flexibility makes high-velocity heating and air conditioning systems ideal for retrofitting old homes. And some people even claim that high-velocity systems provide better circulation, dehumidification, and efficiency than traditional systems.

High-velocity heating and air conditioning systems force high-pressure air through flexible 2" feeder ducts. At the end of each duct is a register or outlet. Most systems include unimpressive mass-produced white plastic outlet covers. Reggio Register offers distinctive quality crafted high-velocity outlets with solid oak, cast brass, or cast aluminum covers. These high-velocity outlets have a special adapter that slides into the systems tubing for an easy install and can be stained or painted to match your décor.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Spongebob Squarepants' Clawfoot Tub

Recently, I spent a Saturday afternoon watching Spongebob Squarepants with my nephew. Actually, my nephew watched while I unintentionally napped. During a temporary moment of consciousness, I caught an episode in which Mr. Squarepants attempted to give his pet snail, Gary, a bath in his clawfoot tub. I explained to my nephew that Spongebob's bathtub could not be a cast iron clawfoot tub because the sea water in his pineapple home would be too corrosive to the exterior of the tub. The bathtub must be an acrylic clawfoot tub. In fact, I reasoned that the tub must be a Restoria Bathtub Company acrylic bathtub. You see, the Restoria acrylic clawfoot tubs have a 10 gauge steel plate incorporated into the bottom of the tub. The steel plate provides extra rigidity and horizontal stability but could also prevent the acrylic tub from floating away from Spongebob's home. By this time, my nephew was unintentionally napping so there wasn't much debate. If you would like to discuss clawfoot tubs, visit Shop 4 Classics. Or, if you have questions about clawfoot tubs, review the Shop 4 Classics Clawfoot Tub Buyers Guide or Clawfoot Tub Tips for help selecting a clawfoot tub for your pineapple.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Turn Drab into Fab with Reggio Register Vent Covers

Working directly with quality manufacturers that share our passion for old home restoration is one of the many joys experienced since we created Shop 4 Classics almost a decade ago. The Reggio Register Company is one of our manufacturers that is truly passionate about producing products worthy of the most demanding restoration requirements. Since its inception over 30 years ago, Reggio Register has been a pioneer in the effort to provide restoration quality vintage style heat registers and air return grilles to old home renovators.

Today, Reggio Register’s made in the USA product offering includes the largest selection of sizes in vent cover grilles on the market. Their most popular Victorian-themed grilles and registers are offered in cast iron, solid brass, and paintable aluminum. Reggio Registers also offers a variety of high quality wood grilles and registers in red oak, maple and cherry. Finally, Reggio Register recently added decorative high velocity outlet covers in aluminum, brass, and wood for high-velocity heating and air conditioning systems.

Because of the proven quality of their workmanship, Shop 4 Classics is proud to offer Reggio Register’s complete catalog of decorative vent covers.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pocket Door Hardware 101

A pocket door is a sliding door that recesses into a cavity (pocket) in a wall. Unlike a hinged door that swings open, the pocket door slides open on a track into a hollow space in the wall.

I associate pocket doors with ranch homes from the 60’s because my parents and many of my uncles and aunts had a pocket door in their ranch homes. However, pocket doors were designed long before the ranch home. Pocket doors originated over 100 years ago and were very popular in homes from the Victorian era. Pocket doors became popular because they save space by eliminating door swing. They do not obstruct wall space and they ease traffic flow through rooms.

Pocket doors require special pocket door hardware to allow the door to recess into the opening. They require a flush pull on each side to provide a handle to slide the door open. As its name suggests, the pocket door flush pull must be low profile (flush) to prevent the pull from obstructing the door as it slides into the pocket. Many of the various pocket door cup pulls and flush pocket door pulls are used on sliding doors and bi-fold doors as well. Unlike these doors, however, the pocket door also requires an edge pull in the door stile to provide a handle to pull the door back out of the pocket once it has recessed into the wall opening. In older pocket doors, the flush pulls and edge pull are separate components. In modern passage pocket door pulls, the flush pulls and edge pull are integrated into a single component. Shop 4 Classics even offers an integrated privacy pocket door pull that locks to keep unwanted guests from entering a room; which makes them perfect for a bedroom or bathroom.

The space saving, cost reducing, and problem solving features of the pocket door has created a renewed interest in pocket doors and pocket door hardware. The economic crisis has resulted in an increasing demand for smaller more cost-efficient homes and the pocket door is perfectly suited for these homes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Receiving Your New Clawfoot Tub Delivery

It is easy to get excited upon receiving your clawfoot tub delivery. It is important, however, that you don’t let your excitement prevent you from taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your tub meets your expectations. Shop 4 Classics has been responsible for shipping hundreds of tubs and has found that, although our clawfoot tubs are carefully crated to prevent damage during shipping, both cast iron and acrylic clawfoot tubs do get damaged from time to time during the delivery process. Therefore, we highly recommend that you take the following simple steps to minimize any inconvenience or additional expense should there be a problem with your tub.
Tubs are delivered by a tractor trailer. The carrier will call the telephone number you provide in your registration to make arrangements for delivery. You must be available at the time of delivery to sign for the tub. The freight carrier will require a signature to release the tub into your possession. Carefully inspect the crate and its contents prior to signing the delivery receipt. Your signature on the delivery receipt indicates that you have inspected the package and accepted it in satisfactory condition.

If your inspection reveals minor damage, document the damage on the delivery receipt prior to signing it. Touch-up paint is available upon request to repair minor scratches in the exterior of cast iron tubs. Stains or marks can be removed with a nonabrasive cleanser (e.g. Zud, 409) and a soft, damp cloth. A professional can repair more significant scratches and scrapes in cast iron tubs. Most repairs can be performed in place and at a fairly economical price.

Refuse delivery of any badly damaged item. Email complete details to if you've discovered a problem so that we can assist you with the claim and replace the damaged item.
The driver may be in a hurry to get to his next appointment but do not be rushed to sign the delivery receipt. You have the right and the responsibility to carefully inspect your tub prior to accepting it. Though the driver may be in a hurry, he is obligated to allow you an opportunity to inspect your purchase. Your signature indicates that you have inspected your order and received it in satisfactory condition. Any damage reported after signing the delivery receipt may be deemed damaged in your possession. Your signature on the delivery receipt is legally binding and may be used by the freight company to reject any damage claims.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Victorian Grille: What's In A Name

This week, Shop 4 Classics added the Classic Grills bronze Victorian grille to our website. We offer many different heat registers and air return grilles but the Victorian grille is a personal favorite. Some of us believe the Victorian grille looks more Arts & Crafts. The earthy bronze patinas and the leaf-like symbol that appears in the grille resemble traits from the Arts & Crafts architectural style more closely than the Victorian architectural style. Realistically, the grille can work in any setting. The grille pattern is an original design and not a reproduction.

Even authentic reproductions can cross time periods. Gravity baseboard heat registers are often associated with bungalows from the Arts & Crafts period but we've found them in Victorian and Colonial homes as well. We've even had customers implement Mission Metalworks reproduction gravity-style baseboard registers in new homes in Neotraditional neighborhoods.

The moral of this blog entry is: Don’t be swayed by a name. Just because the grille is called a Victorian grille doesn't mean you must live in a Gothic Revival for it to work in your home. Choose a design and color that matches your décor. If it's your home, it's your choice.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Craftsmen Hardware Company: Where Copper Hardware Is Still Made by Hand

These days finding any product whose manufacturing can be traced back to an individual or even a group of individuals may only follow a rather long search. Maybe it is all of the news of big businesses taking advantage of their customers or the people that they employee, but more and more people seem eager to search for handcrafted products. Even during these difficult times, people are willing to pay more and wait longer to receive products that are produced by hand.

Those that shop for handmade products do so for a variety of reasons. Unlike mass produced products, each piece has its own truly unique qualities. Others say that they value a sense of connection with the craft person that made the product. Whatever the reason, the product has special qualities for the buyers that go beyond its obvious utilitarian purpose.

Operating out of its shop in rural Marceline Missouri, the birth place and childhood home of Walt Disney, the crafts people of the Craftsmen Hardware Company produce by hand all sorts of hand hammered copper hardware items. Craftsmen Hardware work sheets of copper and other materials into Arts and Crafts style door hardware and cabinet hardware. With the exception of their Arts and Crafts house numbers and a couple of other popular small items that our stocked, each piece is made special for the individual placing the order. Customers are willing to pay more and wait weeks for their order to be completed knowing that the connection with the handcrafted item will be enjoyed and appreciated for many years.