Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Arts & Crafts Cabinet Hardware Basics

I have long been a fan of Kansas City’s many bungalow homes. Compared to today’s comparably priced middle class home, these bungalows that were built in the early 1900’s are rich with enduring character and craftsmanship. Driving through any one of Kansas City’s many Arts & Crafts bungalow neighborhoods you will note that each home offers a unique exterior in spite of sharing the basic floor plan of neighboring houses. Similarly, the interiors contain many distinctive features that add to the bungalow’s appeal. This uniqueness is a reflection of the “custom” nature of how the homes were built during this time period.

Possibly the most attractive interior feature of the bungalow home is its handcrafted built-in cabinetry. Arts & Crafts built-ins are fitted with a variety of cabinet hardware that is worthy of a closer look.

Cabinet Hinges
The two basic configurations of cabinet hinges are the mortise hinge and the surface-mount hinge. Mortise hinges fit within chiseled out mortises, or grooves, on the side of the cabinet door and cabinet frame. Surface mount hinges simply mount to the flat surfaces of the frame and the side or face of the cabinet door. The combo hinge (picture at left) is a hybrid of the two with a mortise side to be mounted to the frame and a typically decorative surface mounting side that mounts to the face of the cabinet door.

Cabinet Knobs and Pulls
A variety of cabinet knob and pull styles adorn the built in cabinetry of Arts and Crafts bungalows. Knobs and pulls maybe mounted directly on the face of the cabinet drawer or a back-plate may be placed between the knob or pull and cabinet's surface. The backplate protects the cabinet surface from finger nail scratches as well as adds a decorative accent. Arts and Crafts style knobs take many forms including square knobs and hexagon knobs. Arts and Crafts drawer pull styles include the bin pull, drop pull, as well as the common bar pull. When shopping for replacement hardware it is important to take in account the pull’s centers, or distance between the centers of the pull’s required drill holes. The pull’s centers must match the existing drill holes on the cabinet drawer or door.

Cupboard Latches
Exterior mounting cupboard latches are a common feature of bungalow kitchen cabinets. Cupboard latches are designed to keep kitchen cabinet doors firmly shut. The latch typically is used in place of the knob rather than in addition to the cabinet knob. Like knobs, latches are offered in simple and ornate designs.

The price of cabinet hardware varies depending on the material that it is made of and the amount of time required to finish the product. Shop 4 Classics offers an extensive collection of cabinet hardware at all price levels. At the high end, Shop 4 Classics offers handcrafted copper cabinet hardware from the Craftsmen Hardware Company. Hamilton Sinkler’s solid sand-cast bronze hardware is offered at the mid-range price level. Natural finished and electroplated cast iron hardware from the John Wright Company is an example of economically priced cabinet hardware.

Do you want to know more about the Arts & Crafts bugalow? If so, check out Shop 4 Classics’ Bungalow Style Guide for more about interior and exterior bungalow hardware.

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