Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Doorbell Chimes: Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead.

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.

Munchkins everywhere will be ringing doorbells this Sunday. Only this Sunday, the ding-dong of the doorbell chime will be followed by a chorus of "trick or treat". Rather than the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East, munchkins dressed as ghosts, goblins, and even witches will be celebrating the candy that neighbors kindly drop into their plastic pumpkins.

Don't let the repetitive ring of your door chime haunt you this Halloween. Replace the chill of that boring plastic door chime with the thrill of Craftsmen Hardware's skillfully handcrafted copper and wood doorbell chimes. Pair the door chime with a copper doorbell button to really trick out your home.

Greet the munchkins with a bowl of candy this Sunday and treat yourself to a new door chime and doorbell button from Shop 4 Classics. Have a safe & happy Halloween my pretties!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Eastlake Cabinet Hardware is Quintessential Victorian Style

The Victorian period is known for its varied, yet always elaborate, architectural and design movements. In the late 1800s, architect Charles Eastlake introduced one of the most enduring styles of the Victorian period. What became to be known as Eastlake style was rich with distinctive details. Eastlake style interior and exterior millwork and furniture featured angular designs carved in low relief. Similarly, Eastlake style cabinet knobs and bin pulls are characterized by angular forms with flat surfaces that are rich with low relief, complex designs. During the Victorian period, Europeans and Americans were fascinated with ancient and exotic cultures of the Middle East and Orient. The designs on Eastlake Style hardware, including cabinet knobs and bin pulls, reflected this with the appearance of geometrically stylized sunbursts, flower and plant forms, and chevron stripes elements.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How To Add A Shower To An In-Wall Tub Faucet

As bathroom design trends shifted from freestanding clawfoot tubs to built-in tubs, the plumbing morphed from exposed to in-wall. Valves and pipes were no longer open to view but now concealed behind a finished bathroom wall leaving only the handles and tub spout exposed. If the bath included a shower, the shower arm projected from the wall above the handles. Early in the transition, however, built-in bathtubs were often plumbed without a shower. Adding a shower today might not only involve replacing the tub faucet but might require a significant remodel because access behind a finished wall is required.

There is an alternative to extensive renovations however. If we borrow from the exposed plumbing of the clawfoot tub era, it is possible to add a shower to a tub faucet without tearing out bathroom walls. A diverter spout allows us to adapt a tub faucet with an exposed shower riser creating a hybrid in-wall tub faucet with an exposed shower riser and showerhead.

Replacing a standard tub spout with a diverter spout is a relatively easy project that normally does not require access to plumbing behind the finished wall. A standard tub spout has a 3/4" IPS female threaded connection. The spout unscrews from a 3/4" IPS nipple that projects through the wall. Once the original spout is removed, the diverter spout then threads onto the nipple to complete installation of the diverter spout. The diverter spout has an outlet on the top where a 2-piece shower riser can be connected with a riser nut. A knob next to the outlet diverts water from the spout to the shower riser or vice versa. To complete installation of the exposed shower riser, support must be provided by either a shower enclosure or a wall mounted riser holder. Finally, install a standard 1/2" IPS showerhead on the riser to finish the new shower. Or, to further enhance the shower, add a handshower conversion kit to provide the convenience of a handheld shower.

The diverter spout provides a budget-friendly option to upgrading a tub faucet with a shower and the exposed riser makes it all possible without a major remodel. Visit Shop 4 Classics to purchase the diverter spout and shower riser described in this tutorial or for help with your home remodeling project.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Shopping For Recycled Bronze and Copper House Numbers

Products from Shop 4 Classics appeared in the current issue of my favorite magazine, This Old House. Copper and bronze house numbers and house number tiles from Mission Metalworks were featured in This Old House's Shopping section of the magazine that focused on unique products made from recycled materials. Mission Metalworks sand cast bronze and copper house numbers and tiles are made in the United States from 95% recycled metals. Check out these and all of the other amazing green products in the October issue of This Old House magazine.