Saturday, April 28, 2012

Unique Rustic Cabin Door and Cabinet Hardware Helps Create a Getaway from the Everyday

Summer is fast approaching and for many this means a trip to their summer getaway cabin to ready it for the vacation season ahead. For some this may entail more than removing the layer of dust that gathered over winter.  Their to-do list may also include renovation projects designed to refresh the look of their favorite summer retreat. Cabin interiors and exteriors often feature rustic themes designed to take their owners worlds away from the hustle and bustle that they left behind. The cabin’s interior may include art and accent items reflecting the region’s flora and fauna. For example, a Minnesota lake cabin may be decorated with figures of moose and pine trees whereas the interior of a Florida beach house may feature figures of pelicans and palm trees. Items that reflect the region’s history are also common decorative pieces found in a cabin’s interior and exterior. For example, western items such as horse and cowboy figures, Indian blankets, horseshoes, and even barbed wire accents are commonly included in the design of ranches throughout the southwest.

Cabin door, cabinet and other home hardware choices are also often very different than those commonly found in homes in the city or suburbs. As with the choice of décor, unique hardware is available in a wide variety of rustic themes. Bronze, copper and forged and cast iron are commonly used to produce hardware that offers not only a unique look but also unique textures making these metals popular choices for interior and exterior hardware for cabins of all types.
Lustrous brass and chrome hardware looks out of place in a cabin’s rustic appearance, but bronze and copper naturally patinas over time to add to a cabin’s rustic character.  Mission Metalwork’s line of solid cast bronze and copper and cabinet hardware and house numbers feature unique tumbled textures that enhance the hardware’s rustic appearance making their hardware ideal for cabin renovation projects.
Hand forged iron is another excellent choice for cabin renovation projects and Artesano Iron Works produces some of the most unique forged iron hardware available. With so many designs available, Artesano Iron Works collection of hand forged iron cabinet hardware, door hardware, and home hardware is likely to have unique options for your cabin whether it is has a southwestern theme or a classic northeastern wilderness theme.

Antique Revelry also has a diverse collection of cabinet hardware.  Antique Revelry's collection includes many cabinet knobs and drawer pulls made of natural bronze and cast iron, however, it is their forged iron and forged copper drawer pulls that  have been the most popular with those renovating cabins and lodges.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wrought Iron Hardware and the Spanish Colonial Revival

In architecture, a revival is a motif that recycles designs from a previous architectural period. Greek, Dutch, Gothic, and many other architectural themes have experienced periods of revival. In this entry of the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog, we review the Spanish Colonial Revival which, as its name suggests, invokes designs from Spanish Colonial architecture.

The Spanish Colonial Revival started in the early 1900's. After reaching its peak in the 1920's and 1930's, it began to fade in the 1940's. While Spanish Colonial Revival homes can be found throughout the United States, they are most heavily concentrated in coastal areas of the Southwest and West. It is no coincidence that those areas also happen to be Spanish colonies from the prior century.

The Spanish Colonial Revival was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement that emphasized simple designs integrating regional building practices, materials, and history. In the case of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, those designs featured Spanish motifs with forms and materials native to the Southwest. Spanish Colonial Revival homes are most easily recognized by their earth tone stucco exteriors and red tile roofs. Typically a single storey, Spanish Colonial Revival homes are characterized by arched passageways, courtyards, and deep overhanging eaves intended to help cool the home in the warm climates most frequently associated with these homes.

Although dark bronze and cast iron architectural details weren't unusual, hand forged wrought iron hardware and accents tended to be the metal of choice during the Spanish Colonial Revival (see Forged Iron vs. Cast Iron). The hefty half-rounded entry doors of Spanish Colonial Revival homes were supported by iron strap hinges and accessorized with iron door knockers. Limited windows were usually tall casement windows with iron window hardware. Wrought iron fireplace screens and fireplace accessories decorated chimneys. Hand hammered wrought iron drawer pulls and iron cabinet knobs accented traditional Spanish style furniture and iron lighting fixtures hung from wooden beamed ceilings.

Its heyday has passed yet buildings and homes that recreate designs from the Spanish Colonial Revival continue to be built today. Spanish Colonial Revival architecture remains most popular in the Spanish influenced areas of the Southwest, as it has always been, but its impact can even be seen here in the Midwest in areas like neighboring Mission, Kansas.

Friday, April 13, 2012

All American Wood Register: Wood Registers And Air Returns Made In The USA

All American Wood Register manufactures wood registers and wood air return grilles. Their name makes that fact clear. The wood registers and grilles are made exclusively in America. Again, that is made obvious by their name. What is not made obvious by their name is that All American Wood Register offers variety. And while variety may be the spice of life, it can also spur indecision. Today, we sort through the variety of wood vent cover options available from one of Shop 4 Classics' newest manufacturers to ease the selection of an All American Wood Register vent cover for your next project.

Register vs. Air Return Grille
As previously stated, All American Wood Register offers both wood registers and wood grilles. Grilles are typically used on return ducts while registers are used on supply ducts. In traditional residential heating and cooling systems, airflow is regulated on the supply side so registers have a damper (or louver assembly) while grilles do not. All American Wood Register dampers or constructed from heavy gauge, welded-steel and feature a durable baked-on epoxy coating. They attach to the wood grille with four screws. Like the wood grilles, the steel dampers are made in the USA by experienced craftsmen. All American Wood Register dampers are uniquely equipped with a thumbwheel airflow control that is recessed into the wood grille. The recessed damper control is a popular feature because it simplifies sanding and finishing, eliminates the hazard of a raised lever, and makes sweeping and vacuuming around the register easier.

Surface Mounted vs. Flush Mounted
All American Wood Register vent covers are offered for surface mount or flush mount. Flush mount wood registers and grilles rest in a specially constructed wood frame. The wood frame is permanently installed along with new hardwood flooring or cut into a retrofitted hardwood floor. The vent cover insert and frame are flush with the finished floor surface. The vent cover insert can be lifted out of the frame to clean the duct. Unlike flush mount wood vent covers that are exclusively used with hardwood floors, surface mount vent covers can be used on floors, walls, and ceilings of all types. They are also often called "drop-in grilles" or "self-rimming grilles" because the bottom of the grille drops into the duct opening and the top rests on the surface to create a rim that covers the opening.

Horizontal Slots vs. Vertical Slots
All American Wood Register wood registers and air return grilles are available with three different slot configurations; horizontal, vertical, and MaxFlo™. The horizontal slot wood registers and grilles are milled from a single piece of solid wood. The one piece construction provides the greatest strength and durability which makes them ideal for high-traffic floor areas. Horizontal slots offer mono-directional airflow that aims air in a single direction and can be positioned so ductwork isn't visible. Vertical slot wood registers and grilles provide bi-directional airflow that diffuses air in two directions to balance air movement. All American Wood Register's MaxFlo™ slots are bi-directional vertical slots designed to maximize air circulation. The MaxFlo™ wood registers and grilles have fewer louvers (vanes) that are spread further apart than traditional vertical slots to allow more air volume to pass through the grille. While not a recommended choice for high traffic floors, the MaxFlo™ wood vent covers are an excellent choice for areas that require greater air exchange.

Wood Species
Shop 4 Classics currently offers All American Wood Register vent covers in five different wood species. All wood vent covers are unfinished so you can stain or paint them to match your décor. The open grain of red oak, white oak, cherry, and hickory make them a great choice for stain while the closed grain of maple provides a smoother surface that makes it the recommended wood species for painting.

Choose All American Wood Register wood registers and wood air return grilles for your next project. The variety is unmatched and, oh yes, they are made in America. In addition to discount prices and free shipping for orders over $100, Shop 4 Classics offers the HARDWARE5 promotion code for an additional 5% discount on All American Wood Register orders of $500 or more or the HARDWARE10 promotion code for an additional 10% discount on All American Wood Register orders of $1,000 or more.

Friday, April 6, 2012

When Choosing Bungalow Hardware One Style Does Not Fit All

The American bungalow home is an example of the compact style of homes built during the early 1900's through the 1940's. Bungalows are often described as having low pitched roofs, front facing dormer windows, and large front porches. However, this characterization does not even begin to describe the actual wide array of shapes, sizes and even distinctive qualities of bungalows that exist in the United States. The time period when the bungalow was built often had an effect on its design. Some bungalows incorporated features of earlier housing styles that were fading in popularity at the time (such as Victorian) while others incorporated features from emerging new design trends (such as Modernism). Location factors, specifically regional tastes and building material availability, also influenced the design of the bungalow. Bungalows of the Midwest feature wood, stone, and/or brick exteriors while bungalows found on the West Coast more commonly have stucco exteriors.

Original door hardware and other home hardware found on a bungalow is also often a reflection of what was popular where and when the home was constructed. Therefore, a bungalow may have ornate Victorian era style door hardware with crystal knobs or could have very different Craftsman style door hardware with designs reflecting influences of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Likewise, the bungalow home’s original hardware may also be a reflection of its location. For example, bungalows located in Southern California may contain iron hardware with Spanish influences whereas those in Northern California may include rustic hardware featuring nature themes of the Pacific Northwest.

Since most bungalows are approaching, or already are, a hundred years old, it is quite possible that some if not all of the home’s original hardware has been replaced. Fortunately, today’s home owners who are renovating their bungalow have many antique reproduction hardware options available from which to choose. They can choose hardware that resembles the home’s original hardware or choose, as many do, to complete their bungalow with iconic Craftsman and Mission style hardware that is associated with the Arts and Crafts movement. Regardless of the style of hardware you choose for your bungalow, it is a good idea to try to remain consistent with your choice throughout your home. This simple rule of thumb is especially true when shopping for bungalow hardware because their compact design and typically small number of rooms make inconsistencies in hardware selection all the more noticeable.