Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cast Iron Shelf Brackets Wrought with Victorian, Gothic, Neo-Classical Period and Nature Themes

Decorative cast iron shelf brackets offer an affordable way to add style to any room and Shop 4 Classics has just added Antique Revelry’s unique collection period and nature themed cast iron shelf brackets in an array of small and large sizes.   

Period Style Cast Iron Shelf Brackets

Period Style, often also referred to as Antique Style, shelf brackets incorporate hallmark designs of architectural design periods.  However, one need not limit their selection of cast iron shelf brackets to the period in which their home was constructed.  Designs of period style shelf brackets are timeless and therefore selection often becomes a matter of personal taste.   

Pennsylvania Dutch
Cast Iron Shelf Bracket 
Antique Revelry’s Pennsylvania Dutch Cast iron shelf brackets features a circular tulip design at its center similar to hex signs of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art.   In addition to the Pennsylvania Dutch cast iron shelf bracket, Antique Revelry’s Lotus Flower cast iron shelf brackets feature similar circular hex sign design.  Either of these cast iron shelf brackets is an ideal choice for Dutch colonial revival homes; however, their simple charming design is complimentary to any traditional themed setting.

Gothic Trestle
Cast Iron Shelf Bracket
The Victorian period of the late 19th century to early 20th century was known for elaborate aesthetics of dress, architecture, and design.  Flamboyant design of the Victorian period extended to even the most common of household objects.   The Victorian period often incorporated centuries old designs from the past while at the same time embraced the benefits brought on by the industrial revolution.   The result was Victorian creations melded the ancient with what was the state of the art of the day.   The design of Antique Revelry cast iron Gothic Trestle shelf bracket was inspired by the design of an actual turn of the 20th century iron bridge trestle.  The Gothic Trestle shelf bracket mimics an original cast iron bridge trestle’s design includes century’s old Gothic quatrefoil and trefoil images that were reintroduced in Gothic Revival architecture surrounded by the industrial appearance of countless rivets that held trestle in place.  

Nature Themed Cast Iron Shelf Brackets

Cast Iron Shelf Bracket
Nature has been the inspiration of design ever since man first drew on cave walls.   Flora and fauna has been represented in some form or another in elements of every architectural design period.   Antique Revelry has several cast iron shelf brackets with nature themes.   With its intricate design of oak leaves and acorns, Antique Revelry’s Acorn cast iron shelf bracket is an ideal accent for Arts and Crafts bungalow as well as rustic cabin interiors.    Antique Revelry’s Dragonfly cast iron shelf bracket features a large stylized dragonfly that is similar to those found on Arts and Crafts tile, pottery, and other forms of art. 

Check out one of the a largest selection of cast iron shelf brackets on web from Antique Revelry,  the John Wright Company  and Waterglass Studios in the Interior Accents section of the Shop 4 Classics website.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Rooster Head Kitchen Cabinet Knobs: Add Charm and Possibly a Little Good Luck to Your Kitchen

Rooster Cabinet Knobs
by Antique Revelry
A rooster in your kitchen has long been held as a good luck charm.  In these modern times, however, one can compile a nearly endless list of reasons for not keeping a real rooster in your kitchen.  Images of roosters in wall art, pottery, and tins that decorate today’s kitchens remains a popular theme.

The rooster themes can even be found in kitchen cabinet hardware and Shop 4 Classics now offers truly unique rooster head kitchen cabinet knobs. Produced by Antique Revelry Hardware, these rooster cabinet knobs exhibit a rustic quality ideal for French country as well as American country kitchens. Unlike most rooster cabinet knobs, these cabinet knobs come in both right facing and left facing options.  Right and left facing rooster head knobs are perfect kitchen cabinets that often are arranged in a pairs of cabinet doors that open to a single cabinet.   Thus, these rooster knobs can be mounted so that they face each other or look in opposite directions.   Further, Antique Revelry’s rooster cabinet knobs are available in black cast iron, antique pewter, and oil rubbed bronze so they they are available in finishes to compliment light and dark kitchen cabinets.

Consider choosing these unique rooster cabinet knobs as well as the many other home hardware items from Antique Revelry including decorative cast iron shelf brackets, coat hooks, decorative vent covers and more for your kitchen remodel project.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Innovative Antique Window Hardware: Combo Sash Lock & Lift

When you look at antique hardware, you occasionally find something ingenious. Something so clever yet so simple in its mechanics that you ask yourself, "why didn't I think of that?"  Sometimes the pioneering piece of hardware might be somewhat obscure and you wonder, "why wasn't that more common?"  The combo sash lock & lift is a perfect example of inventive antique window hardware that probably should have been more popular.  Today, we look at the combo sash lock & lift and look at why it's not too late for this ingenious piece of antique window hardware.

Sash Lock

Sash Lift

Regardless of their age, the most common types of windows found in US homes are double-hung windows and single-hung windows.  Both of these types of windows have two sashes and in both types, the lower sash raises to open the window.  Sash lifts are installed on the bottom rail of the lower sash to aid in lifting it.  Conversely, a sash lock is used to prevent the lower sash from being lifted.  The latching half of the sash lock is usually installed on the top rail of the lower sash while a strike is installed on the bottom rail of the upper sash.  Activating the latch secures the lower sash to the upper sash, preventing the window from being opened.

Combo Sash Lock & Lift

As its' name implies, the combo sash lock & lift combines both a sash lock and a sash lift into a single piece of window hardware.  The sash lift is creatively integrated into the sash lock.  The combo sash lock & lift installs on the bottom rail of the lower sash just as a traditional sash lift would be installed.  The strike plate for the combo sash lock & lift installs on the window sill.  When it is closed, the combo sash lock & lift latches the sash to the window sill.  Pulling up on the spring loaded sash lift releases the lock so the sash can be lifted in one movement.  In a similar fashion, lowering the sash and releasing the sash lift activates the sash lock fastening the sash to the sill in just one motion.  Rather than operating the sash lock and sash lifts in two separate motions, the combo sash lock & lift provides a more efficient one step process.

Despite its superior efficiency and clever design, the combo sash lock & lift has not dominated window hardware.  The combo sash lock & lift has been around since the late 19th century but you don't see antique originals very frequently.  Fortunately, Shop 4 Classics now offers authentic antique reproduction combo sash lock & lifts from Antique Revelry.  The Antique Revelry combo sash lock & lift can be used on old or new, single hung or double hung, wood windows.  These antique reproduction combo sash lock & lifts are offered in today's favorite finishes to accommodate any decorating theme.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for the Antique Revelry combo sash lock & lift and other innovative antique reproduction window hardware.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sunrise Specialty Tubs, Bath Fixtures, and Period Plumbing: Sequester Relief

If all this talk about US Federal government sequesters, debt default, and furloughs has you hunkering down to avoid your own personal debt crisis, we have some good news.  Sunrise Specialty is holding prices steady.  The supplier of fine period antique reproduction plumbing and bath fixtures just published their new catalog and price sheet.  There are no prices increases.  Furthermore, a few new items were added to the Sunrise Specialty catalog.  Rather than spend any additional time talking about what didn't happen, we will focus on what is new from Sunrise Specialty.

Sunrise Specialty Brushed Aluminum Skirted Bathtub
with Floor Mounted Clawfoot Tub Shower & Tubfill

Sunrise Specialty added to their collection of Piedmont series skirted bathtubs.  They have long offered the cast iron skirted Piedmont bathtub but they now also offer a copper leaf skirted Piedmont bathtub, brushed aluminum skirted Piedmont bathtub, and a stainless steel skirted Piedmont bathtub.  The Piedmont series skirted bathtubs are 67" long.  Like Sunrise Specialty's cast iron clawfoot tubs, the skirted bathtubs have a durable titanium based porcelain enamel interior.  The Sunrise Specialty skirted tubs are available at discounted prices from Shop 4 Classics.  All clawfoot tub prices include shipping, crate, and residential liftgate service.  Use the TUB10 coupon code to save an additional 10% on your total order of Sunrise Specialty period style plumbing and bath fixtures when your order includes a Sunrise Specialty cast iron tub, clawfoot tub faucet or shower, supply lines, and a clawfoot tub drain.

Sunrise Specialty has also introduced a new freestanding clawfoot tub shower and tubfill system.  The new floor mounted clawfoot tub shower includes an overhead 8" rainfall showerhead and oval shower curtain ring.  It features a code friendly thermostatic clawfoot tub faucet and is available with an optional handheld shower.  Shop 4 Classics has discounted the price of this freestanding clawfoot tub shower and tubfill system and includes free shipping.  The FAUCET5 coupon code provides an additional 5% discount on your total order of Sunrise Specialty antique reproduction plumbing when your order includes a Sunrise Specialty floor mounted clawfoot tub shower and clawfoot tub drain.

Sunrise Specialty Pedestal Sink

The Vintage pedestal sink is also new from Sunrise Specialty.  The Vintage pedestal sink has a spacious bowl, ample counterspace, a low profile backsplash, a concealed drain chase, and plenty of good old fashion charm.  Combine the Vintage pedestal sink with a Sunrise Specialty widespread lavatory faucet to make an unmistakable period statement.  Shop 4 Classics includes free shipping for the Sunrise Specialty Vintage pedestal sink and any other Sunrise Specialty item included on the same order.

While the US government may find it difficult to reach an agreement, it's hard to argue with the quality and selection of Sunrise Specialty.  They have put a ceiling on price increases and Shop 4 Classics lowers your cost with discount prices, free shipping, and online coupons.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for the complete catalog of Sunrise Specialty period antique reproduction plumbing and bath fixtures.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Shop 4 Classics Reviews Ranch Style Homes: Eventually We All Get Old

Last weekend, I rolled up behind an old Chevy pickup truck sitting at a stoplight.  It looked very much like the truck that my father drove when I was a boy.  I pictured the truck parked in the front of our ranch style home in suburban mid-Missouri.  The truck and the ranch home were new at the time.  As the light turned green and the truck pulled away, I noticed it had antique designated license plates.  Antique?  How could that be?  I soon realized that the antique classification was correct.  The truck is old as am I.  So old in fact, that the DMV would consider me to be an antique.  So old that the ranch house that was my boyhood home could soon qualify for the National Register of Historic Places.  In the grand scheme of things, ranch houses are a relatively new architectural style but they've been around long enough that we now can consider them vintage.  Today, the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog reviews ranch style homes.

Faux Shutter Hardware
Ranch homes first appeared in the 1920s and 1930s.  They are largely located in suburbia but they evolved from Spanish ranchos found in the rural ranches of southern California--hence the name "ranch".  Also sometimes called California ranch homes, ramblers, or American ranch homes, this architectural style spread across the US through the 1940s and 1950s before hitting its peak in the 1960s and 1970s.

Traditional House Numbers
Ranch style homes are single story structures; typically linear or L-shaped.  They have low-pitched gable roofs and frequently feature a long narrow front porch.  A front facing carport or attached garage is common.  A large picture window is one of the ranch home's defining characteristics.  The picture window is often flanked by fixed decorative shutters.  Ranch homes usually have simple, modest architectural details and instead rely on decorative hardware such as faux shutter hardware, garage door dummy strap hinges, and traditional house numbers for curb appeal.

Pocket Door Hardware
Ranch house interiors feature an open floor plan.  Sliding pocket doors and pocket door hardware are typical as is wood veneer paneling.  Kitchens and baths in ranch homes often have laminate flooring and countertops but the pièce de résistance is the colored fixtures.  Fabulous toilets, built-in tubs, and sinks in pink, green, and blue pastels highlighted colorful baths in ranch homes constructed in the 1960s and 1970s.  Small bathrooms utilized vanities with drop-in sinks to provide under sink storage.  Built-in tubs with in-wall tub & shower sets are the norm for ranch homes.  Even to obsessive ranch home preservationists, pastel colored bath fixtures have limited appeal today but much of the other plumbing and hardware is still available today.
Drop-In Sink

As with any home style, regional variations of ranch homes exist.  Ranch homes in the Southwest are more open and spacious while those built in the Northeast are more compact to provide heating and cooling efficiency as well as space conservation.  Ranch homes in the Midwest often have basements that at some point likely became finished basements.  Regardless of where you go, you are likely to find complete subdivisions of ranch style homes in suburban USA.

Ranch style homes may not get the attention that Victorian homes receive and they lack the passionate fans that Arts & Crafts homes enjoy but like me, ranch style homes have aged gracefully and are now an American classic.  Shop 4 Classics specializes in antique reproduction plumbing and vintage hardware for old homes of all types.  Visit to find period appropriate hardware and plumbing for your ranch style home.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Multiple Showerhead Shower Systems: Configuring Custom Shower Systems

Multiple showerhead shower systems refers to in-wall showers that include multiple body sprays and even one or more handheld showers in addition to typically large overhead rain shower heads.  The popularity of multiple showerheads is no longer limited to contemporary style high-end homes.  They are increasingly being included in complete bath remodels and bath additions to older homes.  Whether considering a multiple showerhead shower for new construction or remodeling, one must confirm that they are permitted by local plumbing codes as many municipalities have added restrictive code designed to promote water conservation.

Strom Plumbing's Termostatic Multiple
Showerhead Shower Systems
Multiple showerhead shower systems represent a collection of components selected and arranged custom to the design of the shower and the homeowner’s desires.  The benefits of customization however require additional forethought when shopping for a multiple showerhead shower system.  For example, the shower’s layout must be planned to ensure that body sprays and shower heads properly reach the bather’s location and controls are placed at an easily reachable location.  Body sprays are typically added in sets of three: one at shoulder height, one at waist height, and one positioned between the hip and knee.  It is important to
consider the height of all likely users of the shower to avoid, for example, the top spray from spraying directly at the head of a shorter bather.  Individual control valves for each body spray or multiple sets of body sprays at different heights with each set having its own control valve may be necessary.

Shop 4 Classics offers vintage-themed multiple showerhead thermostatic shower systems by Strom Plumbing (Sign of the Crab).  Strom Plumbing’s thermostatic in-wall component tub and shower systems allow you to mix and match components to create a fully customized tub or shower faucet.  Components to Strom Plumbing’s shower systems share the same decorative metal and porcelain accented escutcheons and faucet handles as their series of vintage style faucets so they coordinate well with the bath’s sink and tub faucets.  The potential and flexibility to build your own system makes them a perfect solution for many applications, however, the versatility can make it difficult to choose the correct components.  No worries, Shop 4 Classics provides a Thermostatic Tub & Shower Component System Tips page to assist your buying decision.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Door Knob Bliss: Nostalgic Warehouse's New Crystal & Porcelain Door Knobs

Nostalgic Warehouse has been providing high quality antique reproduction door hardware for over 20 years. They offer vintage designs ranging from elegant Victorian to jazzy Art Deco.  Today, we introduce six new vintage doorknobs from Nostalgic Warehouse that can be paired with any of their classic doorplate designs.

We begin with three new crystal door knobs.  The new round crystal doorknob, oval crystal doorknob, and oval fluted crystal doorknob add to a collection of crystal door knobs that previously included the traditional crystal door knob and the Waldorf crystal door knob.  The oval crystal door knob features a clean oval shape and smooth outward-curve.  The oval fluted crystal door knob adds twenty-four individually hand-ground facets to the oval knob.  The circular shape of the round crystal door knob magnifies the underlying details of the backplate with which you choose to pair it.  Each crystal door knob is crafted from genuine lead crystal to create amazing clarity and brilliance.  The crystal knobs are mounted on a solid forged brass base for durability and beauty.  Nostalgic Warehouse's clear crystal door knobs coordinate equally well with any finish and compliment a variety of architectural styles.

Porcelain doorknobs have enjoyed universal popularity since the 1800s and continue to be popular hundreds of years later.  The new rose porcelain doorknob, black porcelain doorknob, and brown porcelain doorknob join the pure white porcelain door knob to provide a wide range of design options.  The black porcelain door knob projects the stately sophistication of high society.  The brown porcelain door knob offers a warm compliment to natural wood trim and earthen color palettes.  And, nothing says "vintage" quite like the delicate floral illustration of the rose porcelain door knob.  Nostalgic Warehouse's kiln-fired porcelain door knobs are mounted on a solid forged brass base for durability and beauty.  Traditional to contemporary.  Sophisticated to simplistic charm.  The porcelain door knobs provide flexibility to fit most any decorating theme.

Shop 4 Classics offers the complete catalog of Nostalgic Warehouse antique reproduction door hardware.  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 Nostalgic Warehouse orders of $500 or more or the HARDWARE10 promotion code for an additional 10% discount on Nostalgic Warehouse orders of $1,000 or more.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Craftsman House Numbers & House Number Tiles True to Arts & Crafts Traditions

The American Arts & Crafts movement developed in a response to the negative side effects of America’s industrial revolution of the early 1900’s.  The Arts & Crafts movement extolled the greater societal benefits of producing goods by the hands of skilled craftsman as had been done for centuries over the pure economic benefits that factory automation and mass production brought to a select few.  Over a hundred years later, I think that it is safe to say that the country continues to wrestle with these same concerns.  If anything, the issue has become more complicated with increased globalization of production and concerns about the environment.    
Mission Metalworks
Arts & Crafts House Numbers
Mission Metalworks’ solid bronze and copper Arts & Crafts house numbers and Mission house number tiles not only offer that now iconic Arts & Crafts style but also are crafted in many ways consistent with Arts & Crafts traditions.  The numbers and tiles are sand cast in a Missouri foundry that has been in operation since the time of the original American Arts & Crafts movement. The wood pattern boards were created by hand by a local craftsman.  The bronze and copper used to produce the house numbers and house number tiles is from 95% recycled domestic material, which I am sure the founders of the Arts & Crafts movement would appreciate.  The numbers and tiles are also hand-finished and individually inspected prior to shipment.

Yes, Mission Metalworks' bronze and copper Arts & Crafts house numbers and Mission house number tiles faithfulness to the Arts & Crafts movement’s traditions are more than just patina deep.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Gate Hardware That Is Off The Chain: The Shop 4 Classics Guide to Great Gate Hardware

There is an old adage about a chain being only as strong as its weakest link.  Coaches and managers use the saying to encourage teamwork but it also applies to your home.  A seemingly minor piece of hardware can have a major impact on the overall look of your home.

If the weak link around the exterior of your home is an ugly chain link fence, upgrading to fancy gate hardware may be like putting lipstick on a pig.  However, if you've invested in a custom wood or metal fence, choosing high quality gate hardware can really make your gate "off the chain".

Coastal Bronze Bronze Gate Hardware

Shop 4 Classics offers a broad selection of top quality gate hardware from Coastal Bronze, Agave Ironworks, Antique Revelry and Acorn Manufacturing, among others.  Today, the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog offers a guide to the different types of gate hardware that you might choose to improve your gate and enhance your home's appearance.

Gate Hinges - Hinges differentiate a gate from other parts of a fence.  Gate hinges make a gate swing.  Strap hinges, also called gate band hinges, are used on gates because they not only allow the gate to swing but the straps help reinforce the gate.  Additionally, the straps provide accent.  So much so that decorative dummy strap hinges are often added to gates hung with traditional butt hinges to provide additional ornamentation.

Gate Latches - If hinges make a gate swing, gate latches make it stop swinging.  In general, gate latches have the mechanical complexity of a teeter totter.  One side has a handle with a thumb actuated tailpiece that extends through the gate.  The tailpiece rises when the thumb grip is pressed down.  The tailpiece lifts a drop bar on the other side of the gate.  When the drop bar is raised out of the catch plate, the gate can then swing open.

Gate Stops - Gate stops install on gates to prevent them from swinging past the closed position.  An over-swinging gate can damage gate hardware and the gate itself.  Gate stops are an often overlooked but especially important gate component for gates that use drop bar gate latches.  Without a gate stop, the drop bar can be bent or broken off if the gate swings past its closed position.    

Agave Ironworks Iron Gate Hardware

Gate Bolts - Cane bolts and gate slide bolts provide security for privacy fence gates.  Gate latches don't typically lock so a cane bolt or slide bolt is used to supplement gate latches.  The bolt on a cane bolt locks into the ground while a slide bolt locks into a strike plate on the fence.  Cane bolts can also be used to lock a gate in the open position.

Clavos - Clavos are decorative nails applied to a gate's surface to provide ornamentation or to cover modern screw heads in a vintage setting.  Sometimes called door studs, clavos are usually round or pyramid shaped and have a distressed finish to make them look like Old World handcrafted bolts or nail heads.  Clavos with more complex designs are often referred to as door bosses.

Speakeasy Grilles - Tall privacy gates may have a small window or door on the gate to allow the homeowner to speak with visitors before opening the gate.  A speakeasy grille covers the window to keep it from simply looking like a hole.  Whether it is a basic design or a highly detailed design, speakeasy grilles provide a decorative element to spruce up a gate as well as secure it.

Much of the same hardware used on gates can also be used on doors for other outbuildings around your home.  Garage doors, carriage house doors, shutters, barn doors, and garden shed doors can all benefit from the same treatment.  The curb appeal of your home is more than just the structure.  There are many architectural elements around the exterior of your home that link together as a team to create one cohesive visual impression.  Look for the weak link around your home today and improve it with high quality iron and bronze gate hardware from Shop 4 Classics!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hacienda Door Hardware: Spanish Style Forged Iron Door Hardware from Agave Ironworks

Hacienda Style Door Pull
Hacienda style represents the traditional architecture and design of old Mexico and heavy, rustic wooden entry doors are a defining element of a hacienda style home’s exterior.  The importance of selecting the correct style of entry door hardware for your home should not be underestimated.  A rustic heavy wooden hacienda style front door sets expectations of the home’s distinctive interior; one rich with Spanish colonial charm of old Mexico.  

Only rustic handcrafted forged iron door hardware will do that for authentic hacienda style doors.  Agave Ironworks specializes in creating rustic iron hardware and décor that is ideal for hacienda style homes.  The company pays meticulous attention to the texture, depth, and beauty of classic Tuscan Villa and Spanish Hacienda style hardware.

Agave Ironworks Spanish Hacienda Door Hardware
Hacienda Style Speakeasy Grille
Agave Ironworks forged iron door hardware includes rustic handcrafted door knockers, dummy strap hinges, speakeasy grilles, and an amazing collection of distinctive door handles.  All of these quality crafted pieces are created by the skilled hands and hearts of Hispanic master craftsman. All rustic hardware items are hand-forged from heavy gauge materials and powder coated for a superior finish. Each piece is certain to leave a lasting impression that will enhance the appearance of your home.

Agave Ironworks Spanish Hacienda Gate Hardware
Courtyards are common to both large and small Hacienda style homes and extend the relaxed Spanish Colonial charm to the home’s outdoor space.  The artisans of Agave Ironworks produce handcrafted forged iron gate latches and gate pulls rich in the Spanish Hacienda tradition.

Agave Ironworks also offers a collection of hand crafted iron hardware that is perfectly matched to Spanish, Tuscan, Mexican, Southwest, and Arts & Crafts designed homes. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Really High Class Olympus Roman Soaker Tub from Sign of the Crab

In 1988, J. L. Mott Iron Works published an illustrated catalog of Victorian plumbing fixtures.  According to the company, the products in the catalog were designed "to meet the growing demand for really high class goods, goods not only desirable from a sanitary point of view, but really artistic and beautiful to look upon, and fully up to the present high standard of the inside fittings and interior decorations of our modern houses and public buildings."  One of these "really high class goods" was a bathtub called the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath.  We at Shop 4 Classics found this bathtub to be "really artistic and beautiful to look upon", just as described by J. L. Mott.  We suggested the tub to our friends at Sign of the Crab.  Sign of the Crab offers many innovative soaking tubs and was the perfect candidate to recreate the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath for today's market.  The result of our suggestion is the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic Roman soaker tub.

The J. L. Mott Iron Works Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath was molded and glazed in one solid piece.  The manufacturer boasts that the weight of these porcelain bathtubs was "very much less than anything of the kind made hitherto".  Like its inspiration, the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic soaker tub is constructed to be light in weight.  Sign of the Crab describes the Olympus acrylic bathtub as being "crafted from durable, premium quality acrylic for an exquisite bathing experience".

J. L. Mott designates the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath as a "Roman" bathtub because it has the faucet and drain on the side of the tub rather than the end of the tub (which is called a "French" bathtub).  Like the Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath, the Olympus acrylic soaker tub has a drain on the side of the tub.  It does not have faucet holes so the faucet can be placed anywhere around the perimeter of the tub but would normally be installed on the side centered with the drain.  J. L. Mott predicted in 1888 that the Roman style bathtubs would become the standard because "it does away with the exposure of the pipes and fittings".  Because the plumbing is on the side of the tub, it is normally hidden from view.  Now 125 years later, "pipes and fittings" are generally hidden from view, just as J. L. Mott predicted, but it is plumbed in behind a finished wall.  Built-in tubs with in-wall faucets and showers are the modern standard for new construction.

Light weight tubs aren't unique.  Shop 4 Classics offers a wide selection of light acrylic clawfoot tubs.  Tubs with faucets and drains on the side aren't unique either.  Today, we usually call them double-ended bathtubs or dual bathtubs rather than Roman bathtubs.  Shop 4 Classics offers many different double-ended bathtubs.  The thing that we found special about the J. L. Mott Iron Works Imperial Porcelain Roman Bath was that it sat on two bases rather than on four feet.  The Olympus acrylic soaker tub rests on two bases similar to its predecessor.  It is these two bases that make the Olympus acrylic Roman bathtub like no other tub currently available.  One might even say that the Sign of the Crab Olympus acrylic Roman soaker tub is a perfect example of "really high class goods" that is "really artistic and beautiful to look upon".

Sign of the Crab Olympus Acrylic Roman Soaking Bathtub

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cheviot Products Clawfoot Tubs: Buy These Clawfoot Tubs

Cheviot Products Biscuit Cast Iron Dual Clawfoot Tub

Over the Memorial Day weekend, I spent an afternoon at the ballpark watching the Kansas City Royals host the St. Louis Cardinals.  I enjoyed the game but it was a snow cone vendor that left a lasting impression.  After a few futile attempts to sell his product, the vendor pleaded with the crowd, "come on people buy these dang snow cones!"  The vendor's pitch had an air of desperation but his strategy seemed to guilt (or goad) a few fans into buying snow cones that they probably did not really want.

I'm familiar with desperation on a personal level but it is not a technique that we typically employ to sell clawfoot tubs.  Instead, Shop 4 Classics relies on discount prices (which you won't normally find in a ballpark) and tremendous selection to sell clawfoot tubs.  Case in point, this week we added several new clawfoot tub options from Cheviot Products:

Shaughnessy Tub Foot

Cheviot Products' new clawfoot tubs were accompanied by a modest increase of suggested retail prices for 2013; however, Shop 4 Classics offset the price increase with deeper discounts on clawfoot tubs.  The net result is that despite the increase in suggested retail price, the Shop 4 Classics sale price for Cheviot Products clawfoot tubs is actually less than it was in 2012!

Cheviot Products Cast Iron Double Slipper Tub

For even greater savings, Shop 4 Classics offers the TUB10 coupon code for an instant 10% discount on your total Cheviot Products order when your order includes a Cheviot Products clawfoot tub, faucet, supply lines, and drain.  The TUB10 coupon applies in addition to our already discounted prices.  As always, all Shop 4 Classics clawfoot tub prices include delivery.  And if that doesn't convince you to buy your clawfoot tub at Shop 4 Classics, well then there is always, "come on people buy these dang clawfoot tubs!"

Monday, May 27, 2013

Screened In Sleeping Porches: A Unique Feature of Old Homes Worth Restoring

This spring has been unusually mild in Kansas City this year which has allowed me to go without air conditioning so far.  I enjoy sleeping with the windows open during the spring and fall.  I owe this appreciation for this simple pleasure to my upbringing.  My parents, who were raised on farms, resorted to turning on the air conditioning only when the heat became unbearable which was usually at least a month after it became unbearable to me.  I would complain about the heat only to hear stories of how they had no air-conditioning growing up and slept on the porch on hot summer nights. 
Screen Door Hinges & Latch Kit

Many homes built during the early 1900’s included a porch separate from the front porch that was designed specifically as a sleeping porch.  Sleeping porches are more private, often located a home’s second story rather than the ground floor.  They are also open, yet screened-in, on multiple sides to allow the breeze to blow through the porch.  Unfortunately, that since the introduction of air conditioning many sleeping porches have been enclosed or removed during the remodeling of these old homes.

As with many other attributes of old homes, screened-in porches are once again becoming more popular addition to home renovation projects as well as new house construction.  Modern screened-in porches are not intended for sleeping although creating a relaxing environment remains a key element of their design.  Ceiling fans, stereos, and even televisions can be found in today’s screened-in porch.

Whether you are restoring your old home’s sleeping porch or adding a more modern screened-in porch to your home, Shop 4 Classics has the specialty screen door hardware that you are looking for.   Screen door latches, screen door hinges, and complete screen door hardware kits can be found in Storm Door Hardware section within Shop 4 Classics’ Entry Door Hardware product category.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Loose Pin Door Hinges: Butt Hinges with Removable Pins

A loose pin butt hinge is a door hinge that has a center pin that can be easily removed from the barrel to separate the hinge.  Naturally, they are also sometimes called removable pin door hinges.  Opposed to loose pin door hinges, butt hinges are also available with a fixed pin.  Fixed pin door hinges are sometimes also called tight pin door hinges or rigid pin door hinges.  Fixed pin butt door hinges have a permanent pin that cannot be removed from the hinge.

IDH Loose Pin Butt Door Hinge

The advantage of having a loose pin door hinge is that the door can be uninstalled without having to uninstall the hinge from either the door or the door jamb.  The hinge pin can be tapped out of the loose pin door hinge to allow the door to be lifted away with little effort.  Removing a door isn't an everyday event but it can be helpful to remove a door to refinish it or to paint the door frame.  Removing doors can also be beneficial when moving furniture or appliances through doorways.  Anyone that has done much of this is sure to have encountered a situation where one extra inch is needed to fit through a doorway.  Tapping out two or three hinge pins and lifting the door out of the way can be the difference between a clawfoot tub installed in the bathroom and one resting in the hallway.

Removable pin door hinges are commonly used on interior residential doors.  They can be used on exterior doors as well but should not be used on outward swinging exterior doors.  If the pin is exposed, as it would be for an outward swinging exterior door, the pin can be removed by a burglar to easily gain entry to your home.  Choose a fixed pin door hinge for outward swinging exterior doors.

Shop 4 Classics offers loose pin butt door hinges from IDH by St. Simons (IDH).  The IDH loose pin door hinges are available in the most typical sizes and most popular finishes.  They feature classic ball-tipped finials.  Ball tipped door hinges are common in old homes of most any architectural era but are especially ubiquitous in Arts & Crafts period homes.  IDH loose pin door hinges are beveled at the barrel to provide a tight fit in both the open and closed position.  The knuckles are precision aligned to ensure smooth operation.

We have one final caution about choosing loose pin door hinges.  In some cases, it can be important to know whether a door is a right hand door or a left hand door before choosing removable pin door hinges.  Choosing the wrong handing could result in a hinge that is upside down.  While it may not look any different, the pin will eventually work its way loose if it is inserted from the bottom of the barrel rather than the top.  This is not an issue with IDH loose pin butt door hinges.  The knuckles on IDH loose pin butt door hinges are threaded at both ends.  This allows the ball-tipped finial to be threaded into either end of the hinge so the pin can always be installed through the top of the barrel.  Handing is unimportant for IDH loose pin door hinges because there is no strict top or bottom.

Shop 4 Classics offers loose pin butt door hinges, fixed pin butt door hinges, and door hinges of all types, sizes, and finishes from IDH by St. Simons, Nostalgic Warehouse, and others.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for tremendous selection and great prices on door hinges.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Resin Grille Air Return and Heat Register Vent Covers: Decorative Options for Wall and Ceiling Vents

Distinguished Design Retro Resin Air Return Grille

Decorative vent covers featuring resin grilles are fast becoming a popular option for wall and ceiling air return as well as heating vent applications.  There are many advantages to resin vent covers over traditional iron, aluminum, brass and even wood vent cover grilles that have led to their popularity.  One of their greatest advantages is that resin grille vent covers are very light in weight making them easier to install on ceilings and walls.  Resin grille vent covers are also generally less expensive and typically available in a wide range of sizes.  Although resin grilles are not designed to support weight and therefore are not to be used on floors, quality resin grilles also have durability advantages as they will not rust and are resistant to warping, insect damage, corrosion, and moisture.
Shop 4 Classics has just added high quality resin grille heat registers and resin air return grilles from Distinguished Design.  Distinguish Design’s collection of resin vent covers are currently available in twelve designs with grille patterns that range from classic to contemporary.  Each Distinguish Design pattern is available as a heat register with pre-attached dampers for air control and as a simple air return vent cover.  Their resin grilles are available in a paintable option as well as black, brown, and

Distinguished Design Caspian Cross Resin Air Return Grille

Resin grille vent covers install in much the same way as other types of wall and ceiling vent covers.  In fact, the guidelines discussed in the recent blog entry, "Professional Installation of Wall and Ceiling Heat Registers And Air Intake Covers" applies to installing resin grille heat registers and air return vent covers.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Clawfoot Tub End Game: Dual Clawfoot Tubs vs.End Mount Clawfoot Tub Faucets

A dual clawfoot tub is a tub that is rounded at both ends of the tub.  It is also sometimes called a double-ended clawfoot bathtub.  The clawfoot tub faucet is usually installed in the center on the side of the tub.

Frequently, customers ask, "can I get a dual clawfoot tub with the faucet mounted on the end of the tub?"  While they prefer the symmetry of a dual clawfoot tub, they are bound by plumbing that is configured near the corner of a room rather than the middle.  If the faucet were mounted on the end of a dual tub, the customer could have their symmetric tub without changing the plumbing.  Unfortunately, this bit of nirvana is not easily obtained.

There are two important reasons clawfoot tub faucets are not normally mounted on the end of a dual tub:

  1. Installing a faucet at the end of a dual tub defeats one of the double-ended tub's important advantages.  Because both ends of a dual tub are rounded, a person can comfortably sit at either end of a dual tub or two people can simultaneously share a double-ended tub.  This would not be the case if a faucet was installed at one end of a dual tub rather than centered along one side.  If the faucet was mounted at one end of a double-ended clawfoot tub, a person could not recline comfortably with their back to the faucet end of the tub.
  2. The waste and overflow holes for the clawfoot tub drain will always be in the center of a double-ended tub.  The overflow on a clawfoot tub drain requires a relatively plumb vertical surface.  The only relatively plumb vertical surface on a double ended bathtub is the side walls.  The ends of dual tubs are sloped at an angle that would make it difficult to accept the overflow.  Also, if the drain plug were at one end of the tub, the faucet would be the least of the discomforts for the person seated at that end of the tub.

For these two reasons, double-ended clawfoot tubs are not offered with faucet holes drilled through the rim at one of the ends.  However, you can choose a double-ended clawfoot tub without faucet holes and install a wall mounted clawfoot tub faucet or a freestanding clawfoot tub faucet wherever you like around the perimeter of the tub.  Wall mounted faucets and freestanding faucets are independent of the tub.  Installing a freestanding faucet or wall mounted faucet at the end of a dual tub would make it awkward to sit at that end of the tub (see reason number 1) and the drain will always be centered on the side of the tub (see reason number 2) but this would be the one way that you can end mount a faucet for a double-ended clawfoot tub.

Arcadia Dual Clawfoot Tub from Sign of the Crab

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Telephone Style Clawfoot Tub Faucets Answer the Call for a Vintage Style Bath

Most people today have grown up taking baths and showers in bathtubs that have changed very little over the past 100 years. In fact, the modern built-in tub complete with in-wall shower system became the norm for baths soon after indoor plumbing became a standard requirement of new home construction in the early 1900’s. Therefore, those wanting to create a vintage style bath often have to spend a little time becoming familiar with freestanding bathroom fixtures and their unique plumbing. There is much written about freestanding clawfoot bath tubs but comparably much less written about the clawfoot tub shower options.

Telephone Style Clawfoot Tub Faucet
The stand-up shower for original clawfoot bath tubs was an expensive and complicated-looking attachment that included a shower riser and shower ring all made of brass that were often then plated with nickel. Stand-up clawfoot showers were somewhat of a luxury option for early clawfoot tubs with mere bathing and use of simple handheld shower attachments being much more common.

Spigot style clawfoot tub faucets had ribbed down spouts that could be fitted with a simple rubber hose that could be used to shower. These hoses were typically only two to three feet long so the bather remained seated while showering. A strange enhancement to the simple rubber hose shower attachment was a longer hose that ended in a sprinkler yoke that fitted around the hand of the bather while they stood up in the tub.

The British telephone style clawfoot tub faucet offered the third type of shower option for early clawfoot bath tubs. The telephone clawfoot tub faucet has a flexible shower hose attachment connected to a handheld showerhead. Unlike the simple hose on spigot style clawfoot faucets, these hand showers do not attach to the faucets spout but to a separate shower diverter that is usually located on top of the faucet body.

Shop 4 Classics is currently offering the FAUCET5 discount coupon that can be used when your order includes a clawfoot tub shower, supply lines, and drain from the same manufacturer. The FAUCET5 coupon applies in addition to our already discounted prices and, as always, shipping is free for any order of $100 from a single manufacturer.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Much Ado About What's New from Sunrise Specialty, Reggio Register, & Coastal Bronze

We are still in just the first week of spring but signs of life anew are popping through the snow that remains on the ground.  Yeah, spring is a time for renewal but what does that have to do with Shop 4 Classics?  Well, Shop 4 Classics is the home of old home renewal and new home restoration products are popping up on our website all the time.  So without further ado, here's what's new in old home restoration at Shop 4 Classics:

Sunrise Specialty Double Bowl Console Sink

Sunrise Specialty recently introduced a double bowl console lavatory sink.  This gracefully curved Victorian era reproduction console lavatory features two separate bowls that make it a great choice for his-and-hers bathrooms.  Despite being a spacious 47" wide, the openness of the double bowl console sink creates a sense of airiness that can't be accomplished with vanity sinks.  The Sunrise Specialty double bowl console lavatory sink is a great option for implementing his-and-hers bathroom floor plans without cramping small spaces.

Reggio Register Steel Air Return Grilles

The latest from Reggio Register is solid steel air return grilles.  Suitable for floors or walls, the steel grilles' square grid pattern matches the square grid pattern on the Reggio Register aluminum air return grilles.  Unlike Reggio Register's aluminum and cast iron air return grilles, the steel air return grilles are flat on the back.  The flat back means that the steel grilles are not self rimming but it also allows them to cover unusually sized ducts without modifying the duct opening.  The steel air return grilles have screw holes and include matching screws to secure them in place.  The steel air return grilles are available in black, gray, and silver.  Beauty, durability and performance are the hallmarks of all Reggio Register products and the new steel air return grilles are no exception.

Coastal Bronze Traditional Bronze Hardware

Coastal Bronze has been busy this spring adding new items to their collection of traditional bronze hardware.  New items include a lockable flip-over bronze gate latch, a bronze surface slide bolt, and a bronze cabinet bin pull.  All Coastal Bronze products feature rustic hand crafted designs cast in solid bronze and finished with a rich Arts & Crafts brown patina.  Coastal Bronze's old world restoration bronze gate hardware, bronze door hardware, and bronze cabinet hardware certainly make an impressive statement.

Say sayonara to Old Man Winter.  Spring is here and Shop 4 Classics is the place to shop for your spring home remodeling projects.  Visit the Shop 4 Classics' What's New page frequently for recently added items or just browse our complete catalog for unbeatable selection and discount prices.  And with that, we bid adieu to what's new.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Professional Installation of Wall and Ceiling Heat Registers And Air Intake Covers

Installing wall and ceiling vent covers is so easy that anyone can do it, right?  Sure, but there are a few "tricks of the trade" that can make your do-it-yourself installation look like it was done by a skilled professional.  Today, we will discuss installing wall and ceiling heat registers and air intake covers (or air return grilles) to provide a polished, professional appearance.

Choose registers and air return grilles with screw holes for wall and ceiling installations.  The screw holes will be necessary to secure vent covers to walls and ceilings.  Lightweight aluminum grilles work especially well for wall and ceiling vents.  Aluminum grilles are economical and can be painted to blend in with walls or ceilings or faux painted to provide a unique design element.  Shop 4 Classics recommends Classic Grills white aluminum registers and white air intake grilles or Reggio Register light gray aluminum air return grilles for custom painting.

If you are replacing an existing vent cover, remove it to expose the register box (ductwork).  If the vent cover has been in place for many years it may have paint built up around the edges.  Carefully score under the edges of the current heat register or air intake grille with a utility knife so it can be pulled away without damaging the wall or ceiling.  Unscrew the vent cover and lift it away from the register box.  Recycle.

Clean the inside of the register box with warm soapy water or a household cleaner.  Dishwashing detergent with a degreaser works particularly well for cleaning old ductwork.  Cleaning the register box behind the vent cover prepares the ductwork for painting.

Unless you are going for an industrial look or prefer the metallic gray backdrop of sheetmetal, paint the register box with a flat black spray paint.  The flat black paint will darken and soften the background behind the register or air intake.  Choose a direct-to-metal spray paint such as Rustoleum.  When painting ductwork behind a vent cover, it isn't so much the quality of the paint but the quality of the spray can.  Any ol' brand will work but cheaper paints often come in cheaper spray cans that can spit and sputter causing a bigger problem than they solve.  Mask around the duct opening to protect walls or ceilings from overspray.  Those skilled in the use of spray paint can shield around the register box with a piece of cardboard.

With the new vent cover in hand, run a light bead of painter's latex caulk around the bottom of the vent cover rim.  Latex caulk is recommended because it is easier to apply and clean up than silicone caulk.  Press the register or air intake grille in place over the vent opening.  All Shop 4 Classics vent covers with screw holes also include matching screws.  Secure the vent cover to the ceiling or wall with the screws provided.  Apply latex caulk around the edges of the grille where its edges meet the surface.  Smooth out the caulk seam with a damp paper towel.  The caulk not only helps to glue the vent cover to the wall or ceiling, it also provides a subtle seamless transition between the grille and the wall or ceiling.  This technique is especially effective for hiding gaps created by textured ceilings or uneven plaster and lathe walls.  Professional painters and trim carpenters use this same trick around door trim, window trim, and baseboards to correct for uneven walls.

Often, vent covers are installed as an afterthought that detracts from a room's appearance.  Following these simple tips will instead enhance walls and ceilings to create a professionally finished room.

The supporting images and many of the tips covered in today's post were provided by the vent cover experts at Classic Grills.  Classic Grills produces the finest art quality aluminum and bronze air intake grills and heat registers.  Each Classic Grills vent cover patterns feature a handcrafted look and feel that you and your guests will admire for many years to come.  Shop 4 Classics offers the complete catalog of Classic Grills heat registers and air return grilles.  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 Classic Grills orders of $500 or more or the HARDWARE10 promotion code for an additional 10% discount on Classic Grills orders of $1,000 or more.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is your sense of style Baroque? Cherub, Shop 4 Classics has the hardware you need to fix-up your palace!

Baroque is the name given to the extravagant style of design of early 15th century Europe. Luxurious materials including marble, fine grain wood and lavish fabrics are combined with highly complex, often to the point of being extravagant, design. Baroque style varied by region, however, the style was intended to convey an overwhelming sense of grandeur and opulence.

L'Enfant Door Hardware
by Brass Accents
A popular current design trend is to combine ornate elements of original Baroque style alongside contemporary design elements. The addition of the heavily designed Baroque elements is intended to infuse energy and a romantic appeal to that may be lacking in a purely modern setting. This design trend is generally referred to as Eclectic Baroque or referred to as Modern Baroque by some designers.

Shop 4 Classics specializes in offering a wide selection of period hardware, including hardware rich with designs that are the hallmark of original Baroque style. L’ Enfant door hardware sets by Brass Accents features an elaborate design that includes dolphin figures and cornucopia under a strong transom arched top. This pairing of complex accents with exaggerated architectural features is a hallmark of Baroque style. Brass Accents also offers European style cabinet hardware and curtain tiebacks that are ideal for adding eye-catching flair. The Baroque period is known for paintings and sculptures that feature idealistic figures and emphasis on movement. Movement, ideal human figures and even cherubs can be found in the designs of Copper Mountain’s Baroque style push plates. The series of push plates includes the Eve and Apple Tree push plate, Goddess at Daybreak push plate, and Goddess at Night push plate.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Choosing Antique Reproduction Door Hardware: Getting To The Heart Of Things

Choosing antique reproduction door hardware is a little like searching for a soul mate.  Initially, you might be attracted to what is on the outside but ultimately it will be what is on the inside that will determine compatibility.  Today, we put aside the superficial and look at the technical aspects that you should consider when choosing antique reproduction door hardware.

Judging what is on the inside of door hardware requires understanding the door's function.  Not all doors have the same function.  For example, some doors simply have to open and close while others must lock.  Shop 4 Classics offers most interior door hardware with a choice of functions to satisfy every door hardware need.  Below is a summary of common interior door hardware functions.
Passage Tubular Latch (top)
and Privacy Tubular Latch  (bottom).

Passage Function - The most common door function is passage.  Passage door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a passage latch.  These doors latch but they do not lock.  Closet doors and doors in hallways are examples of doors that use passage latches.

Privacy Function - Privacy door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a privacy latch.  Privacy latches lock to prevent unwanted guests from entering a room.  Privacy latches are used for bedroom doors and bathroom doors.  Shop 4 Classics privacy latches rely on a pin that projects through a small hole in the backplate near the doorknob.  Pushing the pin in will lock the latch so it cannot be easily opened from the outside.

Antique Mortise Lock
Mortise Lock Function - Antique mortise door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a mortise lockset.  Mortise locksets are box shaped locks that fit into a cavity cut into the door stile.  For interior doors, mortise locks are used almost exclusively in antique doors that have already been prepped for such a lock.  Shop 4 Classics interior mortise locks are keyed on both sides and include two skeleton keys.  The backplates have a keyhole below the doorknob to accommodate the key.

Dummy Function - Dummy door hardware is used for non-latching doors.  The doorknobs do not turn to operate a latch. Dummy door hardware can be used for a door pull or simply to match the door hardware on the active half of a French door.  Single dummy door hardware (also called half dummy) includes a single knob, single backplate, and a dummy spindle.  Double dummy door hardware (also called full dummy) includes two knobs, two backplates, and two dummy spindles.  Single dummy door hardware is used for one side of one door.  Double dummy door hardware is installed back-to-back for both sides of one door.

You might browse through the door hardware section of Shop 4 Classics much like you would page through the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and think to yourself, "that one would be perfect" but eventually you will need to consider function over form (no matter how perfect the form may be).  Start your search for antique reproduction door hardware by choosing what looks good.  Shop to your heart's content but before you become to smitten with a particular design, make sure that the hardware's function satisfies your door's needs.

Shop 4 Classics offers vintage door hardware designs without surrendering modern quality and functionality.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for period door hardware from Nostalgic Warehouse, Brass Accents, and Grandeur.