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.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Cast Brass Vent Cover Grilles Finished in Chrome, Nickel, Bronze and More!

All chrome, pewter, polished or satin nickel vent cover grilles as well as many bronze colored vent covers grilles are created by either plating or applying a powder coat finish to cast brass grilles or stamped steel grilles. Stamped steel vent covers are the cheapest option but they do not have the same quality look and feel of those made from cast brass. Stamped steel vent covers will also rust if the underlying steel is exposed to moisture. For these reasons, Shop 4 Classics' chrome, pewter, polished nickel, and satin nickel heat registers and cold air return vent covers have grilles made from solid cast brass. Shop 4 Classics also offers brass vent covers that have faux powder coat oil rubbed bronze finishes in addition to their many true bronze vent covers. As you prepare your vent cover order, it is important to note that there may be slight differences in plated finishes like satin nickel between manufacturers and potentially much greater color differences among faux oil rubbed bronze powder coat finishes.

Polished Brass Vent Covers
Polished brass has been a popular choice in home hardware products of all types since the nineteenth century. Traditional unprotected brass will tarnish over time and with exposure to the elements, however, the lustrous finish of today’s polished brass hardware typically is protected through a variety of techniques. Polished brass vent cover grilles generally have a clear lacquer protective coating.

Antique Brass Vent Covers
Some prefer the look of aged brass with its natural brown patina. Most brass vent cover grilles are offered with an antique brass finish. This can be accomplished by chemically aging unprotected brass with a patina prior to applying a lacquer coating or by applying a brown powder coat over the brass grille.

Polished Nickel Vent Covers
Polished nickel was a popular finish for plumbing and hardware items from the late 1800’s until the introduction of chrome in the 1930’s. Polished nickel vent cover grilles are created by applying nickel plating over a brass grille. Satin or brushed nickel is a modern variation of the nickel finish. Generally, satin nickel finishes are created by brushing polished nickel’s lustrous finish to produce a softer matte finish.

Chrome Vent Covers
Chromium plating (chrome) became popular in the 1930’s and continues to be a popular finish. Chrome is a popular and appropriate choice for reproduction hardware beginning with that of the Art Deco period through contemporary style hardware of today. Thus, most modern style vent covers are offered with a chrome finish while Victorian inspired vent covers are not.

Pewter Vent Covers
Pewter is silver-gray in color.  Pewter vent covers are typically created with a powder coat and therefore one should expect color variations among the various manufacturers of pewter vent covers and other home hardware products.

Bronze Vent Covers
Most manufacturers of brass grilled vent covers offer a faux bronze finish. Manufacturers of faux bronze vent covers will often market their finish as oil rubbed bronze or dark bronze. Faux bronze finishes are generally created by powder coat and therefore the color will likely vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. The color of faux bronze vent covers ranges from brown to black.

Shop 4 Classics provides images and descriptions of all of the available finishes of its vent covers through the “Help Me Choose” link on the vent cover product pages. Shop 4 Classics also offers Finish Tips as well as Vent Cover Tips to help in the selection process.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Sign of the Crab Cypress Corner Bathtub: The Dagwood Special

Sign of the Crab Cypress Acrylic Corner Bathtub

The Blondie comic strip has been in publication since the 1930's.  One of its star characters is Blondie's husband Dagwood Bumstead.  Beyond his role as Blondie's husband, Dagwood is probably best known for his super-sized sandwiches.  Dagwood is also frequently shown in the comics relaxing in his corner bathtub; sometimes while simultaneously enjoying one of his famous sandwiches.  Kicking back in a corner tub enjoying a delicious sandwich paints a pretty pleasant picture.  Put a TV in the room (away from bathwater) with a game on and you pretty much have heaven on earth. 

Now you can have your very own Dagwood corner bathtub.  Sign of the Crab has introduced one of the most interesting new products for 2013; an antique reproduction corner bathtub.  Sign of the Crab frequently recreates iconic products from the past and their corner bathtub is a perfect example of their ingenuity.  Sign of the Crab's Cypress acrylic corner bathtub is a built-in tub that measures a spacious 69-1/2" long, 34-1/4" wide, and 25-3/8" tall.  It is constructed of durable acrylic.  Acrylic bathtubs are lighter and easier to install than cast iron bathtubs.  The Cypress acrylic tub is ideal for second story bathrooms like the one in the Bumstead home.  Because acrylic is a good thermal insulator, water stays warm longer just in case the game goes into overtime.  The Cypress acrylic corner tub is available in a right facing or left facing corner orientation so it can adapt to either plumbing configuration.  There is no need to purchase a tub drain for the Cypress acrylic corner bathtub as it includes an integrated drain.  This Art Deco corner tub features the same streamline design as the original models of the 1930's.  Shop 4 Classics offers Sign of the Crab's Art Deco style wall mount faucets and Art Deco in-wall tub & shower faucets to complete the job.

Create your own slice of heaven on earth with the Sign of the Crab Cypress acrylic corner bathtub.  The corner bathtub has served Dagwood Bumstead faithfully for 80 years.  Flip on the game, build a culinary masterpiece sandwich, and visit Shop 4 Classics for the Cypress acrylic corner bathtub, Art Deco faucets, and the entire Sign of theCrab catalog of fine plumbing.