Oct 17, 2013

vintage hardware that makes a statement

the RIGHT hardware can really make a statement in a room, but getting the RIGHT hardware is a very personal decision for each individual.
for me, the RIGHT type of hardware tends to be unique and just a bit quirky. 
or elegant and streamlined.
or simple and functional.
or ALL of the above.

it tells a story, and it makes a statement... 
...not so much of a statement that is is the first and only thing you notice in the room, but enough of a statement that every time i look at it and touch it i think to myself..."DANG. i really like this drawer pull/knob/towel bar. it makes me happy."
there now, that's not too much to ask for, right?

there are so many wonderful sources for interesting, beautiful NEW hardware, but for those one-of-a-kind, funky, vintage pieces, my go-to source is ebay.
sure, it can take some time, and some digging, but the treasures you will unlikely uncover are totally worth the investment!
one word of caution---sometimes, older pulls have odd size spans between the holes, or they may require a little ingenuity to get them installed properly! don't get put off by this though! i will share a few tricks that helped us make our "new" vintage hardware work!

my girls bathroom:

in my girls bathroom,  i knew that i wanted the cabinets to be a deep blue color, and that a warmer metal tone would compliment the dark cabinets. i had seen a sideboard that featured large round pulls in the center of each of its doors, and wanted to mimic that look. i am pretty thrilled with the way it turned out!

the hexagonal crystal pulls are new. i purchased them here.
they are such a pretty mix of elegance and edgy. LOVE them! i wrote a post about how these were a bit of a splurge, but worth every penny. you can read about that here.

i hunted and HUNTED on ebay and etsy and several other sites that list vintage hardware for sale, and when i spotted these beauties (on ebay), i knew they were perfect!
they cost me about $15 per pull, but they are solid brass...as in they weigh like TWO POUNDS a piece!
the listing said that they were pulled off a vintage 1960's electrolux appliance. maybe an oven?
a fridge? who knows. all i knew was that i had never seen anything like them before and i had to have them!
i think they are the perfect statement for this bathroom---feminine, and just a bit unexpected!

ok. now, onto the "trickier" element of getting these heavy beauties installed:

did i mention that these things weigh like TWO POUNDS each?
yeah...i did, didn't i?
well,  whoever made them was smart enough to make TWO holes in the back. this not only helps to distribute the weight of the pull, but also keeps it from moving or spinning once it is in place. it also creates some issues with installation. here is what we did:

since the holes are just open threads, we bought some breakaway screws and broke off  both ends, and threaded these into the holes:

once we had the screws in the back of the pull, my husband "marked" where we needed to drill holes by placing the knob where we wanted it, and pressing it into the face of the cabinet. 

once we had our holes drilled, we threaded our breakaway screws (cutting them off at the appropriate length) and threaded them through the back of the cabinet, as you would with any other hardware.

in gradys bathroom, all of his hardware is new, except this little guy:

i wanted a towel bar that felt handmade and masculine. i looked at some great etsy shops like that offer
hand forged towel and toilet paper holders, but they just didn't feel RIGHT.

i found this vintage brass eagle towel ring on ebay, and when i showed it to my 9 year old son, he LOVED it.
i mean, he is the one that has to use the bathroom, right?
and what is more masculine than having a fierce eagle hold your towel?
(maybe a fierce dragon, but then i might get carried away and want to turn his bathroom into a scene from the HOBBIT!  i am kind of a nerd when it comes to the lord of the rings and the hobbit...my family is lucky i didn't try to turn our bonus room into bag end.)

anyway, the screws that i used to install the towel holder were silver, so i just colored them with a metallic gold marker that i had on hand. yes---i guess i could have gone to the hardware store and bought brass screws, but...well, i didn't want to. (and then you wouldn't have this little tidbit of goodness to refer to.)

another area where i used vintage hardware was in my closet.
you can read more about my closet here and here and here.

these "scroll" pulls were another ebay find. i purchased 10 or them for something like $15. that's cheaper than any plain ol' boring pull that you can pick up at lowes or home depot!

 i simply installed these onto an ikea malm dresser, and suddenly, it looks so much more custom and interesting!
plus---much easier to open the drawers!

here is a link to an ebay search for vintage hardware to get you going on your own treasure hunt:
ebay vintage hardware

good luck!
hope you find something wonderful.


  1. Love all of these...and those pulls??? LOVE! Need to check ebay soon!

  2. You are awesome at design! Love your entire house!! Thanks for taking the time to share all your great finds.

  3. Love the pulls! Thank you for sharing. Also, could you share what color your daughter's bathroom cabinets were painted? Thanks!

    1. gentlemans gray, benjamin moore.