Buying the bling

Who doesn’t love opening presents at this time of year (or any time of year)? Santa Claus—you know, the guy in the brown suit who drives a brown truck—has already paid us a few visits. I left the unopened boxes stacked on top of our kitchen-stuff boxes for days, until it dawned on us that perhaps we should open them and check to make sure Santa got our wish list. And he did.

While Eric toiled on the cabinets down in the shop and I held up progress in the Kit-Cat Room, beating the paint into submission, we were mentally down in the brushed nickel weeds, making design decisions. We are going with brushed nickel because it echoes the stainless steel appliances. I like to keep a consistent look when it comes to finishes because it contributes to a unified design.

But wow, what a lot of pieces to consider! Let’s start at the top: we’ll have two light fixtures in the kitchen (a new one over the sink–no more excuses for badly washed dishes … um … especially since we’ll have a dishwasher), and one in the breakfast room, ideally a combo light and fan. I wanted to go with classic semi-flush schoolhouse lights. I started my quest at Rejuvenation Hardware, just to see what I couldn’t afford. Sure enough, they had exactly what I wanted … at $124 apiece. I think not. I found this one locally at LampsPlus:

schoolhouse fixture

At 12 inches, it’s the perfect size for the large room. And best of all, I got them for $39.00 apiece, on sale. Is it solid brass? No. The base is probably made of recycled dog food cans, but it’ll be nine feet in the air, and you will never touch it, so that’ll be our little secret, okay?

I really want to replace the existing fan light in the breakfast room with another fan. Things can get hot in the Kit-Cat Room when the kitties dance the night away. Do you think I could find a schoolhouse light ceiling fan in brushed nickel? For under $440? No. So I’m hoping that the one we ordered from LampsPlus, with a smaller, rounder white glass globe, will blend and at least pass for a half-sibling.

Now, down to eye level. My original cabinet doors featured old-fashioned oval spring-action latches. I loved ’em. I can still remember their satisfying click. Why did I get rid of them? I have no idea, but I’m getting them back. These latches will see a lot of action, so this is no place to cheap out on dog food can metal. These babies are solid brass, and pleasantly hefty.

cabinet latch

Next are the hinges. Our cabinets will have inset doors, meaning the doors and drawers will fit flush inside the face frame openings. The hinges will be exposed, like this:

inset doors

Inset doors are typical of Craftsman kitchens, and an important element of creating our vintage look. Behold—brushed nickel, ball-tipped, full-wrap inset hinges. Aren’t they beautiful?

Ball tip hinge

Last but definitely not least, we need drawer pulls. Lots of them. I already have several in this basic style that I bought years ago, obviously waiting for this day:


Usually I’m most attracted to simple, clean lines, but since I saw the design below, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s slightly more decorative with its reed-and-ribbon pattern, but it’s still clean.

reed and ribbon bin pull

What do you think?  (I admit, this is a thinly disguised excuse to try this fun polling feature.)

Here’s a photo that shows pretty accurately what our white Shaker cabinets with the plain bin pulls would look like (except we’ll have latches, not knobs):

Shaker cabinets with bin pulls

So that’s the kind of jewelry I’m getting for Christmas! And this is just the beginning—soon we’ll be picking out the fancy storage innards for our cabinets! Oooh … I know you can’t wait to read about that. Right??



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