Installing New Door Knockers

 

 

 

 

 

Installing new door knockers in your home is a great way to bring a sense of style to the front entryway, but the actual installation process might not be as easy as it seems. These small accessories have been used for centuries, and they can help add a touch of antiquity to the front door, if you can get them installed in the first place.

Some of the most popular styles of door knockers are brass or cast iron, which usually have surface or door mounting features. The simplest types of door knockers to install are the surface mounting variety, because the screws simply pass through the knocker and into the door. Brass and cast iron door knockers that are door-mounting, on the other hand, use bolts that pass through the door and screw into the knocker. This is a bit more complicated, because the holes must actually be drilled through the door to match up with the door knockers.

The placement of cast iron and brass door knockers may also be dictated by the pattern and design of the actual door. The homeowners must decide how they want their door knockers to be placed in reference to the design fixtures of the door, while still being at a reasonable height for most people to reach. The average person should be able to reach the knocker, and it also doesn’t look right if it’s too high or low, but placing it at around five feet should be a sure bet.

Whether choosing brass door knockers, cast iron door knockers or any of the other designs that are currently available, it’s important to install them right. If done correctly, new door knockers make a fun and visually interesting addition to any home.

 

 

 

 

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How To Improve Your Home’s

Curb Appeal

Michael Healy Decorative Doorbell

Michael Healy Decorative Doorbell

When people have lived in their house for a while, they tend to overlook its cosmetic flaws. They might no longer notice chips in the exterior paint, the overgrown shrubs in the garden or Christmas lights still hanging from the eaves.

Most homeowners, when they’ve lived in their house a number of years, don’t see what a new eye would see, she said. They can’t see the little things. Those little things can make or break a home’s curb appeal, which is vital when selling a home. Picky potential buyers make up their minds within the first 10 seconds of seeing a home’s exterior whether they want to see what’s inside.

That is important to note because Web savvy buyers are using the Internet to research houses for sale. They’re looking at online pictures of homes and driving by properties they might interested in. Staging can help home sellers get top dollar for their property. A professional stager will go through every room in the home, as well as the rear and front yards. Stagers note that the way people live in their home and the way a home is presented when it’s on the market are two different things. While the homeowners’ collection of porcelain dolls might look good to them, buyers might consider it clutter.

I don’t recommend people go out and spend a lot of money on staging props. I prefer to use items sellers already have. If more accessories are needed, such as plants, she works within the seller’s budget. She has spent as little as $50 to $100 to successfully stage a home. We got interested in home staging when we sold our first house, a 1,400-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-bath cottage style house in the Pocono Mountain area of Pennsylvania. Before putting the house on the market, the property got a makeover. Ripping out aging, unattractive shrubs and replaced them with newer ones. Also adding more vibrant, colorful flowers.

Next, repainting the house’s exterior in pastels to enhance its cottage style design. They painted the front door dark green to make it stand out and added a kickplate and new hardware for extra flair.

That house sold for above asking price the same day it went on the market. The house was listed for three hours before a buyer made an offer.

To gauge your home’s curb appeal, start by looking at it while standing across the street. What do you notice?

What is your eye drawn to? For those who can no longer “see” what their house really looks like, they might enlist someone who can, whether it’s a professional or a trusted friend. Next, take stock of the different parts and area of the exterior.

Are the shrubs and lawn overgrown? If so, trim back the shrubs and mow the lawn. Get rid of plants that look as if they’re on their last leg. This would be a good time to remove plants damaged during January’s cold snap. Get rid of

any unsightly weeds. Those about to put their home on the market might consider hiring a gardener or landscaper to maintain the yard if they don’t have the time to keep it consistently tidy. Add color. Evergreen landscapes are fine,but adding a little color can go a long way. Add some colorful annuals to the beds.

Dress up a worn front door with a fresh coat of paint and/or new hardware, such as a

decorative handle, kickplate or knocker.

Is your welcome mat more worn than welcoming? If so, replace it.

If space allows, add containers with plants of varying height (something tall with something that cascades over the sides).

Get a new address plate or find fancier numbers to use for your address.

Atlas House Numbers

If space allows, add a small bench or other seating on the porch or inside the doorway so guests have a place to sit.

Jazz up a plain door with a wreath. An already ornate door can be left alone if its design is striking. Give the exterior a good cleaning with a pressure washer. Wash the windows. Declutter. If you have too many accessories, pots, flags or other doodads in front of the house, pare it down. Less is more.

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Knock Knock – Who’s There?

. . . . Someone standing on your porch looking at your front door while waiting for you to answer the doorbell deciding just what kind of taste you have. You know what they say . . . you never get a second chance to make a first impression. This gateway into your home is nerve center of every house. It has a power all its own! The door grants protection, offers first impressions, and allows someone to cross from the outside to the inside your very life.

Now that’s important.

Door Knocker

Door Knocker

Not paying enough attention to door hardware and fittings may prove costly to any homeowner. Investing in hardware for your door is desirable as it will add value to your home, permit you to sleep well at night knowing you and your loved ones are safe, and has potential to say just who you are to those that do not know you. Not to mention granting your home a pleasant visual appearance.

House Number

House Number

After choosing the door itself, the accessories to enhance the style are the next choices you must make. Things to decide upon and get ordered early are bolts, hinges, door knobs or door pulls, door knocker or doorbell, door stops, and finally door mail slot or mail box. You know, while you’re at it, you might consider going ahead and ordering your house numbers just so you’re sure they’ll match and you’re satisfied.

Manufacturers of door hardware are well aware of this aspect and strive to offer only the best possible products. Many companies produce door hardware made of solid brass, but can offer even gold plated brass, should a client have such demands. In order to meet the clients’ needs, producers struggle to offer door hardware that would perfectly suit the type of building it is created for. There are some companies that produce door hardware from antique black iron and flat black iron. Some of the best producers, that have been active for hundreds of years, still use the old manufacturing techniques as they did in the past. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! They understand the old ways are the best for strength and durability. It gives their products the authentic look that many homeowners strive for.

Flower Doorbell

Flower Doorbell

A beautiful door is a terrible thing to mangle with poor door hardware choices!! It isn’t uncommon for buildings to be disfigured by people who install totally inappropriate door hardware. Manufacturers can create exact replicas of the original ironmongery, using the same production methods and molds. Instead, many opt for cheaper versions that appear similar to the original ones. At a closer look, one can observe the poor finnishes and the fake patina that producers strive to incorporate.

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Kitchen Remodeling And Ideas On A Budget 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                       While at one point in time the kitchen was primarily viewed as a service area for cooking, now days the kitchen has turned into a room that is multi-functional and central to many of the activities in the family. The past century has brought about the emergence of both function and interior design within the room we call a kitchen.

                     When it comes to kitchen remodeling and other kitchen ideas, it can take a huge budget to remodel and update the interior design within this room. Believe it or not, the average costs for remodeling kitchens in the past few years have topped $25,000. It definitely is no wonder that the kitchen has been considered one of the most expensive remodeling projects that most homeowners undertake.

                    If you are one of the many people wanting to remodel your kitchen, inspired by the beautiful photos of lovely kitchens on television and in magazines, you may feel that your budget is keeping your dream kitchen out of reach. However, even if you don’t have a huge budget, you do have some options. There are a variety of ways that you can remodel and update your kitchen without totally going broke.

                   Believe it or not, kitchen remodeling and ideas do not always have to be very expensive. You may be shocked at the variety of ways that you can get a beautiful kitchen while still saving money and staying within your limited budget.

                  While you may not want to undertake an entire kitchen remodeling project, there are a variety of great kitchen ideas that can update the way your kitchen looks, even without spending a great deal of money. The following are some great kitchen ideas that will improve the look of your kitchen without breaking your budget.

Improve the Lighting – One of the most cost effective kitchen ideas to get a modern look is to update the lighting in your kitchen. There are a variety of economical ways that you can change the lighting to give your kitchen a great look. Halogen lights may be a great idea as well, but if you choose them, consider the ones that bounce off the ceiling. Many come with a dimmer that will allow you to choose the amount of light you need. Task lighting is also inexpensive to install in your kitchen. This type of lighting is great above the sink or above countertops as well. If you want to make a fashion statement or highlight a specific part of your kitchen, accent lighting may be a great choice.

Use Some Paint – If you want a new kitchen look, one of the best kitchen ideas is to add a few coats of paint. Paint is fairly inexpensive, and you can totally change the look of your kitchen with a bit of paint. Consider painting your kitchen cabinets. You can add some color to your drab kitchen, just by painting your cabinets. When it comes to your kitchen walls, you can get creative with the paint as well for a modern look. Sponging, rag rolling, or even mottling are great painting techniques that will add some texture and class to your kitchen.

New Accessories – Believe it or not, something as simple as adding new accessories can make a huge difference in your kitchen. Just getting new pulls and knobs for cabinets and drawers will add a new look in your kitchen. You can find these pulls and knobs in stone, resin, glass, wood, rubber, and metal. There are also a variety of styles that you can choose from too, so pick accessories that give you a nice modern touch.

So, as you can see, when it comes to kitchen remodeling and ideas, you don’t have to spend thousands to get a great look. If you want a new look in your kitchen without having to spend a great deal of money, why not use these budget friendly ideas for a kitchen that is multifunctional and beautiful as well.

 

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The Art of Mixing Finishes

An eclectic blend will appeal to today’s buyer. The trick is doing it tastefully.

At the height of the building boom, builders had to move fast to stay on top of their production schedules, especially with material and labor shortages. In some cases that led them to use whatever fixtures they could get easily and quickly. As a result, the master bathroom might end up with oil-rubbed bronze faucets on the vanity, a brushed nickel light fixture, chrome plumbing fixtures in the tub and a polished brass door knob. Today, those same builders are often under extreme pressure to use whatever fits in the budget, and the end result is typically the same – a combination of several finishes in a single room.

The Art of Mixing Finishes Photo credit: Jamie Kern, Design Theory Interiors
Combining two different finishes, such as these sconces and faucet, adds visual interest to a room.

But if approached correctly, the blending of finishes is not necessarily a bad thing. While individual designers have their own opinions on what works and what doesn’t, there’s more latitude than one might think when it comes to mixing and matching.

In a market where resale value is a high priority, using suites of matching finishes is the safest thing to do, if not the most interesting. But when people intend to live in their homes longer – as is the case with most buyers today – they will respond more favorably to eclectic touches. “With the slow economy and people living in their homes more, we’re looking to create differences, not uniformity,” says Irvine, Calif.-based interior designer Kelli Ellis. “Now it’s okay to mix things.”

Bellevue, Wash.-based interior designer Gail Monica Dent, owner of Provanti Designs, likes to create what appears to be a collection of fixtures, rather than a set. She finds that people respond favorably when the various fixtures in a room look like a collection of items that were purchased by the same person at different times. “It’s much more fun and interesting, although it takes a little work to do.”

If there’s a general guideline about mixing and matching finishes, it’s that mixing two contrasting finishes in a single space is fine, while three or more will appear cluttered or confusing. Jamie Kern, ASID, president of Design Theory Interiors in Atlanta, says that when working on a kitchen or bathroom she prefers faucets in one finish, with a contrasting finish on cabinet hardware. “I like the dynamics of the contrast, as it allows each element to have its own identity,” she says. “And it also gives you some flexibility.”

Another method of blending finishes in a bathroom can be used when a shower, tub or vanity is treated as a focal point. Examples might be a shower with the luxurious Waterhill® Spa suite or the nature-inspired Bamboo® Shower collection, both from ShowHouse® by Moen®. In this situation, Kern recommends using faucets with a different finish than the other fixtures as another means of setting it apart and adding visual interest.

The above guidelines apply to wood finishes as well. In fact, contrasting wood finishes within a space are a must to prevent “visual monotony,” according to Kern. She says that the contrast will highlight each piece much more effectively than a sea of identical finishes, making for a more interesting space.

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Cabinet Jewelry

Matthew Marin

 Whether your kitchen is contemporary or traditional, choosing the right decorative hardware can add instant flair and just the perk some cabinets need. Not to mention, loads of personality, reflecting the homeowner’s sense of style. And given the current economic woes, replacing knobs, handles and pulls with the newest pieces is a perfect “quick fix,” as it is an inexpensive alternative to a major remodel. As consumers are spending more time at home, it’s becoming more important for them to be happy in their living environments, so “they want to customize their space with a personal touch,” said Claire Parrish. Hundreds of the latest decorative hardware options allow them to do just that.

With multiple hardware offerings to choose from, homeowners have narrowed their search to finding classically styled, simple pieces, complementing the style of the kitchen and broadening its appeal during unsteady times. “The economy is demanding that people make sensible choices and not go too far out on a limb with decorating choices,” said Adrienne Morea, president of Atlas Homewares. “Hardware is truly the ‘jewelry’ of the kitchen, and each homeowner spins it the way they want. They are going back to basics and rethinking the kitchen. They don’t want to get tired of something in two years.”

Keeping decorative hardware simple and clean allows the homeowner to place a greater emphasis on the cabinetry and surfaces, according to Morea. “It’s important to realize that hardware cannot be the ‘main event’ anymore,” she said. “All a homeowner really wants is good functional pulls that match their appliances.” For example, a “clean” polished-chrome or brushed-nickel pull can complement modern or traditional cabinetry and truly add the finishing touches to the kitchen, “similar to the way a fabulous pair of shoes would set off a basic black dress,” she added.

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        Visit our NEW Cabinet Knobs and Decorative Hardware Online Showroom!

  
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