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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Cup Pulls for Traditional Kitchens

One of the top looks in the traditional or farmhouse style kitchen design the last few years has been the use of cup pulls  for the drawers on the bottom half the cabinets. Most kitchens will match the cups with a knob but in some cases it can even look very nice with another pull on the upper cabinets.

Over the years we have had the pleasure of working with many fine kitchen designers that have taken advantage of this simple look to create some truly wonderful kitchen designs. So allow me to show off some of our favorite kitchens with cup pulls!

First we will start with simple white kitchen and black cup pulls from The Inspired Hive in a modern farmhouse kitchen makeover.

farmhouse kitchen with cup pulls

And a great shot from a magazine feature the same black pulls were used in. Again, another simple white traditional kitchen kept simple with the cabinet pulls.

We can see a pattern developing! How great do the antique pewter pulls looks in this next farmhouse kitchen featured at the blog Cherished Bliss?! The cup pulls are very simple and create a perfect contrast with the cabinets for a little special detail to focus on. Perfect!

farmhouse kitchen cup pulls

white farmhouse kitchen

cottage kitchen design

Next up we have a nice example of what you can do with a smaller kitchen space. The antique pewter cabinet hardware goes well with the gray tile backsplash and the cup pulls help create a traditional, simple look throughout. This kitchen was done by Evija and featured on her lifestyle blog From Evija with Love.

matte chrome cup pulls

matte chrome hardware

A similar style of pulls, often referred to as a bin pull, gives about the same look. This gorgeous  kitchen makeover from Kenosha Retro & Chic show off the industrial bin pulls in soft iron!

kitchen with bin pulls

kitchen makeover with bin pulls

And finally some nice shots of satin nickel cup pulls to show off the range of finishes that can fit into the traditional kitchen design.  Thanks for reading and be sure to click through to the blogs above as they have more shots of the hardware and kitchens and a whole lot of other ideas and articles!

white kitchen with cup pulls

satin nickel cup pull

white kitchen design

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Great Georgian Furniture Designers - Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton

Throughout the uneven career of American furniture design three names have always been in its background - Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton. Sometimes they have stood out clearly, when design was good; sometimes they have retreated far, almost to oblivion, when design was bad. Whatever of good has been wrought in American furniture, it is safe to say, has depended on the influence of one of these three men.

Thomas Sheraton
Thomas Sheraton

On the threshold of the year 1939 these names are more important that ever to America, in spite of the growth of that style which for a lack of a better name we call modern and in spite of the sporadic efforts of decorators to turn attention to Victorian, Regency, Baroque or any other period of the past which they have in their bag of tricks.

Furniture that is made and sold today follows one of two sorts of design: either it is modern, with no touch of the past in its ornamentation, or it is traditional, and traditional means, in the majority of cases, the styles of Chippendale, Hepplewhite, & Sheraton.

Thomas Chippendale
Thomas Chippendale

In the days of the Colonies the first furniture with any pretensions to luxury followed the designs of Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinetmaker's Director. There were subtle changes, of course, variations in proportion, alterations in the form as in the case of the highboy (called tallboy in England though Chippendale does not use this name) changes in the style of carving an din construction methods. All these things help to differentiate American from English cabinetmaking and were inevitable in a nation that was beginning to assert its individuality.

George Hepplewhite
George Hepplewhite

The books of the three great Englishmen were used by American cabinetmakers generally, for the Chippendale style was made in Philadelphia and in New England simultaneously, though the best American Chippendale is usually conceded to have been a product of Philadelphia. New England seems to have grasped the principles of lightness and delicacy inherent in Hepplewhite's designs a little more firmly than the rest of the country. New York appeared to favor the Sheraton mode a little more than other sections.

The three great designers were all geniuses, and of the three Chippendale is accorded the most acclaim, though he really showed less creative ability than the other two. He was the great adapter of all time and because of his genius he could transmute into consistent unity various heterogeneous elements of design. In general his designs came mostly from the Italian Renaissance with a little French and a little Gothic. Hepplewhite and Sheraton based their styles on classic Greece and Rome, but because of those nations produced little furniture suitable for copy or adapt, their creative power had to originate forms which they could embellish with classical decorative motifs.

The influence of Chippendale persisted in this country through the Revolution. When the war was ended and trade with England was resumed, it was found that a new style was the fashion there - that exemplified by the work of George Hepplewhite. A little later Sheraton designs arrived and on these, through the subtle variations which American ingenuity could not help making, the style loosely referred to as American-Federal was based.

Antiquarians have wondered sometimes how a vogue in London should so quickly have been adopted in this country in the early days. American craftsmen may have had confidence in their own technical and artistic proficiency but their customers did not. Hence the tradesmen catered to this skepticism by advertising their products "as good as could be had in London" and silversmiths sometimes went to the extend of using pseudo-hall marks to make their work resemble English pieces. Because of this regard for goods of English manufacture, competing American craftsmen were eager to supply new styles as soon as possible after they appeared in England. Assuming that a vessel took a month to reach America, it might have been as little as two months after Chippendale's "Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director" was put aboard a boat that some of the designs therein were made up and shown by Philadelphia or Salem cabinetmakers.

After the Revolution there seems to have been no feeling against English goods. The Hepplewhite book and the Sheraton book came to America as soon as they were published and at once the new English style became the new style of America.

Hepplewhite and Sheraton designs continued to be used in America through the Regency period (1811-1820) which itself was based on late Sheraton drawings. Their most famous exponent in America was Duncan Phyfe, though Thomas Connolly in Philadelphia and Michael Allison in New York along with many others not yet identified also based their work on Sheraton's book. Phyfe continued to make well-designed furniture in the Sheraton manner up to the administration of Andrew Jackson, America's first roughneck president. After 1830 the nation's taste sank into a slough of despond which lasted all through the Victorian era and into the twentieth century.

We have Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton to thank really for pulling us out of this slough. Like all other industrial art, furniture design sank in the nineteenth century to an astonishing depth of bad taste which culminated in the Golden Oak period of the 1890s. It was not till the first quarter of the twentieth century was ended that the Renaissance in American furniture design came. Then it began to dawn on certain manufacturers that if they wanted good design they could not do better than to copy eighteenth century styles and the names of Chippendale, Hepplewhite, Sheraton and began to be heard in the land.

At first furniture makers hesitated to reproduce old pieces exactly. The habits of a long period of floundering in design were hard to break. Designers felt that they had to change ornamental motifs, usually by adding something that spoiled the design. They did not realize that the cabinetmakers of the eighteenth century were masters of their craft, which included the artistic as well as mechanical phase.

Those old workmen had an instinct for good design. Their feeling for right proportion was exact. When they adapted, as when the men of Philadelphia adapted Chippendale's style to highboys and lowboys, their innate good taste kept them from inconsistencies. When they changed the scale of a piece their instinctive sense of proportion obviated ungainly effects. They did not evolve a new style but they were entirely competent to do so if there had been a demand for something that did not emanate from England. In their way they were geniuses and ultimately the realization of the fact struck the furniture trade about fifteen years ago.

Now manufacturers visit museums and private collections seeking pieces to copy and their copies ar exact save that occasionally the scale of a piece has to be altered to conform to the space requirements of modern homes. In matters of form, proportion, ornament and detail they strive to follow their models exactly. They have come to realize that Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton and the American cabinetmakers who used their designs made furniture that will be good style as long as the liking for traditional modes persists.

Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton are no longer strange names to the general public. It so happens that at present a keen interest in things of the past is gripping the nation and this interest extends powerfully to furnishings of the home. Cultured people have been educated through the efforts of publications and decorators to discriminate between good and bad design and a little education of this sort makes it more imperative. The books of Chippendale's, Hepplewhite's, and Sheraton's designs have not been easily accessible. Reprinting them is a real service to the cause of beauty in the American home.

Written by Charles Messer Stow - November 1938

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Glass Knobs from D. Lawless Hardware

D. Lawless Hardware got started carrying glass knobs of all kinds. Our first group of knobs was the depression glass style as before hardware, D. Lawless built all sorts of reproduction antique furniture and many of these pieces required having historically accurate glass knobs and pulls.

Over the years we have sold 100,000s of our D. Lawless brand glass knobs to builders and furniture artists of all kinds. We even wholesale them to resellers and many of the higher priced glass knobs that look just like the ones in this article were actually sourced from us.

Our most popular piece is the clear glass knob in a depression style. This knob is used by a ton of furniture professionals and works perfectly on any number of paint colors or wood tones.

fancy dresser with glass knobs

detailed dresser with a clear glass knobs

The clear glass really allows the color and art of the piece to be the focus. These photos come from three talented furniture restoration professionals Surrey Lane Home, Viv & Violets Design, and Eight Hundred Furniture. Each of these fine small businesses uses our clear glass on the regular.

white dresser with clear glass knobs

decagon clear glass knob

clear glass knob on floral dresser

The next most popular color is the pink glass knobs. Pink glass was a standard in the depression era and is probably why these are so popular in the antique restoration area as well.

These pieces come from another group of furniture professionals that love using our glass knobs as well. Thank you to Embracing Change, Sweet Serendipity, and Timeless Furniture Resto!

chest of drawers with pink glass knobs

ornate vanity with pink glass knobs

dresser with pink glass drawer knobs

pink glass knobs

Our glass knobs are handmade in the antique style just like they were made 100 years ago. Glass knob making is more of an art than a science and each of the knobs will have slight differences and even the colors will vary from knob to knob (only barely visibly) and from batch to batch.  Think of watching a glass blower make repeats of a certain design. It is kinda like that, except the differences are much smaller given the more mechanized nature of making large volumes of knobs.

Our collection features green glass knobs, blue glass knobs, milk white and more. Here are few shots of our other colors and remember that you can't get better glass knobs than these by paying more. Our collection is top quality and our business model allows us to keep the price low!

jadeite glass knob

green glass knobs

milk white glass knobs

cabinet with white glass knobs

barrel glass knobs

Monday, January 20, 2020

Oil Rubbed Bronze Knobs Ideas & Projects

Oil rubbed bronze knobs are great for projects and rooms where you might have some wood tones or other warm, natural color schemes. oil rubbed bronze gives you the darkness necessary to create contrast with your furniture or cabinets, but won't clash with wood tops or counters like flat black hardware tends to do in some cases.

Over the years we've collected a lot of photo work from our customers using oil rubbed bronze knobs so I thought I'd whip together a little article featuring some of their projects to help our customers, or other people's customers for that matter, decide on how they'd like to use them or if they are the right choice for their kitchen or furniture project.

First up we will start with our most popular oil rubbed bronze knob from our baroque collection. These baroque style knobs are a very dark bronze and do just what I was saying above. The provide contrast with the cabinetry as well as soaking up some of the warmth coming from the wood counter tops and cabinets. The first kitchen is from a very talented customer and small business Distress Reliever.

oil rubbed bronze baroque style knobs

kitchen with oil rubbed bronze hardware

oil rubbed bronze kitchen hardware

The next photos come from Housekaboodle, a fun home and lifestyle blog that has used our hardware for many years! The hardware looks fantastic on the natural wood cabinetry!

natural wood cabinet with oil rubbed bronze

wood cabinets with oil rubbed bronze hardware

Next up is a very nice bronze T knob from Liberty Hardware. As you can see, it goes absolutely fantastically with the wood tones on this cabinet makeover from Colour Saturated Life.

cabinet with bronze T knobs

liberty hardware bronze t knob

A nice twist on the oil rubbed bronze finish has been gaining popularity now in the Venetian bronze finish. This little knob is a great example from Liberty Hardware and we can see it's versatility in three projects our customers have shared with us.

First in this nice dresser, also from Colour Saturated Life, that includes matching cup pulls and labels from D. Lawless Hardware. The bronze goes nicely with the creamy white distressed paint job.

dresser makeover with oil rubbed bronze hardware

And now a kitchen makeover from the kitchen design company Evolution of Style. The knobs really pick up some of the darker and more brown tones from the granite counter tops and bricks in this white kitchen makeover.

matching venetian bronze hardware

kitchen makeover with venetian bronze hardware

And finally, again picking up the wood tones on this beautiful hall table from Keri It Home!

blue hall table makeover

And finally we have projects from Wildflower Restorations and The Charming Home showing a couple more ways that bronze hardware can pretty much go with any paint color you've chosen for your piece. I especially love the navy blue and oil rubbed bronze look.

big dresser with bronze knobs

dresser with bronze knobs

Thank you for reading! I will continue this series with articles featuring most of the popular hardware finishes in order to help with ideas and choices for your home and furniture. Until then!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

D. Lawless Hardware Friends Furniture Makeovers from January!

I was gone for the beginning of this month and when I returned there were a ton of project submitted to our Facebook group! What a lucky guy I am! This article will feature the first batch and I'll circle back to more as I get caught back up.

First we have a total stunner from Aunt Eeek's furniture with flair! This piece is gorgeous and uses D. Lawless cup pulls, knobs, glass knobs, and escutcheons. Wow!

large furniture makeover with satin brass hardware

This lovely piece looks amazing with the wood top and distressing and the antique copper cup pulls from Saved by the "Belle"!

antique copper cup pulls

This next piece comes to us from Ruthie B's Creations for sharing this gorgeous white piece with the amazing floral detail on the front!

floral design white dresser custom

And the last piece this week comes to us from Turning Tables Studio and features matching bronze with copper highlights hardware! Thank you Mary!

dresser makeover with bronze hardware

More coming every week from our hardware and furniture group D. Lawless Hardware Friends!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Antique Sheraton & Hepplewhite Furniture

While perusing my collection of antique furniture catalogs I came across some nice looking pieces that I would thought would be of interest to our readers and folks in general. The photography is in black and white and a little rough on the detail, but that's how it goes.

The photos and provided descriptions still allow us to see the detail, style, and hardware so that furniture artists can do a better job of maintaining historical accuracy when restoring antiques or actually doing full reproduction antique builds like D. Lawless Hardware got it's start doing back in the 80's.

To start we have a nice example of a mahogany chest of drawers in a Hepplewhite style. We carry some nice Hepplewhite style bail pulls as pictured for artists that want each piece to look accurate.

hepplewhite style chest of drawers

The front of this chest of drawers is swelled. There are four drawers with the edges finished with cock beadings. The feet are in a style known as French feet and the brass handles are of course in a Hepplewhite style.

Next we have a nice piece with Chippendale style hardware.

antique chippendale style dresser

This chest of drawers has a straight front. Four drawers with a slide on the top. All finished with cock beadings. The corner columns are are reeded. The legs are in the usual cabriole form, ending in a bird's claw and ball feet.

This next piece is a mahogany cellarette in a Sheraton style.

sheraton style cellarette

This one is in a plain box form with the front corners chamfered and fluted stubbed feet. Then the nice single round brass with ring pull in the center.

This next piece is circa 1790 and features simple swan neck bail pulls and is also in a Sheraton Style.

antique sheraton style desk

The cover of the desk falls on a curve over the desk portion. There are two drawers with fluted surfaces and rosettes on the end framing. An astragal finishes the lower edge, the legs are fluted and reeded, and the brackets are carved nicely with leaf scrolls.

And finally a gothic style drop leaf table from the mid 1700's.

drop leaf table in a gothic style

Also featuring a swan neck bail pull this style of table was very popular at the time. The outline is cut in ogee curves and the edges are carved in acanthus leaf mouldings. The legs are made to represent cluster columns which are familar to Gothic architecture. X underbracing to strengthen up the legs.

More in the future if I find people are interested! Thanks for reading!