Laurel Street Blog

New Kitchen Hardware

Posted on: January 14, 2009

Right after we closed on the house, we were determined to gut the kitchen and start over. Our timing could not have been worse. Due to the near total reconstruction going on all over New Orleans, kitchen designers and products were in high demand. In February, we called a very tony kitchen place on Magazine Street that was “under-employed” (their words not mine) and could only see us in April. Our realtor recommended a planner that worked out of Lowes, but when I called him his first appointment was not available until, get this, May. However, I managed to score an appointment with a kitchen design outfit way out in Metairie,  had one meeting, and we turned over a copy of the house plans. Follow up calls were never returned. These places were just too swamped to keep up with all their customers.

The Kitchen Cabinets, before

The Kitchen Cabinets, before


The most egregious problem in the kitchen was the stove. Once prized in the early part of this century, our O’Keefe & Merrit stove dated to the 80’s and is at best, temperamental and imprecise, and at worst, barely functional. And oh so ugly. 

Richard is kind of an all or nothing person. He wanted a specific professional range installed, wider than the current freestanding unit, so that meant new cabinets. Since we couldn’t get new cabinets, no new stove. We’re still stuck with the stove, but I cook on it every single night and have come to terms with it.

And Richard is coming to terms with my idea that we can make small updates to the kitchen, biding our time until we do the entire renovation. I kind of snuck this up on him. 


Plastic, 1980's era kitchen hardware.

Plastic, 1980's era kitchen hardware.

The grey formica cabinet boxes were in good shape, and blandly modern. If I were gutting the kitchen now, obviously a modern kitchen would not be my first choice for this historic house. 

The hardware was stuck in the 1980’s, however. One night, I was paging through one of my Van Dyke’s Restoraters catalogs and they had pages and pages of traditional, historic cabinet hardware. But I saw one modern stainless steel style handle in all that and thought: “That’s it. Why fight what’s there? Let the kitchen be modern for a few years until we do the big renovation.”

A simple alteration of the hardware could change the entire look of the cabinets, but Van Dykes was asking $10.00 per handle. I checked at Lowes and Home Depot, and their prices were about the same. Just making this little change would cost me $400.00 plus change. It was hard to spend that, knowing that in a few years, we’d be ditching the cabinets for another style. 

So I stewed over this for a few days… and then quite randomly checked eBay. And lo, and behold… the hardware I wanted was available in quantities for $1.88 a piece!

Needless to say, “SOLD!” For a $84.00 and shipping, I could do small update that would completely change the look of the kitchen.


An Easy (and Inexpensive Fix)

Modern Stainless Hardware: An Easy (and inexpensive fix)

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Laurel Street Blog

Nate and Louis

Well, hey there. I'm Nathan and this is the Laurel Street Blog. It's a place for talking about design, decor and DIY (with small amounts of snarkery snuck in). I'm a pretty restless guy who loves house projects and lives in a 150+ year old cottage on Laurel Street in New Orleans. Since the house always has something going on with it (or falling off of it) I'm subsequently blessed with a never-ending supply of Web content to share. Oh - and you can drop me a line anytime Enjoy!

Can I get a tweet up in here? Follow along @LaurelStreet

The Laurel Street Cottage

January 2009
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