Home Renovations: Part 7 – Accoutrements

When reading “accoutrements”, you absolutely must use a French accent. After all, we are talking about the “fancy bits” of the kitchen which put the spit-and-polish finish on the whole project.

Well, not “spit” in literal terms, I hope.

I am talking about kitchen hardware. The faucets, handles (or “pulls” as I have been made aware) and knobs. This has been a long journey started well before the cabinets were finalized. It has taken many months, maybe even the better part of a year to finally get it right.

It was not easy – in fact, it took much prayer in the end to finally land on just the right combination of items to make it all fit together.

There was also weeping and gnashing of teeth in there as well.

As our appliances and range hood are all brushed stainless steel, we wanted to compliment the finish of those, but not stray too far. In other words, no brass, no chrome, not even the black that is so popular today. We also wanted to have the shape harmonize with the curves of the range hood. There were also stipulations about comfort and safety – no sharp edges or things that would snag clothing when walking by. There are some amazing looking handles, but many have pointy bits on the ends which could draw blood.

No, we wanted curves. Not too many, but understated and tasteful. So began the shopping. Store after store after web store after web store. Several Amazon orders were placed and returned. What we finally found was a knob we liked in a finish called Antique Silver. It is beautiful and made the final cut for installing in the kitchen. We ordered a few of the matching handles – I mean pulls… right: matching pulls from the supplier in the same finish. At first pass, they were good – not “great”, but they were mostly what we wanted: no pointy bits, easy to get your hand around, and matching in color.

Or were they? Once we laid them out next to the actual cabinets (we had samples before, but once you have the cabinets they are going on, you really don’t know what they are actually going to look like), we absolutely did not love them. They were dark and dull compared to the knobs, and in the right light a completely different color tone.

As the cabinets were nearing completion, we were under pressure to make a choice quickly: after all – the installers were supposed to install the hardware when they installed the cabinets. So, a last-minute scramble to a few local stores was in order. We stopped at the local high-end place where there were several cool options, but none we fell in love with. And a good thing too! One option we looked at was $150 PER PULL! (We were targeting between $3 and $10 per pull.)

Finally, we went back to a place we had been before since it was on the way home. Lo-and-behold what did we see, but a wholly new item on their display panels. It was something close to a pull we had liked before but couldn’t find in the right color. This was a pull in Jeffrey Alexander line called “Philip” (yes, there are a lot of name similarities in there and they are not lost on me…) and they even had a finish called Brushed Pewter that was extremely close to the finish of the knobs.

We had found our hardware! Order placed, order received. Here is a picture of the hardware.

Three different sizes of pull on a sample color of our cabinets, counter material (middle right) and backsplash over the rangetop in the back.

If you notice, the sheen on the knobs and pull is bright and similar to brushed steel, but a little darker – enough to match, but have a slight contrast to the stainless of the rest of the accessories.

The next bits we were able to obtain were the faucets and soap dispenser. This actually took us a while, but not quite as long as the knobs and pulls. I wanted something more industrial – you know the coiled over giant spring faucets you find in restaurant kitchens, but Laura didn’t like that so much. We found a compromise initially, but it was too expensive.

The shopping went on for several months, when one day we were looking for hardware at Ferguson and not finding it. We happened to look along the back wall and there were some faucets we could browse, so we did. One option we saw was a black and gold simple faucet with a knurled sprayer and handle. Of course, it was totally the wrong color, but they said they had it in stainless to match. We had already kind of settled on the compromise faucet, but the hesitation I had in ordering it should have been a sign that it wasn’t right for the project.

So, online I went to the manufacturer’s website to look at the stainless model. Sure enough, it was beautiful, and it even had a soap dispenser to match. What was even more surprising is that there was a hot water faucet in the matching style as well! We have become addicted to having hot water so quickly available and easy, so the faucet was a must have item.

But it was also very expensive. What would we do now?

Go to eBay of course. Sure enough, there were “open box” items that were for sale. These were new with fully unopened parts packages, some had damaged outer boxes, but all were new and never used. Buying the big faucet there got us $300 off retail. The hot water faucet was about a 75% savings, and the soap dispenser… well that was just a little cheaper, but worth it. Now they all match.

Here they are.

It’s a brand we are familiar with: we put a Brizo faucet in our kitchen in Virginia when we remodeled that one. We like the quality and feel of it.

We’re excited to get this going!

Now, we just have to wait for the counter tops… which have been delayed for a reason not well explained to me.


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