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Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog

The Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog is a forum for homeowners of old homes or new homes with vintage appeal. The Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog features tips and tidbits on clawfoot tubs, clawfoot tub faucets and showers, heat registers and cold air returns, antique reproduction door hardware, and many more products for classic homes. For more tips and anecdotes about the old home experience, take a break and visit the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog or peruse the complete list of topics discussed on the blog at the Shop 4 Classics Old House Blog Archive.

Tue, 27 Jan 2015 02:41:00 +0000
Tree of Life Doorbell Button: Interconnecting Life on Planet Earth with a Press of a Button
Forms of Tree of Life symbolism can be traced back to ancient civilizations and was a central belief in cultures throughout the world for over a thousand years.  The Tree of Life over the ages and cultures represented many facets of life’s mysteries including: the life cycle of all living things, immortality, as well as the interconnection of all living things.  

Closer to home and modern times, the Tree of Life was an adopted theme of the American Arts & Crafts movement.  I say adopted because the American Arts & Crafts movement of early 1900’s was inspired by Europe’s, particularly England’s, Arts and Craft movement which began roughly a half-century earlier.  The founder of England’s Arts and Crafts movement, William Morris, was known for his elaborate tapestries that often featured nature themes with tree prominently at their center.  His most recognizable tapestry is in fact called The Tree of Life.   Just as tapestry art is a lasting hallmark of England’s Arts and Crafts period, stained art glass is a hallmark of the American Arts & Crafts period.  It should come as no surprise that art glass from the American Arts & Crafts period has its own notable uses of Tree of Life imagery.   The American Arts & Crafts movement’s most prominent architects, Frank Lloyd Wright and the Greene brothers, prominently incorporated Tree of Life themed art glass in their signature homes.  Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin house Tree of Life art glass reflects Wright’s characteristic style that is ultra-modern, highly stylized, absolute symmetry, and consisting entirely of geometric shapes.  The stained art glass of the entryway Greene brother’s Gamble house also has a Tree of Life theme.  In contrast to the Martin house, The Gamble house’s art glass depiction of Tree of Life is clearly an inspiration of the natural beauty found nature.  The Gamble house’s Tree of Life features wildly asymmetrical forms constructed of irregular shapes of glass.  It is amazing how two of the most recognized designers associated with the Arts and Crafts movement could create such contrasting interpretations of the Tree of Life while working in the same art glass medium.
Tree of Life Doorbell Button
by Mission Metalworks

Now you too can add Tree of Life symbolism to your home’s entry in an affordable and artful way with Mission Metalworks new Tree of Life doorbell button. Locally cast from 95% recycled domestic copper, the creation of the decorative backplate of this doorbell is in keeping with the continuing cycle of renewal that the Tree of Life has come to symbolize. The design of the Tree of Life is inspired by both Greene brothers and William Morris designs.  Borrowing from William Morris’ tapestry depictions, the doorbell’s Tree of Life’s is home to an assortment of animals including song birds, owl, and a squirrel.   Like the Tree of Life art glass of the Greene brother’s Gamble house, the doorbell’s tree is asymmetrical from tree top to its roots that intertwine around the push button to form the word “PRESS”.
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:06:00 +0000
Antique Revelry Brass and Cast Iron Floor Registers: Home Improvement That's Right On Time
Officially, winter doesn't arrive for another week or so but for many of us it seems like winter is already here.  Autumn passed without giving us much of an opportunity to prepare for winter.  Better late than never.  That is what frequently late people like to say.  Better late than never.

Celtic Cross Cast Iron Floor Register (left) and Celtic Cross Oil Rubbed Bronze Floor Register (right)

If you missed the opportunity to prepare your home for winter, Shop 4 Classics has good news for you.  We just introduced a new line of cast iron floor registers and brass floor registers from Antique Revelry.  The Antique Revelry floor registers are offered in four stylish designs and three popular color options.  They range from vintage cast iron heat registers like the Celtic Cross, Heritage, or Victorian designs to modern brass heat registers like the Linear design.  The cast iron floor registers are offered in traditional matte black finish.  The brass heat registers are offered as either brushed nickel floor registers or oil rubbed bronze floor registers.  These new heat registers are available in the nine most common sizes in residential heating and cooling systems.  All of these floor heat registers include a multi-louver damper to control air flow.

Heritage Brushed Nickel Floor Register (left) and Heritage Cast Iron Floor Register (right) 

Rather than spend the next few months looking at your old heat registers and thinking to yourself, "is it cold in here?", why not replace them with a stylish new Antique Revelry heat register and think, "it's kind of cold in here but that new heat register looks awesome!"

Linear Cast Iron Floor Register (left) and Linear Brushed Nickel Floor Register (right)

As always, Shop 4 Classics provides free shipping for orders over $100.00.  Save an additional 5% on Antique Revelry register orders of $500.00 or more with the HARDWARE5 coupon or save an additional 10% on Antique Revelry heat register orders of $1,000.00 or more with the HARDWARE10 coupon.  Visit Shop 4 Classics today for Antique Revelry heat registers.  It's never too late.

Victorian Vine Oil Rubbed Bronze Floor Register (left) and Victorian Vine Cast Iron Floor Register (right)

Thu, 13 Nov 2014 19:56:00 +0000
Flat Track Barn Door Hardware: Your Barn Door Is Open

Cast Iron Barn Door Roller Strap

In a former job, I once witnessed an industry expert make a lengthy presentation on the importance of quality.  All the while his barn door was open.  It was not one of his finer moments and certainly was not an effective technique for promoting Six Sigma quality.  The phrase "your barn door is open" can create great angst when it refers to your pants zipper.  In the literal sense, however, the phrase "your barn door is open" can instill great pride.  Today, we review quality crafted iron flat track hardware for sliding barn doors that will make you exclaim, "Hurray, my barn door is open".

Sliding barn doors are a type of track door.  Rather than swing on door hinges, track doors slide side to side.  Hinged swinging doors can create space and configuration issues that are eliminated by a sliding track door.  Like pocket track doors, rolling track barn doors hang on carriers that roll on an overhead track.  Pocket doors slide in and out of a pocket in the wall.  When a pocket door is open, the door and its hardware are hidden in the pocket between the walls.  Conversely, when a sliding barn door is open, the door and its hardware is exposed.  In this case, exposure caused by an open barn door is appreciated.  The flat track and rolling carrier hardware add a rustic charm that appeals to homeowners and interior designers.  Unlike a pocket door, installing a rolling track barn door doesn't require ripping out a wall to create a pocket.  The exposed track is mounted to the wall with lag screws instead.

In addition to the barn door, there is some specialized hardware required to make barn doors slide.  Obviously, there is a track.  The track is mounted to the wall with "stand-offs" which also serve as spacers allowing the door to slide on the track without rubbing against the wall.  Wheel and carrier assemblies (or "roller straps") attach to the top of the door.  The roller straps have a wheel that rides on the overhead track permitting the door to roll side to side.  Stabilizers can be used on the bottom of the barn door to prevent swing.  Anti-jump blocks are used to prevent the door from jumping the track and end stops are used to prevent the door from rolling off the end of the track.

Shop 4 Classics offers complete rolling barn door flat track hardware kits that include all of the hardware required for a single door installation.  The rolling barn door flat track hardware kits include track, standoffs, wheel and carrier assemblies, stabilizers, end stops, and anti-jump blocks.  Each kit is available in various track lengths.  Track splicers can be purchased to join tracks end to end for a longer track or multiple doors.  Shop 4 Classics offers sliding barn door hardware kits in a smooth iron finish or distressed iron finish.  Color choices include traditional black or dark bronze.  Basic style kits have square end roller straps while the Designer style kits have rounded end roller straps.  All components are also available separately; although the complete kits are more economical and ensure that you have all of the correct parts to complete your project.

Visit Shop 4 Classics' Sliding Barn Door Hardware department for a complete selection of barn door flat track hardware.  Our quality crafted iron flat track hardware for sliding barn doors creates a memorable impression whether your barn door is open or closed.

Cast Iron Rolling Track Barn Door Hardware


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