Shop 4 Classics

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.

Sat, 28 Feb 2015 20:23:00 +0000
Midcentury Modern Bathroom Where Vintage Style and Modern Style Collide
I was raised in a mid-1960’s three-bedroom ranch house with one full bath and a half bath.  While bedrooms, kitchen and living room were updated over time, the home’s bathrooms seemed to be frozen in time for forty years. Both baths featured classic mid-century color palettes, fixtures, and unique plumbing designs.   Their four walls were tiled with the full bath having pink tiles while the half bath’s tiles were an aqua blue.  The floors were white linoleum with a funky gold scribble pattern.  The toilets were pink and blue to match their respective tile walls.   They both had single cabinet style vanities with laminate counter tops and drop-in sinks.   Like all mid-century plumbing, the faucets for the bathroom sink and tub were chrome.  The handles were truly unique to the period, resembling the bottom portion of a three-finned space rocket.  To a young boy filled with imagination, the handles looked like the tails of rockets embedded deep into the sink vanity and tiled walls of the shower.   Six years ago the full bath was gutted and remodeled to a more contemporary, but traditional, style.   Gone were the funky linoleum, pink tiles, and faucet with rocket-ship handles. 

A few years after the bathroom remodel, Mid-Century Modern design became vogue and the style’s
Mid-Century Modern Freestanding Tub
popularity continues.   Today’s revival of Mid-Century design, however, is every different form the Mid-Century vintage design of pink and aqua bathrooms of my boyhood home.  The revival of Mid-Century Modern design draws its inspiration from post World War II Europe that filtered into American industrial design during the late 1960’s through much of the 1970’s.  Mid-Century Modern revival bathroom fixtures and plumbing are sleek; favoring straight lines and geometric shapes.   Chrome remains the finish of choice for Mid-Century Modern faucets but the color palette for tiles and bathroom fixtures are much more subdued compared to the aqua, turquoise, and pink that were common to bathrooms of the late 1950’s and into the 1960’s.   Tiles now tend towards natural shades of brown, black, gray, and white.   Sink, toilet, and bath fixtures are a more modern than mid-century standard white.  Curved forms of these bathroom fixtures provide contrast among the angular cabinetry, tiles and plumbing.

Mid-Century Modern Faucet
Shop 4 Classics offers streamline faucets and modern style sinks, toilets, and bathtubs that are complimentary to today’s Mid-Century Modern bathroom designs.  Chrome deco-style faucets and in-wall shower sets from Strom Plumbing and Cheviot Products bathroom sink faucets are ideal choices for Mid-Century Modern bathrooms.   Cheviot Products also offers sleek modern design sinks while both Cheviot Products and Strom Plumbing offer a variety of modern freestanding bathtubs perfect for your Mid-Century Modern bathroom makeover.

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)

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