Friday Randomness: Progress, Details, Cabinet Hardware, and My Pottery Barn Aversion

Last Updated on December 24, 2015 by Kristi Linauer

I can’t believe it’s already Friday!  This week has flown by for me, and it doesn’t feel like I’ve gotten much done in the kitchen at all.  But I guess I really have.  I’ve been working on the refrigerator/range wall, and it feels like it has taken me forever to do all of the wood filling and sanding.  I literally sanded for six hours yesterday just on this one wall!  I thought it would go faster than the wall of cabinets, but I realized yesterday that this wall actually has much more detail, with outside corners, a shelf opening, a refrigerator opening, and so on.  But now that all of the wood filling and sanding is done, the rest should go much faster.

I did want to show you one detail that I think makes all the difference in the world.  On this wall, I had several areas that have just plain exposed edges of lumber, and I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but those edges are very sharp corners.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets - 4

I don’t like the way that looks on a finished piece at all, so any time I have an exposed edge like that, I use my sander on low speed with 150-grit sandpaper to remove the sharp edge, and then I use 150-grit sandpaper by hand and round the edges just slightly.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets - 5

To me, it gives it a much more polished, finished look.  Instead of screaming, “I was made out of cheap lumber from Home Depot!!“, instead it quietly whispers, “Pssttt…I was hand crafted by someone with attention to detail.

I do that any time I build something out of lumber where the edges are going to be part of the finished product.  So I did that all around the shelf opening, the refrigerator opening, the outside corner of the refrigerator enclosure, and on the three cabinet corners that will be part of the finished wall.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets - 6

It’s one of those details that probably no one else will ever specifically notice, but it just works with the whole thing to create a more professional, higher quality end product.  Try it next time you’re building something out of lumber where the edges will be exposed on the finished piece!  I think you’ll find that it’s a small detail that really takes your project up a notch.

So after two days of wood filling and sanding, this wall looks almost exactly the same from a distance as it did before I started working on it.

refrigerator and range wall kitchen cabinets - 7

But up close, the difference is visible, and now I’m ready to spend about an hour doing all of the caulking, and then I’ll finally be ready for primer and paint.  I’m pretty sure I can get this wall painted this weekend.

And now on to cabinet hardware.  So many of you have asked me what hardware I’m going to be using, and it took me quite a long time to finally make my decision.  And thank you to each one of you who sent me links and hardware suggestions!  Probably my absolute favorite that was sent to me was this Lews Hardware pull.

cabinet hardware - lews hardware 3-inch bar pull 1

I loved everything about it except those circles at the base.  On any a piece of furniture, those would be fantastic.  But the flat areas on the rails and stiles of my cabinet doors are only 1.25 inches wide, and I wanted something very thin and very understated.  Those circles at the base just didn’t work in my mind.  Plus, these were just under $12 each, and I didn’t see any coordinating knobs or anything that I liked.  I needed 39 pieces total, and I really wanted to have a mix of different pieces in the same “family” just to add some interest.  So I ruled that one out.

Then one of you (so sorry…I can’t remember who!!) told me about Hickory Hardware and how they say right on their website that they’ll provide hardware for an “avid blogger” free of charge.  I’ll be honest, I got pretty excited about the idea of getting free hardware for my 39 doors and drawers, so I wrote to them to see if they’d be willing to work with me.  They said they would, so I started looking through their selection.  I spent probably two hours looking and searching, but I had the same problem there.  I would find a knob that I really liked, but no coordinating pull that I liked.  Or I would find a pull that I liked, but no coordinating pieces to match.  The one thing I really liked there was this Eclipse Brass Knob.

cabinet hardware - eclipse brass knob from hickory hardware

So in the end, I went with the classic antique brass hardware from Pottery Barn.  It’s completely different from what I started out looking for (I wanted modern and these are very classic), but I really like that their hardware comes in different groups with different coordinating options.  For my six top row shallow drawers that won’t have gold leaf, I got these 6-inch classic hardware cup bin pulls, which are $12 each.

cabinet hardware - 6 inch classic bin pull from pottery barn

For the four big drawers, I got these 6-inch classic hardware pulls, which are also $12 each.

cabinet hardware - 6 inch classic pull from pottery barn

And for all of the doors, I got these 3-inch classic hardware pulls, which are $9 each.

cabinet hardware - 3 inch classic pull from pottery barn

Admittedly, that’s way more than I wanted to spend on door and drawer hardware.  My total order with shipping and tax came to somewhere around $450.  But I love that I had coordinating options so that I could mix and match, and even more importantly, I love that the pulls are very narrow and understated and won’t look overbearing on the narrow 1.25-inch-wide stiles on my cabinet doors.

And sometimes the fun of decorating on a budget for the most part is so that we can splurge when we want to, right?  So while it was kind of difficult for me to click that “submit payment” button and spend around $450 on hardware, I’ve told myself from the time we bought this house that I would allow myself splurges if and when I thought they would really make a difference in the overall design.  This was one of those times.  Unfortunately, they’re all on backorder until the beginning of September.  Boo.

Anyway, here’s a little interesting tidbit of info.  This is my very first purchase ever from Pottery Barn.  😀

It just makes me laugh because Pottery Barn items and Pottery Barn-inspired items are so prevalent on decorating blogs, and yet, I had never until now purchased anything from there, and I don’t think I’ve ever made a “Pottery Barn-inspired” project.  I could be wrong, but I don’t think I have.  I think subconsciously, I have an aversion to Pottery Barn, and it’s not because they don’t have nice items.  I really do like quite a bit of their stuff.  My aversion stems from my days of working with decorating clients.

I think I’ve told y’all this before, but I got to where I absolutely hated working with decorating clients for the most part.  And it’s not because they weren’t nice people.  I met some really lovely people during my seven years of working with clients.  It’s because it got the point where I felt like almost everyone wanted the same thing — the same look.  It was always Pottery Barn.  And on at least three different occasions, I actually had the client tell me in our first meeting that they basically wanted their home to look like a page out of a Pottery Barn catalog.

I remember thinking, “Then open the catalog, find your favorite page, and start ordering stuff.  Why do you need me?!”  Ugh.  I started to dread my work, and I developed an aversion to all things Pottery Barn.  And I made it my goal to never have “that look” in my own home.  That is very much what guided my decorating decisions in the condo, where I used teal, apple green, yellow, and orange…and absolutely nothing that could ever be mistaken for Pottery Barn.  I was determined that if I had to spend my days putting together “Pottery Barn” rooms for clients, I was going to come home to something completely, drastically different.  And I did.  And I loved it.  🙂

Obviously, I eventually stopped working with clients, and now I’m a blogger who gets to have fun and actually take risks and do crazy, bold things in my own home that clients in this city would have never in a million years let me do in their homes.  Because…Pottery Barn.

And that’s a true story.  The end.  🙂


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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 10:38 am

    The Pottery Barn hardware was an excellent choice. Since they are on back order, perhaps you still have time to apply a coupon to the order? There are 15% off coupons all over eBay for cheap. Every penny helps.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angie M
    July 25, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I think the hardware is beautiful. When you started talking about your PB aversion, all I could think of was the Friends episode where Rachel kept sneaking more and more PB items into her apartment with Phoebe. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    TKraft Art & Interiors
    July 25, 2014 at 11:12 am

    Kristi, Love your hardware selection even if it’s from PB and the story to go with it was a hoot, so true that most consumers are to timid to step away from the pack and have they’re own style… we’re fortunate to have you break that mold for us on so many levels. Your woodworking skills are pretty expressive on that section. Please remember to breathe this weekend and get some fresh air with your hubby and his new found ‘celebrity ism’.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Hi Kristi — was watching Fixer Upper on HGTV last night. They were fixing a house for a woman who lost hers in the West, Tx explosion. They went to a cute store in Waco and I immediately thought of you! Your kitchen is really taking shape.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I am so glad you went with the PB hardware. As beautiful as those first pulls are – I hate them! We had very similar ones in our kitchen. Whenever I worked at the countertop, if I moved left or right – those pulls would get caught in my clothes. I can’t tell you how unpleasant it is to be mixing something, slide to the right to grab a measuring cup and your zipper gets stuck on a drawer pull. I did it fifteen times a day, at least. Apparently I’m still scarred. 🙂
    Love your kitchen so far, though. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      July 25, 2014 at 5:27 pm

      that’s a very good point, Lindsay, thanks for sharing that observation!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Jeanne in Austin
      July 25, 2014 at 9:15 pm

      Ditto that. I have pulls of similar shape, and I’m always getting either my shirt or my earphone cable hooked on the ends. I hate getting jerked around!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Ha! My Mom always tells me she doesn’t want something once everyone else has it or wears it. She won’t jump on the Vera handbag wagon with me because “everybody’s carrying them.”
    PS. Love your attention to detail.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Love your pick and their stuff is quality. And thanks for helping me with some ideas for my hardware needs. My DH is griping about the ONE cabinet above the new ovens that needs hardware – and I told him I needed to wait until the entire kitchen was done so I could “feel” the hardware calling to me 🙂

    ‘Cause I do like the existing antique brass-knobs (that aren’t perfectly round and have character) that might get re-used! Savings for DIY cabinet installs and re-using existing knobs = more marble!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    I have never purchased anything from Pottery Barn but have seen several ideas on their website that were interesting and could be the basis for a room. It does seem like a lot of people post Pinterest/Facebook ideas from Pottery Barn though.

    I do like your choices of hardware and think it will all work well together. Can’t wait to see them mounted but it might be a bit of a wait, right? Hang in there.

    Love that you’re working on the details in your kitchen like the corners of your shelves/cupboards. Very nice and you will be happy that you took the time to do that.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Great progress! The Pottery Barn story rings so true! There are only two PBs in my state, and both are way away from where I am, but one time I ran across a catalog and was frightened–it was where the design ideas came from that everyone that I knew was implementing. (the whole pseudo-Tuscan building thing is another scary idea).

    Here’s to individuality!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Gilmer Gal
    July 25, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Nice knobs you got there teehee Will they go good with the gold trim? They look a little duller than the trim, but it might just be my monitor. The sizes are perfect. Can’t wait until you are able to install them.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Really enjoyed your blog today!! Your hardware choice is perfect and your decorator adventures gave me a chuckle! Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MaryAnne Looby
    July 25, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    Kristi you are so right about the way the wood finishes look. Rounding slightly like you do makes it look like it has gone through a planer and has had tools like routers used on it. I am also with you on the PB thing. First off, I find all of their stuff to be very limited in color. The furniture mostly comes from overseas, as does just about everything else. Occasionally they will have a nice rug, but then it is priced way too high. I think I bought a few floating shelves from them for our condo in Cincinnati. We used them to hold office stuff and a flat screen. This was before TV mounts became so prevalent. My one girlfriend is obsessed with the place. If I stop in with her I find a seat and close my eyes! I did not realize they even had pulls. PB, WS,West Elm, and another one are all the same. Owned by the same company and all over priced. I bought a pair of PB look alike bunching tables for the condo, at JCPenny for $150. PB wanted $275 per table. With the quality of things that I have, no one think they came anywhere but PB. I thought for sure you find some thing at Vandykes. I saw a lot of similar things to what you bought and also to what you liked. I hope you did get a chance to look. Bottom line, the PB pulls while not cheap were also not outrageous. I hope as a first time shopper you got your 10 % off. If not, call them and request it. Have a good weekend, and no rush on the template for the feet, just when you get a chance scan it and give the dimensions. That would be such a big help. Blessings

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    I look forward to reading your blog everyday, love how your kitchen is turning out…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    Love the hardware choice. I just received my pottery barn catalog yesterday and saw something similar that made me think they would look good in your kitchen next to those sconces. Also saw some really cool vintage hardware on ebay that had brass and “black” ceramic drop pulls that I thought would be fun for just the Four cabinets with glass. They looked like drop earrings. Anyway you might not want to mix in different pulls for just those middle cabinets, but it might be fun. Plus it would pull over a bit of black…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Irene Such
    July 25, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I considered those pulls 14 years ago when I remodeled my kitchen…and the thing that stopped me was thinking how hard it was going to be to clean them out. I don’t know about your cooking style, but I get good and dirty when cooking, so the thought of some of that gunk getting stuck in there was enough for me to go in another direction. But I completely understand the ‘family of hardware’ idea. It’s nice to have options…..

    Looking awesome….and looking forward to the next chapter…..

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    where i live we do not have Pottery Barn or Home Goods stores and i wish we did just to see what all the talk is about on all the blogs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I love looking at the PB catalog. I think some of their photos are beautiful- especially their tablescapes. On the other hand, I have only purchased there two or three times.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    July 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    The new hardware looks great! I know I’m late to tell you, but just in case something doesn’t work out with your order, check out D Lawless Hardware. Derrick loves to work with bloggers, and his prices are great even without a freebie.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Genelle McDaniel
    July 25, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I love that your hardware are co-ordinates and not all the same. It will look so much more custom. Your details to finish are great.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 4:36 pm

    Ugh, why weren’t we in the same city? You got sick of clients who wanted a Pottery Barn look and I’m can’t seem to find a designer who is creative and offers more than just “cookie-cutter” ideas, at least not on my budget. The decorators I have checked out that are creative seem to only work the “over a million” market. While I do think PB has some nice items, I think that most of their furniture is over-priced. But then, I’ve been buying directly from North Carolina for over 30 years.
    However, like you I have trouble finding sets of hardware that has all the pieces I want so I’m glad to find out that PB still designs them that way.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 25, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Is it the 6″ bin pull, or the 3″ bin pull for the top drawers? The ones in your illustration photo look to be about 3″, right? Would the 6″ ones be too long?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      July 25, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      P. S. Love your hardware choice; I think they will look great with the ‘updated vintage’ style of your kitchen. True, they’re a bit more antiqued than the gold leaf trim, but then that little bit of contrast will add another level of sparkle and not be all matchy-matchy.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads
    July 25, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Kristi, what wonderful, timeless choices you made on the hardware! Can’t wait to see it all come together because it’s going to look so gorgeous! Super impressed with your woodworking skills, too!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jeanne in Austin
    July 25, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Kristi, in addition to the fact that the cabinets look better, there is also a practical reason for what is called “breaking the edge”: Sharp edges will not hold a finish for long. Whether poly or paint, they will wear prematurely. Plus, they more easily splinter.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    July 26, 2014 at 7:52 am

    So glad there was some hardware you liked! Your final selection is actually a favorite of mine. The curved line is very pretty and I love that the top shallower drawers will get the 6″ cup pulls. Just the right amount of ‘bling’ for those drawers, without needing any gold leaf. The 6″ pulls on the larger drawers provide the symmetry with just the right amount of metal. The color of the pulls compliments the sconces beautifully.

    I am with you on sanding down sharp edges. I like to do that too. Rounding the edges gives such a nice professional, finished look.

    You and Matt sound like an ideal match, both lovely people!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila Welton
    July 28, 2014 at 9:17 am

    “Do you think brass is on its way back? We bought a new home that has brass everywhere. I am hoping brass is back because it would take a lot of work and a small fortune to start replacing all of the brass hardware.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Refrigerator Wall Cabinets Finished
    July 31, 2014 at 9:13 am

    […] course, I still need my door and drawer hardware, but that’s on backorder until early September.  I also need to bump the back wall of the […]

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    August 8, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Hi Kristi,
    The kitchen is amazing! The rate of progress is over the top to us, though you may feel differently. You are at least always moving in a forward direction…even if you are re-doing something (ie. the floors)! Things are always moving, and progressing. That is wonderful. I have a question on rounding the corners of your finished wood edges. I am about to begin my first molding DIY in my new sunroom/sewing room. It was an covered part of the deck that we have enclosed. In one corner, inside the new enclosed room, is half of the 8×8 metal post holding up that corner of the roof. We have clad it in wood and sheetrock. But now I’ve decided to cover it in trim to look like a column. The corner of the post/column is what juts into the room with two sides to be clad. I thought I would like that corner to be rounded rather than a sharp corner made of the trim molding on each side. I told my hubby you just sand your corners to round them. He questioned being able to keep it consistent from the floor to the 10′ ceiling. Do you have a problem keeping your sanded edges perfectly straight and consistent? How bout 10′ of consistency? My husbands idea was to just insert quarter round between the two side trim pieces (fluted trim) to make the rounded corner instead. So trying to figure out what I shall do. Thanks a bunch!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      August 8, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      No, I don’t really have a problem keeping it consistent, probably because I do all of the sanding by hand. Now if I were trying to use an electric sander, that would be a different story. But that’s exactly why I sand by hand. It’s way too easy for an electric sander to get away from you on a detail like that.