Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Season of Giving

This time of year is usually when we all do a little something extra to help our fellow citizens of the world. Whether it's putting a cookie in the mailbox for your mail carrier, working at the local soup kitchen, donating to a canned goods drive, or just taking the time to say Happy Holidays. This time of year there's always that extra something that makes us want to do some good, even if it's only for a brief time.

 For the last two years Spokane Hardware and The Hardware Hut have donated money to Toys for Tots. At our annual Christmas party we buy raffle tickets for prizes and the proceeds go to Toys for Tots, all funds raised are matched by our company. Last year we raised a little over $1,000 and this year we raised $1,300. That's a lot of toys for kids in need. Not to toot our own horn, but way to go us! For a company with less than 50 employees, I think we did great. A big "Thank You" to Steve and Andrew Northrop, Spokane Hardware's owner and owner in the making for matching our donations.

Andrew Northrop & his father Steve Northrop. Annual Christmas Party 2014.
Another neat story; Charlie Iverson has worked for Spokane Hardware for 16 years. He is our showroom manager and works with our customers that come into the physical store. As you can imagine, after 16 years he has gotten somewhat of a following of customers. This year, one of Charlie's customers wanted to thank him for his years of service and presented him with a custom made Cribbage set.

Wayne showing Charlie is gift.
Wayne from Wayne's Woodworks wanted to let Charlie know he is appreciated. As Andrew pointed out, I think Charlie might have gotten a speck of dust in his eye at one point. We have the best customers!

Wayne adding is signature to Charlie's custom Cribbage set.
Last but certainly not least, from everyone at Spokane Hardware and the The Hardware Hut, we'd like to thank you for being the most important part of our business. Our customers are the reason we are here. We hope you have health and happiness this holiday season and in the coming new year.

“Leave the Details to Us”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Door Hardware Installers

How do you tell someone that the person they've hired to install their hardware doesn't know what they're doing? It's a fine line to tread and trust me, it's not fun. I am certain there are very skilled woodworkers, and contractors, and locksmiths in the world but the thing is, they've typically got a specialty. Yes, a general contractor has the know how to install a common lock, but are they doing it correctly? I can't even count how many times I've had a phone call about a lock being defective and it is a simple installation issue.

While surfing the web for a particular part for a deadbolt, I came across a blog for a locksmith in Florida. There are only eight blog posts, but man what a plethora of information! I read every single one of them. Jeff Gater apparently has been a locksmith for about 35 years, and based on his knowledge you can tell. I don't typically endorse websites or people that I personally haven't been in contact with but if I were in need of a locksmith, this would be the man for my job.

Having sold door locks for over a decade myself, I'm pretty familiar with their inner workings. Having to troubleshoot and step through the installation process while over the phone has taught me to get familiar with the way they operate. I still learned something today while reading his blog. Do yourself a favor and go read up on what makes deadbolts "secure" and how to properly install a strike plate. And, if you're in Florida and in need of a good locksmith, give Jeff a call.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Habitat For Humanity

Last month, employees from Spokane Hardware got to participate in Habitat for Humanity's Blitz Build in Deer Park, WA which is about 30 miles north of Spokane. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, and I hope to do it again. This post is all about the experience. I have always enjoyed helping the community when I can. I feel that if we all do our best to help each other out in whatever capacity we can, the world is a better place. Whether, you buy a cup of coffee for a stranger, donate canned goods, shop at Goodwill, or volunteer your time. It all counts. Spokane Hardware & share my belief in helping where you can.

Spokane Home Builders Association has teamed up with Habitat for Humanity for a number of years and they hosted an open house at the Habitat Store (which by the way, is a cool place to wander around for odds and ends.) We decided to head to the open house to check out upcoming events. Before the end of the night, we'd signed up to donate a house worth of hardware and volunteered some employees to help build.

Andrew Northrop getting the scoop from Michone Preston (H4H Spokane's CEO)

We were the first to Volunteer a donation...Whoo Hoo!

We organized our staff to help build on June 4th & 5th for half a day. I want to preface these next few pictures with, typically at the beginning of June we've got decent weather. There is a chance of rain, but the temperature is usually in the mid-sixties. This year, we were lucky enough to get wind, rain (at times pouring rain) and about 50°.  Despite the weather, we were champs and I couldn't be prouder!

The first two houses on site to be built.

Spokane Hardware employees: Mitch Ongers (L), Ray Winkler (Front), and Kelly Roscoe (R)

Our Marketing Manager Stephanie Willer climbs a ladder to attach two walls.

Spokane Hardware employees from June 4th build day. (L-R: Erica Roscoe, Allison Hodson, Kelly Roscoe, Nick Petrie, Charlie Iverson, Kelly Ormsby, Ray Winkler, Stephanie Willer, Mitch Ongers, & Jameson Kersey)

Despite the fact that I was frozen, soaked, and it takes me five minutes to hammer a nail, I had an amazing time and wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Riding back to town, we were all tired and cold, but I could sense the feeling of accomplishment.

Andrew & I went back out to the build site for the opening of the first two houses. For me, that was the best part of the entire experience. Seeing the families who get to move in, the pride and excitement of owning their own home was priceless.
The first two completed homes.
             One home owner shared a poem with us and I thought it was pretty inspirational.

"Drop a pebble in the water:
just a splash, and it is gone;
But there's half-a-hundred ripples

ircling on and on and on,
Spreading, spreading from the center,

flowing on out to the sea.
And there is no way of telling

where the end is going to be." 

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Custom Screen Doors

I'm constantly amazed by the talent of our customers, and continually surprised by the many applications of hardware that's been purchased through us has been used. It's my own personal hobby to check out the many web addresses that I come across in taking/processing orders. Occasionally, I'll share what I find with you. What I like to call, "Sharing the Love."

One customer of note is Dave Gilchrist of Mountain View Woodworks.  Mountain View Woodworks is a supplier of custom screen doors. Dave has been doing business with Spokane Hardware & The Hardware Hut for about five years. The first thing I can tell you about Dave is that he's a really nice guy. Being in customer service for as long as I have, that says a lot. The second thing I can tell you is that, he sincerely cares about his work and making something that is a quality product.

 Over the course of time, I've picked up tid bits here and there on the process and what materials he uses, but until recently hadn't actually seen the end product. Dave isn't just a woodworker, he's an artist, a craftsman. Each door is made at the time of order by hand in Dave's shop. They're made from solid wood, the lumber used is hand picked and milled on site. The end result is quite beautiful.

 If you're in the market for a new custom screen or storm door, go check out his other designs at or give Dave a call at (208) 255-6457.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

The Right Finish For Your Cabinets

A common question that I get asked it what kind of finish looks best on what color cabinet. If I've said it once, I've said it a million times. It's all about preference. With that being said, some people have a preference but it just doesn't look that great. I find that silver finishes look best on darker cabinets and dark finishes look best on light cabinets.

I've put together some examples, that hopefully will aid you in your process. Granted, there are a ton more finish options on the market, but starting with the basics will (hopefully) give you a general idea.

Left to right: Polished Chrome, Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Satin Nickel.
As you can see above, pretty much all of the finishes look okay on the dark cabinet except the Oil Rubbed Bronze. It just sort of blends in and gets lost. I have to say, for someone who dislikes brass, even that one looks pretty good on a dark background.
Like this:
Image Courtesy of Antiques du Monde

Left to right: Polished Chrome, Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Satin Nickel.
 Medium toned cabinets I think are the trickiest, the above example has some distressing so the polished finishes don't look too great, but a Satin Nickel or a Weathered Nickel, and the Oil Rubbed Bronze or Blacks tend to look the best.

Left to right: Polished Chrome, Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Satin Nickel.
A white painted or glazed cabinet would be an easy palette to begin with (you would think) but there's so much you can do with such a neutral background you're options are pretty much endless. The only finish I don't really love on this background is the glossy brass tones and that's only because I think it gives a dated look to the cabinets.
Below is a great example of a classic design that I've seen modified a number of different ways, using dark hardware and satin nickel. 

Photo Courtesy of Decor Pad

Or a new trend that I've seen, Modern full overlay gloss white doors with brushed silver hardware.

Photo Courtesy of Red

Left to right: Polished Chrome, Polished Brass, Oil Rubbed Bronze, Satin Nickel.

Last would be a light wood toned cabinet. Which again, is fairly universal. Again, the brass isn't typically the best choice for this tone because it does get washed out. But, any silver tone looks great, and of course the Dark Bronzes and Blacks.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shout Out!

In this industry, I get to talk to a number of different people from various backgrounds. I speak to homeowners, designers, architects, builders, cabinet makers, you name it. 
Since I take orders over the phone I notice peoples websites and I constantly look at the work people are doing. We've got some talented customers. Here's some pictures/projects that have caught my eye recently:

Jack Wilkie Builder based out of Colorado


MBM Custom Millworks based out of New Orleans

Pique Design based out of  California

Prutting Custom Builders based out of Connecticut

Telluride Woodworks based out of Colorado

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hey January, What's New?

Here's five brand spanking new items that we've got on The Hut this month! I'm going to feature these five well, because I think they're really neat. We constantly add new items to the site so it's pretty much impossible to keep up, but I do like to flip through the category about once a month to catch up.

Amerock Abernathy Knob
First up is the Amerock Abernathy knob I love this knob. It's a smidge modern, and a little traditional, it has good form. All around it's a classic design. Who would have thought that I would ever say, I actually like the look of the Oil Rubbed Bronze best, but it comes in Satin Nickel and Antique Silver as well.

Second, is the Renaissance push plate by Brass Accents. They've introduced a series of these that are all from roughly the same time period. The Gothic happens to be the one that I like best. These come in seven different finishes, and the detail on each one is pretty amazing.

Gothic Push Plate

Starbust Cabinet Knob
If it didn't sound creepy to say, "I'm in love with this knob!" I'd say, "I'm in love with this knob!" At the moment, this is my favorite knob on our entire site. Granted, that could change in a few days but who's keeping track? This knob screams mid century modern to me, but honestly it could be used in a number of different styles. Straight out of Mad Men, I tell ya.

This isn't nearly as pretty, but cool none the less. It's a cabinet lock that's completely hidden with a keypad to lock and unlock the door. The StealthLock operates by radio frequency. Pretty slick! I think these would be really useful in medical offices, assisted living facilities,  child care centers, gyms, probably a lot more places that I can't think of.

Keyless Cabinet Lock

Last, but certainly not least is the Top Knobs Aspen Bronze appliance pull. Cast Bronze isn't usually my thing and when I see it, it's typically rustic styles. This line does offer a more rustic look as well, but this particular pull is sleek. I'm beginning to really like the look of the clean lines and soft patinas mixed with the imperfections of bronze. Bonus, there's not many appliance handles on the market that are offered in Cast Bronze.

Aspen Bronze Appliance Pull

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