Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Handrail Brackets

If you're installing a new handrail or replacing an old one there are two main types of handrail brackets you can buy. The first being what I call a "residential bracket." I only call them this because it is what I typically see in a person's home.

Handrail Bracket
These rest under the bottom of the railing and the piece that looks like a clamp is screwed onto the underside of the railing.

The other type looks a little more like a bracket that's used commercially but I have seen it in modern homes with metal railing. These are the type with a round disc that mounts to the wall and an arm that bends in the shape of an "L" or "C" and a bracket that screws directly onto the railing. Most of these types have a flat bracket to screw onto the rail for use on a rail that has a flat bottom, but if you've got a rail that is completely round you can notch out a rectangle the size of the plate, so it sits flush.
Handrail Bracket

Handrail brackets come in almost any color ranging from a traditional polished brass to a newer finish such as flat black. Most handrail brackets have a projection of either 2-1/2in. or 2-3/4in. to the center of the railing. To meet requirements for codes a handrail should be mounted 32- 38in. off the first and last step, this seems to be the standard but you should always check locally in case your codes are different. Also, there is no specific distance between brackets that we have found that's required, but a few manufacturers as well as quite a few D.I.Y sites recommend as least every 3-4 feet. But as a tip, usually wall studs are spaced every 16in. on center so I would suggest mounting a bracket on every other stud.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Schaub's Symphony

Schaub & Company has come out with a new line of hardware over the past year called Symphony Designs. I want to mention them just because they are so beautiful. First of all, I want to say that not a single one of these pieces are in my own personal taste (I'm more of a sleek modern kinda girl) but man, these are gorgeous. They're like miniature artworks for your furniture or cabinets. And, just because something isn't my style doesn't mean I can't appreciate the beauty.

The pieces in the Symphony collection are made on a low volume basis by artisans, so each one is unique. They have very slight variations that make them one of a kind. They feature rare inlaid materials, and all the pieces are individually molded.

There are a few pieces I'll post as examples and of course I'll pick my personal favorites, but you should really check out the rest of the series.

Schaub and Company Pull
This piece reminds me of something out of the Art Nouveau period, for those art lovers out there the whole Heirloom Treasures collection reminds me of Alphonse Mucha. This pull is made out of solid brass that's been aged with a subtle greenwash. It has two types of Mother of Pearl, Tiger Penshell, and a giant piece of Jade inlaid in the center.

Schaub and Company Pull
This next piece is a branch pull that comes in a left and a right, and of course at 8" long you can't use a lot of them in one space, but a few would make a pretty big statement. The attention to detail in these is insane, the branches have little grooves that look like real bark, the flowers have tiny veins, and there are real black pearls, and crystals strategically placed on it. I can envision these on a big armoire or hutch.

Schaub and Company Pull
The octopus is probably my favorite, and I can't pinpoint why other than it just looks really cool. The best part about this piece is the design. The placement of the tentacles is perfect, the eyes are a different color than the body so they stand out, and under the tentacles they even made little indents for the suction things (I know-very technical).

Schaub and Company Pull
This is another one that I can't say exactly why I like it. The patina is perfect, it looks tangible and soft. This is a piece that just makes you want to touch it. Again, the attention to detail is incredible. It kind of reminds me of a piece cloth that's been rolled instead of a piece of metal. The entire French Court collection has the same soft look.

These are just a few pieces out of the 13 different collections that Schaub & Company for the Symphony Designs series. If you have a minute, you should check out the rest. They truly are magnificent.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Can We Help You?

I had mentioned in my first post that when you call The Hardware Hut you're likely to get one of the five people that answer the phones. Over the course of this blog you'll get to know me fairly well so I'll skip my personal details, but I would like to introduce you to my coworkers. The Hardware Hut is a division of Spokane Hardware Supply which is our physical store in Spokane Washington. When you call our 800 number for customer service you will get Cindi, Stephanie, Johnny, Kelly or I on the phone.

Visit the Hardware Hut today!In the world of Internet shopping there are a million more competitors than there would be for a bricks & mortar store. But, with having such knowledgeable, friendly staff I think we definitely have an edge over our competition. Prices typically play a big factor in ordering hardware for your home, as a consumer myself I never underestimate the power of "Value." For example, there is a small family owned hardware store up the street from my house. They sell paint, nuts & bolts, tools, and do equipment rentals so I'm not very knowledgeable in those types of hardware items. Every single time I go in there I am greeted with a hello and have employees sincerely ask me if they can help. They're friendly; they've known the answer to every question I've asked. They even let me borrow a tool once. I go there for every home improvement project I have instead of a big box store. Yes, they are more expensive (and really not by much) but the Value of the goods and services that I am getting far outweigh the price differences.

My point to that little story is that when you call The Hardware Hut you are getting a valuable shopping experience as well as great products at a competitive price. Each of us here brings our own strengths and knowledge to the table.

Cindi has worked at Spokane Hardware for 16 years. Cindi started working here in our showroom as a floor salesperson, she moved up to Showroom manager, and when the time came for a website Cindi was our very first customer service representative.

Stephanie has worked for Spokane Hardware for 18 years. Stephanie started here while she was in college studying to be a graphic designer; she started out here putting our print catalog together and over time took on more tasks. She has grown into our marketing manager. Not only does she still put our entire print catalog together, but she is in charge of adding new vendors to our website, making product announcements to customers, putting together promotions for our physical store & our website, and she does customer service for the Hardware Hut.

Johnny has worked for Spokane Hardware/The Hardware Hut for 7 years. Johnny was hired because of the growth of our internet business, initially Johnny's tasks were to focus on order entry and phone calls but Johnny has quickly picked up a number of tasks including being in charge of all international shipments, and helping add new products to our website.

Kelly has worked for Spokane Hardware/The Hardware Hut for 5 years. Even though she is the newest member of our customer service staff Kelly has brought years of customer service experience with her. Her experience has been in various fields, both in physical stores and online retailers.

Not only do we all answer your calls with Visit the Hardware Hut today! questions about your orders or the products that we sell, but the five of us deal with almost every aspect of our website (other than the actual building of our site.) If an order has been lost one of us will take care of it, if an order needs to be returned we'll take care of that too. We each have added products to our website, we change specifications or pricing if it needs to be done. When you call here you're not getting just another person who just takes phone calls, you're getting a person who has a very integral part of making our company run. We're like Customer Service, Accounting, Marketing, Data Entry, Shipping, Sales, and Hardware Guru's all wrapped into one. We've each played a big part in making Thehardwarehut.com what it is today.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hey June, What's New?

We've got four very different products that we've added to thehardwarehut.com this month. We are constantly adding new items, collections, and manufacturers to our site. Sometimes, it's even too hard for me too keep up. Since there's new stuff out all the time and it's easy to get swallowed up in all the other items we've got. I'll bring some to the forefront on this blog.

The first product I'd like to mention is a company called Gado Gado, this company works closely with Indonesian artisans to create unique, one of a kind pieces. All of their hardware items are made from hand cast brass and finished by hand in an unlacquered antique brass patina. Because of the handmade aspect, each piece is literally one of a kind and with an open finish each item will age over time. We carry cabinet hardware and a few hooks by Gado Gado and they've got some really neat intricate pieces but my favorites by far are their latches. These could go on trunks, armoires, built in cabinets, you name it. They remind me of hardware that would be found on a pirates treasure chest, or some piece of furniture that escaped an Asian dynasty. Very cool stuff!

Gado Gado Latches

First Impressions has been a manufacturer of ours for a while, they specialize in door pulls. They've made some really neat custom items such as dolphin door pulls, pulls shaped like dog bones, and even a guitar door pull. We tend to sell items of a more simple variety by them. They've introduced a line of door pulls specifically made for shower doors. These pulls come in a set of two and are made to be mounted back to back. They come in a variety of sizes and styles.

First Impressions Shower Pulls

Berenson is another company that we've been distributing for ages. They seem to come out with new items fairly regularly and typically do a good job of judging what customers want. One of their newest collections is called Art Nouveau. They offer this collection in three different finishes, Vintage Bronze, Venetian Bronze, and Vintage Nickel which conjure nostalgic images of an age gone by. The floral motif is just simple enough that it doesn't come off as frilly or over the top, yet adds a hint of softness to each piece.

Berenson Art Nouveau Collection

Another new collection that we've added this month is the Atlas Homeswares,Sutton Place. This collection is reminiscent of 1930's New York City; sophisticated, elegant, with clean geometric lines. This Sutton Place comes in Venetian Bronze, Brushed Nickel, and the reemerging Polished Nickel. Atlas Homewares also offers cabinet hardware in the Sutton Place collection for a completed look.

Atlas Sutton Place Collection

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Monday, June 8, 2009


Amerock has once again pulled ahead as the industry leader in innovation. Amerock has just come out with some new collections that I think are going to be trend setting.

Blackrock Knob!
The first collection is called Blackrock. This collection is unique because it offers standard and over sized knobs in square and round.Blackrock Pendant! On the pendant pulls they've engineered and patented the design so that when the bail swings back down it will not hit the cabinet. This collection has clean strong design elements that would compliment a utilitarian galley kitchen or a contemporary cottage and almost any design in between.

Highland Ridge Cup Pull! The next collection is called Highland Ridge, I have to say that his is probably my new favorite collection. Amerock has managed to take period accurate design elements such as the cabinet latch and Highland Ridge Cabinet Latch!exposed screws on the cup pull, and they've paired those with modern finishes and smooth curves to create a unique collection. Highland Ridge is reminiscent of early 20th century kitchen hardware, but it's less utilitarian and more elegant.

Revitalize Knob!
Another offering from Amerock that I think will be popular is the Revitalize collection. The name says it all, this collection is a traditional style that has been revitalized. This collection takes typical traditional design elements such as round knobs with grooves and faux Revitalize Pull!backplates and matched them to pulls that have detail but are square in shape. Mixing the two elements still gives the collection a formal, classy feel but not overdone or outdated. It's a collection that is timeless. In the revitalize collection Amerock is introducing Gilded Bronze. A warm golden finish designed to coordinate with the latest in kitchen cabinet, appliances, lighting designs and color palettes.

Riva Pull!
Last but certainly not least is the Riva collection. If you want dramatic without all the fuss, this collection is it. The Riva collection emphasizes bold crisp lines that accent any modern kitchen. There's no frills or fancy detail on these knobs and pulls,Riva Knob! yet with the color choices of Satin Nickel and a new finished called Graphite they'll definitely draw attention. The Urban design is a trend on the rise, suburbanites and small town residents love the look of a mid-city loft. The Riva collection brings the big city to your home.

Not only are these new collections innovative in the style offerings and design themes but Amerock is expanding their size ranges. Starting with these four collections Amerock is offering their pulls in 3in., 3-3/4in., 5in., 6-1/4in., 8in., 12in., and 18in. hole spacing. With the variety of sizes available of the pulls in these collections you can do all of your doors, drawers, over sized drawers, dishwashers, freezers, and refrigerators in matching hardware. You've now got a complete, well designed, put together room to enjoy.

*** For the month of June www.thehardwarehut.com has the new Amerock collections on sale for an extra 10% off our regular price***

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Entertainment Centers

If you are building your own entertainment center or have an existing one that you want to update, we've got all the components to make a fully functional unit. It seems like most people want an armoire type cabinet, which is typically two doors that house the TV and some drawers below. For this application we have the hinges, the slides for the doors & drawers, the pull out TV swivel, and the knobs and pulls for the finishing touches.
For the cabinet portion of the unit we offer what are called pivot pocket door slides. These slides allow the doors to open and push back into the unit giving you an unobstructed view of the TV without having the doors hanging open into the room.

Pivot Pocket Door Slides

Another option would be to use some armoire hinges, which will allow the doors to open up and wrap around the frame to about 270 degrees. Again, you've got a good view of the TV and it moves the doors out of the way.
Armoire Hinges

Inside the cabinet you could use a TV swivel/slide. I like the model below because you can use your own platform to put the TV on for a custom look. There is another model available that comes with a black metal platform. The swivel slide allows you to pull the TV out of the cabinet and rotate it 180 degrees in both directions.
TV Swivel Slide

For the drawers below you can use a regular drawer slide, typical of what you see in kitchens. These come in various lengths to accommodate drawer depths, and they come in ball bearing for heaver items.
Drawer Slides

Also, for the person who's got every type of media and gadget we've got the little components to give the whole unit a finished look like grommets for the all of the wires and cables.

Media storage rails that go on the inside of the drawers for CD's and DVD's. And of course, the finishing touches the decorative knobs and pulls for the outside. This is where you can get creative and put anything you want.

In today's world it seems like everyone has a TV, DVD player, Stereo System, and some sort of Gaming System and that's a lot of stuff to be out in the open. So, if you've been planning on making an entertainment center or if you have one and just want to spruce it up check out all these neat products to pull it together.

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