The Bookcases Are Looking Like Something

I wasted no time getting them set up – doors back on and books in the house. Now it looks like someone lives here, in a non-messy way. At least at this corner.


Then as soon as I got it looking like this I took everything out of the base cabinets and drilled about 10 holes in them. Why? Because I inherited a nice stereo… and then decided that putting the TV in the living room isn’t beneath me.


So… a 1970’s or 80’s-ish cabinet that puts the TV behind doors near the floor. And I’m probably not hip enough to make good use of a stereo that plays vinyl records, CD’s, and the TV but can’t talk to a computer or phone. I’m considering getting a chromecast for music and a cable for the TV, but the audio ports on the stereo receiver are all taken so I’d have to improvise something. And all this can wait anyway.

Then the stereo receiver was missing an antenna so I made my own with speaker wire. It’s kind of strange. It will stop working randomly and without warning or sometimes if I walk past it in the wrong spot. But at least it’s all hidden from view! Then as I was typing this it stopped working again. Maybe it’s time to go to Radio Shack.


Anyways, you know I like things anachronistic. But the hardware on these cabinets is really terrible.Not just the looks either, they’re hollow and not real brass. Why anyone would spend thousands on custom cabinetry made of solid mahogany and then get this kind of junk is beyond me.


My first instinct was to play up the Colonial look with polished brass HL hinges and knobs.

Brass Hinge.jpg

Then I decided it’s more Ward Cleaver’s den than the Duke of Gloucester Street. So what about iron hardware? I’d stick with squared off hinges like the ones above since the piece is still a bit more refined than what my grandparents had in their kitchens. Then I saw what all decorative hinges would cost and decided to be bloggy and spray paint the existing hinges black. But now I’m thinking that antique brass worked anyway and I could just get knobs in antique brass (real brass this time) and keep the hinges as they are. Maybe something like this.

antique brass cabinet knob.jpg

I don’t want to buy anything from a photo though. Especially anything with a faux finish. I also don’t want to pay 10 bucks for shipping because that’s a racket. I’ll come up with something soon.

Meanwhile in the kitchen, I’m not sure if I like the brass knobs with the teal paint after all.



I’m leaning towards shiny chrome, which would match the faucet and make the kitchen look a little more retro. So I could just get ordinary shiny brass hinges instead for the bookcase instead of those fancy ones and use these knobs and it would cost less. But I’ll be leaving the doors sans knobs for now, but you can let me know what you think!



9 thoughts on “The Bookcases Are Looking Like Something

  1. aisling

    I love the brass look! We recently went into a turn of the century lamp shop to find parts for our bathroom lamps, only to discover a world of brass fittings in there too. We came out with our pockets full. They’re lovely, but you should definitely upgrade the ones on the cabinet. I don’t get it either – creating a beautiful piece and then spoiling the effect with cheap fittings. Makes no sense…


  2. Christine Harris

    Love your living room and TV is in a good place in that bookcase unit.
    Don’t know if you are even thinking of drapes for the window, but please don’t — I love the light, airy, clean look as it is now, with those nice shades. I have no opinion on the drawer pulls.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I plan to replace the windows and (re)install interior casing. I bought the cheapest blinds the Home Depot had and they’re not as nice as they look in the photo. I haven’t figured out what the permanent window treatments would be yet.


  3. Mary Elizabeth

    Hi! I am all for antique brass on that cabinet (because of the classic style of the doors) and chrome knobs in the kitchen. Here’s something like the midcentury modern style ones I bought for my 1950’s bathroom vanity:

    Mine are still nice and clean and shiny after four years.

    It’s OK to buy these on line, as if you don’t like them you can return them at the store. Look at both Lowe’s and Home Depot (or Menard’s, if that’s what is near you) for the brass fittings for the cabinet.

    Do not forget Etsy and eBay for getting used brass fixtures (although you can’t see them in person, so that’s a disadvantage). Also, the HFH ReStore often has these things, sometimes new in package. I got great 1980’s style cabinet hardware for my old camp trailer at Ocean State Job Lots at 88 cents per knob. There is probably not one near you, but there is probably some equivalent type of big lots store that sells remainders of clothing, hardware, kitchen ware, etc.


    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Thanks. Yeah I was thinking of getting Baldwin knobs from a local dealer for the bookcase but balked at the price of 37 knobs if ingot something fancy in the kitchen. That looks like a more doable price!


    2. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      Only thing about etsy and eBay is when I only need 6, shipping charges make it not cost effective. I know all too well that anything brass or traditional goes for sacrificial low prices and should always be bought ised



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