Disguising Modern Amenities in a Victorian Remodel

Victorian Bin Pull in polished nickel

Any Canadians in the house? May 23rd marked Victoria Day for our neighbors to the north. To celebrate, Corey at Design Kula commemorated the day with a post on Victorian sculleries. I love the picture he posted of the dish drying rack over the huge sink! His post inspired the Victorian snoop in me and I started searching other images of authentic Victorian kitchens, keeping an eye on the hardware, of course.

I stopped my scroll down dead in my tracking pad when I came across this remarkable period restoration of a Victorian kitchen in Portland. Posted on Old House Online last year, the article documents the pains Kim and Roy Fox took to get their museum-like kitchen right. Even though the hardware source is not mentioned, I knew the maker right away–Horton Brasses!

If it wasn’t for the homeowner’s desire to hide the electronic advances of their new kitchen, the hardware may not have been showcased in the photo gallery. This particular shot shows off a clever design solution. The pull hides the dishwasher’s cycle display.

Kim & Roy Fox went for period accuracy when they remodeled their Portland Victorian home. That’s why they chose Horton Brasses hardware—known for its period accuracy.

I personally have this pull in my kitchen in two different finishes—antique brass and polished nickel. It is also on the Horton Brasses website in dark antique and light antique brass. So I’ve seen this Victorian inspired pull in 4 out of 7 available finishes.

Well, now make that five.

Dark antique, light antique and polished nickel finishes. Is it just me or does the finish really transform the mood of these pulls? The dark antique looks staid, conservative and simple. Even though it is a decorative pull, I could see it in a Shaker or Mission style kitchen. Light antique is putting off a strong Victorian vibe to me. And the polished nickel is making me feel very 30’s, 40’s, 50’s; very glam Hollywood Regency.

My kitchen, my pull. Antique brass subdues the decoration, making this ornate pull an unexpected detail in an otherwise simple kitchen.

I am not sure what finish the Fox family used, but my guess is bright brass. Orion, you want to weigh in on this? What’s interesting to me is that look of the pull really varies depending on the finish.

Because of the sand cast relief design, the finish of the bright brass and polished nickel is quite dramatic. Only the raised areas are polished, so the recessed sections remain darker and non-reflective.

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One thought on “Disguising Modern Amenities in a Victorian Remodel

  1. Orion Henderson says:

    Love this post for a few reasons. One, our VT-71 Victorian pull is a pleasure to touch. I love it and always have.

    2. It appears that the Fox’s ordered our dark antique finish and then polished it themselves. This is great. All of our 7 finishes have their place, but I love it when people take what we do and make it their own. With a little brass polish and some elbow grease you can really make things standout.

    3. Surprisingly, dark antique is the most popular finish for the Victorian hardware. We added dark as a stock finish some years ago and it completely changed the dynamic of a number of our parts.

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