Help Finding Era-Appropriate House Accessories
April 18, 2017 7:24 PM   Subscribe

We recently purchased a house built in the PNW in 1908 and we'd like to outfit it in era-appropriate accessories - outlet plates, light switch covers, etc.

It's easy to find resources for decorating - furniture, wallpaper, drapery, and what not, but that's not what we're after. We'd like the smaller touches, like era-appropriate finishes on plate covers, faucet knobs, things of that nature.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
posted by dotgirl to Home & Garden (16 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This is pretty much why stores like Restoration Hardware and Rejunivation exist.
posted by saradarlin at 7:27 PM on April 18 [5 favorites]

This page has a lot of inspiration, as well as a pointer to an article: Dr. Fred E. H. Schroeder’s excellent article “More Small Things Forgotten: Domestic Electrical Plugs and Receptacles, 1881-1931” published in the periodical “Technology and Choice” published in 1991 by the University of Chicago.

I have no idea whether old Bakelite light switches are still up to code, but if you want more authentic than just brass outlet/switch covers, that's probably the way to go.
posted by supercres at 7:30 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]

They won't have everything you're looking for, but if you need cabinet pulls and the like, I've been very happy with everything I've ordered from Kennedy Hardware, and their prices are far more reasonable than many other places.
posted by Adridne at 7:32 PM on April 18

My house was built in the 50s, so this might not be useful for a house as old as yours, but when we re-painted our living room and I wanted period-appropriate switchplates, I found them on etsy.
posted by Orlop at 7:35 PM on April 18

Here ya go: House of Antique Hardware.

Also, if you're not familiar with Old House Journal, I highly recommend it.
posted by scratch at 8:25 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]

I found that getting to know the neighbors was the best way of seeing older style hardware or trim that was appropriate. Lots of people had a room or two untouched. eBay is the place. I bought some great lighting and doorknobs (in the collectibles catagory rather than antiques).
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:30 PM on April 18

Hit Hippo Hardware in Portland. Great deals on old and new items from various periods.
posted by Zedcaster at 8:40 PM on April 18 [4 favorites]

Try Second Use and EarrhWise, especially the latter. They do salvage, and may have what you need. Also, ReStore in Ballard.
posted by dbmcd at 9:03 PM on April 18

Period for 1908 is before the invention of the current two prong receptacle standard.

supercres: "
I have no idea whether old Bakelite light switches are still up to code,

They aren't unless you are replacing a currently installed switch. And because they don't mount to a standard box installing them even if you don't care about listings is problematic. Your best bet, if you really want those switches, would be to use them as extra low voltage switches for a lighting control panel.
posted by Mitheral at 10:10 PM on April 18

In Seattle:

These places are both great for what you're after. Five minutes from each other, so it's easy to hit both in one trip.
posted by gribbly at 12:56 AM on April 19

We've found a lot of neat reproductions that work with modern systems at reasonable prices here: I've also had good luck with house of Antique Hardware and Rejuvenation.
posted by DarthDuckie at 5:34 AM on April 19

Also these guys have tons of the push button light switch covers: They have a ton of configurations in different finishes.

If I had a mission period home I would get this kitty switch from Kyle:
posted by DarthDuckie at 6:05 AM on April 19

Mostly just bath fixtures, but the unsettlingly named has some great stuff.
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:13 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]

OMG. Seconding Hippo Hardware (1906 PNW house). That place is like crack. The people who work there are incredibly knowledgeable and they have a ton of plate covers etc. there.
posted by nanook at 9:30 AM on April 19

Liz's Antique Hardware in LA has **everything** and a lot of it is available via their website.
posted by BlahLaLa at 1:30 PM on April 19

Hippo Hardware is exactly the type of thing I'm looking for! More of that, please!

posted by dotgirl at 2:11 PM on April 19

« Older Have all therapists heard of "Pure O" OCD?   |   Another Question About a Half-Remembered Book Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments