Finished piano island… back to the kitchen.
if you’re new to the piano, start here! This is part 7… here is: part one, two, three, four, five, six
A refresher: we live in an old Victorian house + I love old/giant/impractical objects = an antique grand piano kitchen island.
The last time you saw the repurposed-piano kitchen island, we had designed the storage, and built and installed the drawers… but we still needed pulls for the drawer faces.
We couldn’t finish the front without knowing exactly what the hardware would be.
If you’re new, this is the post to read to understand the how/why of the design details… here’s the series of piano posts: getting it, epic quest, deconstructing/gutting, debating design, building drawers.
This is where we were:
It took me THIS long to find handles that I loved.
Which is the precise problem with trying to create what lives in your imagination, rather than simply going to the store and choosing from options that actually exist.
I wanted something brass. That was large. And appropriately fancy. And of course old. And I needed three.
And just to make it impossible, I also wanted something recessed into the wood so that the hardware wasn’t disrupting the line/visual/some detail I have in my head that doesn’t matter to anyone else.
I thought I might end up compromising on something like this; choosing simplicity and BEING FINISHED, over MORE LOOKING.
But then these finally showed up.
I spent the last year digging through boxes of hardware at auctions and salvage yards…and I also saved about 900 search-term combinations on eBay.
Every phrase I could think of related to: brass/antique/hardware/drawer/pulls/Victorian/ornate/heavy/giant/recessed/fancy.
Which meant I spent a lot of time wading through ebay-notification emails… and plenty of time being disappointed when I found something I really liked! But ARGH! Was only one or two, rather than the set of three we needed.
The front/face hides a double-decker drawer that provides a LOT of storage and organizing options, while keeping the exterior appearance simple and true to the original style of the piano.
We skipped hardware for the skinny drawers under the piano, because you just grab the bottom/under lip.
I was a little bit worried that trying to grasp the centerpiece/handle bit would be an issue, (obviously I ignored this possible problem in favor of visually getting exactly what I wanted) but it turned out fine – you don’t actually pinch the center bar, you just put your fingers underneath the handle’s lip, like a cup pull.
New topic: The last time I wrote about the kitchen, we took out the half bath and ripped up the floor in the addition… at the time, Elvis was reaching the end of her vet’s-best-case-scenario-hypothetical-timeline and the LAST thing I wanted was to have a lot of chaos if she was fading. I cannot overstate my gratitude that she is somehow still here! And my preference would be to continue to postpone all kitchen stuff indefinitely and spend whatever time we have left taking her outside to supervise the squirrels.
HOWEVER. Elvis and I live with this other person… and this other person has some scheduled vacation time coming up. And if he doesn’t get to use it work on the kitchen, his head will explode.
And seeing as how the man drove 14 hours in two days to make all my dreams come true, it does seem like the very LEAST I can do is try to keep his skull intact. So. We’ve ordered windows for the back wall… theoretically, it will look like this… BUT FANCIER.
Now I have two important announcements: 1. My career as a motivational hoarder is beginning! I will be in New Hampshire, in October, speaking about self-actualization through Giant Fancy Things.
A gathering of New England’s best antiques, vintage and re-purposed dealers in a huge Victorian barn built in the late 1800’s. — Sage Farm Antiques, Autumn Spectacular, October 7th-9th… Facebook event page.
Magically, this will put me 20 minutes from my best friend, AND allow me to shop a BARN FULL OF GFT’s (and also SFT’s— SMALL fancy things, and also hopefully BFT’s— BROKEN fancy things)… and if they give me a microphone, a kitten, and a Marine, my life will be complete. I really, really, REALLY hope that I’ll get to meet some of you! (But please do not try to buy anything I am interested in.)
2. I am LIVING for this necklace.
It’s BLUE! It’s SHINY! It has TASSELS! It’s WEIRDLY LARGE!
But to truly
drive yourself crazy enjoy the necklace as I have, you have to buy two… then you have to remove the fringe from one and add it to the other… This should take roughly 14 hours, and involve two pair of needle nose pliers and a deep desire to stab someone; and also give you ample time to question your life-goals.
I had more to say about this, but then I remembered that I have already written an ode to necklaces. I revisited it, and I still like it. It’s an early post, and I use the s-word; because it was before I rooted out any offensive element of my personality so that I would appeal to as many people as possible… leaving only the bland shell you see before you today.
May 5, 2016 @ 10:17 am
Oh, I love the hardware. The piano-as-kitchen-island is brilliant in conception and execution.
Glad your Spousal Unit won’t have to have an exploding head.
And I wished I lived closer to New Hampshire. 🙂
May 24, 2016 @ 11:56 pm
If you haven’t already- please try to connect with Matthew Mead when in NH. He is amazing. tell him Kristina Bailey his old paper girl demanded you reach out to him. You have many shared interests and I know would get along great. he was born and raised in NH and knows antique alley, and all the incredible little nooks tourists don’t know about.
You can find him on facebook here.
May 5, 2016 @ 10:20 am
Congratulations on your speaking engagement! LOVE that you put an old piano back to good use.
May 5, 2016 @ 10:21 am
I love the island, it turned out magnificently!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:23 am
You’re waiting and searching has paid off. Those pulls are perfect!! LOVE your GFTs!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:24 am
The Island looks great! Your hubby seems to have professional carpentry skills!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:25 am
Congratulations on finishing the piano island. The hardware you chose was worth the wait!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:25 am
Ok, that piano/kitchen island is FANTASTIC!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:27 am
“bland shell’??? Oh, I don’t think so!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:27 am
Wow. That piano and its pulls are fantastic. Worth the wait to search for them. I’m inspired to go do something constructive in my own home this weekend now, like plant a flower in a pot or something. Wish I still lived in Boston and I’d be at that GFT Festival for sure!
May 5, 2016 @ 10:28 am
They are exquisite! Worth every ebay notification!
I once spent two years reading ebay notifications daily to find a pair of bottle green 1970s granny boots like the ones in “Nightbirds on Nantucket”, so….
May 5, 2016 @ 11:27 am
Oooh, oooh, you just inspired instant recall from one of my favorite Aiken books!
Christina in FL
May 5, 2016 @ 10:32 am
VEB, I can’t wait to see your gorgeous island with a top on it. 🙂
May 5, 2016 @ 10:34 am
Great find!!! Take a look at the online estate sale… It made me think of all your craiglist searches and awesome finds…. What material are you going to top the piano with???
May 5, 2016 @ 10:35 am
Perfection! How you continue to find the perfect thing is amazing and WAY out of my patience zone. I settle. Bleh…
I think I will just hire YOU to find what is in my head for me. 🙂
May 5, 2016 @ 10:40 am
It looks brilliant, good things come to th ose who wait (or obsessively search without compromising their dreams) very proud and hugs to Elvis
May 5, 2016 @ 10:43 am
Or search ebth on Facebook.
May 5, 2016 @ 10:53 am
I agree with the others, the hardware was worth the wait. Your island piano is a masterpiece, surely your finished kitchen will be a monument to fanciness. Early October in New Hampshire, your event, plus antiques sounds like a wonderful weekend getaway to me.
May 5, 2016 @ 11:01 am
Oh my gosh! The piano island is fantastic and will be spectacular when the marble is on! Can’t wait to see it all finished so please don’t make us wait too long!!!!
Garden, Home and Party
May 5, 2016 @ 11:02 am
This island turned out even better than I had imagined. I’ve forgotten, will there be a hard surface on top?
I’m so happy and relieved to hear that Elvis is hanging in there. Maybe she’s hoping to see the kitchen finished. 🙂
Wish I could attend that event…it would be fun to actually meet you, and your necklace! 🙂
May 5, 2016 @ 11:07 am
The piano island looks FABULOUS, you definitely did the right thing in waiting for just the right hardware to come along, they go so perfectly it was like they were originally there! I can’t wait to see the new windows at the end of the kitchen, and I’m so glad Elvis is still around and doing fairly well. I’m so excited for your speaking event! I wish I wasn’t clear across the country and could attend! I hope you find lots and lots of FTs in every shape and size! Have fun!
May 5, 2016 @ 11:13 am
Lovely drawer pulls!
I am happy to hear that Elvis is doing so well.
It is the person who spits out swear words that is bland – I mean just about everyone swears, so it doesn’t have any effect. It is the lady who can say with just the right look or non swear phrase her distain for something, that has truly mastered a skill – and is not bland. She is usually much more colorful than the one who uses “colorful” language:)
June 18, 2016 @ 6:18 pm
‘I dont spew profanities, I enunciate them clearly, like a lady’