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OPHH BLOG

Posted by Joseph     0 Comments Thursday, August 27, 2009
New 8" Ceramic Tiles and New Glaze Colors by Norm Lewellen
Norm Lewellen of Lewellen Studio has recently created and released many new ceramic tile designs in an 8 inch size. Many of the new designs draw upon Norm's love and appreciation of nature and botanical s. Norm has developed a very large body of work over the years and is well known for his deep relief tile designs which fit well within the Arts & Crafts style environment.

Over the past year, Norm had built an entirely new facility with the sole purpose of producing his high quality tiles. Solid color field tiles in varying sizes are also available in the same glaze color options as the deep relief decorative tiles. Norm has meticulously developed 27 new signature glazes. There are 8 matte glazes, 5 satin glazes, and 14 glossy glazes.

OPHH offers the entire Lewellen Studio tile collection in all glaze color options. Lewellen Studio tile is suitable for all installation purposes such as back splashes, fireplaces, as well as for framing. OPHH also offers many of the tile designs in solid cast bronze.

My personal favorite tile from this latest batch of new tiles is Raven Watch (pictured above/center).
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Posted by Joseph     1 Comments Friday, August 21, 2009
Identity Crisis! - House Numbers Gone Wild! (or is it Just Gone Missing)?


All too often, I see a home's identity in crisis. It is beyond me how someone can spend so much money for their home and neglect one simple and important thing. A home's name and registration code. Functionally, it helps in locating the home. Aesthetically, it reinforces architecture and personalization.

I see so many homes without any house numbers or house number marker at all. I see so many homes with a hint of a house number. And I see so many with outdated, tired, or poorly sized or placed numbers. To me the worse offender is the number stickers placed directly onto brick, and arranged on an angle. I really don't care for numbers on an angle. They are hard to read and I think it may have been a 50's thing. Or have you seen the number decals stuck directly onto the mailbox? I also see so many beautiful homes with a faded out wood marker that looks like it should be on someone's camp on a lake. You know...the ones with the jagged ends.

There are many great options with varying costs. Individual numbers are the least cost ranging from $12 to $42 each. Individual numbers should be placed onto a surface of the home with a background color that provides contrast from the finish of the number(s). Individual numbers are more flexible in terms of placement on the home. House number plaques or markers typically have their own contrast, and are offered in many sizes, designs, and colors. House markers can also reinforce the homes architectural style, and project the home owners style. Markers can cost as little as $54.

The bottom line is that nice house numbers or house number markers can significantly improve a homes curb appeal and make it easier for the pizza delivery guy/gal (and police and firemen) to locate your home. The cost is minimal and installation is extremely easy.

Oak Park Home & Hardware offers many INDIVIDUAL HOUSE NUMBER options as well as HOUSE NUMBER MARKER options. If you would like suggestions, send us a picture of your home via email!
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Posted by Joseph     1 Comments Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Another Home Transformation Right Here On My Street!

Here is another great example of an ongoing home exterior transformation taking place right here on my street. This home owner (Ken) wanted to improve his home's curb appeal, as well as address a deteriorating walkway. Ken had hired a contractor for the hard-scape work and I was hired for his lighting needs. After rendering a number of options, we settled on the Valencia series by Arroyo Craftsman for the post lantern and wall mount fixture. We felt it was not only appropriate for this beautiful English Tudor style home, but it also echoed the prominent turret in its architecture. We used the Gold White Iridescent glass and Bronze finish. Functionally, it provides ample lighting for the entry and walkway.

Ken was so pleased with us that he is also ordering a mailbox, new house number plaque, and we are creating a custom over-sized doorbell to replace his old vertical mail slot (see article below). Ken has also asked me to assist with the Garden-scape design!

This circa 1930 home is looking great!
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Posted by Joseph     1 Comments Monday, August 17, 2009
Replacing That Old Vertical Mail Slot with A New Mailbox or Doorbell

Here in Chicago, many of our older homes were built with a vertical mail slot with an interior access door. This is especially true for our brick Bungalows and English Tudor style homes. Unfortunately, many mail slots have become rather nonfunctional as they are typically too small for today's mail. And many of them have either lost their door flap or hinge pins. I cannot tell you how many inquiries we receive asking if we have replacements! Trouble is, there were so many different sizes and many were made specifically for the home or builder at that time. Most are cast brass.

There are options:

If your vertical mail slot is intact, you can simply purchase and install a new mailbox and secure the door flap shut.

You can have the mail slot removed and brick in (or stucco over) the cavity left from removal. You would still have the interior access door as a historic remnant. A new mailbox can then be placed over the same location or installed in an even better location. My neighbor just had this done by his tuck pointer (mason) and it looks great.

What I did with my own Tudor style home is pull out the old mail slot, stuffed the cavity with insulation, covered the cavity with a copper sheet using silicone. And I had a custom over-sized, copper doorbell made by one of our Craftsman. It is a rose design. The old doorbell was right below the mail slot so the wiring was there. We then installed a new mailbox right next to it that can accommodate mail, magazines, and such. As for the old interior mail slot access door, I just keep the dog walking apparatus in there. Sweet!
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Posted by Joseph     0 Comments Sunday, August 16, 2009
FREE Bottle of Virgin Olive Oil with Purchase Of Enclume Pot Rack


Oak Park Home & Hardware (OPHH) is providing a FREE bottle of virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar with purchase of an Enclume Pot Rack! Olive Oil and Vinegar is provided by Olive & Well of Oak Park, IL. We think the 2 products work well together. You get to select the flavor or type of olive oil or vinegar.
 
Enclume pot racks and kitchen furniture is handmade in USA of high quality materials. Many of the pot racks are offered in a variety of finishes from Hammered Steel (least cost), Stainless Steel, Copper Plated, and Brass Plated.
 
There is also a "Value Priced" pot rack series called the "Rack It Up" series. The material is also steel but only offered in a powder coated gray finish. Pricing for the "Rack It Up" series starts at $24.99. Sorry...the "Rack It Up" series is excluded from the free olive oil offer.
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Posted by Joseph     2 Comments Sunday, August 16, 2009
New Lighting Designs by Arroyo Craftsman - Glencoe and Woodlawn
Oak Park Home & Hardware (OPHH) has recently added 2 new lighting series' by Arroyo Craftsman.
 
Glencoe Series:  This lighting series seems perfect for a variety of architectural styles from Craftsman to Contemporary. The Glencoe series is offered in a wet rated wall mount fixture, as well as a hanging pendant, column mount fixture, and dry rated wall sconce. We sort of wished that they also came out with a wet rated version of this wall sconce. We can do custom with Arroyo Craftsman and can most likely have this wall sconce made with a closed top making it a wet rated fixture.
 
Woodlawn Series:  We have been needing a pendant design such as this for quite some time. This design will work for many of the turn of the century row homes and four square homes within the Chicago area. The metal portion is offered in all Arroyo Craftsman finishes. There is only one glass option.
 
Just a reminder....WET Rated is for a fully exposed exterior location. DAMP Rated is for exterior use in a protected area such as a large overhang or porch. DRY Rated is for interior use only. Some people do use WET and DAMP rated fixtures for interior use. The finish can make the difference in giving it an interior look or exterior look.
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Oak Park Home & Hardware specializes in lighting products in the spirit of Arts & Crafts, Mission, Prairie, Bungalow, English Tudor, Tudor Manor, and Spanish Revival styles.

We have developed unique relationships with many of our Craftsmen, and suppliers of products allowing customization for our customers. All at very competitive pricing!

© 2017 Oak Park Home & Hardware, Inc.
Oak Park Home & Hardware offer high quality lighting designs. We provide customized lighting solutions with manufacturers such as Arroyo Craftsman Lighting, Mica Lamp Company, 2nd Ave Lighting, and UltraLights Lighting.

We also offer quality lighting products with manufacturers such as Quoizel, James Mattson Coppercraft, and Lundberg Studios. Please check out our unique lighting designs in the style of Greene and Greene!

We offer handcrafted Mission style hardware, Craftsman style mailboxes, Arts & Crafts style house numbers and so much more. Please bookmark us!
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