Jewelry for your furniture

August 16, 2010

How to add a custom touch to furniture with decorative knobs and hardware.


Often I think it’s the little things that make a big difference when decorating – or maybe I should say little splurges. :) Things like decorative pulls and light switch covers make me smile. But they aren’t cheap, and they certainly aren’t a necessity, so I add them as I can.

One of my favorite little details are pretty knobs. You can absolutely transform the look of a piece of furniture with just new hardware. 

I showed you the fab selection of knobs and handles at my local True Value:


Excuse me while I wipe the drool…

Recently I was on a mission to find just the right knobs for my Craigslist buffet in the foyer:

I found the most beauteous glass knobs and they made a HUGE difference on this piece:

black dresser with glass knobs

Ohhh, aren’t they lovely? All that glitter for five bucks each. 

One thing to watch for when you change out hardware is how the finish looks underneath. Sometimes if knobs are installed too tightly, they will damage the wood.

The person who painted my buffet (before I bought it) put the knobs on before the paint had cured. So they were practically glued to the drawers. (I had to take a hammer to a few of them!!)

I still need to touch up the paint around some of the new knobs because of that:

The brass hardware on my other recent Craigslist purchase is actually quite beautiful:


Yes, you heard me right. I just said brass was PRETTY. It’s the antique looking brass though, not the blinding shiny stuff. :)

I found some brass polish at True Value and went after these beauties with an old tooth brush:

brass polish

The old finish is on the left, the cleaned finish is on the right:

Loverly! Not all of them cleaned up that well, but I’m just chalking it all up to the beauty of an old piece.

Obviously, I’ve had a bit of a Craigslist dresser obsession lately.  :) A few weeks ago I picked up a Henredon dresser for our bedroom for only $50  (I’ll show you soon!), so I was moving dressers around all over the house. 

The old dresser in our bedroom moved to the guest room, and the one in the guest room had no home.

It’s the one from the Bub’s nursery, and it’s just lovely:

Sigh. Boohoo…I changed my baby on this dresser for so very long. :)

I knew I wanted to use it somewhere, and then it hit me – with the new table-turned-desk for the office, I needed storage. Why not put the dresser in there?

As it was, it just looked a little off. So I was off to True Value again, checking out their selection. I found just the knobs I was looking for, and then picked up one of these jobbies as well:

guide for installing dresser handles

I had one of these guides years ago and have no idea where it went – I was SO glad to see they had them! Turns out my hardware screw holes were two inches across, so I none of the holes on the guide matched up. I just drilled a new hole where I needed it, which made it a little harder to keep level. (Ignore the circles – those were reminders for another project.)

Normally you could just rest the ledge of the guide on  your drawer. But I’m difficult. Always. :)

I used the original hole in the drawer as my center, and made sure the two for the new pulls were level by using a small level on top of the guide. Then I marked the spots with a pen and drilled the new holes:

And installed my purdy new pulls!:

dark hardware pulls on white dresser

Love love LOVE! It makes it look so much more office-y. :)

(Just imagine it without the brick wall color and the cords piled up next to it, and with molding on the wall and all new art and accessories…umkay?)

I lined the drawers with a fun green contact paper:

You know I love you when I show you where I keep my Dymo label maker.

And would you looky there…room to grow:

It’s going to work great in the office!

Speaking of the new look, I think I found all of my paint colors for the redo as well:

With white molding, of course. :) Now, I just need to paint. My lazy summer living side is not looking forward to that…but my fall is coming, let’s get things DONE side is saying let’s just do it already!!

We’ll see who wins. ;)

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  1. everything looks great! i love dressers too... its an obsession!

    the glass pulls look awesome with the black!

    the black knobs look awesome with the white!

    haha =)

  2. Awesome!! All of the dressers and knobs look lovely! Can't wait to see the room redo. Beautiful colors and fabric. :)

  3. Those glass knobs make such a HUGE difference... just beautiful!

    Love the fabric and paint, can't wait to see what you do with it.

    And girl, don't be so hard on yourself, you are SO not lazy, you amaze me at the projects you get done in a week. Keep up the good work! :)

  4. I love glass knobs! They look so pretty! Good job! :)

  5. I love the glass knobs! Your half moon pulls are the same ones I have in my living room, bar, and bathrooms:)

  6. I looove the glass handles! The look so beautiful!

  7. I am craving your contact paper. The green with the print would be perfect for my kitchen and pantry which I am reorganizing. Pleeeeze tell me where I can find some. Thanks for more inspiration. My OCD starts working overtime every time I read your blog.

  8. I love, love, LOVE your fabric and paint colors you picked out. I knew I wanted to go along with those tones for my living room, but I couldn't find my inspiration until NOW. Where can I find that material? I need to have it!

  9. Ok, you're in Indiana, right? So am I. So where is this True Value with the great hardware selection??? Inquiring Hoosier minds want to know!


  10. Hey Sarah!
    Love, love, love the glass knobs on your buffet! It makes a HUGE difference in the look of the piece! Oh and I'm a sucker for bin pulls on any piece of really took that piece from nursery to office in a heartbeat!
    I have one of those little green hardware placement contraptions, those things are great!
    I too, can feel fall is coming...can't wait for those cooler's been a scorcher here!
    Have a great week and go listen to your booty and paint! :)

  11. I wanna know how you find these things on craigslist! There must be something to your area.... Been looking for dressers and buffet tables for months and have seen nothing.....

    I keep looking because you inspire me!

  12. Pulls/knobs are incredibly expensive. I bought some years ago for my son's dresser that I re-stained. They were basketball, football and baseball shaped. The dresser eventually went to the dump, but I still have the knobs 'cause they were so pricey! Hmm, maybe I should sell them on Craigslist!

  13. Thank you for sharing! These are great tips. You rock.

  14. The glass knobs look great! I know you're lovin' on True Value right now, but you could have gotten those knobs waaaaayyyy cheaper on eBay. I bought hammered copper knobs for my entire kitchen during our renovation for less than $1 each and they are GORGEOUS!

  15. Wonderful!

    and love the crystal looking knobs.
    Great blog!
    I'll be back for sure,
    xoxo~Kathy @
    Sweet Up-North Mornings...

  16. Oh, I love the hardware you've chosen!!! It's beautiful. I have a bit of a dresser thing right now too...because we're short on storage space in our little bungalow.

  17. Simply adore the contrast of black and white on the office dresser. It's funny you shouldpost this, we JUST purchased a dresser in desperate need of new hardware. Thanks for the inspiration sweetie!!

  18. Oh! Their knob selection IS heavenly! And I love your dressers! I think you should start a job as a Craigslist shopper! I have been looking for a dresser on Craigslist forever!

  19. I love the choice of pulls for the dressers. I can't wait to see what you do with the office, I love the colour choices

  20. It's so cool how small "accessories" can change the look of a piece. I love the glass knobs! I like the paper you used to line the drawers as well. :)

  21. ok, so is it just me? or could you have used the 8 glass knobs from the white dresser to put on the black one? ya know, saved 40 bucks? Love the transformations...and I will definitely be checking out the hardware section at TV!

  22. I heart dressers and the amazing things that new pulls will do for them. I'm in the process of redoing a craigslist dresser myself, and can't wait to use my new pulls! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Love that color combo and can't wait to see it come together! I'm like you, I've been very slow moving this Summer. I hate being this way but, hopefully, I'll perk up once the cooler weather comes.

  24. Love the effect of the crystal knobs on the black dresser/sideboard! What room are the paint/fabric samples for again?

    Guerrina in Ledyard CT

  25. Love the "jewelry"! I love the fabric choices for your office. I have to ask your source. I'm looking to change the drapes in our master bedroom. The choices you made just might work. Thanks!

  26. KB, I used those knobs somewhere else (they were too small for that buffet anyway), and because I'm a member of the True Value blog squad, the new knobs didn't cost me anything! (Whoohoo!)

    The fabric is from Joanns and you can find them right next to each other.

    The contact paper was from Target...I think! $5 for the roll an it was enough to do two dressers.

    Thanks all!!

  27. Omigosh, after seeing that picture about the knob selection at TruValue, I went to see if there are any in Canada, because I have never seen them....turns out there are, but there is only one that might be 1.5 hours away from me....the rest seem to be in Rural towns. Sigh. Home Depot doesn't seem to have a selection like that!

  28. Oh the new crystal knobs on the black buffet is GorGeoUS!!! Love it!

  29. This comment has been removed by the author.

  30. Loverly indeed! :)
    ~and "Office-y" is my new word! :)

  31. Ok, I thought I'd left a comment but now I don't see it! Have you ever looked at Anthropologie for hardware/knobs? They are so cute and unique! They can get pricey-up to $12 or $15 each but I just got some for $6 each. I love them! All their home stuff is so gorgeous!

  32. I swear once I get all this fundraising done I am going to the nearest store and getting myself some serious hardware. I've been searching for knobs for my kitchen for over a year. This place seems promising.

  33. I used the same green contact paper in my drawers/cabinets in my bathroom... LOVE the bright color! :)

  34. LOVING the dark pulls/knobs on the white dresser!!! I just recently re-did a dresser and painted it white. Bought brushed nickel pulls (that cost more than the dresser!)...but now I'm thinking black or bronze. You're an inspiration!!!!

  35. Ok, I just bought the exact same bedding and I was looking for paint to compliment it...what shade did you pick?

  36. I've always loved the sparkle that glass knobs add to any piece of furniture. I want to put them on a black dresser I have as I think they will be the perfect touch.

    Great Craigslist purchases you have there. We live quite rural and I never find much of anything I like here in our area on Craigslist.


  37. You've totally inspired me to get moving on my craigslist dresser that has been sitting in our garage waiting to be finished! I might die of heat stroke working on it out in the garage though!!
    I am so going to check out True Value's selection of knobs and that contact paper from Target is GORGEOUS!!
    Thanks for the inspiration!!!

  38. I love the Craigslist buffet. Have you had any problems or do you have any types for buying furniture off Craigslist?

  39. I'm pretty sure if we lived in the same town, we'd be besties. Ohh yeah- I pulled out the big guns. Bff's. LOL!

    I LOVE the way you speak and squeal at all the fun, adorable, makes you want to pinch yourself because you're so happy just to look at it- type of stuff.

    Yeah. Just so ya know. :D

    P.s. Your projects are flippin' adorable. You rock the cutesy knobs.

  40. Love your blog! I have been stalking it for a while, and was so inspired that I started my own blog.
    I love the hardware! I am so excited to go peek into our local rue Value...never knew they had such cool knobs. And drawer linings are awesome.Such a nice finishing touch.

  41. I love love love all the dressers!

    Also, just picked up that same contact paper at Target with plans to do a mini-revamp of my dresser :)

  42. I had no idea contact paper came in such cool colors and designs.

    Did ya hear?? NKOTB and Backstreet Boys going on tour in 2011!

  43. I love the glass knobs!! I have far too many knobs around my house right now and I think I"m going to switch in my vintage glass one for the silver. Thank you for the inspiration!

  44. Just a quick note to say I lurve your blog! I find it constant inspiration for fun projects. I have yet to do a single one...but I plan to! :-) And your way of approaching decorating, sort of bit by bit, seems very doable to me (whereas spending $50K to design a room does not and so I just quit and don't do a single thing! So thanks for taking the time to write your thoughts and your passions...I lurve it!

  45. Excited about fall and getting the kiddies back to school, so I'll be watching to see what other amazingly warm things you have going on.....OT, I wondered if you had the tradition of lining your child's drawers with baby shower/gift paper? Few I know have heard of it, so I thought I'd ask an expert ;-)

  46. Are you painting the walls grey? We painted my daughter's room grey, it is such a calm and wonderful color to live with. Can't wait to see the finished product!

  47. I love what you have done with the dressers!

    I am also in LOVE with the fabric and paint colors you have chosen for your room redo.... where did you get the fabric from?

  48. I have the very same drawer liner for my kitchen shelves! Love, love, love it!

  49. Love the paint colors! Would you mind sharing what they are? I am also a Hoosier and a True Value fan.


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THANKS so much for reading!