We have an amazing resource that I keep forgotting about until I need to pick up a draincleaner or something obscure and find myself at Preston Hardware in Little Italy.
For those of who you have never been inside, it has two separate components. One contains the most gorgeous plumbing fixtures you will ever see, set up in vignettes as complete or semi-complete bathrooms.
It’s a wonderful place to get tasteful tips for what to do in your own bathroom or kitchen reno and the helpful staff are always happy to order in things you can’t find. (Free local delivery for orders over $ 100, too).
The other side –Preston Hardware– is like an old general store.
I quickly found the drain cleaner I was looking for (a non-caustic, biological version that works like a charm) and ended up wandering around for more than an hour looking at doorknobs, mailboxes, cake tins, and pasta makers; work boots, straw hats, and tiny springform pans.
Yes, Preston Hardware has it all — as well as nails and screws and the usual stuff we think of as hardware, it also has some surprises like wine-making supplies and some of the nicest and most interesting baking dishes I’ve seen (lasagna plates with handwrought handles and fluted edges in cream — how gorgeous! $ 39.99).
But this time it was the hundreds of different door handles that caught my eye.
Handles and catches for cupboard doors, vanities, front doors, furniture, fences — you name it and they have it, and they have such a large a supply of different styles that you can price-check from row to row for the same style of knob without even leaving the store!
I really loved a highly polished round chrome knob that I can see updating my own kitchen cabinets with. It was $ 4.49 on one turning sampler; but only $ 2.09 on another by Allison Manufacturers a few rows over. I know which one I’ll be buying!
Some of the door knobs and backplates are beyond beautiful. I saw ornate, carved pewter handles (round and oblong) that would work beautifully with my new, highly ornate, Victorian-looking gas insert fireplace. These hovered around the $200 mark, but wow, what a statement! Other doorknobs ranged from cut glass to round globes, metal, pewter, brass, and trendy bronze.
And then there were the mailboxes. Perhaps 40 different types, ranging from sleek brushed pewter and bronze to cast iron, and in a full range of prices. These are not the flimsy black mailboxes we see on most doors but statement pieces. They had everything from modern to traditional and many that locked. Love it.
My little pit stop to get drain cleaner had me wandering through the rows of pasta makers, muffin tins shaped like shells and hearts, all kinds of mixing machines, coffee makers, even irons. Can’t wait to go back and wander some more. This place is a treasure trove of cool stuff for decorating and home-making. I left with my drain cleaner and a very cool steam iron with a retractable cord, but I’ll be going back for one of those baking dishes for sure.