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I'm Bri Garbani, a designer + photographer living in San Diego, California. It's here that I express my passion for dogs, design + DIY through writing + photography. If you like what you see, you'll want to check back often as I have a constant need to create + Native Blonde is my prime creative outlet.

House of Hardware

House of Hardware

The house I live in has an approximate build date of 1927, though the stamps in the sidewalk concrete in front of our home suggest otherwise. 

Over the years, from homeowner to homeowner, hardware has been replaced throughout my house with more updated, modern pieces at the time.  I can testify to contributing to this as well after living here over the last ten months, though I am happy that some items are original and have stood the test of time. 

The selections that the hubby and I have been adding to our home are to replace either broken, outdated or unoriginal items.  They have all been carefully selected and patiently waited for since most of the hardware we've chosen is not available at big box home improvement stores.  I have performed lengthy searches for appropriate pieces that please both the walls, doors, windows and ceilings of our house as well as our design aesthetic.  

Solid brass switch plates made in America, glass knob door handles, handmade copper pipe curtain rods, brass cone drawer pulls, iron floor registers, an authentic Moravian star lantern, an industrial ceiling fan, wall sconces with a touch of brass and classic Edison style bulbs as well as other lighting throughout with a rustic industrial edge - these are the details that make up our home.

Pictured from left to right:  The standard floor registers that were throughout our house when we moved in, obviously unoriginal, and the replacement ones I installed.

Pictured from left to right:  The original large floor register in our living room was in desperate need of a face lift.  I scrubbed it with a wire brush and soap but eventually turned to a chemical stripper in order to remove a lifetime of grime from the metal.  I then spray painted it a steel grey color to blend with the other coordinating floor registers throughout the house.  Now that it is finished, the existing crack in this piece is practically unnoticeable.  

Pictured from top to bottom:  An unoriginal porch light with traditional house numbers that existed when we moved in versus the replacements we installed - a Moravian star light with antiqued glass and modern black house numbers.

Pictured above are what we believe to be either original or near to original to the house - antique glass knob door handles flanked with polished brass panels.  They are on every door in the interior of our home.  Some even have operating key holes if the door is original (this is our best guess based upon the layers and layers of paint compared to doors replaced in more recent years).  But as one could imagine, the keys went missing sometime over the last 80+ years.

Pictured above from left to right:  The hallway built-in when we moved in with unoriginal porcelain knobs of varying sized compared to what I replaced them with - solid brass cone drawer pulls in a satin finish.  This space suits our need for a linen closet perfectly.

Pictured above:  New solid brass switch plates in a satin finish have replaced all of the old plastic ones throughout the entire house.  These have a much more authentic look and feel, don't you think?

Pictured from left to right:  Unoriginal and very dated wall sconces in our living room were replaced with a more industrial style fixture with a touch of brass.

Pictured above:  The vintage style hallway light fixture we installed - also containing a touch of brass.  In its place before was a dated and very traditional flush mount 'boob' light.  What an upgrade!

Pictured above:  The original interior and exterior door handles on the also original sold wood front door.  They could stand to be taken off for a good cleaning and then be reinstalled, but aren't they gorgeous?

Pictured above:  A handmade copper pipe curtain rod that the hubby and I put together ourselves.  We designed it to avoid any attachment to the original window molding by creating a support point in the middle of the 12 foot spread that turned out to be an interesting design element. We installed copper pipes as curtain rods throughout the living room and also in our guest house.  And their patina almost makes them feel like they were here all along.

Above is a photo that was included in the house listing showing what our living room looked like when we bought the place.  There was a curtain rod hung over the entire main picture window in the living room in addition to faux wood PVC blinds hung throughout.  In other rooms of the house are aluminum style blinds which have mostly been removed as well, however some currently remain for privacy until we get around to renovating those spaces.  The photo below shows what our living room window treatments look like today.  I designed the curtains to only go as high as the seam in our main window to allow plenty of light to still come into the room, yet they offer more than enough privacy when wanted.  On the side windows, curtains cover the entire length and the rods were hung right at the window trim due to the curve of the barrel ceiling. 

Pictured above:  The master bedroom ceiling fan that the hubby crawled through the narrowest of narrow attics (flat roof people!) to install.  There was not a fan prior to moving in, but we found this to be very necessary to be comfortable while sleeping during the summer months in San Diego.  i just love its vintage industrial aesthetic.

Pictured above:  The original mail slot on the front porch.  How neat is that?!

Pictured above:  A cage style pendant light that we installed while renovating the master closet.  Before, it was a dated traditional style flush mount 'boob' light.  What an improvement, don't you think?

Soon enough we'll begin the kitchen and bathroom renovation and have even more decisions to make concerning hardware and fixture selections.  But thus far, may the pieces we've chosen and installed exhibit the kind of craftsmanship and timelessness that will last as long as the original hardware currently found throughout our home. To many, many more years!

Front Yard Landscape Project

Front Yard Landscape Project

Mid-Century Tree Trunk Table

Mid-Century Tree Trunk Table