we finally put the faucet handles on our cabinets


Here’s proof that eventually I do use the stuff I pick up from eBay or resale places! I wrote two years ago about Good Housekeeping’s great idea of reusing sillcock wheel handles from outdoor faucets as kitchen cabinet pulls. It took us awhile to buy a house and start to redo its tiny kitchen, but we’re finally making progress. We didn’t have enough sillcocks for all of the cabinets to match, so we went for an eclectic look, then replaced the balance of the pulls with vintage-style (and super affordable) hardware from Target. A few other inexpensive touches are making a huge difference in our very small space — click for details and photos. –Mary T.


The first thing that had to go in our kitchen was the floor. We replaced blah beige vinyl with retro-style Marmorette in a multicolor-on-black pattern we had admired at a friend’s home. That particular pattern was phased out, but you can find similar styles from Armstrong or by perusing many posts on flooring at Retro Renovation.


We plan to eventually open up a wall for eating and breathing space, so for now we hung onto the old but serviceable white cabinets. A glossy red Marginal shelf from IKEA makes a convenient place to keep a rotating selection of coffee mugs in easy reach. An Asker magnetic knife rack, Ordning utensil holders and Bygel rail, also from IKEA, freed up valuable counter space. I’ve been experimenting with paint, starting with one wall of Winter Moss by Kilz Casual Colors, and adding a print by Frank Kozik that we weren’t sure about at first for the space — Too big? — but now I love.

I’m looking forward to eventually expanding our kitchen, but I’m pretty happy with it as it is for now.

From our partners

What a happy kitchen! I love the door pulls are they satisfying to handle, or aggravating that you can’t get your hand all the way around them (because they appear flush to the cabinet).

I have been wanting the pink gooseberry bowls from Pyrex for YEARS. Now you have me looking on ebay again ;-)

Mary T

Ellie, they felt weird to me when we first installed them but I got used to them immediately; I don’t even notice anymore. I haven’t had any trouble opening the cabinets.

Marissa, I got those pink dishes for my wedding after going nutty for the Gooseberry pattern that was in a cabin we often stay in in Michigan!

That’s a great idea. I wish I had thought of that. I am so uncreative in that way. I used Design In A Bag for the redo. Now, I’m on to my basement.

Mary, you are a design goddess (like always). I love the knobby knobs!!! And Nagel’s never looked so cool xoxo

Mary, that story from GH was from when I was the home editor for the magazine. I was tickled pink to see your version of the project two years later–yay!

Mary T

Ha — my mom bought me that Nagel mug years ago; I’m pretty sure she had no idea that he was a Playboy artist! I’ve kept it long enough that now it’s kind of retro, heh.

Your kitchen looks great! Very retro and fun, right up my alley :)

I love the red shelf with coffee mugs.

Mary T

Thanks, everyone — it may not look how tiny it is, but it is oh-so-small! I really recommend that IKEA shelf. It was about $40 I think and it looks really great; everyone who sees it wants one.

I would have never thought of using faucet handles as cabinet pulls, but I love the way it looks. I also love that supersnazz cat!

shelterrific » Blog Archive » help! where can i find some cute knobs?

[…] immediate suggestions for you. Why not consider faucet handles, like the ones that Mary T put up in her kitchen recently? She got the idea from Good Housekeeping and we all love the results. Or, for some straightforward […]

shelterrific » Blog Archive » etsy find: dwayne bulla’s junk/yard art

[…] emP.S. We like what he’s doing with a href="http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23478662"target=blank">outdoor faucet handles, too — we’re fans of repurposing those! […]