new pulls for my desk

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, My House, Office, Tips and Tricks74 Comments

I just can’t leave well enough alone.  That quality is what actually led me into decorating in the first place, so I am thankful for it, but it does mean I’m always looking for ways to customize and/or improve something even when they are perfectly fine as is.

Well, one thing I wanted to customize as soon as it was delivered to my house was the desk in my home office.  I love the shape, finish, and style of it, but I didn’t like the hardware.  Fortunately, that’s a relatively quick and inexpensive thing to change.  So, I did!

Here is what it looked like before…

…and here is what it looks like with the new hardware…

I chose antiqued brass bin-cup pulls because they still work with the mission-style of the desk, but they look a little softer and less rustic than the original pulls.

I bought THIS 10-pack of pulls from Amazon for $26.  They were inexpensive and already fit the existing hardware holes.  It took me about 10 minutes to change out the knobs and voila!

I know it’s obvious to change out the hardware on an old piece of furniture, but it’s okay to change the hardware on new pieces as well.  It just adds just custom touch that makes the piece (and ultimately your space) uniquely yours!

new pulls for my desk

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74 Comments on “new pulls for my desk”

    1. I agree! Removing the Craftaman handles and replacing them with style-inappropriate hardware that is not up to the design standard of the piece really detracts from the integrity and beauty of the lovely desk.

      1. Yep, it’s totally a personal taste thing and that’s okay. If we all liked the same thing, it would be pretty boring.

    2. Since it’s the only craftsman piece of furniture I own, I didn’t feel like I needed to stay true to that style. These are an antique-style and, for that reason, they work for me.

  1. Totally agree these fit your style sooooo much better! 😊. Just because something we buy new is perfectly good, doesn’t mean we can’t personalize it or improve it for our own purposes. This makes your desk unique! Well done!! 👏

  2. I love how you know what works for you and your style as clearly evidenced by these pulls. I agree that they create a softer look; the smooth, curvier shape is more feminine and fits the look of your office. Thanks for the reminder, Marian, that a simple change is sometimes all that’s needed. 🙂

    1. I’s softer. The first ones didn’t fit my taste either. I love that about a home…you make it the way you like it. So it suits you!

  3. These really make a difference! One of my most disappointing “updates” was a French Provencal-looking sideboard that I had for years … dark brown, but with beautiful legs and detailing. I used MMS paint and wax on it, and that changed its look immensely. So then I decided to switch the hardware to something that fit its new look better … but the existing hardware holes were just about 1/4″ off from any current hardware. (insert sad face) So I steel-wooled (is that a word?) the existing hardware and put it back. It’s okay but I always think of what might have been …

    1. I have worked on pieces like that before. Sometimes the hardware is so specific (or it’s permanently attached) that you just have to work with it.

    1. Not to pick a fight, but I just want to point out that thousands of sellers on Amazon are small retailers, including myself.

  4. The first ones were prettier. I say that as I have bought the same exact pulls but now I can feel my taste changing to a more modern design.
    That’s the way it always goes. I order and install one type of hardware only to see in about 3-5 years my taste change!

  5. I think the new pulls make the desk look older and less cheap. I know it’s not a cheap desk….bit it looked mass marketed and like something I’d get at target with fake “wood”….only because of the old handles. The new ones make the desk look solid, and like it’s been around for awhile. The wood looks real with them, too. Funny….the little change makes it so different. (I really did not like those original handles…)

    1. I think the new cheap pulls stand out like sore thumbs. The piece is classic Craftsman right down to the pulls, and new ones look at cheap Amazon pulls and totally out of place, like a party hat on the Mona Lisa.

      1. I agree that they make the desk look nicer and, even more importantly, they make you happier. Good grief people!!!!

  6. Well, I like both, but I really liked the original best. It is your desk, so you need to be happy. I do feel the new pulls look cheap or cheapen the piece. To be fair, I am an antique dealer and have many Stickley pieces, so that is why my opinion differs.😉

    1. Yep, it’s just a matter of taste. I know people keep referring to these pulls as “cheap” (because they weren’t expensive), but they feel much higher quality than the ones that were on there. I think they looked nice, but they just weren’t my taste. I’m not a mission-style purist, though!

      1. I dont understand why so many people always feel that they need to post negative opinions on a person’s personal blog? I mean it’s obvious you are not a famous home designer Marian, if so you would have your own extremely popular home blog, your own furniture/antique shop, maybe even your own paint line or something and it would be your house that I just saw in the new issue of Victorian Classics Cottage Style and at least 20 other magazines where they have been talking about how wonderful your skills are for a decade. Keep your chin up Marian, you will get there some day! As for the others, Marian is sharing her wonderful ideas with us and I promise that she isnt seeking your advice!

        1. Ha, your comment made me laugh. At first, I thought it was a dig, but then I realized it was my own brand of sarcasm coming right back at me. 🙂

  7. I d like to see a party hat on the
    Mona Lisa!😁 Anyway… I like the new ones better! No matter what! As the old saying goes “to each his own”!

  8. I just wanted to take a second to tell you that you’re awesome… &, you do you!
    That’s why God made us all unique & you are most certainly one of his masterpieces!
    Thanks for the inspiration always!

  9. I think it is an improvement – and I bet you will find the perfect use on the old/new pulls.

    And, most importantly – you design for YOU – and it works nicely about every danged time, Marian.

    1. The old pulls were not high quality (they were hollow and very lightweight) and weren’t my taste. I’m sure someone will love them for a project, though, so I donated them to ReStore.

  10. The new pulls seem to take the desk away from a “mission style” and give it more of a modern, yet still antique looking style. Love it

  11. I really don’t think Marian asked for your opinion, she just wanted to show the finished product. If you don’t like someone’s work, keep it to yourself.
    I think the new pulls are lovely.

    1. I must agree with Cynthia here. I prefer the “new” pulls as well. The original style that this desks represents has these bin cup pulls. I know this, because I have one. There is never a need to be critical with your remarks. This is not a forum for nasty comments. It is a place to share our uniqueness. It is a shame that some need to be reminded of why we are here in the first place.

  12. I just changed out perfectly fine hardware in my kitchen. Waste of time and money? Maybe but I love the new look. You have to go with what makes it yours and makes you happy. You’ll never please everyone!

  13. I love bin pulls and found some online that are brass with no coating. They’re cast from antique European pulls and I love them so much. They were a little pricey but I only needed two for my project so I didn’t mind. I tried to find them again about a year later and can’t find them anywhere! Oh well, I think yours look great!

  14. I agree, the pulls are much more practical. Otherwise, everytime you’re going to open a drawer, you first have to get the ring up before you even pull and having lived with some of these in life, sooner or later, those rings seem to want to come out and while they can be put back, its as if once they know they can come out of their slot, they like to do it and won’t stay where they’re suppose to be. I think the pulls are a much better choice.

  15. I love the new look. I’ve had a hankering for these types of bin pulls for a while now. May be time to get my shopping on.

    As always, thank you so much for always being so gracious. I strive to be more like you. 🙂

  16. I think the clean lines of the bin pulls totally suit the craftsman/mission style of the desk. Many craftsman kitchens have bin pulls, not the clunky hammered metal handles. All in all, you’re right, it’s a personal choice. As an added bonus of changing out your hardware, you won’t have to listen to the clang of the pull against the backer every time you open a drawer — trust me, that’s a big deal!

  17. It looks fabulous. You are amazing as always! I love everything you do and the inspiration you bring to so many! I have been sharing the cowbird story too. Even the nest and eggs are beautifully photographed . . . everything you do.

    Happy Mother’s Day Marion!

  18. I missed your discussion on resilience-but you certainly model it. I love that you confidently change things to suit yourself-as a recovering ‘rule follower’ I am always inspired.

    1. I removed the original hardware and measured from hole to hole. So, if there are 3 inches between the holes, you want to look for hardware that is “3 inches on center” and those will fit.

  19. Love love the new ones. Makes the desk truly YOURS and is easy and inexpensive to change if you want. Makes me sad that so many negative comments are above. I love that you are not swayed. I have such a problem wanting everyone to like everything I do and it hurts my feelings if even one person doesn’t.

  20. Lol, the peeps are feisty today! Love the new pulls and love amazon. I’m always gonna buy the thing I like best at the best price. 💪🏼

  21. Whoo hoo! I LOVE the new drawer pulls. I think they look fantastic and I prefer them to the original. Creative people think outside of the box! Thank you so much for linking things to Amazon. While I love to shop local as much as possible, I also appreciate being able to find a good deal and it comes to my door. There are so many small business retailers (like you stated) on Amazon… win win. I truly wish half of the people that posted comments had their own blogs… I’m sure they wouldnt appreciate all the nitpicking if they did. Thank you for all the amazing content you provide- I always look forward to your posts.

  22. I think the new pulls look lovely on your desk. To me they are more in keeping with the style of the desk. So sorry for some of the comments. It is all about personal style! “Was taught if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all.” Happy Mothers Day, God Bless!

  23. I liked Sharon’s comment…”the peeps are feisty today” …made me laugh. So does people getting all worked up over the pulls in someone else’s office. Thank you for showing us all how to have a thick skin! You respond with grace, but don’t come off as a pushover either!

    1. It’s so funny, because I never know what people will get opinionated about! Sometimes, I brace for it and nothing happens and other times I ignore my comments all day and open the page to a hail of critiques! I really don’t mind people weighing in on the hardware, though. No one was being mean to me personally, but just sharing which one they liked better and that’s why I have a comments section. Sometimes those comments make me rethink something.

      These pulls are staying, though! 🙂

  24. G’day from WA, Australia. Such a small change and yet so polarising! Personally, I also love the new handles. I think people often interchange ‘cheap’ with ‘bargain’ as a reflection of their disapparoval or approval. I love paying a good price for an item that could retail for a much higher price and although I support handmade or local business 90% of the time, at times it isn’t always possible. Despite that, the new pulls would also reflect my personal taste more accurately and I do think they add to the desk and compliment the craftsmen style. To be brutally honest, I would not let that desk enter my house with the original hardware! P.S. Your answers are always so diplomatic and even though I do not know you personally, it is clear you are genuinely a nice person who is true to yourself. The internet is quite the minefield and you navigate it gracefully.

  25. They look lovely Marian! I’m not a fan of the first ones—to me they look cheap (whether they are “true to style” or not). And Mary, you are so right, that “clank” of the pull against the back plate every time you pull a drawer in and out is maddening! I had a desk with pulls like that and I used to
    leave the drawers open sometimes so I wouldn’t have to open and close them while I was working.

  26. i respect your right to put whatever you want on your furniture… but i prefered the more elegant original ones too
    love your work though!

  27. Thanks for sharing this. For me, it’s not so much about your piece of furniture, but about the idea you put in my mind that a piece I am tired of could be easily tweaked with, say, new hardware to change it up. I don’t have to do a complete overhaul to liven it up.

    1. Oh, definitely! Just changing out the hardware can completely change the look of a piece. And, the good news is, you can change it out as much as you want!

  28. I read your blog to inspire creativity in my own home, being a fellow pastor’s wife makes me feel a kinship with you, strange I know. It bothers me greatly that others feel the need to criticize decorating decisions by you in your home. If it is something on that day that doesn’t work for me, I enjoy the beauty of the picture itself and move on. I feel the need to apologize for the rudeness of others and encourage you to do what you do. Keep inspiring, creating, and dreaming and as a result inspire me to do the same! Thank you MMS!

    1. Susan, well thank you. Here’s the way I approach it… I have a comments section on my blog that is open to all opinions, even if they are different from mine. I only mind (and delete) the comments where people make personal attacks. These comments are just expressing a dislike of some hardware I put on my desk and that’s really okay.

  29. My first impression was YES and I will stick with it. Have a brand new shaker white kitchen and chose the very same pulls for my drawers etc. Love it. Didn’t know they had a proper name.
    I have a small oak antique washstand that I changed out the hardware……….. I had some lovely French provincial hardware that looks spectacular on the little piece. So you never know what is going to work or not work until you try.

    1. There are still just two and three eggs (two finches and one cowbird.) So, I’m waiting. We’ve stopped using the front door and I check on them once a day just to satisfy my own curiosity.

  30. Oh Marian, as a blogger you have to have thick skin, don’t you? It’s amazing how much changing out hardware to meet your taste, in your home, can cause an uproar! It makes me hesitate to blog again…

    I think a small change like these pulls make all the difference, soften the piece, and personalize it to your heart’s desires. Isn’t that what homemaking is all about?

    The wonderful thing about interior design and decorating these days is the mix and match of anything that suits your fancy. Interior designer, Meg Lonergan said, ” It’s the mix that makes a home interesting.” I just saw where she, in the lastest Country French magazine, used lucite chairs in a french dining space! They were pink, though. 😉

    1. Yep, anyone who is going to share in the online space has to develop a thick skin! Honestly, though, it doesn’t bother me if people don’t like a home decorating choice I make. I always think that I probably wouldn’t love everything in their house and I don’t expect them to love everything about mine. The comments that bother me (and I’ll just delete) are the ones that attack me personally. Everyone on this thread has been polite with their opinions and I can respect if they are different from mine. 🙂

  31. I appreciate you wanting to make things your style, you‘re living with it, but i think it would have been nice to have kept the original pulls with the desk if you decide to sell it in the future. And, yes, they can be replaced but are not the originals Just a thought.

    1. I guess I don’t think about what the person who owns the piece after me might want. I think about how I want it and, while there is nothing wrong with considering resale value for homes and investment pieces, I don’t think a piece of office furniture is one of those things. That’s just my approach, though! I believe in customizing things so the owner loves it.

  32. I always find the comments on your site so amazing. I too, like the softer look of your new handles. I’m not a fan of the craftsman look and really, does anyone think that someone would mistake this for a real piece of Stickley furniture? I think making choices with resale in mind is fine for dealers, but for those of us who choose to live with and use something we love, it makes no sense at all.

  33. I think you were so fortunate to find the pulls you liked which fit the holes from the original ones. I think these look more feminine, and will be more user -friendly to your fingernails. Actually, people visiting your office are not likely to see the user side of the desk (or the pulls). They are for your eyes and use only.

  34. Love the new ones – big fan of bin pulls! The original hardware was dark and heavy and really not your style at all. I don’t remember seeing any Mission or Craftsman style furniture in your beautiful home, so why wouldn’t you want to tweak it in different direction? Great transformation! Not sure how people can think the bin pulls look cheap from a few pictures. The best way to tell the quality is feeling the weight of them. Keep doing you, Marian – you have great insight and taste!

  35. I love the new pulls! What is important is that Marian loves the new pulls, since, you know, it is her house and desk! Marian, your style is wonderfully unique and beautiful down to the tiniest details and I love all your posts and photos. They offer me endless inspiration. Thank you!

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