Easy hardware

Looking to spruce up existing furniture with new hardware? Particularly abundant lately are innovative cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.

Knobs and pulls are simple to replace and fun to infuse personality in a space. Following is a quick reference guide to find the piece that fits your fashion. (If you're dealing with pulls, be sure the new peg fits the old hole, measure or bring along the handle to be replaced.)

Young at heart: Pottery Barn Kids

Embrace your inner child with whimsical dresser knobs at this Polaris store. Selections include sparkly glass butterflies ($15-$20), baseballs, metal numbers and cat's eye marbles in pink and green or blue and red (above, far right).

Quirky: Anthropologie

This store's hardware selection at Easton is a haven for the trendy home buyer. Add some color with tiny ceramic pastel flower knobs and bubbled glass pieces, or make a clever statement with miniature takes on objects such as barometric pressure clocks, checkerboards, timepieces (above, second from left) and cartographer maps. Prices range between $6 and $12.

Traditional: The Great Indoors

Sleek, solid designs and elegant lines abound. Myriad solid brass pulls come in a variety of styles and can be finished in chrome, nickel, antique brass or oil rubbed bronze. This Polaris store is rife with pulls suited for both the great indoors (such as the sharp Amerock twist pull from its Village Classics line, $6.29, above, far left) and out (try the bamboo basket knob from Atlas Homewares, $6.59, above, second from right).

Eco-friendly: Premium Hardware

This shop, tucked on a side street on the southeast side of Port Columbus (271 Schofield Dr.), recently started carrying Du Verre Hardware Company's line of green-conscious knobs, shown at left. The die cast aluminum selections are made from post-consumer recycled aluminum. The collection runs between $12 and $22.

-Jackie Mantey

Experienced possessions

Visit Experienced Possessions, a high-end furniture consignment shop in Shawnee Hills at 9236 Dublin Rd., and you'll see regulars dressed in stylish athletic gear popping in after their morning workouts.

Custom-designed chairs surround an inlaid Stuckey dining room table priced at $3,500, well under the original retail price of $14,000. A Maitland-Smith tortoise shell pendant light is $299 (originally retailing for $1,495). Wicker dog crates, which were overstocks from Frontgate, are reduced from $399 to $150.

"I don't kiss and tell," says owner Lisa Gilton about her savvy shoppers' identities. Consignment shopping has become more fashionable as HGTV personalities and others uncover unique bargains, tout the virtues of recycling and pose clever new uses for secondhand pieces. Statistics from the National Association of Resale Professionals' 2010 Operating Survey confirm the trend with a 12.7 percent increase in net sales from 2008 to 2009.

Gilton purchased the store three years ago when she was nearing her 50th birthday and considering a change from her 20-year career in advertising at Kroger. She says she loved bargain shopping and already owned a houseful of "experienced possessions," so she decided to buy the store from its original owner.

Today, she stocks the store with contemporary and traditional furniture, lamps, art and accessories, especially those with a different flair. This fall, she will begin selling store merchandise online through Craigslist.

Gilton says many of her consignors are downsizing their homes and don't want the hassle of selling furniture. Prospective consignors can send or e-mail pictures of their items or call to arrange a home visit for consigning rooms of furniture.

Store hours are 11 am to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 4 pm Sunday.

Call 889-0454 or visit experiencedpossessions.com

-Teresa Woodard

Renovations at Restoration Hardware

Not content with the status quo, Restoration Hardware's store at Easton has undergone a complete renovation focused more on furniture than on hardware.

Nonetheless, we've found some favorite pieces with the company's intriguing new thrust on aged wood. Take, for example, the 15-Balluster Desk ($3,695), which was inspired by the covered courtyards of Lyon, France during the Renaissance. Its balusters are made of solid elm and the desktop is evidence of the store's environmentally friendly use of 19th century salvaged elm planks from floors and doors.

Another favorite this season is the solid wood St. James Bedroom Collection, featuring bed ($2,065-$2,340), dresser ($2,065) and night stand ($890-$1,670), all in an antique natural finish. With complex wood carving details, each piece looks more antique than modern and the entire collection appears to have a toned down French estate feel to it.

-Anastasia Paprocki

Floor trends

Fresh trends in flooring are on the rise, according to John Woods, sales manager and co-owner of Levi's 4 Floors.

Solid hardwood floors, classic though expensive, are being installed in 3- to 5-inch-wide planks, instead of the typical 2-and-a-quarter-inch widths, for a more contemporary look. "People are going for the exotics," he says. "Brazilian cherry is big, as well as the darker woods, such as Asian walnut."

Hand-scraped, distressed planks are adding texture, patina and camouflage some of the inevitable wear and tear that small children and pets inflict on wood. But Woods cautions, "You just have to accept that hardwood floors, even though they're beautiful, will scratch and dent. Think of what a pair of high heels can do." Area rugs can absorb the impact of heavy traffic, and add a splash of color.

For a more durable, less expensive floor option, Woods recommends engineered floors. Layers of wood are bonded together-hardwood on top, plywood underneath-for a stronger product. Engineered bamboo flooring continues to gain favor with environmentally-friendly types.

In the carpet section, "softness is in," Woods says. Friezes, the cut-pile carpet made from twisted fibers, and short shags are good for a casual look. If you have pets that shed, steer clear of dark-colored carpets and go for speckled neutrals. Kitty's claw marks are much more noticeable in a light-colored plush. With flecks of color in the twist, a cut-pile California Berber won't show soil as easily.

Tiles have gone high-tech, Woods says. Using a high-definition printing technology, Florida Tile has created porcelain tiles in its Legend series that look identical to slate, but don't chip or scratch. "They take a photograph of real slate and print it in high definition on the porcelain," Woods explains.

-Rhonda Koulermos

Top 25

Here are the top residential real estate transactions for May 1 through August 15, 2010, as provided by CompuName of Westerville. Statistics are gathered for the greater Columbus area, including all of Franklin County and parts of Delaware and Fairfield counties.

PriceAddressBuyer/Seller

$2,025,0003990 Molland Dr., 43054 Timothy G. Madison, Trustee from Tuckerman Development Co.

$1,700,0004272 Olmsted Rd., 43054 Stephen D. and Patricia M. Steinour from Seth J. and Virginia H. Rials

$1,618,5001700 Hardin Ln., 43065William P. Saunders from Kay Lynn Pontius

$1,350,000300 W. Spring St., Unit 1502, 43215Jeffrey A. and Sherrie M. Scott from Norah J. Clark Revocable Trust

$1,310,000773 Autumn Ln., 43065 Terry R. and Michelle R. Benz from Ronald L. and Karen L. Brown

$1,150,000 7236 Biddick Ct., 43054Edward W. and Nancy D. Kummer, Trustees from Donald V. and Mary Ellen Patton

$1,150,0006820 MacNeil Dr., 43017John F. and Gina R. Ricks from Kevin and Lori Koch

$1,125,0007907 Ginger Pl., 43017John and Erin M. Samenuk from Jiminez Haid Builders LLC

$1,112,5007877 Lambton Park Rd., 43054 Scott Arlin from George E. and Susan E. Hamilton

$1,100,000767 N. Macon Aly., 43206T. Daniel Glasener and Julie A. Collins from Daniel G. and M. Elizabeth Caton

$1,075,0008354 Deep Run, 43065Mark B. and Cathy Gamble from Terry V. and Sheila Lee Ballard.

$1,059,5002299 S. Commonwealth Park, 43229Jeffrey D. Meyer, Trustee from Lisa J. Berger, Trustee

$1,055,0004074 Stannage Close, 43054Mark J. and Theresa M. Vendetti from Francis J. and Judith L. Orioli

$1,025,0003830 Lyon Dr., 43220Sue E. Greer from Lynn A. Greer

$1,000,00065 S. Columbia Ave., 43209William D. and Nicole L. Bundy from Columbia Corporate Living Ltd.

$995,0007940 Ginger Pl., 43017Jeffrey C. and Megan F. Glenn from Tempesta Homes LLC

$985,000 7202 Biddick Ct., 43054 Ross S. and Ruth H. Uchimura from Pamela White

$965,0002071 Ellington Rd., 43221Eric M. Bennett and Holly M. Bennett Jackson from Michael Edwards Building & Design

$965,000 777 Hawksbury Way, 43065John D. and Sunshine B. Fahlgren from Marvin D. and Gail G. Snyder

$949,000 2581 Coltsneck Rd., 43004Keith D. and Rachel M. Long Sanders from Mitesh and Pavlomi Bhatt

$923,0009982 Allen Dr., 43017Stefan H. and Fiona J. Grunwald from Corinthian Homes of Ohio Inc.

$920,0005000 Riverside Dr., 43221Scott and Kristen Brewer from Darby C. and Glenn L. Weber

$920,0009289 Donatello Dr., 43016Andrew and Abigail Crum from Benco Custom Builders LLC

$910,0006600 Lockhart Ln., 43017Jeffrey A. Miller and Corinna Y. Chang from Michael and Kimberlee Ferry

$900,000 1937 White Oak Dr., 43015 Bridget M. Watson from Franco G. Policaro

These stories appeared in the October 2010 issue of Columbus Monthly Homes.