The Amazing Mr. Nowalk

We came across this article about Francis Nowalk and his lighting showroom in the most recent issue of Pittsburgh Quarterly, and we had to post this blog.  We have been to Francis J. Nowalk Lighting in Bloomfield, talked to this amazing 90 year old gentleman,  and gawked at the array of fabulous chandeliers and lamps, both new and antique.  Nowalk is a true lighting and furniture artist who has been in business since 1948 , and he has recently cut down his working day from 10-12 hours to only 7 or 8!  Over the years, he has restored and refurbished beautiful old lights from buildings being renovated or demolished to give them a second life. He has worked on restoring the giant chandelier at Rodef Shalom as well as lighting in other Pittsburgh landmarks such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Soldiers and Sailors, and the Duquesne Club.   Mr. Nowalk actually calls himself one of the original recyclers!

 Many of the pieces are extremely rare and expensive, and we have not found a client who is interested in any of the beautiful chandeliers, sconces, lamps, and furniture in Mr. Nowalk’s shop, but we sure would love to!  Luckily, we were able to take a few broken lamps to him, and he was able to fix them beautifully. He is a craftsman extraordinaire, and we worry, as he does, about what will become of his massive inventory as he grows older. He has said that he dreams of a talented multi-millionaire who wants to buy his business, and we certainly hope he does.

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All About Door Hardware

Have you ever given much thought to all of the door hardware inside and outside your home? From the front door to all of the interior doors and the cabinetry pulls and knobs, there are literally dozens.  We would venture to say that most of you have not even thought about them at all.  Door hardware can easily be forgotten, but just think of the many beautiful options that are available to fit every style and budget.

If you are really not sure how to choose door or cabinetry hardware, read on for some excellent advice and tricks of the trade.  Designer Sarah Gibson in her Room for Tuesday blog has compiled this list of questions to ask before purchasing hardware.

§  What is the door and overall style of the home?

§  How will this piece look with the existing decor?

§  What is the budget?

§  What is the appropriate size hardware needed for this door, cabinet, or wall?  Scale is important!

§  What does the installation process look like?

§  What are the requirements needed ? (privacy, passage, dummy, or entry)

Check out these beautiful doorknobs for some inspiration if you are remodeling or building a new home.

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This Victorian escutcheon  along with a smooth round knob has a refined and lovely old world look. It comes in this antique brass finish as well as many others.

For  a more contemporary design, we love this Windsor Crystal Knob with Modern Rectangular backplate from Emtek.  It comes, as shown, in a satin nickel finish, but many other finishes are available.

Create an entry that sets an elegant tone for the rest of your home. After all, it is the first piece of hardware people notice and touch when entering your home. This Durham Beaded Oval Knob Exterior Door Hardware Set features a motif that was a common Colonial Revival Design and blends classic shapes with refined decoration.

If you can see your hardware in person, all the better, but, if you do choose to order on-line, consider purchasing just one to make sure it is a good quality and has the look and finish you desire. Then, go ahead to purchase the additional ones needed.



Two Very Different Chandeliers

We have been sourcing dining room chandeliers for two clients – two totally different chandeliers, both very good looking.  One of the clients wanted a very contemporary chandelier while the other expressed an interest in a traditional crystal one.  

Keep an eye out for a future blog where we will go into more detail about the myriad of other styles of chandeliers, about finding the right size chandelier, and also about various types of crystal.

But, for now, these are a few of the ones we found in each style. We know there is a perfect chandelier for every taste.