photo: sally schneider

In the days after our move to Harlem, friends came to help with the massive amount of unpacking, disposing of paper and boxes, and figuring out how to make the unfinished space as livable and pleasant as possible. As is typical with well-layed plans, ours did not go altogether smoothly. We discovered that the lacquered metal Helmer drawer cabinets from Ikea ($39) that we find so useful, stylish and well-made would not fit into an essential closet; the metal handles stuck out too far to close the door.

Helmer drawer unit
photo: sally schneider

Nancy Raimundo who had come armed with a kit including blue tape and scissors, happened to have a spool of bright red jute twine. We love the low-profile handles she improvised by replacing the Helmer’s metal handles with her hand-tied ones.

photo: sally schneider

photo: sally schneider

Her wondrous twine also make a charming make-shift handle for the 8-foot bathroom door we had unable to find a great doorknob for. She saw us prying the door open from the bottom every time we wanted to enter the room, so she fashioned a pull that looks curiously great in our modern hallway.

photo: sally schneider

photo: sally schneider

…and had the effect of making a couple more things run smoothly and look GREAT.

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project + reno lesson: embrace the unexpected……… things won’t go as planned
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andrea zittel’s investigative living

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4 replies on “makeshift solutions via a spool of red twine

  1. I love the red jute twine! I could see it lots of places.

    You might want to put some rubber grommets in the handle holes if the metal cuts through the twine over time.

  2. Grommets, hadn’t thought of that. Hey, why don’t you beam yourself here and give us your two-cents on endless projects and undone bits??!!

  3. kind of looks like the door is gift wrapped … something you’d want to open up- a present or…. a door to somewhere great! 🙂

  4. when i installed new cabinets in our remodeled kitchen we had not picked out knobs or pulls yet. clawing into the drawers got tiresome. i didn’t have holes drilled either, so what we used for several months was a loop of packing tape. i folded a loop of tape back on itself so that there was no sticky side of the tape exposed for the pull, but left 3-4 inches of sticky tape to adhere to the back of drawer fronts and back of cabinet doors. clear tape made them almost invisible, but there was still an inch or so of doubled tape to grab hold of and open the drawer. colored duct tape could have been used as a permanent solution and WAY cheaper than commercial knobs and pulls.

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