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June 7, 2012

Vintage Atomic Star Knobs are Installed in Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo Kitchen

By Sara In AZ

I promise that this knob change happened by pure accident y’all! But here’s the story anyway.

Here are the knobs that were in the condo when Mom bought it. They were retro looking Chrome Disc Knobs that we were completely fine with.


This style of knob has been around since at least the 50s/60s and we thought these jived pretty well with the retro look of the condo. However, we could tell these were not the original knobs, and we were pretty sure they were not vintage,  but that didn’t really bother us at all.


Here is a link to the retro look  Chrome Knobs from Liberty Hardware. These knobs are still available in places like Ace Hardware too.


So yeah, we were planning on totally keeping the chrome knobs until we went into a local salvage store one day looking for a copper tone doorknob and what do I see but these little beauties!!!!


I like completely freaked out and was totally obsessing over them.


I asked the workers in the store if I could buy just the knobs and not the cabinets and they said “No” I had to buy everything. I was heartbroken. I went home and thought about those star knobs ALL night long. I could just picture them looking perfect on Mom’s cabinets. I went back to the store the next day and added up the cost of all of the cabinets and offered them a tiny bit less – telling them that I would basically buy the cabinets, take the knobs off, and re-donate the cabinets immediately so they would essentially be getting twice the money out of the cabinets.


And YAY!!! They took my offer!!! I wound up with almost 30 knobs for right around $2 a piece. The store let me borrow their screwdrivers and we went to town removing everything.


Here is our bag all filled up with starburst knobs. You can see they were very, very dirty so it took me a while to clean them all off. They might have more of a brass look in the pictures, but in real life they are actually more of a copper look.


Here is the kitchen like you saw it last week, with the chrome knobs on the cabinets.


And here we are with the new star knobs!!!  LOVE!!!


So pretty!


As an added bonus all of the original kitchen cabinet hinges are copper so everything goes together really well!


Yay for starburst knobs!!!

Come back next Thursday when we whip the old screen door back into shape!

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18 Responses to Vintage Atomic Star Knobs are Installed in Mom’s 1950s Time Capsule Condo Kitchen

  1. Sherree Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I am so happy for you! What a great find. I did a similar thing in our 1951 kitchen; I could see that at one time there were big round back plates under the knobs. I was lucky to find NOS ones on ebay and added retro style knobs from Ace Hardware. Not original but pretty darn close! Your Mom must be so happy with her new place 🙂 Can’t wait till next week.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Thank you Sherree! 🙂

      Your knobs sound really cool as well, you should post some pics of them! And isn’t Ace just the best, they always seem to have everything we need!

      Yes, Mom is crazy in love with her micro-mini retro palace!

  2. Desirae Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I would be dreaming about those knobs too! They look great.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 7, 2012 at 4:52 pm

      Oh, thank you so much Desirae! 🙂 I just had to go back and try to get them, I’m so happy that I could!

  3. Silvercat Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Ooooo! My sister loves copper, but she doesn’t have the good sense to love MCM.

    Love those.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 7, 2012 at 4:54 pm

      Thanks Silvercat! 🙂 Yeah, it seems copper was a pretty big deal back in the 50s…..even Mom’s lazy susan is coppertone!

  4. Eartha Kitsch Reply

    June 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Those look gorgeous, Sara! And SUCH a great deal too! You’re a wheelin’ dealin’ bad-ass.

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      hee!!! Thanks Eartha! 🙂 And yeah, I try to be a bas-ass deal maker as much as I can! 😉

  5. Andrea Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Ooh, those knobs are fantastic, Sara! They look like they were meant to be there, what an awesome find!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 8, 2012 at 1:32 am

      Thanks so much Andrea! 🙂 I know, they do kinda look like they were meant to be there don’t they!

  6. Policate Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Half our house has original copper tone knobs (and laquered doors) the other half……I guess you know what I’m trolling for.

  7. Sara In AZ Reply

    June 8, 2012 at 1:33 am

    I feel your pain Policate, I really do feel your pain……….

  8. Laura Reply

    June 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I’m late to the party, but just wanted to say these put the perfect finishing touch on your Mom’s kitchen. Good thinking on your feet about the math and the offer so you could get them without the cabinets. My kitchen has sort of Colonial Revival 60s to 70s era hardware that I had a hard time appreciating at first because they were SO dirty. Yuck. It’s amazing what Brasso and some determination will do to old kitchen hardware. Yours look marvelous! Good for your Mom!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 11, 2012 at 12:34 am

      Thanks so much Laura! 🙂 I really think those knobs put the perfect finishing touch on the kitchen too. Your kitchen hardware sounds really, really cool as well. I would love to see pics of it on your blog one of these days, esp. after you put all of that work into cleaning them!!!

  9. Jacquie Reply

    June 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

    Hey Sara!
    Do you have any of those knobs to spare? I would like to buy from you if I could. I have the same knobs in my kitchen but am missing 8?? Someone must have changed and never finished it off.:(

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

      Hi Jacquie, Sorry , I do not have any knobs to spare – we used them all up at the condo. I would suggest to look on eBay from time to time as I see them pop us periodically. Just look up ‘vintage star knob’ or something to that effect.

  10. FlyingTexan Reply

    June 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    You know, the kitchen cabinets looked just fine with the old knobs. But now, they look fantastic. What a difference a knob can make! Who knew? You were meant to find those knobs. So glad you were able to acquire them!

    • Sara In AZ Reply

      June 20, 2012 at 3:34 pm

      I know right Flying Texan, it was like it was meant to be! I am SO glad I was able to get those knobs as I think they are the perfect finishing touch! 🙂

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