Upgrading Heat Registers in a Craftsman Bungalow

The dream is in the details

Image from HeatRegisters.com.

Image from HeatRegisters.com.

When you’re trying to restore your craftsman home to its original beauty, details matter. When I first started working on my craftsman, my primary concern was about making sure I that had a functional and efficient heating system. Living in a dream home can be a nightmare if it is drafty all the time!

Once I had installed new windows and upgraded to a more efficient furnace, I started looking at other options to make my home warm and inviting. As I was sitting in my living room with the furnace on, I noticed how unattractive my air vents were; the paint was chipping, it was filled with 90-year-old dust, and the rusty metal looked tacky against the backdrop of my beautiful hardwood floors. I was resolved to get my heat registers looking great again.

Hard-pressed at the hardware store

I started by looking at Lowe’s and Home Depot for a series of heat registers for my cold air returns and air vents. What I found was kind of depressing. Each store only carried one brand, and they just looked cheap. My hope was that upgrading my heat registers would be distinctive and subtly enhance each room’s appearance.

Unfortunately, the brand-x stuff at the big box stores just didn’t have the period look I was hoping for. What’s worse, I  couldn’t even find the proper size for my cold air return anywhere.

That big shopping mall in the sky

Undeterred, I decided to start looking for heat registers online and found a lot of great options. I found that there were many good websites out there for heat registers and air vents. They have dozens of different options for every era of craftsman home and lots of good information at the bottom of each page.

First I considered whether I wanted a metal or wood heat register for my living room — a tough choice indeed. The wood air vents have a natural character and can be stained to match other woods. The selection of different wood options is truly amazing, with 143 different custom woods available from Afrormosia to Wenge! Even as all of these choices were very tempting, my husband and I eventually decided to go for the more distinctive brass heat register options.

Period pieces

What we found was a really large selection of different brass heat registers to match styles of different periods. It was a very enjoyable process of sorting through the furniture and décor we had in each room and deciding what era we would like to emphasize. In the end we decided to install Wellington style solid brass for our living areas and bedrooms. They complement our flooring so nicely, yet stand out as very attractive details to make our home resonate with the elegance of its original construction.

I’m so glad that I didn’t end up purchasing one of the off-the-shelf heat registers from the hardware store and found what I truly wanted online. With a few more furnishings and finishing touches, we are going to be ready for some serious entertaining!

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