Restoration Comedy | Adventures in Remodeling and Old House Part Rescue


Luke Hiller got his start restoring furniture for the Wood Right Shop, in Long Beach, CA, and then moved onto restoring homes in the historic Carroll Park and Bluff Park districts. He has worked with many talented designers and architects and has consulted with the Long Beach Heritage Society on the Bembridge House in the historic Wilmore City district.

​​Repair and restoration work done for dining room, living room, hallway and two bedrooms. The first renovation project I did after closing on the house and before I moved in  - because who wants to move everything twice? I found out after the fact that he was the featured floor restorer on a This Old House project in Southern California. If it's good enough for Kevin O'Connor and Tom Silva...


Created in the 1890s, this all natural product is a great addition for a period restoration. The installation process was a bit tricky, so be sure you find a Forbo Certified Installer (not all their distributors have this certification...and not all that do are great).

​​Forbo Sheet Marmoleum in Natural Corn and Dark Bistre were used in my kitchen renovation project.


American Restoration Tile specializes in reproducing the tiles of the past to facilitate restoration of historically significant buildings and residences. They use modern manufacturing technology to exactly duplicate the sizes and colors of old ceramic tile installations. They also duplicate patterns, borders, corners, and medallions for new construction meant to recreate the feel of the past.

​​Subway tiles (3" x 6") in L.05 glaze were used for to match the original tile in the bathroom and for a new backsplash in the kitchen. Unglazed hex tile in the H-1214 pattern with white and FC -.5 (grey) colors were used to replicate the original bathroom floor. Both types of tile matched the originals exactly - and they even offered a GFCI outlet cover in a coordinating glaze (to keep the building inspector happy about outlet placement).


Fireclay Tile is unique from anyone else in that they make every tile to order using recycled materials and sustainable manufacturing practices, all right here in California. They focus on working directly with you to create the project of your dreams, all in a timely manner and with the greatest customer service. They also offer free design consulting surfaces if needed. Their designs and glazes combine contemporary and traditional. Plan ahead with six-eight weeks for production as each order is made to order.

​For bathroom tile, the 5/8" Mini Round liner tile and Ogee field tile in Glacier Bay (V3) with Engobe and recycled body were used. For kitchen tile, the 5/8" Mini Round liner tile in Saffron (V4) with white body was used.


B&B Antique Hardware is my local go-to for antique hardware, odds-and-ends, and inspiration. Always a candy store moment or two. Their warehouse location in Signal Hill, CA, is always a fun visit. The Long Beach store on Broadway is closed (former site of a wall paper company that I spent many painful days in as a child while my parents debated on what type of wall paper to hang).

​​Recent finds include matching original switch plate and outlet covers, glass knobs and other interesting pieces that have not made their way home. Yet.


From candy shop moment to candy factory moment, a trip to Liz's Antique Hardware is always a treat. The staff is super knowledgeable and helpful and love antique hardware. Definitely someplace worth the trip and they are willing to let you know if they have what you are looking for before you make that trip. Bring some gloves and some time to dig through the bins of items they have. They have the cream of the crop - and be prepared to pay for it.

​​Front door interior door knob, various escutcheons, strike plates and door bell attempt #1 were sourced here.


House of Antique Hardware offers new products with the old look and style. Their call center staff are super knowledgeable and ready to help make sure you are ordering the right product. Sign up for their newsletter and stay informed about sales and new products. Keep in mind that many products are manufactured overseas and the quality is not always that of the original version (but in reality, not much is any more anyway). 

​​Picture rail hooks, sash locks and lifts, kitchen and bath faucets and some hinges have been sourced through here.


D. Lawless Hardware is a designer, importer and distributor of cabinet, furniture and builders hardware. Its products include knobs, pulls, hinges, slides, hooks, screws, fasteners, and wood trim used by furniture manufacturers and home builders. A large part of their product is vintage glassware and collectibles including unique giftware both original antique and reproduction.

By far the lowest prices I have found on glass hex knobs - old or new. One-inch clear glass hex knobs used in kitchen for all cabinets and drawers to match the originals in the house.


How it took me this long to find this company, I don' t know. But I am glad I did. No one else carried a specific hinge to match the original cabinetry hinges, and this was the best match that I found.

Based in Rochester, New York, Historic Houseparts has an extensive website with load of reproduction hardware, but also a lot of antiques hardware and various, well, house parts. Super cool stuff. Plus pages and pages of things that you never knew you wanted/needed.


Window Restoration and Repair provides wood and steel window restoration and repair services for much of the southern California area. They restore your older and historic windows to make them energy efficient and fully operational while maintaining the character of your building.

​The original windows on my house were one of my favorite features - like heck was I going to pull them out and put in vinyl windows, despite what everyone kept telling me to do. Norm Tuzon on their staff was a huge help when it came to this project. For a small house, I have a lot of windows - 23 to be exact. I conquered this in two sets - first to address some problem windows that were leaking and second to get the rest of them working. 

​I love my restored windows. I can open and close them with ease. Spring for the upgraded weather-stripping. Plan ahead - they have a three window minimum and a full schedule. It is often a several month wait, but if you are open to flexible schedules (eg, a couple of half days or spread out days), their office staff is usually able to get you in a little earlier. 


Antique Home Style is a repository of vintage design inspiration. They intentionally host a space sans social interactions and leave the distractions to some of the coolest ideas and images they can find from the not so distant past from vintage publications and other resources. Because nothing resonates with Americans like their homes.