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Best Knobs and Pulls 

Bauerware

Lou-Anne Bauer has found success doing one thing and doing it very well. In her case that one thing was opening a store called Bauerware that sells nothing but cabinet knobs and pulls. Before experiencing Bauerware, most people consider the knob little more than a nondescript necessity. But one visit to the store and they suddenly realize the wild possibilities of this utilitarian appurtenance. Anything can be a knob: a mah-jongg tile, a fork, a shell. "You start viewing the world in terms of knobs," says Bauer. Bauerware has 3,600 varieties of knobs and pulls -- the biggest selection on the West Coast, according to Bauer -- in every style imaginable, from vintage to modern to country cute. The most expensive item in the store is a set of Sub-Zero refrigerator door handles made of fused glass that go for $1,500, while a nothing-fancy knob may sell for as little as $2. Bauer says the store extends what she tries to do as an interior designer, making mundane, household objects into art.

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