Monster Eyeballs

Three cheers for a $12 fifteen minute project that makes us giggle. Because sometimes you just gotta laugh. We switched out the old knobs on our dining room built-ins.

The first step is to put on your safety goggles and protective gloves. Kidding. The first step is to unscrew the old ones and the second step is to screw in the new ones. So easy. Here’s a little in-progress action shot for ya:

And here are the new ones all “installed”:

But back to the whole monster eyeballs thing. When I fell in love with these greeny-yellow knobs at Hobby Lobby (for $1.50 a pop thanks to a 50% off sale), it never crossed my mind that they’re a bit similar to the eyeball-esque hardware that we inherited with our kitchen. Remember this weird (and wonderful?) post about that?

Anyway, somehow we missed that they might look like monster eyeballs (you know, because some monsters have yellow ones instead of white ones) until we got them home and screwed them in and John started laughing about the obvious (but not to us until that moment) similarity. Although somehow in yellow and oil-rubbed bronze they feel a bit less eyeball-y and more playful and eclectic than the more cartoon-ish black & white ones in the kitchen. At least that’s what we’re telling ourselves.

We love them anyway. Monster eyeballs be darned.

Especially with the teal backing of the built-ins above them – such a fun color combo.

Thankfully from most vantage points they look more like fun yellow knobs than body parts of any kind (but from Clara’s line of sight they might continue to look like monster eyeballs for a while, which she might get a kick out of). Either way, once the walls go soft gray and we add curtains and art and chairs and a big opening to the kitchen we’re sure the knobs will hardly be the focal point. We could probably get little alien butt knobs and no one would notice.

So that’s a little $12 makeover that makes us smile (and makes our built-ins feel fun and kinda funky). Sidenote: I hate the word funky. It always makes me think of smelly feet or old cheese.

New theory: every house needs at least a few monster eyeballs. We have nine thanks to the one on the closet door in the guest room.

Methinks that’s just enough.


  1. Sara says

    I totally thought “eyeballs” right away. I was surprised that you picked them after saying that the kitchen knobs look like eyes. These look even more like they are watching you because of how close together they are.

    As much as I want to like them because I love you guys and what you do, I think they attract too much attention and distract from your lovely display on the shelves. Especially since someone else pointed out how they resemble the female anatomy.

  2. Marla says

    lol. Yeah, I didn’t want to say anything, but they sure do look like monster eye balls. But if you’re happy with it and it brings you some laughter in your home, then enjoy! p.s. I like how the yellow looks with the teal :)

    • says

      Ours didn’t do that, but if they did we probably would have used a hack saw to cut them down. You can do it manually if you grab an inexpensive hack saw. Hope it helps!


  3. says

    Dangit, I wish you hadn’t said eyeballs, because now that’s all I see and I can’t get past it!

    Oh well, all that matters is that you love them!

  4. Sara says

    Ok, so here’s my question…I have a bunch of hardware that I want to replace but whenever I look at the replacement knobs in anthro or elsewhere, the screw-back-thingie always seems SO long, like it will stick out the other side too far. Your screw-back-thingies also look long in your “progress” shot and I was wondering what they look like inside the cabinet? Do they stick out? How do you deal with that extra length?

    • says

      Ours didn’t do that, but if they did we probably would have used a hack saw to cut them down. You can do it manually if you grab an inexpensive hack saw from the home improvement store. Hope it helps!


    • Jen says

      At Home Depot in the cabinet hardware section, they have packages of screws in different lengths that are specifically meant for installing cabinet hardware. I had to buy some that were longer than the screws that came with my hardware, but if you wanted to avoid the hacksaw you could pony up the couple bucks and buy the shorter ones.

    • Sara says

      Thanks, you guys, that definitely helps! Now I feel so much more ready to tackle my kitchen cabinets and the knobs on my sideboard :)

  5. Barbara says

    Cost Plus World Market has some fabulous knobs, and you can buy them in sets or just one. Cheap too!

  6. Matt says

    Lots of bright colors/bold colors, starting to feel like a funhouse. Where are my shades?

  7. S says

    No, just “NO”. They’re awful. I think that you guys are trying so very hard to move away from what the old house is, that sometimes you are losing sight that not every little detail has to be so extreme. The bedroom lighting comes to mind.

    • says

      They tickle our pickle but they don’t have to tickle yours! No worries. That room is going to have soft gray walls with white trim and built-ins so we tossed caution into the wind with fun little knobs that we love. To each his own!


  8. sarah says

    Your house is really starting to come together!

    I have an off the subject question. Since you take and store so many pictures I thought that you might have some recommendations for backing up photo files. My computer is filled up and now I looking for external hard drives, do you use one? Also do you have a recommendation for an online photo back up service? I am always so afraid that I would lose all of my photos if we had some sort of natural disaster. Sorry this is kinda random but I thought you might have some suggestions.

  9. Kate says

    The kitchen eyeball post was my very favorite YHL post of all time! (except maybe the one of John on the john – the look on his face cracked me up!)

    One favor though…can you draw some monster faces on the yellow eyeballs photos? It’s all that’s missing from the post!

  10. haley says

    The new knobs look great but gotta admit that I was SHOCKED that you replaced the old and didn’t whip out a can of yellow spray paint whoop a$$ instead and paint the oldies!??