After I painted our backdoor last week I realized that it was in desperate need of a new handle (somehow the home made 20 year old one wasn’t cutting it anymore). For the backdoor I chose this beautiful clover leaf handle.  It is super heavy and slightly rustic looking in person.
Laura and Ken have narrowed down the exterior house colors and shingles, so now it is time to focus in on the front door. As you can see the options are quite extensive, from traditional to arts and crafts and ranging from no glass to almost all glass. After reviewing the options, Laura and Ken selected a model with more glass, to help bring light into the space. I thought I would follow up yesterday’s post about my door hardware with some sources for old door hardware. I have bought cabinet hardware from here, but not door hardware, although their selection is pretty good. Mostly known for their beautiful lights, they now offer all sorts of other house accessories including door hardware.
Usually the prices are good and you have a better chance of finding a good match for what you have locally.
We have almost all of the original 123 year old interior door hardware in our house and it is showing its age. Currently we have wooden door rosettes & key hole escutcheons (with the exception of the bathroom door which must have been replaced in the 1920s or so with a glass knob and metal rosette).
We are in the midst of a stomach bug epidemic, so life has been moving a little more slowly than usual.  The contractor was just here to go over moving the master bedroom door, discuss options for the bathroom door and the handrail and show him the plans for the electric. He did think my linen closet was ridiculously small (hey, I don’t have one, so any closet no matter how small is an upgrade). I had been eying a different ceiling fan but I saw this one (Acqua Ceiling Fan II in Textured Bronze) for a great price on Joss & Main and decided to go ahead and order it.
The front door is such an important part of the house, it is not only where people first come into the house (and wait while you open the door) but it is also something that you touch.
They are fortunate and the entry is a double height space, so they can take advantage of the light from transom above the door.
I would finish it off with a number like this in paint or vinyl (idea originally from the first issue of Blueprint Magazine) in black just below the glass. There are quite a few nice backplates and knob sets for sale at quite reasonable prices, especially if you are willing to give them a good cleaning.
Their prices are generally reasonable (although some items seem a bit overpriced), but I have found that their casting are not as crisp as I would like and that almost none of their hinges have removable pins. They are known for their high quality, and at least from the pictures everything looks quite nice.
The downside is that you usually have to sift through a lot of stuff to find what you want. We have a reoccurring problem with the hinges, the doors staying shut and the door rosettes breaking. At first I thought this was really unusual, but now that I am a lot more familiar with Victorian houses, I have found that at least around here it was fairly common to have wooden door knobs.


I have yet to see another house with wooden rosettes (I am guessing that most of them broke a long time ago).
Since we are going to be working on this wall I thought it would be nice to add some light into the corridor from the bathroom. We will have to use some sort of latch to lock it, since the door isn’t thick enough for a locking mechanism. So I took a look an VanDykes’s Restorers and they were having a sale on most of their handles! I will also be installing a matching one on the outside (since this handle is suitable for outdoor exposure). I have a general rule that the closer something is to you, the better the quality should be.
Once we decided on a painted door instead of a natural finish, it then turns to deciding on what type of door. Their website is a bit slow and cumbersome but they have some good stuff at very reasonable prices. The only downside I see is that they focus on selling complete sets rather than individual parts.
Also the prices range from really good to not so good based on the place and your negotiating skills. We have done some piecemeal work, but we need to look at the doors as a group and make a decision on what we are going to do.
Please join me in the adventures of renovating old homes while trying to raise our young modern family. Overall this space is going to be a bit more eclectic and industrial then some of our other spaces in the house. Fortunately they arrived quickly and I have installed the handles for the drawers and I will probably get around to installing the backdoor handle this weekend. I also picked up a similar, although slightly smaller set for the future bulkhead doors (currently we have a piece of exterior plywood on hinges). Right now I am leaning towards a white freezer (unfortunately the model that I want only comes in white). Their builder recommended Therma-Tru, which is one of the largest manufactures of doors in America. Eastlake is an ornamental style of Victorian detail named after the famous English designer, Charles Eastlake, who wrote Hints on Household Taste which was a very popular book both in England the US in the later part of the 19th Century. They have also been helpful when I have called with questions and been able to sell me set screws and some miscellaneous bits that you can’t seem to find anywhere.
Often called back plates, the type we have is typically referred to as rosettes because they are round. Our first floor tends to stick much closer to the Victorian feel, but upstairs I think it is okay to have a little fun.
I also picked up handles for the bulkhead door (for when we get around to making new doors).
I have fixed several of these, but because of this condition it is almost impossible to get a good hold.


If you are searching for replacements, it is good to do a search for door rosette, backplate and escutcheon. That was actually quite therapeutic, and it feels good to get a good bit of clutter out of the space.
On one of the doors upstairs the previous owner added screws into the corner of the hinges. A couple of months ago I managed to find 3 sets on ebay for a good price, so I bought them and they have been waiting for installation. Of course our playroom and garage are almost full and we still have one closet in our bedroom that will require emptying and demolishing.
And frankly most of my choices could be changed to something more traditional fairly easily. It should stand up well to lots of use without getting dings and it also takes paint well and doesn’t expand and contract like wood. However, if you are willing to slog through the more vague terms you can sometimes find a better deal because the person selling it may not know the exact style so the prices will sometimes be cheaper. They did not do a particularly good job of this, but it is worth considering, over replacing all of the hinges. This is exacerbated by the screws holding the hinges in place failing causing the door to settle.  I am currently considering several options for the rosettes, both vintage and reproduction. I am thinking that we may be installing our bedroom closets piecemeal so that we can continue to function. In our case we are keeping some of the door hardware parts including the mortise guts so that works in our favor. They also offer the complete system with the sidelites and transom (glass above the door), so that will help to make sure that the joints are tight which will help keep the weather out.
Another option  for fiberglass doors is Jeld-Wen but I couldn’t seem to find sidelites and transoms on their website. We are staying away from larger backplates that house both the door knob and keyhole because we have found that the dimension between the two varies in our house, and amongst backplates for sale (both vintage and new). The hinges must stylistically match the rest of the hardware, the pins are removable and the screw placement needs to work with our door framing. If you don’t have the time and energy to search through whats available then you should probably look elsewhere. I made the mistake of buying non-removable pins when I replaced the hinges on the front door and I REALLY regret this.
These 3 are all pretty reasonably priced, although if I go with the antique ones I am going to have to see if Charleston Hardware Co. They also all have daisies on them, which are my favorite flower and match the daisies on the Kitchen mantel and the upstairs stained glass window.




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