Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Doorknob (and my new ORB obsession)

I think I'm beginning to fall in love with vintage design. I see old suitcases turned into side tables, and distressed antique white mirrors, and crystal chandeliers- and it makes me weak in the knees. I used to despise that motif- but, isn't that just the way?- especially for me... the things I hate the most tend to be the ones that I end up pursuing. Anways, all this goes to say, that the topic of doorknobs has come up at our place a few times. Jackie hinted a few months ago that she was digging antique doorknobs. And we found a few really sweet ones over here. But, I just couldn't justify spending $40 on a doorknob (in hindsight, as I've learned a great deal about doorknobs in the last month, $40 really isn't that bad of a price). I began a small quest to find a new door knob for our bedroom- something vintage-y and pretty. By fluke, I stumbled upon these bad boys on a lunch break at work: Vintage Glass Door knobs! *drool* Only a few bucks each, and they came complete with a mortise lock hole! Awesome!

Clearly the whole brass thing had to go- definetly wasn't my style. And so, I painted them with my new favorite spray paint! Oil Rubbed Bronze! (or ORB as it's affectionately referred to). It's real purdy. You should check it out the next time you're at a Home Depot. I started with a grey spray primer, and did two coats of the ORB. It really complimented the glass feel. And so, With my 2 knobs, back plate, and spindle, I attemped to install my first door knob! wee!

mmmmm.... Oil Rubbed Bronze

Our current hardware is pretty modern and looks nice. But the ORB Glass Antique Knob would be a piece of jewlery for our place! So, I unscrewed the door lever, and removed both handles, leaving the latch in place. I threaded the spindle through, and attached the glass knobs. Beautiful! It was a little stiff at first, but seemed to do the trick. I tested the knob out a handful of times- and then did the big test: making sure the door could latch shut and then open properly (I had this fear of Hazel waking up in the middle of the night screaming, and me running to get her, and being latched shut in our bedroom because my installation job sucked). And so, I closed myself out of the room, with Jackie on the inside. And... the door didn't open. I spent 10 mins trying to unscrew the knob while Jackie was locked in our bedroom (even though I didn't say a word, I'm pretty sure she knew that I locked her in). At which point, I realized that I was going to need a new door latch as well. Typical: there's always a setback.

The next day, I went to the door hardware section at work to buy a latch. And: there wasn't any! We sell all the parts for this product: knobs, screws, locks, eye holes, hinges- but noooo latch! Infuriating! I went online to investigate, and found the latch part number. I called the company to see if I could special order the part to Home Depot. Turns out, the part is only available in the U.S. and the only company that carries it is Home Depot USA........*there are no words*...... fortunately, Jackie's family has a box to ship to over the border. I ordered the piece for $6 (and cashed in on free shipping!).

A week or so later, the part was in my hands. I also gave it an ORB makeover, and attempted to install. I unscrewed the handle (yet again) and also removed the latch plate (piece that attaches to the wall opposite the door), and plugged in my brand new latch. Guess what? It was 1/2" too short. The spindle didn't even attach. And the latch also stuck out a 1/4"- and didn't fit with the door..... At this point I was speechless.... actually, I'm pretty sure that I was full of speech- just with nothing good to say. In all probablity, I could probably get a saw, cut a piece out of the door and find an extension for the latch to fit, but I'm just not that handy, and occasionally too proud to ask for help with simple DIY projects.

And so, there really isn't a resolution to this story. I think I'm going to save the doorknob for our next place, as we hope that our next home will be a house- and someplace for us to invest a few years in. For now, unless anything changes, the door knob will remain a hopeful reminder and ambition for that next place.

P.S. If you're feeling handy-man-like and up to a challenge, feel free to swing by and see if you can make it work- we'll make you dinner, or something.

1 comment:

  1. Love how it turned out! It's definitely "jewelry"--it's gorgeous! I'm sure Jared could help you try to figure out if it would work on your bedroom door now!