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It’s all in the details

January 12, 2011

Working set of pocket doors going to the library

While I’m waiting for our newly refinished floor to cure so that I can finish the stenciling and move in to my new room, I thought I’d share some of the more intricate treasures in the house with you more closely.  Although our house is not the typical over the top Victorian that one may think of when they hear the word Victorian, the Queen Anne style certainly suits our tastes and the detailing that we do have is superb.

We have both mentioned the woodwork in the downstairs and front hallway before, solid cherry paneling.  I think we have also mentioned that there are sliding pocket doors downstairs, seven to be exact.  The difficult piece for us in this is the work we’ll need to do to get them all rolling again.  Only three of them work smoothly, but we have figured out how to repair them without damaging or even taking apart the woodwork.  The tracks that the doors live on can be raised and lowered within each housing case, and once we start working on a set, Bill will likely take you through the process on how we can maneuver them.

Swinging door push plate

Each door has beautiful hardware inset handles and locks.  When we first came to the house, I had assumed that this hardware was bronze.  To my surprise, when polished, it is a rose colored brass or copper plated.  I can’t polish all of the hardware fully, so as not to wear down the plating, but fresh lime juice and sea salt work wonders.  My favorite piece of hardware so far is the push plate on the swinging door between the pantry and the dining room.  I think we’ve been very lucky that so much of the hardware is intact and in good shape.  Many houses are stripped of the hardware simply because of its worth.

Along with the door and window hardware, the floor hardware is stunning.  Yes, the floor hardware.  We have heavy iron floor registers in each room leading to our basement oil furnace.  Actually, my studio register is not connected to anything, thus leaving that room with no heat.  But, in all other rooms, there is a large register.

A single unique register in the kitchen floor

In only room is the register in the wall, and I believe we have three types of registers.  Most of them are quite large and replaceable if we ever needed to get a new one.  However, to replace a single register alone would cost $300. For each room that we have worked in, we’ve cleaned and repainted the registers.  Mostly they are dull and rusty, but shine up quite nicely with high gloss black paint.

Once again, Vandyke’s Restorers is our go to place for finding any hardware replacements.  I’ve had to buy window sash locks and strike plates through them, and we have appreciated the quality they serve up.

Not all of the glorious details we’ve found have originated in the house itself.  As we go, (slowly), we are adding tidbits to each room to make them unique and sassy.  The Victorian era was full of flourish and mismatched floral patterns.  I can’t say that we’ll end up with a house reeking of 1890, but I can say that we are intending to create an updated Victorian feel.

Unreal, right?

This past holiday, in a small art co-op in South Carolina, we came upon a perfect detail to add to our dining room.  A porcelain switch plate, painted ideally for our already stenciled walls.  I was in shock when I found it and bought it without hesitation.  I’ve even thought of writing the company to let them know how perfect it is for us.  Take a peek, the company that makes these plates is called “Now that’s a switch“.

More details to come, as we continue to unfold!

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. donna jean permalink
    January 12, 2011 9:00 pm

    those pocket doors are great! and what a nice job bill is doing in refinishing them 🙂
    i think they will work wondering in keeping a little someone corraled in only certain rooms 🙂
    and the that switch plate is great! i guess that is how a great house is made- little by little!

    • January 14, 2011 12:00 pm

      It is little by little. . . we can never do enough right now, and yet, i think we’ve come along way since we’ve lived here. Dont’ know what a little boy will bring to the mix, but we’ll see!

  2. Mom permalink
    January 13, 2011 11:58 am

    Your house is gorgeous!! The details of the little things are very interesting.

    • January 14, 2011 11:59 am

      Hi Mom! Thanks, I think you’ll be pleased to see the improvements when you come visit next. 🙂

  3. Aunt Donna permalink
    January 17, 2011 11:24 am

    I had trouble accessing this installment of the blog that’s why my message is delayed. I love the cherry pocket doors. The concept of the door sliding into a pocket is great. They are out of the way when you don’t need them.

    • January 24, 2011 9:49 am

      It is nice to have pocket doors; and, we have doors where they wouldn’t be in a modern house, so I love that, too! Hope you are able to get the other posts okay!

  4. Callahan permalink
    January 23, 2011 2:30 pm

    Hey! The house looks amazing! Can’t wait to see how it looks when it’s completely finished! It’ll be really beautiful!

    • January 24, 2011 9:50 am

      Hi Callahan! Thanks so much! There is a lot of work to do here, you might be in college by the time the house is finished. 😉

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