Tall House Updates

Sometimes there are mini-projects going on in the midst of the larger renovation. One of those has been stripping down and re-storing the door knobs and locks. Here’s what he process has looked like so far:

Since I posted those updates on Stories, we’ve made so progress on figuring out new keys. First we tried a locksmith, but with Covid, the hours are limited and we couldn’t find one that was open.

So then, at Grant’s recommendation, we visited one of our favorite Brocantes, to see if they had an old bucket of keys we could try, but alas, they did not. (There are other brocantes we can try so that’s not a dead end.)

But no worries, I kept the locks in zip lock bags in our car, and when we finally happened upon an open locksmith, we had success! We gave him one of the locks to try, and it only took him a few minutes to find a key that would work. He had to cut the key a little bit, but not much. So now, we can bring him the other locks whenever each one is ready.

Although I still really like the idea of finding keys that already exist, so I’d like to try that route as well. We’re still trying to find a fix or replacement for the broken spring.

We also made progress on the built-in cupboard in Betty’s bedroom:

We removed shelves, stripped the wallpaper, and Grant repaired the plaster. We were thinking about wallpapering the back of the closet, but we decided to paint it the same green as the walls, which will leave a simple, fresh backdrop for Betty to organize her stuff. (But we may add some wallpaper later for a little visual surprise whenever she opens the cupboard door!)

Other fun stuff: We picked up paint for Oscar’s bedroom this morning, the kitchen sink faucet arrived, and the dishwasher gets delivered on Tuesday. We’re also getting in touch with a new plumber. The plumber we started with has retired and sold his business, so we’re on the hunt for someone who can finish the job.

I’ve had a really hard time concentrating this week and last week, but I have more doorknobs to work on, and they are a good distraction.

What about you? Are you able concentrate these days? Or are you glued to the news like I’ve been? Any good projects you’ve got going on?

P.S. — More Tall House updates.

7 thoughts on “Tall House Updates”

  1. As a knitter, Betty’s closet seems like a great space for yarn.
    Your kids are learning great skills that will be useful to them their whole lives.

  2. I’m so glad you mentioned having difficulty concentrating. I am too. I usually love to read but find that for the last week or so, I just can’t seem to focus.

  3. I’ve tried to be conscious about my media consumption while staying informed. This has meant less social media and more podcasts, Patreon & watching news on TV. I’m thankful for your stories updates here, as I’ve stayed off IG the last little while. When I do get back on, those who I follow will be greatly paired down (but I’ll always watch for your posts!)

  4. I find all this old hardware fascinating. Our 1915 house has original locks and knobs and old old keys to lock and unlock them. My 16 year old found his key and keeps it in his door. I took them all out when they were toddlers, but stupidly I did not label them so it is like a game to figure out which one goes to what door.

    I wonder what locksmiths charge in France. I recently had a locksmith here to fix some things and it was tres cher!!!!

    You’re doing a marvelous job on renovating. I’m in awe of your industriousness!

  5. The locks on your doors are called rim locks here in the UK. I’ve cleaned & restored all the ones in our house. Those springs are really fiddly things! I don’t know if everything would be similar sizes UK Victorian rim locks vs French ones, but I’m pretty sure you can get spare parts online here if you search under “rim lock”. Good luck! They’re looking so beautiful! (FWIW, I repainted mine black. They were originally black with brass knobs and keyholes.)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top