A Small Update In the Garden Apartment (with Big Impact!)

This post is in collaboration with Schlage.

Progress in the garden apartment has been moving full steam ahead, and it kicked off with the demolition of the old flooring and installation of new. We had high hopes that our contractor could pick up where our tile guys left off, but unfortunately, his current job is taking a bit longer than expected, leaving us with a few weeks of downtime. Rather than dwell on the lag (although we totally did, let’s be real!), we’ve decided to take on smaller projects that we could do now, saving us time down the road.

We have three interior doors in the garden – two for the bedrooms, one for the bathroom – but we’ll be adding one more when we swap out a bi-fold door to the furnace closet. A couple weeks ago, Scott and I took some door inventory; we checked out the current state of what’s there and took measurements for the furnace, and we realized that we’d need to replace the bathroom door completely with one that swings out (allowing for a more efficient bath layout). After purchasing what we needed, we realized that this downtime was the best opportunity to update our doors with fresh paint and new door hardware – the perfect finishing touch to any room, even if we are working a bit backwards in this case!

The doors in the unit are standard hollow core doors (although the new bath and furnace doors we picked up are solid), and they all have builder grade door hardware. Replacing the hardware is one of those low-investment, yet high-impact projects that can be done quite quickly, so we were excited to check off this small project for a big return! We partnered up with Schlage to give these guys a mini makeover, and eventually, we’ll do the same with the exterior doors, too. Here’s where we started inside:

We removed the doors from their hinges in the bedrooms, and we also took the new bathroom and furnace doors from their jambs. The old hardware was set aside to donate, and after giving the doors a quick wipe down, they received a clean coat of fresh white paint. (Aah, don’t you just love that new paint smell?)

We allowed them to dry overnight, and the next day, it was time to install our new door hardware! We landed on the Bowery knobs from Schlage, and we opted for the (prettiest!) matte black finish. Just like the door hardware in our home, we knew we wanted to stick with clean lines in a dark finish, and these fit the bill perfectly. Funny side story, despite having picked out the Bowery from the start, we took the quick style selector quiz on a whim, just to see if they might recommend something different. When our results showed up, we got a good chuckle when Schlage recommended the Bowery knobs!

The screws on the Bowery knobs are completely hidden, so before we could install, we needed to disassemble the shell from the mechanics. A simple push into a barely visible latch on the side was all it took to separate the knob from the trim, and the trim from the mechanics:

From there, we could screw the hardware into place, and the trim and knob click into place! Installation was a snap, with each door taking less than 5 minutes to assemble.

Finally, it was time to hang our doors! To this point, we could only install the bedroom doors, but seeing them in place got us all kinds of excited! The matte black hardware adds a richness that the former hardware lacked, and they provide such a beautiful contrast to the clean white paint: (Psst, you may notice a new floor cameo!)

To complete the look, we went the extra mile and updated all the hinges in the same matte black finish. Altogether, this easy weekend upgrade took our hardware from dated to luxe, but a not-so-surprising bonus was that they feel so nice. For an item that’s touched every day, an update like this is always, always worth it.

While the doors are the gleaming beacon in the garden apartment, the rest of the trim and walls could use some love, but all of that will come after our contractor comes in. There’s plumbing to be moved, electrical to be run and a mudroom to build out. Only then will we be able to really dive in!

We love that door hardware, often an afterthought, is a relatively small update that packs a huge punch! Which Schlage hardware would you choose?

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  • @worldsworstflipper5.19.17 - 6:53 AM

    Love the Bowery knobs! I replaced 22 80’s brass levers in my house with bronze Bowery knobs when we moved in and it might be my favorite update! Huge impact for relatively minor work! Lovely choice!ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.19.17 - 10:47 AM

      WOW, 22 levers?! You’re a champion. Nice work!ReplyCancel

  • Amanda5.19.17 - 10:29 AM

    I just replaced all of my doorknobs with the bowery knobs (in polished nickel!) as well! But I ran into a snag when replacing the last one – the backset on the door is not standard (it’s about 4″). Any ideas on how to make the new knobs work with the existing door?ReplyCancel

  • Paige Flamm5.19.17 - 10:57 AM

    This looks so bright and fresh! I love the look!


  • Emily E Hoar5.19.17 - 2:05 PM

    I love those knobs! I’ve been considering replacing the knobs in my house. Half of them are really neat 1950 originals, but I can’t find a similar replacement and am not looking to pay an arm and a leg. The other half are ALL different. The bathroom has a linen closet door, hall door, and bedroom door all clumped together, with three different knobs in different finishes. It drives me crazy! Might be time to just replace them all to match, even the cool 1950 ones.ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.19.17 - 2:10 PM

      If the 1950s knobs are cohesive, I’d leave those be, and only replace the others! Having two types of knobs throughout still works, I think. Start with those bath, linen, hall and bedroom doors – the impact on that area alone will be well worth it!ReplyCancel

  • Alli5.19.17 - 6:12 PM

    It makes me absolutely CRAZY when the knobs but not the hinges are updated on a door. I was feverishly reading your post hoping you’d get to the all-important hinges. Nice work :)ReplyCancel

  • Aileen5.22.17 - 9:04 AM

    Would you mind sharing where you found your doors? We have 1960s hollow fake wood doors and I’d like to replace them all, but I’m having a hard time finding bedroom and bath doors. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Kim5.22.17 - 9:29 AM

      We got ours at Home Depot, but also saw them at Lowe’s or Menard’s! They should be pretty easy to find in any big hardware store, but if not, take a photo and show someone in that service department. They should be able to special order anything.ReplyCancel

  • […] Black doorknobs on white doors. […]ReplyCancel


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