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Mid-Century Modern Inspired Interior Door Levers

White Hallway Makeover

When we enter the lakehouse through what we deem our main entrance, we’re greeted immediately by the hallway and a whole lotta doors.  The hallway originally boasted beige paint paired with oak trim and doors.  Combined with worn out gold door hardware and boob lights, the overall look was a little disappointing to come home to:

Hallway Makeover Before
 Entrance Makeover Before

I wanted a brighter and more welcoming entryway and hall.  The first step was to paint the walls, ceiling, and oak trim white, along with all of the woodsy doors.  Next we
ditched the lights in favor of my cheap and trusty Ikea lights.  We collapsed the previously separate smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector into one sleek unit from Nest.  Then we
hung my DIY triptych (which fills the wall, making these humble little abstracts look much more grand), along with my framed Hungarian embroidery.  My little thrift store painting got a new, slimmer frame (the refurbished one was dented during the move).  Swapping out the dinky and dated brass knobs for more substantial, mid-century inspired Juneau levers from Sure-Loc is the latest update.  We still have more to do, but here’s our much happier hallway: 

Narrow Entryway Makeover

All White Hallway with Colorful Art

Bright Art White Walls

Make a Dark Hall Seem Bigger

DIY Abstract Art

Hallway Makeover

Nest Protect

Ikea Vanadin

I’m (almost) always Team New Hardware, but this change is special because I’ve wanted
this exact style of door lever for years.  Even though I loved our little $10 silver knobs in the townhouse, their main attributes were cheapness and newness.  They were good enough (spot the hideous “before” ones here), but not really enough to make me say “wow“. 

Silver Door Knob
Small knobs in the townhouse

Silver Door Hardware

Mid-Century Modern Style Door Levers

The Juneau levers, on the other hand, are gorgeous and have a beautiful scale
to them; they have presence, which you can see in the side-by-side comparison with the old doorknobs (above).  With simple, straight-forward doors like ours, a lever with some wow-factor adds some much needed visual interest, while keeping in line with my vision for an uncluttered, modern look.

Sure-Loc Juneau Levers

Modern Door Levers

Retro Inspired Door Lever

Whenever I do a product review I like to take some time to really test
out the product so I can tell you something beyond, “it’s shiny!”. You’ve likely spotted the levers in action in the bedroom, the laundry room and the bathroom.  Now
that we’ve put them through the ringer, I can report that we’re really happy
with our Sure-Loc levers.  They were straightforward to install.  The only trouble is that they are not perfectly straight (I’m talking about millimeters here); they have a slightly hand-made look to them which is really subtle and something we determined we liked.  Mechanically, they have a firmness to them when you open and close doors – there’s a really crisp mechanism inside.  Fingerprints show up a smidge on the brushed finish, but they really popped on the sheen of the former gold knobs. 

Disclosure: I was provided six Sure-Loc levers for review but was not encouraged to provide a positive review.  Many bloggers accept complimentary product for their homes and I know some readers wonder if they would have chosen the same item, had it not been provided for free.  I thought I’d share the background details that are sometimes elusive on product reviews: after tracking down the style I wanted, and then falling in love with other styles from their inventory, I contacted Sure-Loc about a partnership and am thrilled that they were excited about working with me.  I would have purchased these levers had they turned down my request (shhh, don’t tell them).  The Juneau levers are stylish, well-made, and are exactly what I envisioned.  I can’t imagine the hallway without them.  If you’re interested, you can find them at Direct Door Hardware.

Paint Oak Doors White Before and After



  1. Anonymous
    March 31, 2014 / 1:06 pm

    Looks so great Tanya!! The space has opened up with breathing room so much from what it once was. I swear you're my style soul sister and I have learned so much from your blog the past couple of years!I have the chrome Sure-Loc knobs to replace dated brass ones and I absolutely love them! They are so sleek and sexy and one of my most favorite updates we have ever done! Thanks for the reminder about the Nest-I got to have it!Marip.s. I really want to hug your dog's neck. He looks like a stuffed animal!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 31, 2014 / 2:31 pm

      Thanks Mari! I'm always so excited to hear someone else has a similar aesthetic. Sometimes I feel a little plain compared to other bloggers, but I really like my space to feel soothing and, for me, that means uncluttered and simple – with hits of colour here and there. It's such a fun coincidence you have the Sure-Loc knobs in chrome!! Sleek and sexy is such a great way to describe them. We definitively are style soul sisters!! We are really happy with our Nest smoke detectors. We actually splurged and got three, one for the hall, living room, and basement (where there were expired units before). They speak to each other, and our cellphones, which is a nice piece of added security, especially because the basement is actually a crawlspace and we rarely go down there. It's nice to know if there's trouble, we don't need to actually hear the basement detector, it will communicate with the others. I almost fainted at the price but now that they are up I'm so happy. They look good, they function perfectly – they even have a little night light feature.P.S. Szuka is very huggable. She has SO much fur. She's about to get a lot skinnier, though, because we're shaving her for spring.

  2. Angela Santaniello
    March 31, 2014 / 1:35 pm

    LOVE every single one of your transformations at the lake house so far. Such a simple update with white paint, but it makes a huge difference. :)Angela @ Number Fifty-Three

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 31, 2014 / 2:34 pm

      Thanks Angela! White is definitely my go-to for a makeover. It makes a room a great blank canvas. Also, because the kitchen will be turquoise, I think I need to take it easy in other rooms. I had a planned to paint all of the hallway doors a different colour but I think that might look too "daycare" once the kitchen is done. I think some areas need to play back-up to the rooms that really sing. The hallways is a back up singer for sure, but the art makes sure it's still "me". Such a relief not to come home to the miles of oak!!

  3. stephanie, sandpaper and glue
    March 31, 2014 / 1:41 pm

    so bright and airy! nice that you're finding places for your art in the new home, sometimes it's hard to make it all work in a new space. and boy did that pup grow fast!! 🙂 I saw that breed at the vet when I brought my dog in last week and it was like a fluffy mini horse–SO CUTE! haha.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 31, 2014 / 2:39 pm

      Bright and airy is exactly what I was going for! You're right: it's tricky to find new spaces for art, especially because this house is smaller and open concept. I never thought about open concept having fewer walls for art, isn't that silly of me? Some placements I've known right away: I knew the triptych would be perfect here, just like I knew the previous dining room painting would still be right for this dining room. I prefer the posters in the bedroom to the kitchen, but other art is still in a pile as I struggle to figure out where to put it. I started with what I knew I wanted certain places, and am working from there. My Mom's been stealing pieces, so that makes it easier, lol.You saw a Komondor? That's awesome. They aren't super common, so that's really neat. They are so tall, they really do look like horses. We call her "the moose," and say "the moose is on the loose" if she's just been let in. She met a miniature Schnauzer the other day and is obsessed with her. She wants to play but the little dog looks traumatized at my giant galoot of a dog and tries to book it home as fast as her little legs can carry her.

    • stephanie, s & g
      April 1, 2014 / 11:04 am

      I would have had no idea what kind of dog it was if I hadn't seen yours, but it was hugeeee and so so sweet. I was one of those weird "can I pet your dog?!" people, but luckily a vet's ofice is a normal place to be like that. haha. my 45lb dog, that thinks he's a cat because we have 3 he grew up with, was verrrrry confused. haha.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 3:57 pm

      So happy to hear your new Kom friend was a sweetie! It's difficult to socialize these guys and they need to be socialized to keep from being aggressive. I can just picture your dog looking up at this hairy horse like, "whaaaaaat are you???" Lol. It's so cute he thinks he's a cat. I imagine he's extra cuddly as a result.

  4. Julia Konya
    April 1, 2014 / 11:14 am

    It looks beautiful and I adore the artwork.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 2:30 pm

      Thank you! I made the three abstracts for my bedroom years ago, then went back and added more colour and depth a year later and was finally really happy with them. The people who bought our former house wanted them, but I couldn't given them up. It's not often I paint something I actually like, lol! Even though it took two tries 🙂

  5. Kristen
    April 1, 2014 / 1:56 pm

    What color white paint to you prefer? It looks so incredibly great!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 2:32 pm

      Thank you Kristen! I get my paint tinted to Behr's Snowfall. It's a really nice clean, but warm white. Some whites have a grey or blueness to them, while some bone whites look a little dirty. This one is my favorite – I've used it in the townhouse and lakehouse, but have had it colour matched with a different brand of paint here.

    • Kristen
      April 1, 2014 / 2:37 pm

      Thank you!

  6. Lisa
    April 1, 2014 / 2:07 pm

    This is such a great transformation. Love the new hallway, the artwork, lights and the new levers. Fabulous job!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 2:32 pm

      Thanks Lisa. It's coming along, for sure, but I still have a loooong way to go with this place.

  7. cred
    April 1, 2014 / 2:28 pm

    Lovely transformation! The white paint and sleek accessories make all the difference in the feel of the space. I loooove those levers- it's not top of the list but I need to convince hubby that our door knobs gotta go. The hallway presents like a gallery, now.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 5:38 pm

      Thanks! Is it funny that "gallery" is a look I want? Hopefully your hubs says yes to new levers. My hubby was pretty excited by them. He's not a fan of gold, and appreciated the crisp mechanism of these. Plus, he loved putting things together, lol.

  8. cred
    April 1, 2014 / 2:33 pm

    I love little miss photo bomber- peeking out from doorways. She has gotten big fast.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 1, 2014 / 5:39 pm

      She was VERY curious as to what I was doing. She has grown so quickly!! She seems to be slowing down now, so we're very curious as to what her adult weight will be.

  9. Lindsay Swoboda
    April 1, 2014 / 9:03 pm

    I saw your home on A Beautiful Mess today and had to come check out your blog-home, it is gorgeous as well! I love the transformation, and can't wait to have free-reign over a space someday. We are renters as we move constantly, and in this contract we had a no-paint policy:( BUT you give me that hope for someday. Until then…it is fun to play with each new space. I can't wait to check out more of your posts!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 2, 2014 / 12:48 am

      Hi Lindsay, so nice to "meet" you, thanks for saying hello! My love of white walls came from living in a no-paint apartment (previous to buying our townhouse). I learned to focus on movable things, like large DIY art. Our townhouse was a condo so we still didn't have free reign – we couldn't touch the exterior colours, now I'm dreaming of a brightly coloured front door. Can't wait to paint it, so I totally understand wanting free reign. It must be exciting to move so much though – you get to know new neighborhoods and meet new people!

  10. Mama Leone
    April 1, 2014 / 11:18 pm

    Such a lovely place! Adore the artwork! Thanks for sharing!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 2, 2014 / 12:49 am

      Thank you!

  11. Jen @ Girl in the Garage
    April 2, 2014 / 4:53 am

    Hi Tanya, I had to stop by your blog after the sweet comment you left on mine. Your hallway looks amazingly better after just the simple updates you did- great door handles by the way! And your dog is pretty awesome too! 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      April 2, 2014 / 5:05 am

      Thanks Jen! She's definitely a keeper.

  12. Spring cleaning E14
    April 2, 2014 / 6:34 am

    This turned out gorgeous! Love the transformation! Great job!

  13. wilma
    August 19, 2014 / 2:43 am

    you should paint the outside door at the end of the hall….your style is FABULOUS, i love love love your blog.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      August 19, 2014 / 3:07 am

      Thanks for your kind words! Since the post it has been painted aqua (yay) but I haven't shared it yet. Soon…

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