New Door Lever Handles

***Disclosure: I’ve received free product in exchange for an honest review.***

Door hardware is something you don’t give much thought to even though you touch it every day. It’s only after you replace it that you notice the huge difference quality hardware makes.

I recently replaced our old door knobs with new Kwikset door handles. It took me a while to figure out if I wanted knobs or lever handles. The number one argument for the use of handles is ergonomics. A door knob requires a tight grasp and the ability to twist in order to open the door. A handle only requires you to push down to open the door. A handle is much easier to use for an elderly person with arthritis, or anyone with their hands full ( that would be me).

Did you know that the city of Vancouver banned the use of knobs in new construction in favor of more user-friendly handles?

I chose the Halifax Square Lever in Venetian Bronze I love how simple and modern the style is without being too basic. The Venetian Bronze finish looks black with bits of brown.

door knob

Shortly after I bought our fixer, I spray painted all the knobs. The paint held up well for about two years, then it started to chip. Also, some of the knobs were dented and no longer locked. It was time to replace them.

kwikset door handle

The first thing I noticed is how heavy these Kwikset door handles are. They are solid and have some serious weight to them. I felt it when I dropped one on my foot. I ordered privacy and closet levers.

Installation was really straight forward. I did have to notch out a few latch holes where I needed them to be deeper. The handles feel sturdy and come with a simple lock mechanism. This is a lever with a minimal turn (45 degree downward turn) to open.

If you are planning on staying in your home for the long-term and want to age-in-place, seriously consider choosing lever style door handles. If a member of your family suffers from arthritis or other joint ailments, also consider levers for their ease of use.

door handle

What do you prefer: Knobs or levers?

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Removing Urine Stains From Hardwood Floors

Disclaimer: I’m not a flooring specialist but this method worked for me when I refinished the hardwood floors in our home.

Ever since I had published the post about my Hardwood Floors Refinishing Experience, I’ve received lots of questions about how I tackled pet urine stains.

Hardwood floor refinish

This stain was the largest (it’s the only photo I have) and the hardest to remove. Honestly, I didn’t have much hope for it to work on this stain. Additionally, I had two smaller urine stains. My next step would have been to simply replace some of the damaged boards. So I had nothing to lose but to try the hydrogen peroxide method first.

hardwood floors

Here’s the same stain after I sanded. I was able to remove a lot, but not all of it.

removing urine stains from floors

After soaking the stain in peroxide, this was the result. It’s not perfect but good enough for me. Perhaps longer soaking periods would have removed the stain entirely, but I was running out of time and needed to seal the floors. I don’t expect my 47-year-old floors to look perfect, anyway. Besides, this area is covered by a rug.

Also, I did not stain my floors. I assume a dark stain would have covered up whatever urine stain was left, but I wanted my floors as natural looking as possible so I skipped any dark stain and only used a sealer.

removing stains from hardwood floors

This was the area with the two minor urine stains. Nothing is left.

Here’s what I did:

After I sanded the floors, I tried a very simple home remedy. I soaked a clean cloth with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and placed it on the stain. I covered the cloth with plastic wrap. This kept it from drying out. At first, I checked on the stain every hour or so. But because this stain was so dark and large, I left the cloth overnight. For the smaller stains, an hour was enough.

hardwood floor refinish

In conclusion, if you aren’t looking for “perfect” floors, give this method a try. Replacing boards is neither simple nor cheap. My floors are old and full of ‘character’… and that’s what I love most about them.

Iconic T-Shirt & Thrift Store Jeans

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logo shirt

logo shirt

sweetheart jeans

canvas sneakers

Logo shirt

logo shirt

Years ago, I lived in New York. Fresh out of my German high school, I enrolled in an Au Pair program, which led me to the Big Apple. Boy, did I love the city! For an entire year, I explored and explored. I couldn’t get enough of this place… it was almost like a drug that always pulled me back in. I needed to see everything.

This summer, my daughter Christy interned in New York. She, too, fell in love with the city that never sleeps. Guess where she is moving after college?

For now, Christy is back in college…ready to take on her senior year. Before she left New York, I asked her to get me the iconic I LOVE NY t-shirt. I had one just like that back in the days. It was one of my favorite t-shirts and I wore into the ground.

With summer winding down, it’s time for long pants again. I’ve missed them. We can wear them again without dying of a heat stroke. I paired the logo shirt with a pair of Old Navy Sweetheart jeans I found at Goodwill. (similar jeans here).  I love everything about these jeans. I love the length, the wash, the price ($1 crazy, right?!) and the slight flare. They’re also stretchy and soft. Raise your hand if you’re starting to get tired of skinny jeans?

I don’t like to wear anything too crazy and prefer sticking to more subtle tones. I also love worn-in belts and have worn them since  middle school. The Mad Love white lace up canvas sneakers add a nice classic touch and look better once they’ve acquired a little grit.

Do you like logo shirts? Have a great week! xo Sabine