Experienced dog owners know that dogs learn a great deal by watching what goes on around them. Opening doors, for example. And this can have grave implications for the health and beauty of your woodwork, never mind the other potential problems!

I know this.

See, my retired racing greyhound may sometimes be a little slow to catch on to any new behaviour that’s a long way from what he knew at the track… but he was very quick to learn how to open the under-stairs closet where I keep the dog food!

That door has a lever handle, you see. Very stylish — it’s an antiqued-brass replica of vintage handware — and very convenient if you want to open the door when your hands are full… but…

The main benefit of lever handles over door knobs is also their biggest downfall, as usual! You will find that kids and older people can operate door levers much more easily than knobs, but you will also find that then kids can get into and out of rooms that you didn’t want them anywhere near!

Dogs are another culprit — many dogs with half a brain will figure out that when they jump up on a door lever, it opens for them — and then even your dogs will be thwarting your efforts to keep parts of your house either mud-free, cool or warm!

Lucy Atkinson of Architectural Classics suggests that one solution is to install a lever-lock. I’d never heard of such a thing — apparently it’s simply an attachment, generally made of plastic, that stops the door from opening when the lever is pushed. Clever!

But, then, of course, you may have a frustrated dog jumping up at the door. And jumping is a sure route to dirt and scratches on your lovely woodwork, furniture, walls…

There are two ways to go, Lucy says (and I agree): you can either put a lever handle on the door and let the dog use it… or teach your dog not to jump up at all.

(Yes, it can be done. If my sweet doofus greyhound could learn not to jump those front paws off the ground without permission, your much-smarter breed of dog can certainly do the same!)

And for those of you wondering why on earth a commercial blog “for those with a passion for achitectural detail” has a post with tips for dog training (!), here’s my theory: The folks at Architectural Classics are all about bringing those small perfect touches of enduring beauty into real life.

And real life sometimes has animals in it.

Uncooperative animals with muddy paws, a lack of appreciation for aged oak, and their own incomprehensible agenda…

But I digress.

Oddly enough, this is actually supposed to be a normal review — so I’d best get on with it!

architectural antique fingerplate Architectural Classics has three main parts, the first of which is the Online Shop: I love browsing here. Originals and reproductions, both, and all manner of hardware detail pieces and lighting fixtures, so there is a fair range of prices. And lots of inspiration to be had there, too! (Remember that Art Deco vase lamp I wrote about earlier?)

Not so keen on the Forum:
Okay, it’s a new board and these things take time to build momentum… but it’s a bit like trying to launch a nightclub: Easy enough to set up, but the trick is to get the A-listers hanging out there to draw a crowd… and then sustain it…

With so much competition in the forum world, AC might be wise to let the forum quietly slip away — and focus efforts in other areas… like, the ab fab Blog!

Want to know three easy ways to clean a chandelier? or, what the heck those “fingerplates” are for? The AC blog’s your place.

human bones chandelierI tell you, people, this is not your average corporate blog — and the best bits are authored by Lucy Atkinson. I don’t know the woman at all, but already a fan. (This might be a good time for her to ask the boss for a raise!)

My current favourite post, next to the whole dog-training-door-handle thing, is the write-up about a chandelier made with human bones

Go. Read. Enjoy.

Appreciate the architectural details.

Then, learn how to train your dog, already, so you and your home are both much more happy! :-)

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