Bathrooms Decorating The Victorian House

Occupied & Engaged Door Locks

I’ve been working away on my bathroom here on the third floor. I tried using some of the door hardware I had found in a box in the basement, and it just wasn’t coming out the way I’d wanted. Go figure, my random box of parts didn’t have what I needed. I ended up ordering an old Victorian doorknob and back plate on eBay — one that matches the rest of the hardware throughout my house — and I’m much happier with it. I did reuse the thumb turn lock that was there though because it was inconspicuous and it was fine.

Of course, there’s a difference between looking fine, and looking fiiine.

Vacant / Occupied Door Lock - Jessica Helgerson Design
• Source: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design, lead designer Emily Knudsen Leland, photography by Lincoln Barbour

I’ve had the black door with a brass vacant/engaged lock above on my Pinterest ‘Bathroom’ board for a while now, and I keep coming back to it. While I am sticking with the hardware I have now on the third floor, the other two bathrooms are in need of locks. Opportunity for excellence! The more ornate styles are a better fit for my house, but I do love the sleek one.

Occupied & Engaged / Vacant Brass Bathroom Door Locks

  1. Occupied/Open Narrow Victorian Turnlatch

  2. Brass Vacant/Engaged Lock

  3. Victorian Circa 1900 Occupied/Open Rim Lock

  4. Occupied/Open Latch with French Lever Handle

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  • Virginia
    June 24, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    I adore these! The sleek one would still be fancy-feeling; you can get away with it. No need to go Full Victorian, IMO.

    I’d love to have one of these for our guest/main floor bathroom which has a pocket door. But I can’t find anything this elegant for pocket doors. It’s a challenge, good pocket door hardware–I think we might have to commit an obscene amount of money for a Halliday Baillie pocket door lock AND a whole new door, because the amount that’s bored out for our cheap existing hardware is too much and it doesn’t latch properly. I hate the idea of guests feeling exposed, you know?

    Jealous in advance of whatever solution you pick!

  • AshleyM
    June 25, 2016 at 4:47 am

    Those are so cool! I think any of them would be appropriate and interesting!

  • Courtney @ Foxwood Forest
    June 25, 2016 at 11:01 am

    That is such fun hardware!

  • JessiBee
    June 26, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    Love these! Jessica Helgerson can really do no wrong…and I’m not biased just because I live in Portland or anything :)

  • joanna // jojotastic
    June 27, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    omg i LOVE these! maybe my bathroom needs one… so cute.

  • Kribss
    June 27, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve been wanting that same lock for some time now too! Found a local store who can order it for me but not sure I want to spend the money for a house thats not our permanent house.

  • Alana
    June 28, 2016 at 11:45 am

    I think this is such a fun, whimsical touch. As an aside, the close up of the doors show the company you hired did a gorgeous job!

    • Alana
      June 28, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Oh wait…it’s a pin and I’m daft. :) Still really pretty!

  • Preciously Me
    June 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I love those locks!!! I just painted the bathroom door and I was looking for a new lock in brass colour but never thought of those ones with “engaged/vacant”. I love them <3
    Thanks for sharing!!! I am going to buy one right now :)

  • Christa
    June 30, 2016 at 9:22 am

    These are so cool. I’m especially digging the black door.

  • Amy
    June 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm


  • Sarah Willshaw
    February 28, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Hi There, Thanks for including our Brass vacant engaged lock. Its an all time best seller and made in an British foundry the old fashioned way!

  • Happy Friday + Links 4/28/17
    April 28, 2017 at 6:01 am

    […] like to add something like this to the powder room door.  Cute, […]

  • Jay Wheatley
    October 10, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    I love these. But what if a child gets stuck inside? Is there a way to unlock/open from the outside?

    • Making it Lovely
      October 10, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Good point! Yes, each of these can be opened from the outside with a flathead screwdriver to turn the center portion.

  • Jen
    March 19, 2018 at 7:54 am

    Can you please share the paint color on the door.

  • Fawn RIzzo
    February 8, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    I’m looking for something like this for a pocket door…..have you ever come seen one?

  • Tom
    June 15, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    Where did you get that door handle shown just below the vacant/engaged lock? It fits our bathroom trim perfectly!