Don’t Forget the Doorknobs When You Remodel or Redecorate

Whether you’re remodeling or just redecorating, finishing touches can make or break the final result you imagined and planned. Believe it or not, your doorknobs are a detail you shouldn’t overlook.

Designer Betsy Burnham told usatoday.com that sweating small details like doorknobs can make all the difference because of the unexpected visual impact.

“In many homes, these hardware items are mostly ignored. Interior doors may have mismatched, inexpensive knobs that were installed at different times,” the story reads. “(But) clients are frequently surprised at the visual impact of something as simple as carefully chosen hardware.”

When we were planning our second floor bathroom remodel, we knew we’d need two doors – entry and closet – and new doorknobs as well, and that got us thinking about unifying the look of our doors throughout the house.

Our home is a bungalow built in 1929, and the upstairs addition was added sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s (we think). The doors and doorknobs on the first floor are original to the house – think solid wood with raised panels and cut glass knobs on traditional brass rosettes – while the second floor features hollow core wood doors and polished brass knobs.

Design “upgrade” choices of previous owners have made restoring the original doors a nightmare, and some of the door hardware is starting to fail on the first floor. We came to the conclusion that we would replace all the bedroom doors and the two closet doors on the first floor, so we went looking for replacement doors and hardward that retain the original character of the house.

We found five-panel doors that echo the craftsmanship from when the house was built and then shopped for glass doorknobs we felt could serve as reasonable replacements for the originals. We settled on Baldwin Hardware’s Filmore crystal knobs with polished chrome rosettes because the shape and cut of the crystal is so close to the cut glass on the first floor we felt swapping out one for the other offers a smooth transition between 1929 and the 21st century.

While simple, round rosettes in polished chrome are a world away from the more ornate brass plates on the first floor, it was important to us to create a more seamless look with matching door hardware throughout the house in order to bridge the gap between the original first floor and the second-floor addition.

Another reason we stuck with the heavier crystal option is because we liked the way the cut glass knobs feel in our hand; solid without being bulky, smooth turns in both directions, and easy lock and unlock mechanisms.

We never thought doorknobs could make much of a difference, but they really do, no different than choosing new handles and pulls in the kitchen or installing the right light fixture.

 

 

 

 

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