Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Renovation Diary: Replacing Doorknobs



You know how one thing leads to another?
The other day I was trying to decide if I wanted to jump on the black 
door trend. So we painted one door. Remember this post?
While I've been thinking, I've also been holding up the reno.

I've sorta made up my mind. But to make sure, 
I needed to think about doorknobs--the type and finish
would affect the final decision.

So I went shopping.


First, a  little backstory. 
Our interior doors are white.


I've gone back and forth about painting them.
Gray, dark gray, light gray, and black.
As Will pointed out, this trend could end 
(but probably not in my lifetime).

Each color would affect the look of the overall decor, of course. 

To keep from traipsing into blooper territory,
we painted one door a deep charcoal.

I was totally ready to go for it.
And I love a dark door with a brass knob.
Some might disagree, but I think brass is classic.
Any kind of brass.

I have no qualms about mixing metals, either.
Last year, I bought a pretty shiny brass doorknocker on Ebay
and it's going somewhere in my house, along with a shiny, ornate swinging door plate. Very old and very fine-looking.

However, I'm not sure if I want charcoal doors. 
These are circa 1993, hollow core. My initial research indicated that dark paint would add style to builder's grade doors.

On mine, the paint seemed to bring out the faux wood grain. 


Not sure I liked that. However, this is one of those
nitpicky things that are noticed during the reno and forgotten.

That said, I've just about decided on white doors. 
Two reasons.
First, I'm afraid my husband might get up in the night and bump into the door. Second, dark doors will chop this hallway to pieces:
Yes, it's pale, but the carpet will eventually
be replaced with wood flooring.

And doorknobs will make a difference.

A brass or nickel doorknob on a black door is fabulous.
Dark knobs on a white door look great, too.

I would never choose a knob without asking my family what they like and don't like. It usually comes down to this: 
I say "tomato" and Will says "tomahto."
So we picked a few tomatoes and tomahtos.
(One hasn't arrived, but you can scroll down and see what it looks like.)

Dark jewelry for the white doors.


An assortment of tomahtos, including a knob with a
nickel finish for the (possible, still undecided) darker doors.


I am fond of crystal knobs. They add instant history to a builder's grade door. This one has a matte black finish.


And this crystal knob is fluted. The backplate is dark ORB.


Below: A "tomato" knob, the one that hasn't arrived.
I am still looking for a backplate that has a simple, straight-edged top and bottom. Definitely a tomato, Will would say.









We're going to test drive a few knobs and see them on actual doors. This is going to be too much fun, I can tell.



How do you feel about mixing metals?
Do you like an unobtrusive knob, one that blends in?
Do you like contrast?
Do you think about fingerprints? 
Dirt collecting into froo-froo swirls? 
How did shiny brass get a bad rap? 
I hear it's making a comeback. (But it never went out of style in places like Boston and Williamsburg, Va. Right?)





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26 comments:

  1. My opinion is easy: don't change your doors, they look great as is - I love it white (crisp and clean) and love the handle you have on now. I don't see a need to change - and believe me, I am a changer-all-the-timer!

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  2. Love the doors white and like them charcoal too, love the black base for the crystal knobs...great for bathroom and bedrooms, love the white china know...hate the cheap shiny brass handles, dated, hate to say it, but I gotta....now you know I am right...lol...love the remodel

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  3. i think you are smart to keep the doors white, my take is why draw attention to a door, i rather decorate my way to a door, than make the door the focal point. when we bought sea dream the first thing i did was change the doors and handles, small changes make a huge diff. but this is a peanut of a house, anything makes an impact in tiny spaces! i wanted all lights, fixtures, handles etc silver in this house, to keep with the shades of the sea, silver, smokey blues, white and sand. because i wasn't into spending money i even spray painted existing lights from brass to silver, cheap, easy peasy and done in a twinkle. my house at home is all brass, to me its stood the test of time, i am still pleased and that's all that matters! i think your crystal knobs are fun, so southern to me~

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    1. I love how you've chosen colors of the sea, and used your home's background, as an inspiration. I saw a gorgeous, sea-blue coral fan (framed) and thought of you. I think it was on Wisteria or NM (online).

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  4. i think you are smart to keep the doors white, my take is why draw attention to a door, i rather decorate my way to a door, than make the door the focal point. when we bought sea dream the first thing i did was change the doors and handles, small changes make a huge diff. but this is a peanut of a house, anything makes an impact in tiny spaces! i wanted all lights, fixtures, handles etc silver in this house, to keep with the shades of the sea, silver, smokey blues, white and sand. because i wasn't into spending money i even spray painted existing lights from brass to silver, cheap, easy peasy and done in a twinkle. my house at home is all brass, to me its stood the test of time, i am still pleased and that's all that matters! i think your crystal knobs are fun, so southern to me~

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  5. All of my interior and exterior doors are solid wood and stained a mahogany stain and I do have crystal knobs on all doors including the exterior doors. You are so right it gives instant history. However all my back plates are brass and I love the way they look. They probably are virtually unnoticed but they do give an overall impact especially if you are trying to give a home a history. I also have many lighting fixtures that are brass, originally gas fixtures that were made electric but with gas keys in place and that does tie everything all in. I do love following your remodel.

    Carolyn/A Southerner's Notebook

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  6. Michael Lee, I'm a fan of white doors and molding. Love the crisp, clean look. Our first home was built in the 30s and all the door hardware was a pewter finish. It was lovely. When we moved to our current home, also built in the 30s, all the door hardware was shiny brass. I'm a traditionalist, so the shiny brass on the white doors makes me happy. I think the look has stood the test of time. White doors and wood floors is a classic, clean look. We've never had crystal knobs, but they are another classic in my mind. My favorite of your choices is the fluted crystal knob on the black backplate. Gorgeous jewelry!
    You are putting a lot of thought into this process. It's fun to get a peek.

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  7. I love them black with the glass doorknobs!

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  8. I LOOOOOOOOOVE crystal doorknobs. My childhood home had them and I used to pretend they were giant diamonds. Such fond memories!

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  9. Love, love, love the crystal door knobs! I have been looking for some. Would you mind sharing your source? This is my first time to your site, and I love it! Thanks for sharing, looking forward to what is next.

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    1. I found them on Amazon.com. They're also available at Nostalgic Warehouse BN72-VICCRY-OB Victorian Interior Handleset with Crystal Knob, Oil Rubbed Bronze. We put the small crystal knob on a door, and it is very pretty. Love! I'm going to try one with a tall backplate. Our last home had several types of hardware, and I liked it. Present home--everything matches. The mixed look is more my style.

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  10. i really like the one with the glass knobs. they look really pretty

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  11. I agree about the doors! We have white doors with brass plates and glass knobs....LOVE them....very classic!

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  12. Since I am older and have arthritis now, I would have to go with the lever type. I do love the crystal, however.

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    1. I'm so sorry about your arthritis. My mother struggles with it. I saw a crystal/glass lever that was very pretty. Let me know if you'd like the link.

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  13. I love the crystal nob with the matte black finish for a nice classic look. I can't remember the age of your hone, but I'm guessing it's on the newer side? IMO, the other choices are too vintage. We renovated our 1920s bungalow. I used glass with oil rubbed bronze. There are some existing brass and glass knobs from the 20s. I don't mind that they are not all uniform. I have two messy boys, and I don't notice the fingerprints. Yes, brass is back, but not shiny.

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    1. Yes, our home was built in 1993. We tried the crystal knob with the black matte finish on one door, and I was so pleased. Very delicate, a nice bit of color and sparkle. Our last home was 100 years old, and many doorknobs were different styles (Victorian mostly, with Baldwin "egg" knobs in the new addition), but all brass. I had a child-like joy about the differences. I'd walk in the library and think, Oh, this is the flower knob! Your knobs sound perfect for your 20s bungalow.

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  14. Glad you went with the white doors...and love the crystal knobs and love mixing metals...so much more interesting..

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    1. It's official--white doors. Glad that's behind me! lol

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  15. Classic white doors are the best. You can never go wrong with that style. I personally don't like lever type doors because my dogs always figure out how to use them.

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  16. Michael, "Shiny" brass will never be wrong. It is classy and classic and timeless. Of course, that doesn't mean it is the only choice! I'm so glad you are probably going with white doors--I think the black is like a black hole in the wall unless the room trim is also black and the walls are dark. You have certainly found some gorgeous knob choices. Can't wait to see what you choose!! And although my house is full of shiny brass (it's one of those Georgian brick colonials), mixing metals is definitely ok with me! Linda

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    1. Georgian brick homes -- another classic!

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  17. I love the dark doors and the vintage knobs, any of them! They are all fabulous!
    Jenna

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  18. I totally agree about brass, always a classic like a cashmere blazer! It bothered me when everyone was running around with cans of ORB painting them.

    Everything is coming together so beautifully! Can't wait to come visit, LOL!

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    1. Love the cashmere blazer analogy. So true! I know a woman who almost lost her mind over Baldwin doorknobs. For real! It was terrible. I myself got caught in the ORB craze in 2005. Now, on our main doors, the ORB has rubbed away to brass. It doesn't look "weathered," either. lol

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  19. I like the second last knob, the crystal one looking very good. and also love the vintage knobs, today those are disappeared.

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