Sunday, July 11, 2010

Does Hardware Need to Match?

I've gotten all of my formal decision papers from the Zoning Board of Appeals and I'm about two weeks into the 20-day waiting period during which someone can appeal the ZBA's decision in land court if they object. Since it would cost someone money at this point to fight the ZBA's decision, I think I'm in the clear.

In the meantime, plans move forward. I originally thought I wanted to have a mahogany front door but every wood door I've seen installed in the neighborhood looks faded and weathered after just a few years, even when under the cover of a porch. That would drive me crazy.
I think I've decided on a gray color scheme similar to this...medium gray body, light gray trim with black window sashes, doors and shutters. It's a classic and handsome color combination, appropriate for a Greek-Revival and a black front door could be easily be freshened with a new coat of paint.
I'll be using a Simpson six-panel door and I thought it would look nice to have...
...bull's eye glass in the top two panes but it doesn't seem to be an available option. It's not a typical detail on a Greek Revival--perhaps a little more colonial--so I'll might just go with the...
...typical six-panel door since I'll have...
...the sidelights flanking each side of the door.
I'm also using Marvin Ultimate double-hung windows, six over six panels, aluminum clad in black on the outside, primed wood on the inside. And then came an unexpected question:

What color hardware do I want on the windows?


I don't know. I thought I had put off having to make any decisions about the inside so I was a little unprepared to answer that question. I decided I try to find some information or advice on the internet and found an article on Addicted 2 Decorating that addresses this subject.

"The short answer to your question is...YES. You do want to keep the hardware consistent throughout.

It's been my experience that people generally fall into one of two categories--(1) people that give absolutely no thought to hardware/metal finishes, and combine anything and everything, and (2) people who live by hard-and-fast rules, and keep all of their hardware/metals EXACTLY the same finish. The first one is a decorating no-no, but the second one is very extreme. There is a happy medium.

When it comes to your hardware and metal finishes, you do want consistency, but you don't necessarily have to have the exact same finish throughout the house. The main thing is just to ask yourself, "Does this finish blend with and enhance the style of my home?

I do recall going to an open house in the neighborhood where they had used oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs on the white doors but when I went into the bathroom I immediately noticed that they had chosen chrome fixtures. The chrome towel rack on the back of the door next to the bronze door knob stuck out like a sore thumb.

I think I've always considered myself a brushed nickel kind of person but remember...
I already bought these antiques hinges. Once they're all stripped, I thought I would take them somewhere and have them professionally finished. I can see these painted in black but I think they would look terrible sprayed in some fake metallic finish. I'll have to do some research but maybe there's some kind of oil finish or lacquer, that would make them work well with oil-rubbed bronze hardware.

So I thought I'd look at the Cottage Living website just to see what dark hardware would look like in different rooms throughout the house.

I do like the dark hardware on the white kitchen cabinets although this woman has chosen a chrome or nickel faucet. What do you think of that?
Here's a bathroom with dark hardware and fixtures on white. I really like it.
And here's a bedroom with a dark doorknob and hinges. I think it looks great.
This is a photo of a kitchen I recently found on Junk Garden Girl (a great blog for inspiration photos if you like vintage style) that perfectly meets my mind's image of what my kitchen should/can be. Even though the hardware looks like brass or copper, I think a dark bronze would be equally as nice.

So I think I'm pretty comfortable moving forward with oil-rubbed bronze for the window hardware.

What do you think? Should hardware match throughout the house? Have you ever thought about it?


  1. Hi Steve,

    We came to the same question during our remodel. In the end, we decided not to match too much. So we stayed consistent in that all the door hardware is oil rubbed bronze but all the window hardware and most of our light fixtures from Rejuvenation are in antique brass. This was mainly due to the fact that Rejuvenation didn't have antique brass in the style of door hardware we liked best, and we knew we didn't want silver.

    We used chrome on our kitchen pulls and our bathroom faucets so they don't match the door or window hardware but I honestly think it looks more authentic for things to not match exactly.

    It's these sorts of questions that you discover along the way!!! We had a lot of "uh's" throughout our remodel.

    I LOVE your gray color scheme - so classic and crisp. And I agree about the door, paint holds up so much better than stain.

    ; ) Trina

  2. I really like your colour scheme for the house. I didn't think about matching hardware for our place because there is original black door latches on some of the doors and white knobs on others. We always thought a house should look like it evolved over time with new things introduced as they became available. I'm sure this probably does not help at all! I guess I'm trying to say don't go too matchy but choose things that look great with each other.

  3. hey steve,

    i agree with trina and deb above. my sis lives in a beautiful new home that has oil rubbed bronze finishes throughout. it really is gorgeous and consistent but looks "new."

    i think b/c your house is old, a bit of variety is more authentic. as long as the overall look blends well.

    we only have one interior door and it's hardware is blackened bronze. the kitchen cabinet pulls are painted wood, my personal favorite. my kitchen sink is polished nickel and the bathrooms have chrome. it somehow all blends.

    good luck with your choices.


  4. Hi Steve,
    Welcome back - hope you break was a good one.
    I, personally like the hardware to be consistent - not necessarily the style but keeping the finishes in the same tone. I would go all darker finishes, the shinier the newer looking and sometimes the shiner looks cheap (to me). I would definately mix in as much antique hardware as possible. Since you're going for a more eclectic vintage kitchen, you can mix it up more in there with fun pulls or painted or glass knobs...I love the green milk glass ones which would tie in with the painted cabinet table you have.
    The gray color scheme is right on -it's beautiful especially with a white fence and all your pretty flowers ~ and I agree, a pretty painted door. My side door is stained and gets so faded after several months that it starts to look yellowy-orange. It's a huge pain to have to restain it literally every couple of months to keep it dark and pretty.
    I'm excited to see what you're going to choose. At least the hardware, if you don't like it, can be changed simply although, they do get pricey.
    Have fun!

  5. Hola Steve, I`m here in your so great blog because of Janet from The Gardeners Cottage... and if my so loved friend mentions you I then have to visit you and see.... and she is right, there`s so much inspiration and attention to details here that I don´t want to miss the process of creating your home.
    Greetings from Chile,
    maria cecilia

  6. Hi Steve
    I think the colors you chose for the exterior are perfect! You've been to my blog and have seen our home, so you know I love matchy, matchy! Not! I like a look that seems collected because you've found things along the way that you just loved! And I think I have hinge envy! They are beautiful!

  7. I love this post. The finish colors were such a hard decision for me and I procrastinated till the very end. In my amateur but opinionated opinion, satin/brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze CAN be used in the same house and even the same room. But best if it feels a bit accidental. Especially when the less dominate finish is vintage, for example. Or a great repro. ORB will look very different from manufacturer to manufacturer and it's tricky to order over the internet for this reason. So mainly because of that trickiness, I went with satin nickel in most of my finishes. But I had a great yearning to do ORB. You have awesome taste. AMAZING. And whatever you do will look great.