Replacing dated or mismatched hardware is a ridiculously cheap and easy way to achieve a polished look without breaking the bank (or a sweat!)
For me, one of the most alluring features of new construction was the flexibility to upgrade doors and hardware. Checking out some model homes in our area, I fell in love with the clean and polished appearance of premium interior shaker-style doors.
I wanted to bring those fancy vibes to our home, but unfortunately, as much as I would have loved to replace all of our generic six-panel doors with something a little more ritzy, it wasn’t in the budget.
Besides, our doors were actually in great shape thanks to a shiny coat of fresh paint!
My only grievance was the mis-matched door handles. Some were updated brushed nickel levers, some were ancient brass knobs… and some straight up made no sense (like a hall closet door that locked from the outside).
So while the doors were here to stay, the hardware had to go.
I’d describe our working knowledge of door handles as “long time user, first time buyer.” To ease ourselves into the unknown, we did some shopping around.
Though I still (incorrectly) use “knob” and “lever” interchangeably, we did manage to learn that there are four types of handles:
- Passage (your standard door handle, for bedrooms and closets)
- Privacy (flimsy lock that offers the illusion of privacy but can be opened with a bobby pin, for bathrooms)
- Keyed Entry (a locking door handle that means business and requires a key to open, for exterior doors or the pantry if you’re weirdly territorial about your Cheetos stash)
- Dummy (looks like a working handle but is actually just an imposter screwed to the front of a non-latching door, for closets or French doors)
As with most things, price is directly proportional to coolness. Round knobs are at the bottom of the price spectrum in the low teens. For a few dollars more, you get into basic lever territory, with options that look like a drag queen’s eyebrow and come in a range of non-reflective finishes.
The real magic starts to happen once you get into the $20 price range. We challenged ourselves to find the coolest design possible with a budget of $25 per handle.
We chose the Soltice lever in a satin nickel finish.
I’m just going to throw out the handful of adjectives that immediately come to mind when I think of this door handle: versatile, simple, clean-cut, smooth, swanky, and (best of all) cheap!
After an initial mishap where I may or may not have locked myself in the powder room with the door lock latched and no handle on my side of the door (you can’t fix stupid), these were incredibly easy, quick, and satisfying to install.
Welcome to this century, doors!
I didn’t think it could get any better, but then we got the first coat of grey paint on the walls, and I was smitten.
Bottom line: if you’re lusting after custom doors but you have a “deal with it” budget, swapping out the hardware is an amazing way to update your home and boost morale in your hallway.
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