Giovanni Valle is a licensed architect and LEED-accredited professional and is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). He is the author and managing editor of various digital publications, including BuilderSpace, Your Own Architect, and Interiors Place.
One of the many dilemmas people face when building or renovating their homes is deciding whether to pair their door knobs with matching hinges. With so many styles and finishes of door hardware to choose from, the decision to mix or match can be daunting.
Door hinges don’t necessarily need to match the knobs. However, the pairing of knobs and hinges can significantly affect the look of your home, the expenses involved in installation and maintenance, and even the resale value of your property, so choose carefully.
In this article, I’ll cover the most critical factors when pairing door knobs with hinges. I’ll also describe a few exceptional circumstances when mixing different door hardware styles might be a good idea. Finally, I’ll review how you can effectively pair mismatched knobs and hinges or minimize visible contrasts in their appearance.
How Door Hardware Affects the Esthetics of Your Home
How you pair door hinges and knobs can have a visible effect on the appearance of your home.
While noticeably mismatched hinges and knobs can be an eyesore, even a well-matched pair will only work if their style complements the particular door they’ll fit. Shiny chrome hinges may not complement an antique wooden door, just as a wrought iron doorknob might not pair well with a frosted glass door.
Similarly, having one door set fitted with a perfectly paired set of door hinges and knobs is insufficient. For a cohesive style across all the rooms of your house, consistency in the selection of decor is critical. For instance, brightly colored or overly ornate door hardware can clash violently with the low-key minimal surfaces of the remainder of a house.
Practical Considerations in Pairing Door Knobs and Hinges
If you aren’t concerned with having well-matched fixtures for aesthetic reasons alone, there are still some practical considerations to remember.
Selling Your House
If you have to put your house up for sale sometime in the future, poorly matched hinges and knobs might make your property less attractive to prospective homebuyers. Alternately, picky buyers might deduct the additional cost of updating fixtures when making you an offer.
Installation and Maintenance Costs
As you’ll need to install several hinges and knobs throughout your house, their selection can significantly affect your expenses. By facilitating buying in bulk, using identical sets of matching door hinges and knobs for every single door in the house can reduce your installation costs.
Take care not to pick too cheap hardware, as they can cost you more in maintenance over the long term.
When To Mix Different Styles
If you prefer an eclectic style of decor that mixes multiple themes throughout your home, you may want to pick knobs and hinges that satisfy your particular aesthetic criteria. In this case, you already have a good idea of what you are going for and are likely comfortable with the practical considerations involved.
You might also choose a hinge or knob that doesn’t pair the best for specific functional reasons. For instance, a knob on a bathroom door might need to be more humidity-resistant. Alternatively, you might pick a specialty item, such as a spring hinge, for a door you want to stay closed most of the time.
Finally, you might pick less expensive hardware for the less visibly prominent or frequently used surfaces in your home. Once again, be careful not to pick a poor quality item, as they can cost you more in maintenance and replacement over the long term.
Ideas for Working With Different Styles of Hinges and Knobs
If you have to mix different door hinges and knobs for any reason, a few simple workarounds can make your selection more manageable and your house more aesthetically pleasing.
Pick Styles That Complement Each Other
All the components of a house’s decor need not strictly follow one theme. You can pair an industrial wooden door with an antique brass doorknob or a sleek metallic one. Different rooms or floors of your home can have styles of their own. If you aren’t confident of selecting among assorted design elements on your own, you can always consult a designer or a magazine for help.
Use a Minimal Style of Hinge
Hinges with a minimal profile are an excellent way to minimize any differences in style between your doorknobs and hinges. Some hinge styles recede completely and are invisible once the door is closed.
Paint To Match
If you’re stuck with mismatched hinges and knobs because of practical limitations, you can paint either a knob to match a hinge or a hinge to match a knob or both.
When painting knobs or hinges, be sure to consider the specific paint you will need. Regular acrylic or wall paints tend to chip when used on metallic surfaces. Similarly, using a paintbrush to apply the paint can reveal a visibly uneven coat on the surface. Specialized spray paints are your best bet in this case.
Be sure to consider both the color and the finish of your paint. Do you want your knob or hinge to look glossy or matte? There are specific paints for a wide range of finishes.
Choosing fixtures for your home is highly subjective, based mainly on individual esthetic preferences. However, there are many reasons why picking matching hardware for your doors is a good idea. It would be best to make consistent decisions across your home or find a balanced mix of styles. Alternatively, you can touch up specific pieces of door hardware to match better.
- Cherokee Observer: Should Door Knobs And Hinges Match? Why or Why Not?
- Build With Ferguson: How to Choose Interior Door Hardware
- New York Times: What the Best-Dressed Doors Are Wearing
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