Updating Our Home With Antique Hardware
We have been replacing “modern” door and cabinet hardware with antique hardware in our Colonial Farmhouse and it is surprising how big of a difference it makes to the overall look and style of our home.
I’m using the term modern very loosely. In a house that is 240 years old, anything in the last 100 years could be considered modern.
Most of the hardware we’ve replaced is probably 20 – 30 years old. I doubt it was installed as a style statement, but more of a practical response to a “this cabinet door no longer stays closed” situation.
This modern hardware didn’t look bad. It didn’t look good. It was just there.
I realize many homeowners are trying to update or modernize the look of their home by changing out the door and cabinet hardware to reflect what’s in style now.
I’m attempting to do the opposite. Bring back the old! Ha!
That’s the fun and flexible thing about door and cabinet hardware. You can use it to do what feels right for your home and style. It’s all situationally dependent.
I own a home that is TRULY old (circa 1780s), so adding antique hardware to the doors and cabinets makes sense.
The good news is that I don’t have to try and hunt down antique hardware from eBay. I don’t have to try and fix existing antique hardware to make it work correctly.
In the interest of being good stewards of our home, money, and the environment, we do try to fix the antique hardware we have, but in some cases it has been beyond repair.
I actually was momentarily locked in our laundry room last month because I couldn’t get the knob on the laundry room door to engage the latch. Of all the rooms to be stuck in, the laundry room is the least desirable!
If ever there was a sign from the universe
to fold that mountain of clothes that a door’s hardware needs to be repaired or replaced, that was it.
When I’ve exhausted my repair options, I can praise the old house gods that reproduction antique hardware companies exist. That’s right. There are companies that reproduce antique hardware styles in the form of brand new hardware.
If you’ve ever been locked in a laundry room, you’d be singing the hallelujahs too!
Reproduction hardware looks old. It feels old. However, it functions like it was made today because it was.
I took cues from our Colonial Farmhouse as to what style of reproduction antique hardware to order. Aside from what would have been the formal living space, our home is not overly fussy or ornate. Most of it is fairly utilitarian in style and function.
This can be seen in the clean lines of the trim and the simplicity of the tongue and groove doors.
In most cases thus far, I was able to find an exact hardware match or something similar. That means I ended up choosing hardware that was forged of iron and more primitive in style.
It’s also really cool.
I don’t particularly enjoy online shopping, but it has made me so happy to ooh and aah over all the gorgeous styles of antique hardware that exists today, either because it was restored or reproduced.
Replacing all the “modern” door and cabinet hardware in our home with reproduction antique hardware will take us awhile.
But each time we do, I feel like the house says, “Ah, that’s the way it should be.”
Reproduction Antique Hardware Resources:
If you’re having difficulty finding the exact hardware you need from individual sellers or if you need multiples of the same hardware, reproduction antique hardware companies are a great option. These are some of the companies that we’ve shopped for reproduction antique hardware.
Amazon – In my experience, Amazon has not had the best prices on reproduction antique hardware. Every once in awhile though they do for things like rim locks. Just like anything, it’s good to shop around if the same product is sold in multiple places.
Please note that you can buy refurbished or restored door and cabinet hardware online too. Just make sure you are purchasing from a reputable source and that whatever you are buying comes with all the parts and pieces you need.
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Thanks for being here today! Here are some other old house-themed blog posts you might enjoy.
Filling Gaps in Wood Floors With Oakum
All About Rim Locks (Vintage Door Hardware)
The 1971 MLS Listing for our Colonial Farmhouse