DIY Contemporary Door Hardware & Wood Trim Upgrade

door image

Hardware?  Who cares about hardware?  Hinges & Handles?  Aren’t they all the same?   NO!!!  The hardware, or hinges and handles, you use in your home is like the jewelry for your doors.  They are the finishing touch to your design.  A small design feature, but magnanimous in its purpose.  Door hardware stands out.  It shimmers (which I love!).  It’s pragmatic, and yet the style dictates the overall aesthetic of the home.

For this home, much like our old home, my husband and I redid the trims and interior doors.  Not necessarily a tough job, but not for the faint of heart either.  It’s laborious, as all of the work was done at the end of 70 hour work weeks for us, and it was a ton of family time sacrificed from things like zoo trips, outdoor explorations, and the like.  Nonetheless, in our family, we all work together.  Our kids help us to wood fill and sand, to use levels, and to measure runs of baseboard.  We have a guilty pleasure for DIY, and I think it’s passed along to the babies!

Along with replacing the trims and doors comes the door hardware…quite possibly one of my favourite things to buy.  For this home, which was built in the 60’s, we wanted to bring back that cool, chic, sexy contemporary vibe.  We decided on deep baseboard (7 1/4), casing with backerband, and solid wood doors with a step detail.  See below for what I mean…

profile1 casing1 profile detail

upperprofile baseboard1

Baseboard, Backerband, Casing, DoorstopCentral Fairbank Lumber

The hardware was easy to choose once we had determined what our trims would look like, or what ‘profile’ we would like to see.  The third picture is a good example of the wood ‘profile’.  It is elegant, streamlined, interesting, and contemporary.  Once we choose our door style, a solid wood door with a step detail (the second & third pictures highlight this), we knew that we would need to use three four-screw stainless steel hinges per door.  We went with a streamlined handle that is contemporary and yet echos back to the days of deco (our FAVOURITE design period), in a satin nickel finish (we did not choose stainless steel for the handles because of cost…satin nickel was slightly more affordable.  Replacing all of the house hardware is NOT cheap!  Same look for less = I’M DOWN!).  Selected all for their design longevity…come on!  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Now, you might think that getting this detailed and specific over door hardware is a little silly, but I beg to differ.  You don’t really change door hardware once it’s on.  It’s with you for life.  And if you choose to update it, you should absolutely choose something that has staying power.  Not only had we been without any of these details for about 8 months (which makes it tough to open and close doors btw, especially for little hands!), but the previous doors and hardware were both bad.  Really bad.

Here is what the door handles in our home looked like before…

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Frightening, weren’t they?  I’m not sure what was worse…the colour, the curve, or the rope detail.  I’ve said it before, never, EVER, use a rope as a detail.  Don’t do it in hardware.  Don’t do it lights.  Don’t do it in your furniture.  It will look tired before your bedtime, and it very taste-specific (read…not an easy sell when your home is for sale!).

When we ripped out the old flooring, we committed to replacing the interior doors and trims at the same time.  You certainly don’t have to do this, but everything in this home was equally as outdated as those handles above.  We wanted to breathe a contemporary and elegant breath into our home, and based on past experience, I can assure you that your trims, doors, and hardware are a very important design element that dictates, rather clearly, the style of your home.


Here is the updated handle…

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Doors & ‘Aurum’ HardwareDOORLAND

Beautiful, don’t ya think?  Clean, fresh, not over the top with detail.  Current, slightly deco inspired, not too modern or harsh, and extremely comfortable to hold.  Don’t forget that….you touch these handles every day.  You should love how they feel!


CAM04237 a transition hinge door


Here is the hinge on the left.  Beauty, ain’t she?  Four screw Stainless Steel.  Some ladies like jewelry.  I like hardware!  The pictures that follow are great example of the hinges we used.  Because the doors were solid 1 1/2 inch, we needed three four-screw hinges for strength.  Don’t discount the importance of these…pick the right one, and your house looks contemporary.  Pick the wrong one, and you look like you’re living in the 80’s.  A square-cut hinge is much more updated than the curved hinge, and stainless or nickel is more chic than brass with any kind of finish.


I’ll post more pictures in another blog about more of the big changes, but for now see below for a quick before and after from the lower landing…

CAM00354 hallway2


Make it your own, and you make it your home!

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