Design Perspective from Bethany: The Ins and Outs of Choosing the Right Hinges. (Yep, door hinges.)
Contractor: I need you to pick out hinges.
Me: Hinges? Ok, sure. No problem.
I go to my spreadsheet, where I attempt to keep track of my ever-changing design plans. Nope, haven’t given a thought to hinges. But it seems simple enough.
Here is how it started: I began contemplating what hinge shape I wanted. Turns out, there are three main shapes:
After doing some research, I discovered that the most common hinge is 5/8” radius corners–but that square hinges appear more often in older homes. Since we’re renovating a 1915 Craftsman, Decision 1 made: square hinges it is.
Next up: finish. As it turns out, finishes don’t just include polished chrome, brass, brushed nickel, black, and oil rubbed bronze finishes (as if that weren’t enough!). Each manufacturer has a different version of brass – satin or polished, in varying shades ranging from yellow hues to brown tones. I figured I’d simplify the process and just match the hinges to the doorknobs. Except I hadn’t chosen those, either. And the color of the doorknobs depended on the paint color on the doors–so now I needed to choose paint colors.
I decided on white doors upstairs, so I wanted to do black doorknobs (remember my black and white obsession? It hasn’t passed), which meant black hinges upstairs.
Downstairs, I was leaning towards black doors. But this decision felt premature because I hadn’t finalized wall colors or cabinet hardware. If we had black doors, black doorknobs obviously wouldn’t work.
As I started to pull on this seemingly endless design thread, I was becoming un-hinged. Literally.
I decided to regroup. If I chose my cabinet hardware finish, then I could decide on the doorknobs. And that, ultimately, would lead me to the right hinge finish. At this point, the wise words of Jiminy Cricket kept bouncing through my head: “Let your cabinet hardware be your guide.” Or your conscience. Whatever. You get the point.
Since the beginning of this renovation, I’ve known that I was going to use the Delta Champagne Bronze faucet in the kitchen. Even though it’s not necessary to match all finishes in a room, I really love the look of the champagne bronze finish on a white (or black) cabinet.
Cabinet hardware finishes chosen! Maybe this design thread I’d unraveled was manageable after all. Now to find a doorknob in champagne bronze finish.
I headed to a local showroom to check out their vast assortment of doorknobs. Everyone has a brass/satin gold of some sort. Turns out, none of them are called champagne bronze. Sigh. (Here’s a tip: bring something with you that has the finish you are trying to match). After much debate, I decided to go for a brushed brass from Rocky Mountain Hardware.
The Great News: I’d made some major design decisions. The Bad News: I still hadn’t chosen my hinge finish. Rocky Mountain does make hinges that match the doorknobs perfectly, but they are really pricey. And let’s be honest – when is the last time you noticed someone else’s hinges (aside from when you visit my house, since I’ve now drawn so much attention to them)?
Which takes us back to the black doors. I decided to go for black doors, since they’ll contrast nicely with the brushed brass doorknobs. I couldn’t find a brass hinge that would match the doorknobs and not be noticeably different– so I went with black hinges.
Downstairs: Black doors. Black hinges. Decision made.
See – that was simple, right?