{diy with style} Door Knobs are a Girl's Best Friend

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

You know how once you become familiar with something, you suddenly start seeing it or hearing about it everywhere you go? It's just that phenomenon that has had me be a bit obsessed with door knobs and door levers lately. The folks over at Schlage® are equally obsessed with door hardware, and I'm so grateful to them for sponsoring this post, but as always, all ideas and opinions are my own.


Last month, we replaced our old front door lock and handle with a smarter and more stylish, keyless version. Then, a couple of weeks later we toured a magazine show house, and immediately noticed that the front door had the same hardware that we had just installed. 

Once inside, Scott started pointing out the hardware on the interior doors and commented, "I really wish our house had door levers that better matched the style of our home." It was the first time I had really given a lot of thought to impact of door hardware on design, but as we walked around the house, I began to realize what a big difference it made and how it really helped to tie together the overall style and design of the house, giving it a more finished and cohesive feel.

After we got home, I started paying much more attention to our door levers and wondering how I had overlooked them before as a style element in our home. I have talked many times, here on the blog, about the importance of choosing pretty cabinet hardware and about the impact of changing the knobs/pulls on dressers - or as I like to call it, jewelry for your furniture. But don't our doors deserve some jewelry as well?!

Our home was built by a developer on spec, and it was virtually finished when we toured it for the first time. As a result, we didn't get to make any of our own design decisions. While I was immediately drawn to the modern style of the house, I found some of the design choices to be a bit confusing! It was an odd mix of very modern architecture, cabinets and tile, with quite traditional faucets and light fixtures {and, now I realize, door levers as well}. 


Over time, we've been slowly painting walls and swapping out lights and faucets one room at a time. But, somehow, all these years I had been overlooking the traditional style of our door hardware, despite the fact that it impacts every single room of our house.

Because our home is less than ten years old, the style of door levers that the builder installed wasn't outdated, but it also didn't fit the style of the house. And it especially didn't fit with my modern, graphic decorating style.

Door knob doesn't fit style of room

After seeing the impact that it made to change our front door handle out for a much more modern version, I started envisioning what it would look like if I replaced the interior door hardware with a sleek, modern style as well.

Front door handle update

Schlage® recently launched a campaign, "Open Possibilities," aimed at starting a dialogue about exactly this epiphany that I had. They want us to all consider how our door hardware can enhance the look of our homes. They believe that style lives in the details because the details bring everything together in a home. Talk about speaking my language! You guys know I'm all about the details! 

Schlage® also believes that your door hardware should showcase your personal style, and now, thanks to them, my doors do just that. We worked with Schlage® to installed contemporary style, matte black Latitude Levers with Century Trim throughout the house, and wow... I knew I would love this modern door hardware, but I have to admit that I was blown away but what a major impact it actually has throughout the house. Our new door levers really are the final accessory that we needed to tie together the look of our home!

Nothing beats a side by side comparison right? So here you go...

Side by side door lever comparison before and after

We redesigned our master bathroom back in the spring, and it's definitely my favorite space in the house, so when it came to installing the new door levers, I was eager to start there. We installed one of our new Schlage® handles on the door between the bedroom and bathroom, and then I stood back to compare it to the old door lever on the adjacent utility closet door. What a difference!

Best of all, this is a super quick and easy DIY project! I was initially a bit intimidated by the idea of changing out the door hardware throughout our entire house, but it was so much simpler than I expected. Six screws out. Six screws in. Bing Bang BOOM!

How to replace door hardware DIY tutorial

To uninstall the existing door levers, all I had to do was remove the two screws holding the lever in place, pull the two sides of the lever out of the door, and then remove the screws from the latch plate on the edge of the door and pull out latch assembly. I also removed the screws that held the old latch plate on the door frame. Installing the new door levers and latch plates was simply a matter of doing these same steps in reverse.

The only trick to installing my new levers was ensuring that the rectangular Century style trim plates were level before tightening the screws. With a round trim plate, like my old levers had, this would not be necessary, but it definitely draws the eye if the new, rectangular trim plates are installed crooked!

Despite the fact that my old door levers were a different brand, the new levers fit perfectly with all of the existing holes. However, the installation instructions that came with the levers included all of the details and measurements I would have needed if I were installing the levers in a new door, or if my doors had required any adjustments.

After swapping out the first couple of door levers, I got into a good rhythm, and each subsequent installation only took about five minutes or less. That's a lot of impact for a minimal investment of time!

Modern door hardware in bathroom

In fact, it's such an easy DIY project that it was the perfect opportunity to get my boys involved! They love any opportunity to use tools and help out with our home improvement projects, and this task was just right for their attention spans. I let them take turns helping to remove and install screws, and they were so proud of their handy work. Look out Property Brothers, there's a new crew in town!


Ok, that's a lot of talk about the why and how. How about some more pretty pictures of our new door hardware in action?!

Modern Door Hardware in Powder Room

The modern lines of the Century trim and Latitude lever coordinate so much better with the sliding closet door that we installed during our recent bathroom renovation!

Modern Door Hardware Barn Door

The rectangular Century trim plates on our new door levers are also much more substantial than the small round ones we had previously. Even from across the room, the new levers make a design statement!

Modern Door Hardware Bedroom

The Schlage® door levers I chose come in three color options - matte black, bright chrome, and satin nickle. Our house has an odd mix of white and alder wood doors throughout - wood on the main floor and in the upstairs hallways; white in the basement and inside the bedrooms. This means that each bedroom has doors of both colors - wood doors that open from the hallway, but white closet doors and doors leading to en suite bathrooms. 

Our mismatched doors pose a design challenge because I love the look of the matte black door hardware on the white doors, but for the dark wood, I might have chosen bright chrome hardware instead. Ultimately I decided to stick with matte black because it match all of the existing door hinges, and because I love the sharp, graphic contrast on the white doors. 

Plus the black hardware also compliments my love of dark walls, like the charcoal gray in our guest room.

Modern Door Hardware Guest Room

I wouldn't have thought that photographing door hardware would be so fun, but I really enjoyed capturing how how the style of our new door levers enhances the design of each room in the house. 

Modern Door Hardware Guest bathroom

I especially love the way the new door hardware looks in our guest bathroom, with the giant wall quote that runs from floor to ceiling!

Modern Door Hardware Wall Quote

I am pleasantly surprised at how great the hardware looks even on our dark wood doors. I felt like the old hardware basically disappeared against the color of the stain. But because the trim on the new levers is more substantial, they hold their own and make a design statement.

New door hardware kids' rooms

Oh, and if you have littles in the house, be sure to hold on to the little "key" that comes with each door lever in case your kids think it's a fun game to lock the bedroom and bathroom doors!

In addition to changing out all of our interior door hardware, we have now updated all of our exterior doors as well.

Keyless lock on garage man door

Ever since installing the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt on our front door, I've been eager to go keyless on our other exterior doors. Now our back door and the door of our detached garage are smart and stylish, too! You can read all the details about these keyless locks in my Front Door Makeover post.

Keyless lock closeup

I describe my decorating style as Modern Graphic Family, and these new Schlage® door levers are a perfect fit for all three elements. The matte black Latitude Levers with Century Trim are the perfect "jewelry" to accent the modern graphic aesthetic of our home, and the convenience and security of the coordinating keyless locks allows us to keep our family safe without sacrificing style! 

I may have ignored my door hardware for too many years, but now that I've finally given it the attention it deserves, I can say without a doubt that door knobs are a girl's {new} best friend!


Schlage® products are available online at Amazon.com and Build.com, as well as in retail locations including Home Depot and Lowe’s. For more information about the "Open Possibilities" campaign, watch the video on Schlage.com. You can also find Schlage® at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Schlage®, but as always all opinions are my own.

8 comments :

  1. Wow, the new hardware made a huge difference. We also bought a builder spec home...we got a great deal on it because it of, and I actually prefer getting to pick my own finishes after the fact. I think I'd be overwhelmed having to pick everything at once before I even had a chance to live in the house!

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  2. It's so amazing what some beautiful hardware can do!

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  3. Wow! I've been giving my hardware the side-eye glare for awhile now. Like yours, ours feels more traditional than our style. I keep telling myself it's only a few years old, so I shouldn't replace it, but you might have just changed my mind! What a difference!

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  4. Your home is beautiful and I'm loving the new hardware. It's looks so clean and modern. Also, thanks for sharing how easy it is to install. Maybe I should give it a try in my own home. :)

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  5. The hardware is great and I love the clean lines! I would love to get this!

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  6. Love your hardware choices. We've been thinking of changing to Smart locks. This is helpful. Thanks.

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  7. You have impeccable taste. The swap totally adds class to every door!

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