If you’re shopping for modern door hardware, don’t miss this roundup of affordable knobs and handles. Here are the latest trends in door hardware, with quality options at a reasonable price point.
Good door hardware is not cheap, but you can still find hard-working, stylish options that won’t break the bank. For links to products shown in the collage, jump here.
Plus, don’t miss this new post: Door Hardware People Actually Buy at Amazon
Latest Modern Door Hardware Trends
Just like cabinet hardware, brass and black interior door hardware are still trending hard. Depending on the style of your home, chrome and glass knobs and levers are also popular. I’ll share examples of these styles below, so read on!
As for design, minimalism is the top trend. Very similar to cabinet hardware – simple, streamlined, and without extra details that would make cleaning difficult (or look dated). A few examples of top styles:
Notably, backplates are very popular right now, especially in the brass family. Here’s a gorgeous example from Emtek (via Schoolhouse), which makes top-notch hardware (though not at the most affordable price point). Sure is pretty though.
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Door Hardware Style Overview
The nice thing about interior door hardware is that nearly every manufacturer follows the same rules. Because most standard interior doors are a uniform width (1 3/8″ thick), all door hardware should work with a regular door. You should measure before you buy, just to confirm that your door thickness is close to standard.
There are three categories of interior door hardware operation:
- passage – non-locking, suitable for all general doors
- privacy – locking, typically baths and bedrooms
- dummy – non-locking and one-sided, used for pantries, small closets
You might also want a keyed entry knob or lever, but those are typically installed on exterior doors, so I won’t feature them in this article. Here’s an overview of all four with images from Kwikset:
Black Modern Door Hardware
I featured tons of black hardware options in this blog post, from the most affordable to higher-end lines.
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This Pismo knob from Kwikset is also very stylish and popular in this price range. It’s a great pick and you can choose a round or square backplate with the same knob.
I spotted it once while touring homes for sale. This is the locking privacy version:
Brass With Modern Style
Brass hardware is still going strong, especially among DIY home bloggers. It seems hard to avoid in kitchen cabinet hardware, and door hardware is closely following that trend. Vintage hardware like this brass knob has come full circle and is back in style.
Affordable brass door hardware tends to be lacquered for durability (vs. unlacquered, which ages quickly). If your brass hardware is lacquered, the finish should stay more consistent over time, but I’ve read that all brass will eventually age.
Here’s how to clean old brass door hardware. Take your time – this is not for the faint of heart. My elbow still twinges when I think of this project.
Brass Levers vs. Knobs
It’s easy to find brass levers in the affordable price range, but there are fewer affordable/modern brass knob designs. Plenty of cheap brass knobs, like the old ones on my doors, above. I’m not sure why that is. Perhaps because 1980’s brass is still being replaced and homeowners are sick of brass knobs?
The most popular affordable modern knob designs, like Kwikset Pismo and Schlage Bowery are not widely available in brass. There are a few, but you really have to dig. I found very modern options from Emtek and Baldwin, but those lines are more expensive. How fun is this one from Emtek:
The best-looking affordable brass knob is from Amazon Basics. I haven’t tried it, but it looks very similar to the Emtek version and costs less than half the price.
Here are some options in brass from Amazon. As you’ll read below, these companies get good product reviews, but I haven’t tried them myself, so I’m not sure about lifespan and durability. They do hit the mark for budget.
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Chrome Door Hardware
Sleek chrome levers with minimalist design are the ultimate example of modern door hardware. They’re just so chic.
Chrome also looks very pretty in more traditional styles, since it’s such a bright and shiny metal. It really perks up a room, like fine jewelry for interiors.
This is a new (to me) knob from Kwikset and it’s striking in chrome:
What Happened to Satin or Brushed Nickel?
First of all, don’t miss this new blog post – Is Brushed Nickel Finish Out of Style? I dove deep into the entire topic.
I think the softer silver tones are still pretty, but they’ve fallen out of favor with trendsetters. If you’re going with a brushed silver finish, aim for a sleek design for a more modern look overall. Here’s an example from a home I’ve visited. Here’s a similar lever available in satin nickel.
This Schlage knob also has an updated feel due to the design and the soft satin chrome finish.
Modern Glass and Crystal Knobs
Crystal or glass knobs are a classic choice for historic homes, and there are some lovely, affordable options if you’re updating your hardware.
I have to admit, I wouldn’t change this gorgeous hardware if I was lucky enough to have it. Although I would probably clean the white paint off the brass. Sheesh.
If you want to replace vintage door hardware with a similar period-specific replacement, here are two good sources to get those fancy backplates with the knob. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a less exciting backplate (though affordable options are plentiful).
These glass knobs are a modern version of the classic. The shape reminds me of a diamond ring. It’s a nice update to a classic faceted crystal knob.
You can also add a modern touch by choosing a glass bubble knob, which is a fun twist on vintage glass designs.
This gorgeous crystal globe knob is just one of many lovely options from Kobelle. They get great reviews.
Collage Product Links
If you spotted something you love in this collage, I’ve shared direct links below. I tried to include images and links to passage levers and knobs, the non-locking hardware version. Many of these items are available in the three types of hardware I explained above, as well as other metal finishes.
Click through the links to see if you can locate the specific combination you’re after, and if not, at least you’ll have the name of the knob or lever and can search specifically for it. For example, maybe you’ll want “Kwikset Pismo privacy chrome” instead of the black Pismo passage knob in the photo.
Do You Prefer Door Knobs or Levers?
I’m on a one-woman mission to convince home remodelers to switch their door hardware from knobs to levers, as often as practically possible. I’ll be the first to admit, knobs are cute and often win superior style points. However, here’s why levers are also great:
- ADA-friendly – Consider whether anyone in your home or extended family has a disability that makes it difficult to turn a doorknob. Also, if you plan to sell your home, door levers will appeal to buyers who need ADA accommodations.
- Easier to use – Be kind to older family members with arthritic hands and young children learning to use door hardware.
- More practical – Think of the times when your hands are full and you need to enter a room. With a lever, you can just use your elbow!
Are you persuaded? Drop a comment and let me know. Are you team knob or team lever?
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Affordable Modern Door Hardware Sources
CAUTION: please don’t buy random, cheapo-brand door hardware online and expect it to perform as well as products from well-known brands. Unlike cabinet hardware (which can be super cheap and decent), door hardware needs to operate with moving parts and pieces for many years. This is a strong case of you get what you pay for. I only recommend brands when I a) have used them myself, b) know they’ve been industry standards for many years, or c) read they get consistent, great reviews.
Most Affordable Door Hardware Brands
Highest-Rated Amazon Lines
Disclaimer: I haven’t tried any of these door hardware products, but the reviews sound decent. I would give one of these a shot.
That’s a wrap! What caught your eye? What questions would you like me to answer as I tweak this post? Thanks for reading and good luck with your projects.