Selecting Interior Doors & Hardware Style

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comWith each renovation comes a lot of tough design decisions that will influence the way the entire home turns out. One of those big choices is selecting the interior door style and the hardware that accompanies each door. I’m sharing my selection process for our current home renovation, the doors and hardware we’ll install throughout the entire house, and I’m even putting some myths to rest in a quick Q&A. Click through to read all about it and see what I settled on!

I’ll begin by showing you our existing doors and why I decided to trade them in the first place… here is the BEFORE:

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comSure- they’re decent doors, but they’re not ideal. I figured a list of things I dislike about our existing doors would help you see my thought process… this is why I’m not into them:

  • They’re hollow core (super lightweight- they just feel cheap).
  • The top ogee style panel feels dated (the home was built in the 90’s and they’re original).
  • They were poorly installed (most of them hang crooked, swing open or shut, won’t stay put, and there are large gaps at the bottom).
  • The hardware is cheap, lightweight, dated, and the finish is actually rubbing off- some handles have even turned silver and lost the shiny brass luster altogether.

After deciding these weren’t worth keeping, the next portion of the equation was to figure out what to replace them with… obviously I landed on a classic, 3-panel style door shown below in our recently finished guest bathroom:

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comI’ve shared this on Instagram multiple times, but I always custom order doors from the Lowe’s millwork department. Yes- I am a Lowe’s Partner, but this is NOT sponsored… we’ve paid for every single door in each of our home renovations. I just really love their customizable selections and think it’s the best way to get exactly what you want, so I thought sharing the process could be helpful if some of you are in the same boat. You can look at sample doors on the floor at your local store, but my preference is to ask for this book… it’s free. I keep it in my design file for easy reference.

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comThere are pages of door styles and examples. It’s really a great resource! I’m a fan of classic square or rectangular paneled doors. We went this solid core option, but with a more intricate / traditional profile. Again- all of that is customizable.

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comYou can specify so many things:

  • exact dimensions
  • the door swing (which side and inward or outward)
  • pre-hung or not (do you need a new door jamb?)
  • the exact pre-drilled hardware specifications
  • the hinge color & finish
  • the door color & finish (I always just ordered it primed and then paint it myself)
  • the panel style (they have hundreds to choose from and you can even specify the profile / inset)

The lead time is usually 4-6 weeks, so be prepared for that and in plan in advance, but in my experience it’s 100% worth the wait! Let’s move onto hardware selection, shall we?

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comI’m the biggest fan of Nostalgic Warehouse and Grandeur Hardware (different brands / same company). We’ve used their products for all three of our home renovations and have yet to be disappointed! The quality is top notch, it’s very heavy hardware, and the finishes are stunning. When I find something I love, I usually stick with it. This time around, I wanted something elegant, dramatic, timeless, and traditional. I landed on the Grandeur Carré Tall Plate Privacy Door Lever. Is that not the most gorgeous door hardware you’ve ever seen?

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comI’m planning to mix and match their Carré collection throughout the house. Last time, I did the same thing…. the room entry doors received larger hardware and french doors or closets got a different treatment- just to mix it up and add depth. For closets, I’ll use the Carré Short Plate hardware. That brings to me to my next point- it’s perfectly ok to mix and match hardware, as long as they feel cohesive and are of the same finish! That is one of my most asked questions. Here is the perfect example from our previous house…

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comIn our previous home, I mixed the Craftsman Hammered Knob with the Homestead Oval Knob. Given their backplate styles match and the vintage brass finish is consistent, they work really well together and keep the room interesting (remember the color blocked hallway?)…. these 3-panel doors were also Lowe’s special order, FYI. Before I wrap things up, I promised a quick Q&A to debunk some door & hardware design myths!

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style -

  • Do interior doors need to match throughout the entire house? I vote yes to the overall style… size- definitely not.
  • Does the door hardware need to match throughout the entire house? No, but I do like the finish to be consistent.
  • Is there a standard measurement for mounting door hardware? Yes! The knob or lever should fall somewhere between 34 and 48″ above the floor… I like to see what works best visually, as well as consider the height of the family who inhabits the home.
  • Should the style or architecture of the home influence the door style? Absolutely! You should definitely be mindful of the architecture, existing millwork, and exterior when choosing your door style.
  • Are custom doors super expensive? In my experience, I’ve found they’re not much more than buying a readymade option. It totally depends on what style you want and how many “extras” you add. I save money by painting the door and drilling the hardware myself.
  • What is your best tip to avoid buying doors that will quickly become dated? Avoid any arched panels and stick to straight lines. You can’t go wrong!
  • Would you save or splurge on the door OR the hardware? I’d save on the door and splurge on the hardware.
  • What finish do you paint your doors? I prefer semi gloss! It’s easy to clean and has the perfect sheen… glossy, but not too shiny.
  • What is your favorite hardware finish? Antique brass… it’s just a personal preference.
  • Do the door hinges have to match the hardware? Ideally yes, BUT in our previous home- some of the hinges were black and it surprisingly didn’t bother me. I think it depends on the surroundings in the room. For example, our bathroom was the perfect spot for my accidental black hinges because of the nero marble floor tile. It felt like it was intentional even though I messed up the order (oops).
  • Are solid core doors worth the extra money? YES. In photos you’ll never know the difference- they look equally as amazing, but the weight of the door in person feels so much more expensive if it’s heavier.
  • Can you also special order bifold and french doors from Lowe’s? Yep! We’ve done it and they’re wonderful. You can even order exterior doors- we’ve done that too.
  • Do you like your hardware for the new house (guest bathroom)- using a lever instead of a knob? 100%! I’m smitten. Again, it’s a personal preference (knob vs. lever).

Selecting My Interior Doors & Hardware Style - roomfortuesday.comLet me know if you have any other questions in the comments below! I hope this door & hardware post will be helpful for some of you. It’s a big, expensive decision that can really make or break the overall aesthetic of a home, but the process shouldn’t be daunting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Of all the wondrous details to draw my attention in your guest bath reveal, that lever doorknob really wowed! The finish looks so luxe. We’re lucky to have mostly vintage (though random!) doorknobs and nice solid wood interior doors, but I probably should change our exterior hardware; it’s basic and ghastly! You are so thorough in your renovations. I guess I’ve only ever decorated and fixed egregious issues room by room. Planning door styles and hardware throughout the house…my mind boggles.😉 Probably why I couldn’t imagine building a home-decisions!!! Great resources though!

    1. Thank you Peggi! You are lucky- vintage hardware and doors are the best :)

  2. Informative post, these details are so important. I never knew about Lowe’s, I just added this weblink to my “reno spreadsheet” for future reference. I think for our home and all our reno phases, doors/doorhardware will probably be at the very end. All our interior doors are off the hallway, and they’re flat-panel from the late 70s (read: boh-ring). I will say though, the laundry room, off hallway and bathroom, has extra heavy doors – makes a big difference when turning on laundry machines (re: baffled sound).

    When we renovated our master bath last spring, our contractor took a basic unfinished wood/glass pane bi-fold door and made it into french doors. Since the trim was so thin, a standard door handle wouldn’t work, so I went with the hardware I used in my kitchen (in satin brass), and ordered a round backplate to “beef” it up. We installed a drop-lock from the top. Painted a glossy black, they’re quite pretty, and fit the space perfectly:

    I was traveling when you posted your bathroom reveal, so I wasn’t having my usual pre-work coffee/blog viewing – that space is stunning! I really love the black & white accents, and marble. It’s incredible that you two can DIY like that.

    1. I love your french doors! Those are gorgeous Karen, and thank you so much for the sweet compliments in regards to our guest bath. Really appreciate that! xox

  3. Hi! I just wanted to add something to the lever vs knob question that might be relevant to consider. A lever is much easier to use for people with disabilities that effect their hands for example arthritis or parkinson. For most people it might not be relevant but it can be good to know. :)

    1. That’s a great point!

  4. It looks beautiful! Can you do a post like this about exterior doors? Or finding a storm/screen door that isn’t awful?

    1. I’d be happy to once we get to that point! Our exterior doors definitely need updated. I’m not a big fan of storm / screen doors, so we probably won’t install any of those. xo

  5. I love your eye for detail. I was very intrugued by the black toilet seat. It sooo works and has inspired me to do the same in my powder bath re-do.
    Do you know if Lowe’s can do custom front doors as well? Thanks.

    1. Thank you so much Kim! I can’t wait to hear about how the black seat looks in your powder room. Lowe’s also does custom exterior doors. We ordered exterior doors for our previous home from there as well and they were wonderful.

  6. Erin Zubot says:

    The house I’m currently in we used solid core doors for the first time (most in my area use hollow) and I couldn’t agree with you more about how much more luxurious they feel. They have a super added bonus of muffling sound so much better too, I didn’t realize it until I lived with them, and closing the bedroom door really blocks out most of the sounds from the house, including my teenage son’s late night video gaming!

    1. That is such a great point I should’ve included! The sound proofing is definitely an added benefit for solid core doors! Thanks for bringing that up, Erin :)

  7. Thank you for this super helpful post! in fact, this will be our next Reno project — what design you would suggest for
    Low ceilings to visually add height? I am thinking 2-3 square panels?

    1. So glad to hear that Natasha! I think it’s less about the panel shape and more about the color, finish, and millwork. I’d keep the style consistent with the architecture of your home. Hope this helps :)

  8. When you know you’re going to replace all of the doors in the house, do you typically do them this way – one at a time as you renovate each room – and if so, why? Is it just a budget thing? I REALLY need to replace my interior doors, but I imagined I’d buy them all at once. For some reason I hadn’t even considered replacing them room by room but now that seems like it’s probably how everyone does it.

    1. Great questions Stacy! With our first home, we did them all at once…. with the second home, we did them by each room. For us, it was just based on how we renovated (rather than a budget thing). We know they’ll all be replaced eventually- it’s just easier for us to make the change when we tackle each room. It also prevents having to live with a “half finished” look while waiting to renovate a specific room. Before we swap the door, we pull of the casing, pull up the threshold, etc. If we’re not ready to replace any of those materials that “connect” to the door just yet, it makes more sense to do it all at once. Hopefully that makes sense!

  9. This post is amazing! We just bought a 47 year old Cape Cod style home from the original owners and the orange oak doors and trim need to go. Who knew Lowe’s had custom interior door options?! Thank you for being a wealth of knowledge in the renovation process. I love that you take into consideration the style of the home. Our current home has a hodgepodge of modern and traditional elements. Doors are traditional and half of the windows are as well and then the rest of the windows have no grids and are large mid century modern looking. It’s so weird. And don’t even get me started on the dinky baseboards in the room with 12 foot ceilings. It was your blog where it clicked why the room felt so off. Again, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. I love that you discuss in detail the details.

    1. Thanks Lena! I have ALWAYS wanted a cute Cape Cod. I’m envious! So happy to help and share resources :) Wishing you the best of luck with the updates. It’s amazing how listening to the home will transform the aesthetic and make it feel “right”. xox

  10. I just love that blue door in the bathroom, so sweet and perfect!!! Wondering if the wall color is the same as the door but in different finish?

  11. This post comes at such a great time, replacing our interior doors is next on the (never ending) list of projects to complete in our home. We also need to replace the door that leads from the interior into our attached garage. Do you know if these doors are fire rated for that use, or have another solution perhaps?

  12. Do you have any suggestions for picking doors to meet a 1950/1960s era home? Thank you!

  13. Honestly that bathroom is just so stunning, every time I see a little piece of it I’m in love all over again!!! You really made this look like something from a much older house or classic hotel.

    We have a totally weird thing in our apartment where we have three doors in a row and another one immediately perpendicular to the three! And then three more door FRAMES leading into all this in the immediate vicinity. At some point that definitely needs to be fixed up, but oh my gosh I wouldn’t know where to begin with Door Central!! (We live in France, so no Lowe’s for us!! )

  14. I love these! I agree on the finishes matching throughout. Curious how you feel about the idea of using a different finish hardware on the external doors? I am building a house and want bronze on the external doors but I think a pewter would be best inside with all the bathrooms , kitchen and laundry room having chrome fixtures. What are your thoughts?

    1. Thanks Kamm! You can definitely mix and match :)

  15. Sarah, love the post, very informative. My husband and I just purchased a ranch – 70 style, high pitched ceiling with tons of light and windows galore. We have extensively renovated the house and now I’m turning my attention to the interior doors. I want to copy exactly your bathroom door for all my interior doors, but wonder if that style would fit myhouse–it certainly fits our decor. Could you provide some insight or guidance for me to determine what is the right interior door and hardware for our house

    1. Thanks so much, Erica! Congrats on your home! I find you have to weigh the architecture and interior aesthetic when making selections for architectural elements (like doors & millwork). Just based on the little that I know about your home, I’d say those doors should fit well. Hope this helps! xox

  16. Traci Kaufman says:

    Could you tell me the color of the door hardware? Was it antique brass or lifetime brass? Thank you so much.

  17. I love this post! Would you please share the color gray you used for the 3 panel door? Im in looove!

    1. Thanks Kristen! It has been awhile, but I believe that color was Nimbus Grey by Benjamin Moore. xo

  18. Amy Pease says:

    I love the hardware on your bathroom door and I want to swap my ugly 70s knobs for that very same hardware. The description on Wayfair for that specific product says that it’s good for taller doors due to it’s taller profile. We have 8′ ceilings and just standard height doors. Are your doors taller? Should I rethink getting these?

    1. My doors are slightly taller, but these work with any profile! I like the dramatic shape.

  19. Hi Sarah – love your blog and love your style!! I am doing a new home reno and am using many of your ideas!Question – in the Q&A above you said you recommend having all the interior doors match, but they can be different sizes – I’m not sure if you mean they should be exactly the same proportions of 3 square panels (like how you picked door # 6516 from the catalogue), or if just any 3 panel square or rectangle doors are OK? (like door # 6103 in the top row). I like the door you picked, but idk if I should go with that one for all my interior doors or if I should try to find similar but not exact to mix in? Thank you so much!

  20. Loved the blog and so helpful. Renovating my colonial style home. I love the antique brass you choose. Having a difficult time choosing between brushed nickel or the antique brass for my two panel doors. Any suggestions

    1. Thank you, Marlene! It really depends on so many factors… you can’t go wrong- both are classic options. I’m partial to brass, but it’s all personal preference.

  21. Hi Sarah, are you able to share the “more traditional/intricate” profile of the door? Was it Encore or Infinity style or something else in the Milennium collection. Thank you!

  22. This is such an informative post and I love your doors and hardware. I wish I saw your post when we were renovating because I would have done large plates with oval knobs, but I chose unlacquered brass lever handles on my inside doors. I have French doors along the back of the house and wanted your opinion on the hardware. I love oval knobs and wanted to do a plate on both doors with an oval handle. Would you advise for or against this?

    1. I’m so glad to hear that Staci! Unlacquered brass sounds like a beautiful and wise design choice. Well done! I think the oval knobs with plates would look beautiful against your french doors. Hope this helps :)

  23. Hi Sarah, I’m wondering if the hardware on the interior bedroom doors should match the other hardware in the room? Or can you get away with brass on the door and black curtain rods for instance. Thanks

    1. Great question, Cecilia! They don’t have to match. I love the look of mixing brass door hardware with a black curtain rod. I’d recommend it, actually!

  24. Love this room! We are remodeling our bathroom/laundry room in our 120 year old home. I like an eclectic style. The entry door to the remodeled bathroom is right next to the door to our study, which has white wood and 18 beveled glass lites. I’m having a hard time deciding what style of door for our newly remodeled bathroom that wouldn’t clash with the French door. These are the only two interior doors in our downstairs. Any suggestions? If I could insert a photo, I would. Sorry!

  25. Hi Sarah! Would you be able to link the bifold doors you used in your guest room closet? I came from that post to here but can’t find a link or mention of the style you chose. I appreciate it!

    1. Hi Erin! We custom ordered those doors from Lowe’s. The style number is circled in the image in this post. You have to ask the millwork department for their books!

  26. Hey Sarah! Love this design!! Can you talk about the trim? Was that custom made or is it sold like that at Lowes?

  27. Have you noticed that Lowe’s doesn’t carry this Millenium line anymore? I went in to see if we could get a quote and they let us know they didn’t carry them anymore. Not sure if you ordered all your doors in advance, but curious to know if you are able to purchase this brand elsewhere pretty easily?

    1. I haven’t been into Lowe’s to order doors in awhile, so I’m honestly not sure! We’ll definitely have to cross that bridge when we get to it, as we didn’t order all of our doors at once. Fingers crossed! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, Jo.

  28. Susan Rogers says:

    Hi Sarah. Your style is awesome, your advice clear and precise, and your photos gorgeous! What a treasure to have discovered your blog! We are renovating my childhood home from 1959 and replacing the doors plus installing 5 pocket doors. While most pocket doors I plan to keep as the same style as all the other interior doors, there are two pocket doors that I would like to change to include some frosted glass to let light into the main living space. I was thinking of using a little hardware that would be the same finish and style feel as the other doors to help tie them together. Do you think having 2 of the pocket doors with the frosted glass be ok in the design?

    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I really appreciate your kind words. SO exciting that you’re renovating your childhood home. You can definitely mix and match hardware or glass to achieve the look and amount of light you’re going for within the doors. As long as the style is cohesive, they’ll look great together. I personally love reeded glass, seeded glass, or vintage glass- it still obscures and adds privacy while allowing the light to come through. All of that to say- I think they’d work great with your design plan and the other doors. I hope that’s helpful!

  29. Hi there! I am wondering what your thoughts are on mixing levers and knobs throughout the house. They have the same finish and rectangle backplate but I am wondering if you think it’s better to choose all levers or all knobs and not mix them? Thank you!

    1. I love mixing and matching- especially if they have the same finish :)

  30. Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing this again. I could read your blog posts time and time again!

    I saw in the comments that you like the idea of mixing and matching knobs and levers, but I’m curious your thoughts on when it makes the most sense to use one or the other… internal v. external doors, bedrooms v. bathrooms, etc. Would to hear your thoughts/rules of thumb! Thanks!

    1. Thank you, Raime! That’s so nice to hear :) I think the doorknob and backset functionality is probably more important or specific to the room or door. For example, on a closet door- you would use a dummy knob… and on a bathroom door, you would want it to lock for privacy. Sometimes the door also influences the type of handle, lever, or knob. My french doors in my home office are pocket doors, so those have to be recessed. Aside from that, it really just depends on the aesthetic you’re going for, as well as your personal preference (what feels better in hand / works best for your family). Certain knobs are easier for children to use, so that might be another factor. I hope that helps!

  31. I am updating the interior doors of my 50s ranch. It is a prairie style ranch (not mid century) and I have the original natural wood doors. Is there hardware style you recommend that compliments the original character of the home?

  32. We have the exact same doors – your before doors. The 90s, light doors. I don’t know that replacing the doors is in our budget but I’m hoping to at least swap out the hardware. Any recos on what style can work best with this door? Dying to do what you’ve already done but trying to work with what we have. Thanks!

    1. Swapping the hardware would make a huge difference, Erica! It will also help to add some weight to the hollow core doors. If you’re on a budget for the doors- that’s actually what I’d recommend… just swapping the hardware and maybe a fresh coat of paint. You could really do any hardware style, as it’s a pretty basic door.

  33. What color brass did you choose for the lever?

  34. Is the door hardware really $400 each? Or is it cheaper somewhere else?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      It is. It depends on the hardware type, finish, and style- but it’s heavy, handmade, excellent quality hardware. For us, it’s worth the investment. I’d rather save on something else, so we budgeted for it… but that’s just me!

  35. Janine Elias Joukema says:

    Thank you for this post. It answered so many questions for me. Love the same hardware brands, and have been pouring of the options. In our renovation we went with 3 panel shaker doors, except where we we use smaller double doors for closets… one paneled door. We went with satin nickel for our exterior door hardware, should I then do satin nickel for all my interior doors too? My goal is to have a classic, comfortable home punched up with colourful artwork and furnishings.
    Overwhelmed! But thanks again for your post. It was great.

  36. Katherine says:

    Hi! Would you be able to clarify how you customized the profile of the door? I’m looking for a similar door (but double panel), but I don’t want to end up with those severe shaker edges. Thanks!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Of course, Katherine! The doors are custom ordered, so you choose the profile when ordering custom millwork. There are hundreds of options. We ordered ours at Lowe’s, but you can visit any custom millwork shop.