Love It or Hate It: Mid-Century Kitchen Hardware

In the time since I put on my game face and vowed to give my kitchen a much-needed cosmetic facelift, I’ve done a lot of research relating to designing and decorating mid-century kitchens.

One thing is clear: You guys either love, or completely hate mid-century hardware.

Kitchen design using silver dish knobs.

The round silver knobs in our kitchen make a big statement. A big, shiny statement. A statement so big that you can check to see if you have something stuck in your teeth while you cook. And though they might not be the style I would gravitate to if not for our home’s style, I can really appreciate how they fit in here, so I have no intent to replace the 41 of them during this kitchen makeover. (But I will have to remove allĀ 41 of them tediously using a flathead screwdriver! 41! Did I mention there are 41?)

Kitchen cabinet knobs, pulls and handles are available in so many styles, but it would seem that mid-century originals are hard to come by these days, and maybe that’s why I’ve been contacted by a series of interested buyers who assume I might be taking them off and tossing them to the curb. For those of you who are following along this kitchen makeover and do like the knob style that I’m working with, Rejuvination offers a cool chrome dish-style knob ($8/each), and I was excited to find that Ace Hardware also offers a very similar look for less ($3/each).

Silver dish knobs in our mid-century kitchen.

Next up, wall painting! (I’ll be getting to the cabinets this springtime, but if you’re looking for tips on painting kitchen cabinets sooner, refer to this cabinet painting tutorial on DIY Network.)

Here’s the question for you: Would you reuse your original mid-century hardware, or would you want to replace it with a modern style?

13 Responses

  1. grace says:

    And I am many weeks later. ;-) Sorry, but I would replace them with some other, much nicer, mid-century knobs. Being mid-century myself, I feel entitled to say they are incredibly ugly and cheap looking. I've seen too many plastic ones over the years just like them, and these look no better. Please don't think you have to have something this atrocious to have authentic mid-century hardware. There was true beauty being made at that time.

  2. Cait says:

    I know I'm super late to comment, but I actually love the look of that hardware! Definitely keep them! When we moved in our kitchen's hardware was very '80s (and horrible) so we replaced it with nicer pulls of the same size, to avoid drilling new holes, but I think I would have kept the hardware you have, too!

  3. LINDAJAYCE says:

    Take them off, looks like some we have on our rental house. Didn`t know they looked so bad. they are on white cabinets there. Maybe I should go change them. What do you plan on doing about the 2-tone cabinet look, if anything? I am redoing my own kitchen, after 25 years. Maybe you could give me some good pointers?

  4. Joy says:

    I agree about replacement you can't replace style and you my dear have style!!

  5. Becky says:

    I have several of the same knobs I saved from some old drawers. Just waiting for the perfect place to reuse them. I agree with your decision to keep them, I seldom see originals being improved on with new.

  6. soontobeahomeowner says:

    I think they look great especially when you consider the price of replacement hardware. I personally prefer the look of early 20th century or late 19th century hardware.

  7. Jackie says:

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE those knobs! A sleek update with the doors and cabinets will make those knobs look like a million bucks!

  8. dnsdodge says:

    I would change them. You'd be surprise what a change new hardware makes.

  9. noelleskaya says:

    We have these exact same knobs in the bathroom upstairs (on a slanted vanity!)… I really don't mind the look of them on a more modern cabinet, but I really can't stand the "slanted backwards" vanity thing. :)

    I was shocked when I took down some gold-flecked mirror tile that some people wanted to re-use it! Blech!

    • merrypad says:

      I was thinking the same thing – that they might even continue to look great on a modern cabinet door. Did you sell the gold flecked tiles? I could see it being repurposed creatively, but I'm with you, that would be harder to live with than the round knobs.

      • noelleskaya says:

        I had no idea that someone would buy them from me – so unfortunately I broke most of them while taking them down. :( 40 year old mirror tile is rather brittle!

        • merrypad says:

          No surprise there! Besides being brittle, even if you can get them off without breaking them, in my experience there's usually too much grout stuck to the back of the tile to make them easily reusable. :-/

          • noelleskaya says:

            Can't wait to see what else you do with this mid-century kitchen because I have one, too. Complete with faux brick and pink counter tops. :)

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About Emily Fazio 

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I caught the home improvement bug at an early age, and now I'm a full-time DIYer living in Rochester, NY. The projects I cover on my blog Merrypad range ...

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