One easy way to make your kitchen look a little more mid century — while also protecting the finish on the cabinets — is to use a polished chrome kitchen knob and back plate combination. (Hey, Rebecca, how about these for your 1963 kitchen remodel, too?) Our first instinct is always to try and find authentic vintage kitchen knobs and back plates. Great finds do pop up on ebay frequently — but usually they are in small lots. That means, for those of us with more than a few cabinets to fit, it may be difficult to track down enough quantity of true vintage knobs or pulls. That’s where reproductions come in handy. I had 31 drawers and doors to outfit — so expensive reproductions gave me sticker shock. But fear not — I found a more budget friendly alternative that still delivers the same great style — and I saved more than $250 vs. the more expensive ‘go-to’ option.
As regular readers likely know, Rejuvenation has several mid century chrome cabinet knob and back plate combinations available. Rejuvenation is usually our first, go-to site when looking for midcentury hardware reproductions. They generally do a beautiful job with their reproductions, and Pam says that she has been impressed by the quality of the different items that she has purchased from Rejuvenation over the years. That said, you’re gonna pay — and increasingly so, we predict. Since the company was sold to Williams-Sonoma, are we right in noticing that their fanciest new lighting is getting wicked expensive? In any case, if you have a lot of cabinet doors and a tiny budget — their kitchen knob and pull options get expensive pretty fast.
At Rejuvenation, the 2″ chrome dish cabinet knob with round backplate combination sells for $11. If you’re like me — and have a total of 31 kitchen cabinet doors in need of knobs — you won’t be excited to cough up $341 plus shipping for kitchen cabinet hardware.
So I went looking for a more budget friendly option — and happened upon this very similar retro styled Liberty 1.5″ Concave Round Cabinet hardware knob. It’s available at Home Depot — for just $1.38 each.
Next it was time to search out some appropriate back plates. After some intense searching, I found a package of 5 chrome door knob backplates from HD Supply for only $4.79 — making each backplate just 96¢.
At first I was concerned that the HD back plates might be a bit to large for the 1.5 inch wide chrome dish knobs. The comparisons: The Rejuvenation combination pairs a 1.5″ knob with a 2″ diameter back plate, while my Home Depot + HD Supply combo pairs a 1.5″ knob with a 2.75″ back plate. After putting my two less expensive options together (as seen above), though, I ended up really liking the combination. And, there’s an argument to be made that by wider-diameter back plate is functionally superior — because it prevents even more fingerprint smudges and oils from landing directly on my painted wood when I go to open and close a cabinet or drawer.
I saved $268.46
The only thing that was better than the way the end result looked was how much money I saved. While it would have cost me $341 ($11 each set) to purchase my chrome back plates and knobs from Rejuvenation — my budget version came out to only $2.34 for each set — costing me $72.54 for all 31 cabinet knobs — a savings of $268.46 for my job. I’ve been using the knobs for nearly three years and the back plates for several months now — and they are holding up beautifully.
A note on adding the backplates to my kitchen cabinets — it will depend on the thickness of the individual cabinet doors and drawer fronts — but I did have to buy a few slightly longer screws for five of my drawers to make sure that they were long enough to go through the backplate and screw securely into the knob. For this I purchased a small container of size 8-32 machine screws (1.25 inches long) at my local hardware store for less than a dollar. Standard cabinet knob screws are 1 inch long — the extra .25 inch was just enough to make it through the backplate without being too long.