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5 sources for midcentury modern door backplates aka escutcheons + a DIY idea

mid century door rosettesMidcentury modern front entry doors tend to have a simple, minimal design. To make them pop, and to give visitors a lasting first impression, consider adding a decorative escutcheon. Just like jewelry finishes off a nice outfit, a stylish escutcheon can dress up your front door. 

Update July 2019: I’ve resurveyed what’s available and updated this story and found two more places for mid century modern door escutcheons — five places in all, plus a DIY idea from a handy reader.

1. Rejuvenation offers 5 mid century front door backplate designs

Rejuvenation beautiful reproduction midcentury door escutcheons, and as of this 2019 update, I count 5 different designs. Each design comes in a variety of finishes — lacquered brass or brush or polished chrome.

mid-century-modern-star-door-backplate-from-rejuvenationmid century modern door escutceonAbove: Rejuvenation offers two starburst escutcheon designs.

mid century modern door backplates rejuvenationmid century door backplate rejuvenationmid century door escutcheon round rejuvenation

Above: And the company offers two designs of square escutcheons and one, round.

Where to buy these:

mid-century-escutcheon
Alas, the brutalist beauty above, introduced by Rejuvenation in the early 2010s, is no longer available. I’ll keep the photo up for a reference. I found a similar vintage design in my online search — so perhaps if you start watching ebay now you can still find one.

2. Liz’s Antique Hardware entry door escutcheons

mid-century-escutcheonsLiz’s Antique Hardware offers two styles of reproduction midcentury modern door escutcheons, and they certainly look beautiful. Each style is cast in brass and available in three metal finishes: chrome, polished chrome and satin bronze.

Where to buy these:

3. Vintage Revival Art Co. offers one design, in cast aluminum

door backplates mid century styleVintage Revival Art Co., on etsy, makes one cast aluminum front door escutcheon design. He offers trim paint colors to go with.

Where to buy these:

4. Atomic Martini door backplates, in resin

mid century door rosettemodern door rosetteAtomic Martini on etsy makes two designs of backplates. The material used is resin.

Where to buy these:

5. Retrofit vintage door backplates

Vintage escutcheons can be found on ebay, etsy and even sourced from estate sales, antique malls and salvage yards if you are lucky.

Vintage backplates came in a mind-blowing array of styles — some of the designs are just amazing

zodiac door backplate
Signs of the zodiac backplates are among my favorites! Found New Old Stock in the back of this store.

Note: Some readers have reported that it can be tricky to get old escutcheons to work on a new door set — research this issue accordingly. If you have the time, tools and know how however, taking the vintage route can be very rewarding.

See our coverage on vintage escutcheons:

Vintage door back plate escutcheon manufacturers to search for:

If you are searching for vintage online, here are names of 13 mid century manufacturers that I know of:

  • Schlage
  • Weiser Locks; also check just Weiser
  • Trimline
  • Kwikset 
  • Weslock
  • Trimco
  • Quality Hardware
  • Triangle Co.
  • Lockwood
  • Amerock
  • Yale
  • Dexter
  • Sargent Locks
  • Howard Pierce

Some nouns to try in your search:

  • Escutcheon
  • Rosette
  • Back Plate
  • Plates
  • Backplate

And other adjectives:

  • Mid century
  • Midcentury
  • Vintage

6. Make your own front door decorative hardware

Shortly after creative reader Sarah purchased her Gilbert Spindel Geodesica, she completed an exterior makeover that included making her own midcentury style door complete with DIY escutcheons.

DIY door escutcheonFrom the story:

The round escutcheon is just flat cut steel that a local metals shop cut for us then cut in half. The diameter is 22 in and we spray painted it bronze. The handles are appliance pulls that mimicked the design of the tiles. The door is either open and may swing open with the wind or is shut and locked. Not the most practical, but we must suffer for beauty, and we have learned to live with it.

With a little ingenuity and some creative use of materials, making your own decorative door escutcheon like Sarah did, is a great option for those with a limited budget.

Read about Sarah’s front porch makeover:

Readers — does your house have a front door escutcheon?

  1. Diana says:

    Still mad at the former owners of this house for taking out cool things like escutcheons and the neat panel in the living room. Grrrr! Their ideas of modernization were ruination. Trying to find escutcheons today.

  2. valvashon says:

    That top one from Rejuvenation Hardware inspired me to design a period correct door for my 1961 ranch house as the existing door from the 1980’s was starting to fail. But here’s a cautionary tale- make sure you specify ALL the dimensions of your new door if that’s what you are doing. That star, in Satin Chrome, paired with a matching Schlage “Tulip” style knob to match the interior knobs, was going to look great. It requires a 5″ backset so I had to step up to the commercial grade knob and deadbolt as I wasn’t going to be able to stand having the knob and deadbolt offset- things like that have to line up for my brain! I specified a 5″ backset for both the deadbolt and doorknob and my door was delivered that way. However, the star will not fit around the doorknob as I neglected to specify that the clearance between the knob and the deadbolt needed to be greater than the standard clearance of 5 1/2″. My new door is installed, it looks and works great, but my beautiful Satin Chrome star, where it all started, is still in a box. I’m exploring options to machine it down to a size that fits. If that happens I will see if Pam is interested in a story. Until then, escutcheons are tricky things- make sure what you are buying will fit!

  3. Elizabeth from Texas says:

    I am so lucky I ordered the Samba (brutalist from Rejuvenation) as soon as I decided on it, which ended up being two years before our house was ready to have it installed! Very sad that they discontinued it, but feeling very blessed that I got one before they did!!

  4. Jacki says:

    I have scanned Pinterest and some of Hiawatha Estes homes are fairly easy to find since he designed a lot Storybook Ranches. What I have found, from the few that I have seen is a standard door knob. What I am looking to find is one that is a little more fun or elaborate since the house has a Storybook ranch look, but it must be period and style appropriate otherwise it won’t look right.

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