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Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Posted by Momto3kiddos (My Page) on
Thu, Nov 15, 12 at 10:42

We are choosing exterior and interior doors and the sales rep has asked me numerous times, " Are you sure you want something other than ORB hardware, 98% of what goes out of here these days is ORB?".

I really like the look of the antique pewter and feel that it is fairly timeless. This is a house we will be in forever since it is on the family farm. Our home is very traditional and our decorating style is traditional/transitional. Most of our interior colors will be warm greys and blues and greens.

Should I rethink my decision or go with the antique pewter? I am very good at saying "I don't care what everyone else is doing". I have already said that numerous times regarding our elliptical transom over our entry door. I think 5 different people have said that eyebrow arches are the only way to go these days, but I love the traditional feel of the elliptical arch and feel that it may be more timeless than the eyebrow arch.

What do you guys think?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

If you like something and plan to be in the house indefinitely, why would you do anything else? Don't second guess yourself.

I had contractors tell me "oh, everyone does it like this" many times during my build. Sometimes it was helpful, but, often, it was just what they liked or what they were used to doing. I regret the couple times I let them talk me into something else...


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Use what you like. It is interesting that you say that though. When we bought our hardware (unlacquered brass) they salesperson said that 50 -70 percent of what they sold to high end (million plus) houses in Atlanta was unlacquered brass. I think that is because several prominent architects and designers are specifying it. He said that they sell the least of ORB for these sorts of houses but that pewter and polished nickel were also very popular for architect designed houses in the Atlanta area.

We love our unlaquered brass. They already have a great patina. . .


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Go for it. It is your house--you will live there--and you like the pewter (so do I, btw...) You aren't alone. :)


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

The fact that 98% of what they sell is ORB would make me want something else! You're not building custom to be like 98% of other homes. Get what you like. It sounds like your choice will be beautiful with your house and make you happy.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

The fact that 98% of what they sell is ORB would make me want something else! You're not building custom to be like 98% of other homes. Get what you like. It sounds like your choice will be beautiful with your house and make you happy.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

ORB is already out. So, it's not surprising that a mass merchant would still be saying it's hot. They probably have a lot of it to unload!


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

ORB is already out. So, it's not surprising that a mass merchant would still be saying it's hot. They probably have a lot of it to unload!


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I personally am not a fan of ORB. I am a natural brass or polished nickel fan.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I've never had a client ask for ORB and it looks out of place to me in a home (as if some hardware maker ran out of brass and was forced to use statuary bronze and then decided to darken it).

"Venetian" and "Oil Rubbed" are old art terms that describe the addition of polished highlights to aged (oxidized) statuary bronze that turns a rich red brown color because of it's 90% copper content. Brass normally contains about 70% copper.

Since copper is expensive and it takes a long time for bronze to darken naturally, modern manufacturers take some short cuts in the factory:

- The cheapest simulated aged bronze finish is paint.

- Next is the chemically accelerated oxidation of brass plating.

- Next is the chemically accelerated oxidation of solid brass.

- Next is the chemically accelerated oxidation of copper plating on solid brass

- Next is the chemically accelerated oxidation of high copper content cast bronze (statuary bronze).

When you ask for ORB you probably don't know what it really is or how it will wear. That is enough to keep me from using it.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I think you should go with what "YOU LIKE"! As you can see other here have stated that ORB is out, but guess what? That is what I wanted so I chose ORB hardware and eggshape door handles and dont regret it at all. Trends come and go so as soon as you make a choice the next year a new trend will be in so there is no way you can keep up with the "IN" thing. You are the one who has to live with it so get what like and what will make you happy! :)


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I am just curious if people realize how snobby they sound or if they care? Dropping hints as to what your house cost, and insinuating that because you spent a certain amount your house is more tasteful, is just poor etiquette. Or maybe it's just insecurity?

In my experience, some of the most expensive homes I've looked at or visited have been the tackiest. Money can't buy taste and trends come and go. Get what suits you and your style and the overall look and feel of what you're trying to achieve. Who cares if most million dollar houses have this or that.

ORB may be out, but according to designers, so are white kitchens and dark hardwood floors...


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I, for one, like the look of ORB and plan to use it in my kitchen. I am using pearl cabinets and think it looks warmer than the silver colors...but that is only my opinion. Do what YOU like....trends come and go...so make it your home.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

modern manufacturers take some short cuts in the factory

Very interesting.

So how far down that scale can you go and still have a quality finish?

(And which co. will even disclose exactly what they've done to come up with their version of ORB?)


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

you should do what you like. Oil Rubbed has been really popular for a long time, but you shouldn't let a sales rep influence you to use it just because everyone else is. I've been selling hardware for years. It's true there are certain finishes that are more popular than others as trends come and go. But, when it comes down to it... you're furnishing your home for you and your family, not for anyone else. So make it yours. Every finish has it's place in interior design.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

If you are referring to me, I wasn't insinuating anything about my house. I was repeating what a salesman told me almost verbatim, omitting the names of the architects and designers he said were specifying particular finishes of hardware. He knew nothing about my house - I just told him I was interested in doorknobs and wanted to know about the various finishes. Geez . . .

The point he was making was his opinion and may very well be a regional thing. Who knows what they are doing in other parts of the country? I didn't do unlacquered brass to be trendy. I had decided that is what I wanted before I went in the showroom and in fact I had had several people look at me askance when I said so. I bet I am the only new house in my area that made that choice but I didn't care - I like it and it was want I wanted. The fact that it was "in" was something that I didn't even know . . . I just knew I didn't want ORB (although that is all that people seem to have around here in new construction) and thought polished nickel wouldn't be right throughout the house (although we have it in our master bath).

Point being, buy what you like. I think antique pewter is a timeless choice and won't look dated, which is why I chose the unlacquered brass. I figured if they were putting it in houses at the turn of the century it was pretty timeless.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Personally, I think oil-rubbed bronze is going to be a flash in the pan. I'd skip it in favor of something more classic.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Get what you like. I rather like all the dark finishes including ORB and venetian bronze etc. They look nice in the Spanish style homes around here. I like it against the old Mexican tiled bathroom I have etc. I think all finishes have their place. Our new remodel will have chrome fixtures. Not in style at all and not even my favorite finish (I think polished nickel is warmer) but it fits the house and I am in the mood for the brightness and shine.

Even here with all the Spanish influence there is no way 98% of new builds and remodels are ORB or any other finish. That lady is probably full of it.

When I was younger, dumber and had less exposure to good design I was more hung up on certain finishes etc. (and the "right" finished changed depending on trends or whatever dumb idea I had in my head) Now I like them all in the right setting and I don't mind a mix of them. Doesn't mean I have better taste than someone who wants a whole house in ORB that matches perfectly, that is just the way my taste/style has evolved. I think things have gotten more eclectic as of late so maybe it isn't me who has changed at all :)

Get the pewter, it sounds like you know exactly what is right for your house! I have no idea if ORB is on it's way in or out but the pewter you are considering is most definitely not on it's way out!!


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Your choice in the house, your choice of doors and windows and should be your choice in the finish of the hardware. I have scene plenty of all the above finishes and in the right settings all look appropriate, just my .02 cents


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I would get exactly the finish you want.

I think any finish out there is appropriate for certain styles of house and not for others.

I would wonder that if, since 98% of the hardware that goes out of that shop is ORB, if they don't get a volume discount that is not passed onto the consumer, that they don't get with other finishes.

Also, if I relied upon sales people or contractors to influence my personal taste, my house would be a hideous mishmash of all sorts of stuff.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Bronze is copper with tin as the main alloying element.

Brass is copper with zinc as the main alloying element.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I'm in the 2%...I went with antique brass....


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Renovator8- what types of hardware do your clients request?

Momto3kiddos- what finish did you use for faucets, cabinet knobs, etc.? I also do not want to use ORB. I llove the look of antique brass faucets but then would I use antique brass on all door hardware and bath faucets?


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

I decided what I wanted, then did not look back. It wasn't ORB, but in our area (Houston) it is very popular as the houses are often Spanish/Mediterranean/Tuscan inspired. I think the hardware looks best when it complements the surroundings and is consistent with the spirit of the house design as well as the furnishings. Happy Homebuilding!


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

My vote is for unlacquered brass, and if you want to preserve a polish or patina to use wax rather than lacquer.


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Hi Kate... I went with antique pewter for door hardware with the exception of our front door. The only I choices for the threshold were satin nickel and orb, so I did orb threshold and door handle.

For my baths, I have used brushed nickel in some and chrome in some others. The antique pewter goes well with all the silver finishes as well as the black finishes.

I think there are no more rules regarding finishes and mixing and matching is done a lot. I cannot speak to the brass because I didn't use any, but my light fixtures vary from black to satin nickel to winter gold and they all work well together. Best of luck with your decision making!


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RE: Am I crazy to not use ORB door hardware these days?

Sounds beautiful Momto3kiddos!


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