Every door requires a handle, but choosing the right style, design and lock for it can be a difficult decision. Not only does it play a ‘key’ role in the finish and style of your door, it can also determine the ease of access in and out of a room. To help you get your head around the relative benefits and design of knobs and lever handles, here’s a short guide to help you make the right choice for your door.
What Door is it For?
The most important thing to consider when choosing a knob or lever handle for your door is its type. Of course a cabinet door is going to need a very different type of finish to an exterior door. The hardware that you select needs to look proportional and in-keeping to the design, so no bulky door knobs on delicate glass doors or flimsy handles on big sturdy doors.
Bear in mind the overall décor or the room, and if going for metal handles try to choose a finish that matches any other metal in the room to avoid clashes. If your home is modern or traditional, make sure the handle is consistent with your property.
Easy to use and great for exterior doors, lever handles are a popular choice for doors. They require little effort to open, and you can even use your elbow if you’ve got your hands full when moving between rooms. Meanwhile, children can also open and close the door as they can simply reach and pull, whereas knobs are more difficult for them to use with the twist motion.
However this can of course also work to their disadvantage on rooms that you’d rather keep children (and smart dogs!) out of. They can also be annoying for families with both left handed people, as most are fitted to work naturally with the right hand.
Door knobs are a stylish alternative to lever handles as you have much more freedom for design beyond metal hardware. Many door knobs are available with crystal, porcelain and even painted finishes, making them an elegant finish for an interior door.
The relative advantages and disadvantages of handles work in reverse here; although more difficult to open, this can be a positive feature for rooms where children shouldn’t be straying! They are also suitable for left and right-handed people, as it doesn’t matter which hand you use to open it unlike with a lever handle.
Of course in some modern houses they have swapped handles and knobs for a simple push panel and 2-way doors – but this article is about handles and knobs so we are only mentioning that briefly.
Choosing the hardware for your door is a very personal decision based on taste and practicalities. With so many options on design, finish and size out there, it can be difficult to narrow them down. However this introductory guide should have helped you to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of each. When you’ve decided which is right for you, all that’s left is to choose a design that will complement your room to create a stylish solution.
Door handles and knobs by Kelly Gilour-Grassam – sounds like a pop star! She often writes for Emerald Doors.