Our clients sometimes really struggle to decide on choosing a handle and even more so when they are a couple. Handles are pretty personal and not because of how they are going to be used. It’s all about where the handle is going and how it looks and feels.
Most clients like to really grab on to a handle and get a good feeling of the grip. There definitely seems to be a divide of those that love the square feel and those that love the more rounded feel. This is where it gets personal – everyone has a different opinion – at the end of the day some are happy to give up on the feel for the design and some aren’t. This relates to the pleasure you get out of looking at a square edged handle and how much that effects how it feels when you grab it. See? Tricky.
Discussions after that always commence about length and whether or not a longer handle will make the door look more commercial. Consideration of the height of the door really needs to be taken into account, too. Shorter handles can work really well even if a door is tall and this again is all about your personal outlook. Does it matter? It can matter because it affects the overall effect the door gives.
The final point of contention is usually where the handle goes on the door. This may be straightforward but depending on the type of door and if it has a steel core there may be issues with where it is placed because of what’s inside the door– including whether or not a handle should be horizontal or vertical. Some door designs dictate where a handle can go like on a door with a vertical vision panel, there is only really one place to put it, but on a door that has no glass inserts, the handle could go horizontally. Horizontal handles then look a lot more contemporary and this can put off a client who prefers a more modern traditional feel.
Design and personal opinion can sometimes clash and once you’ve drilled those holes to fit that handle, it isn’t an easy job to change it back! But if you take all these points into consideration, it’s rare that you could get it very wrong. Someone may have to compromise however!!
We’ve chosen some images that we hope illustrate the points mentioned in this blog, but if you’d like any other advice, please do get in touch.
Its so easy to specify or go for what we are used to when choosing handles for an interior or exterior door
It’s also hard not to go for what’s in trend at that moment. Trends come and go but that your door will be there for a considerable amount of time and remembering that is important.
Bronze is one of those finishes that can last the test of time. It has innate classical beauty in addition to all of it’s other properties (antibacterial, solid, easy to cast, and a patina that continues to build over time). But is the current trend for copper, rose gold and bronze look products going to last? I think for a while it will, because people are bored of stainless steel a little now. Even if it doesn’t last, I think a bronze handle will still work especially if it’s got interesting texture, a beautiful form and is made to a high standard.
Points about Bronze that make it a good choice:
So, I hope I’ve convinced you but if you are in doubt, definitely visit our bronze section of the site here and see for yourself!
Here are some tried and tested accessories that make all the difference for your front door.
1. Door Stop
If your door opens onto a wall or even
This doorbell is so slim and sophisticated you can just about see it on the door frame. It sure beats a boring white plastic one. Please keep in mind though that this particular one, still needs an actual doorbell connected to it, and is only the push button for the bell. You can see it on our website here and here is one in situ.
3. Door Mat
I don't know about
Check out how great this handle looks on a Lotus Green painted door.
I love the fact that you can walk down a lovely traditional street in an old town like Old Amersham in the UK and find the most amazing and stylish looking old fashioned front doors with stunning accessories. Yes, I know that a lion knocker isn’t going to do it for a very contemporary home on the beach, but the concept of Wow is still achievable with stylish trendy products – just in a very different way.
Our very own workshop gate is a rusty gate which we spent months spraying with acid to rust so that it would look the way it does. However, it has very shiny stainless steel handles and our concrete mailbox and light in pride position alongside it. You know straightaway because of these accessories that we are no ordinary company and that we are setting out to make a statement.
So how do you make a statement without a lion head? It really isn’t as hard as it seems.
Don’t be Scared to Experiment
You’ll be surprised to hear my first bit of advice is ‘Be creative’. Not everything on the door needs to be in stainless steel or have a very streamlined look. Try to use different materials like bronze and copper, play with shapes and forms that stand out and do go for larger sizes than you would normally use. A large handle on an otherwise normal sized door will draw attention and raise an eyebrow or two. Yes, size needs to be proportionate but it doesn’t need to be conservative.
Don’t necessarily match
You can mix different finishes together. The doorbell, handle and light fixtures don’t have to be the same colour or design. For instance, if your windows, door and roof are all grey and then you plonk just straightforward stainless steel handles, light fittings and accessories on it – yes it is all symmetrical and matching but it doesn’t have any character. Using a Rusted or glass finish on your letterbox or introducing a stylish and colourful doormat will break that monotony and create a ‘wow – how different’ from those that visit you.
Create a mood board
When I’m designing doors, I have a variety of materials in front of me to help me think outside the box. Putting your samples all out in front of you in a mood board style like a designer can help you visualise what is possible and realise that if you use a bronze handle on your front door, that it may not match everything inside. Use pictures or actual samples of all the materials together to help you choose the right product and the right ‘end result’.
Find something you haven’t seen before
Yes we all want to be unique and special and even in this world of ours where everyone has an idea of what that is, it’s still possible to find that something ‘ different’ that no one else has tried – without being too over the top and out there. A plain door can be lifted immediately with a handle that has a little bit of shape to it. You can soften a very sharp design with a little movement instead of going for straight lines. Mixing traditional and contemporary features is also a fun way of doing things differently – just like you can update an old Georgian door with stainless steel handles, you can also dull down a contemporary door with rust accessories.If you still feel like you need some advice on the above or just a bit of guidance, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy
It surprises me that so many people consider not having a handle on their front door. This is quite tricky because, yes, contemporary design determines a much more minimalistic look but you still need your door to be practical and easy to use. Some opt for a cylinder pull but this may sometimes not be suitable for the size of the door or its weight.
Handles really do add something special to a door - design, statement and function but moreover I’ve found that handles do definitely add a touch of elegance and a little bit of you. Your first instinct is really what you should go for, whatever first made you think yes, I love it, is probably the best choice for your door.
You should also be considering handle size in comparison to the size of the door and also dimension and depth of the handle and it’s fixings. So a 2.4m tall door could easily have a 1200mm tall pull handle but just as easily a 600mm handle or a lever handle for that matter. But what looks better and what is the door being used for? These determine how you make your choices.
So many people think very tall handles are more for commercial buildings but in reality they can work for any entrance. I would say they suit bigger doors better and also are a contemporary choice but why not? The difference between square and round handles or thin and thicker handles are all very personal and can change the look of a door dramatically. Whatever you choose keep in mind functionality too – perhaps a lever handle would be better for your door, but would it appear too small?
So considering what works best isn’t what it’s all about… use your gut feeling and go for what you love.
It’s always the couples who walk into our showroom that struggle the most with choosing handles because ultimately it’s a very personal choice. There are some who like their doors to be very crisp with no handles at all and others who like a very commercial look with the biggest handle they can get. Usually, clients just want their handle to be as practical as possible which inevitably is easier said than done.
At Urban Front, the choice is actually minimised because you either go for a pull handle or a lever handle or none at all. However, the choice isn’t just for design purposes – it’s about how you are going to use the door too and how that relates to the locking system.
Lever handles are traditionally more popular but with our doors, using a lever handle means that your door would always be accessible unless the door is locked; ie anyone could just walk in if you forget to lock the door as the lever handle works with the latch. Keeping in mind, it is ideal if you have a gated property and would prefer to be able to walk in and out of your house onto your driveway without having to keep your door wide open. However, if you have quite a large door, it could look wrong with small lever handles. Trying something a little different like our Option 2 handle could be a good way to update a lever handle.
Pulls look very contemporary and can really change the feel of the door if used cleverly. Shorter pulls look more residential while longer ones more commercial. Full length pulls can give a bit of drama whereas a quirky pull may just be that little bit of wow an entrance needs to make it stand out. An example of this is our PP117 which usually goes with Urban Fronts Milano door – see the link by clicking here. The feel of a handle seems to make a big difference to our customers as well – square edged or round or something in between. Pull handles also affect the way the door is used in that once the door is closed and even if not locked there is no way back in without a key.
If you'd like any advise, let us know and we'd be happy to help.