What to Consider When Getting Door Handles

When building a new home or redecorating the old one, door hardware isn't always the center of attention. But door handles are more than small design features that fly below the radar. Think about it: The handle protrudes and often contrasts with the rest of the door, making it very notable. Plus, apart from a doorbell, it's the first thing most guests will touch when visiting your home.

Simply put, if you want to bring the style of your home to perfection, you need to consider your door handles with utmost care. A simple change on your exterior door could provide a unique impression and make your entryway more beautiful and authentic.

Believe it or not, the right combination of doors and door handles can create a feeling of nostalgia, relaxation, rustic charm, modern sleekness, or practically any other feeling you want to evoke. Essentially, you can create the exact type of aesthetics merely through the choice of handle. This article will tell you more about the topic and help you choose the perfect door handles for your home.

Handles for Exterior Doors

Before we go into the topic of handles for interior and exterior doors, one thing is worth mentioning: Certain handle types will work better with entry doors, while others will be a better fit for the interiors. However, nothing's stopping you from experimenting with handle placement - you can opt for a typical exterior handle on an interior door. This will be a matter of design choice and personal taste.

With that in mind, let's look at the most common exterior door handles.

Keyed Door Handles

A keyed door handle is precisely what it sounds like – a handle with a functional keyhole. This is the most traditional type of handle and is most frequently used for the entry door, although keyed handles can be convenient on interior doors, too.

Keyed door handles contain door locks. This feature will exist regardless of the particular style. For instance, keyed door knobs will have a keyhole in the middle of the knob, while door levers will contain the keyhole in the handle's main body.


A handleset has a combination of a knob and a lever, with the former being on the outside and the latter on the inside. These types of door handles have a built-in mechanism that locks the door via a keyed lock from the lever side and a standard keyhole on the knob side.

Handlesets have several advantages over traditional door handles. First, they allow you to secure the door from the inside without a key. At the same time, anyone wanting to enter from the other side must have the key, making a handleset a great safety feature for your entry door. This handle type can also be used in any room inside your home.

Rustic Handles

Rustic door handles take us in the direction of style rather than functionality. These handles are commonly made of bronze, brass, or iron and have a weathered look. Getting rustic handles for your home brings a specific type of elegance and beauty that you won't find very often in modern design styles.

This handle type is an excellent example of door handles that can fit on any door. Keyed variants will be ideal for the front door, while those without key mechanisms will fit perfectly in interior rooms. Since this handle type is relatively unique, it might not mix ideally with all contemporary design trends. This classic handle type will go best with farmhouse or ranch styles.

Modern Handles

When we talk of modern door handles, we're referring to the design style that features prominently in many contemporary homes. It's a sleek design with thin, elegant outlines and often a chrome finish. Door handles of this type are also commonly levers rather than knobs.

While modern door handles might not be the most stylish solution out there, they have a broad versatility that makes them a useful addition to numerous houses. Essentially, modern door levers are a good match for nearly every door design solution. Apart from the keyed exterior variant, these handles will fit perfectly well into any door inside the home.

Antique Door Handles

Antique door handles are set apart from other types mainly by their intricate design, usually with detailed ornaments. They represent a time when mass production wasn't yet a thing and even seemingly ordinary objects like handles were made with exceptional effort and craftsmanship.

An antique handle can be a knob or a lever, although you might find the former more often. When it comes to materials, you'll never see a modern chrome finish on these handles. They'll often be made of brass or bronze, and the knobs or levers may be made of precious materials like gold or silver. Glass knobs also aren't unheard of with this style. Antique handles may or may not be keyed, determining their possible use.

Smart Handles

Smart door handles are on the completely opposite side of the spectrum from the antique type. They are usually designed in an ultra-modern style, frequently with minimalist features. A smart handle will usually have a lever rather than a knob. Furthermore, these handles provide advanced security through several tech solutions.

For instance, a smart handle may have an electronic lock activated by a security key. This handle type features a keypad, but that might not be the only way to open the locks. Some high-tech handles may have fingerprint-scanning options or be controlled through a smartphone app. Additionally, a smart handle may allow you to set up a one-time guest password to share with announced visitors. While this handle type might not be the most beautiful on the market, it's certainly one of the most secure simply due to the variety of safety options.

Interior Decor Handles

As we've mentioned before, most handle types will be fitting for any door in your home. The types we've covered so far represent the choices that most often come with locks. The next section will give you an overview of door hardware most commonly found inside a home.

Privacy Handles

A privacy handle is often found in bathrooms, offices, and bedrooms. This door hardware type is somewhat similar to the handleset in that it locks the door from one side only. That's also where the name comes from: It's the ideal handle for those who prefer a bit of privacy inside the house.

This hardware style isn't fitting for the front door at all since the other side doesn't have a keyhole. There's a pinhole for emergencies, but that wouldn't be an easy solution for everyday use.

Passage Handles

The passage handle also falls under options exclusively for indoor use. This hardware doesn't have a locking mechanism of any type, making it useful exclusively for frequently used spaces and - as the name implies - passages.

There's no rule about the materials here - the hardware can be made of brass, bronze, wood, or plastic. The important aspect is where it goes. This handle type will be most fitting for the basement, kitchen, or similar rooms, allowing you to come in and leave without much hassle.

Dummy Handles

Lastly, a dummy handle is precisely what it sounds like. Not only does it not lock, but the hardware doesn't have a single moving part whatsoever. These are excellent options for closets and pantries, as well as any smaller doors in your home.

Where to Put Which Door Hardware

Generally speaking, giving each door in your house the appropriate hardware shouldn't be particularly difficult. Choose the locking types for the front door and other areas that need to be secure and put the hardware without locks everywhere else. But, while this rule of thumb will help you understand the gist of it, it won't reveal the entire picture. Let's expand a bit.

The most decorative door hardware will usually find its place on the main door. Whether you choose a classic design or opt for something more modern will depend on the door and the overall visual identity of your home. At the same time, external door levers or knobs will have to achieve their ultimate purpose: making your home and family safer. To that end, smart locks are quite a popular choice.

You'll have more freedom with door handles on the inside of the house. There, you can mix and match different options and focus more on the color, finish, and other aspects of style. Yet, some hardware will fit kitchens better, while others may be a great choice for pantries. Once you start working on inner doors, the choice will mainly depend on how often the door gets used and whether it opens to an area that requires privacy, i.e., a bathroom.

Door Levers vs. Door Knobs

The question of door levers vs. knobs comes down to personal preference and style. Both will function very much the same in terms of inner mechanisms. However, door levers are considered the standard in many homes, while knobs excel at creating a unique impression in most cases. Since the functionality is the same, it would be best to experiment and see different photos or actual examples to discover which style suits you best.

Match the Perfect Handle with the Perfect Doors - PINKYS

It should go without saying that a handle won't be of much use without a door. But if you're going for some premium door hardware, a common slab of wood just won't do. Instead, what you'll need is a door made with skill and utmost attention to detail. That's precisely what you'll find at PINKYS. Make sure to browse our offerings and check out different door styles for your home. You'll undoubtedly find what you're looking for.

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