It might seem a bit obvious at first, but as soon as you step into any good ironmongery shop or start looking at ironmongery websites such as ironmongeryshoponline.co.uk or door-handles-knobs.co.uk, and you will be confronted by literally thousands of different door handles and knobs to choose from.
Each of these handles and knobs will come in a selection of finishes, satin stainless steel, polished stainless steel, aluminium, brass, chrome, bronze, pewter and even occassionally gold plated!
So, how do we choose the right handle?
First you need a budget. set yourself a minimum and a maximum price you are prepared to pay. 'Why set a minimum?' I hear you say. Simple, you will probably handle your door handles dozens of times a day, hundreds of times a week, and many thousands of times a year so if you buy something thats cheap you could find yourself having to replace it a lot sooner than you expected.
Having decided a sensible price range, think about the style of your home, or how you want it to appear. A Dickensian thatched cottage may not be the best place for polished stainless steel cutting edge door furniture and likewise a brand new, state of the art penthouse apartment would probably not benefit from black iron antique furniture.
Then consider who is going to handle the door furniture. If you have young children you may find that brass or chrome handles need to be constantly cleaned where grubby little hands have left smear marks or worse. Satin stainless steel is probably your best bet here, and if your home is near the sea/river or in open countryside then you will gain the added benefit of stainless steel's resistance to weathering- have you ever noticed how brass or chrome handles lose their shine and discolour?
Again bearing children in mind, try to avoid handles with pointed or sharp edges on them, door handles are fitted at about the same height as the average 2 year-olds eyes.
Potential users with restrictive movement in the hands may find knob furniture difficult to operate and would benefit from having a lever instead. If the user has limited sight try to avoid handles that are similar in finish to the door on which they are to be fitted (i.e. dont use aluminium handles on white doors or brass on light timbers)
So, now we have narrowed it down from a couple of thousand to perhaps 20 or so choices, much more manageable. The rest is up to you and your personal preferences.
p.s. If you found this guide useful, please let us know. Thanks