Offering Style and Security
Story by Ann Butenas | Photos courtesy of Rocky Mountain Hardware
You probably don’t give much thought to the hardware that adorns your home’s front door, but it is something that makes a statement to visitors and passersby alike. Door hardware, in a sense, can be viewed as jewelry for the home. However, it is also highly functional, providing security and privacy. The front door is one of the first things people notice when they approach a home. The door handle is often the first touch point for guests. Your doorknob and related hardware say a lot about the folks who live behind that main entrance. Whether highly ornate or outfitted with simply a standard set of hardware, there are several manufacturers and a variety of options in terms of finishes and styles to complement the overall appearance of your front door.
We visited with John Hensley, owner of Locks and Pulls, to unlock some secrets, tips and styles regarding front door hardware and knobs. We soon discovered there is more to front door hardware ornamentation than we realized.
KCH&S: In addition to the obvious reasons of safety and security, why is front door hardware important to the overall appeal of a home?
HENSLEY: Front door hardware tells the story of the house and its ownership before you even enter the home.
KCH&S: What do we need to know about the hardware for front doors before we even begin to make our selection?
HENSLEY: With front door hardware, you either want it to stand out or you want it to be subtle. If you have a beautiful front door, for example, you do not want the hardware to distract from the beauty of the door. If you have a red door, however, you may want some striking hardware that stands out. For a darker door, a darker set of hardware tends to work best. It all depends on the look of the door.
KCH&S: How does the front door express itself as part of the home’s overall curb appeal?
HENSLEY: Even though the front door tends to be the least used door in the house, homeowners generally want it to make a statement. When people are looking for new hardware, they are either replacing the existing hardware or they have a new door entirely. No matter the situation, that determines the available options. If you are replacing existing hardware, you have to match the door prep and the holes of the existing door. If the door is painted, you could simply fill the existing holes and repaint the door. If the door is stained, however, your options are more limited.
KCH&S: What are some of the trending finishes and colors of front door hardware and doorknobs?
HENSLEY: Satin nickel and oil-rubbed bronze tend to be the most popular now, but, depending on the style of the house, we are starting to see polished nickel, black and contemporary looks. We are also discovering more homeowners who want keyless entry with a keypad. However, because the front door can offer a stunning statement about the home, most people opt to put a keypad on a side door.
KCH&S: How has technology been integrated into front door hardware, whether supplementing or replacing the deadbolt?
HENSLEY: There are smart locks available today, which are also referred to as Wi-Fi-enabled locks. In order to use these, you have to have a router that will be your contact for your phone and the door hardware. You program the hardware in a Bluetooth manner for keyless entry. These also allow you to open the door remotely for someone else, like a cleaning person or contractors. They will simply ring your doorbell and it will call your phone so you can unlock the front door for whomever is there at the time.