IN­TE­RIOR DOOR FUR­NI­TURE

Get a han­dle on these im­por­tant – yet of­ten over­looked – fin­ish­ing touches

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Decorating - DE­SIGN DE­TAILS

What is door fur­ni­ture? In lay­man’s terms, door fur­ni­ture in­cludes door han­dles (that you pull), levers (that you push down), knobs (that you turn) and kick plates and push plates, which pro­tect against fin­ger­marks. Why should I up­date an in­te­rior door? ‘ You may re­dec­o­rate a room ev­ery five to ten years, but you gen­er­ally keep the door hard­ware for a lot longer, so think of it as a longterm in­vest­ment,’ says Paul Clif­ford, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Croft. Make sure that what you choose is in keep­ing with the door it­self. ‘For ex­am­ple, a square rose lever looks good if the door has a geo­met­ric panel,’ says Wayne Dy­mond, sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor at Turn­style De­signs. Keep the look con­sis­tent with the style of your home as a whole, too. Should I choose lever han­dles or door knobs? Levers are the more prac­ti­cal op­tion, as they are eas­ier to op­er­ate. They also don’t re­quire such a strong grip, so are ideal for older users. Door knobs, on the other hand, are trick­ier to in­stall, as they re­quire a deeper back­set (this is the dis­tance from the edge of the door frame to the metal rod of the knob). ‘If the door was orig­i­nally fit­ted with a lever han­dle and you want to swap to a door knob, just check the back­set di­men­sions,’ says Dy­mond. ‘If it’s less than 75mm, then door knobs re­ally aren’t suit­able.’ ‘If you’re start­ing from scratch, though, the de­ci­sion comes down to per­sonal pref­er­ence,’ says Sarah Ehrlich, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of The Nanz Com­pany. What else should I think about if I’m re­plac­ing door fur­ni­ture? It’s cru­cial to al­ways fit new latches at the same time as new door han­dles – don’t just change the knobs. ‘This en­sures you have the op­ti­mum spring­ing – and, there­fore, that your lever han­dle will sit hor­i­zon­tally,’ ex­plains Dy­mond. ‘Also, if us­ing door knobs, you will need a two-way ac­tion latch so it can turn clock­wise and anti-clock­wise.’ Af­ter all, there’s no point in hav­ing a stylish new han­dle if it won’t turn be­cause it doesn’t line up with the in­ter­nal hard­ware. Any rules when it comes to fin­ishes? ‘Firstly, choose one fin­ish and make sure that it’s avail­able for ev­ery el­e­ment of the door hard­ware,’ says Dy­mond. ‘Also, some fin­ishes are more ro­bust than oth­ers, so se­lect some­thing that is suit­able for the en­vi­ron­ment you are in.’ Liv­ing fin­ishes – those that de­velop a patina – such as the brass ‘Lama’ han­dle by Gio Ponti for Oli­vari, used by Uni­ver­sal De­sign Stu­dio for a re­cent re­tail project (above), are pop­u­lar. ‘Liv­ing or un­lac­quered fin­ishes will change over time,’ ex­plains Robert Fodor, di­rec­tor of sales and mar­ket­ing at SA Bax­ter, ‘ but that is the beauty of them.

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