When to Use a Door Knob Versus a Door Lever?

When to choose a door knob versus a door lever? When it comes to truly custom hardware where a design is being created for a specific project then the choice between a door lever and door knob is largely a question of taste and budget and less a question of function. If the door knob or lever is being created from the drawing board on-wards then some of the limitations off each can be overcome by a creative design.

Door knobs by nature are a handles that can be turned either clockwise or anti-clockwise to release the door latch. By comparison a door lever unless it is operating a multi-point lock has to be depressed to release the latch. This can be an important issue when designing for the kitchen or other wet areas and when designing for the disabled. A lever has the upper hand so to speak when your hands are wet or full of shopping as it can be depressed with ones elbow or possibly with one’s foot! Clearly for those with limited gripping strength, a door lever has clear advantages.

The textured tree canopy is a good gripping surface

The textured tree canopy is a good gripping surface

Door levers are also directional with the lever pointing away from the latch towards the hinge and this can be an important consideration when working with a narrow stile. In this case when you grip a knob your knuckles may come too close to the door jamb especially when the door is being pulled closed .  By comparison the area of a door lever that is gripped is typically at midpoint along the lever and a safe distance from the door jamb.

A symmetrical aesthetic inspired by Netsuke

A symmetrical aesthetic inspired by Netsuke

So why do we ever use door knobs? Well they are inherently more self- contained and less obtrusive than there lever counterparts and they arguably  make a more symmetrical  aesthetic statement. In the world of custom door hardware as knobs are not usually directional one knob pattern and mold will be needed unlike a custom door lever which frequently requires a left and right pattern and corresponding molds.

Making Unique Cabinet Knobs from 2 Dimensional Art

I have recently been sorting through our digital collection of Martin Pierce’s drawings and wanted to share these with our blog followers. As a door hardware designer, our clients who are themselves designers frequently ask us to create unusual cabinet knobs as statement pieces for residential projects and also for public spaces in commercial settings. If we are to be awarded the commission, then the first task is to come up with a beautiful drawing that will capture the interest of the designer. Some designers will have already sketched out their own ideas but for the majority of commissions we are given little to go by, which we like, as this gives Martin a broad creative license. We have shared with you how our Hawaiian door pulls began with a commission by designer Debbie Zylstra who was in search of cabinet knobs for an entertainment center and how the designs we created needed to incorporate local floral and bird life.

The drawings above were the basis of the Hawaiian bird pulls and were approved as drawn. The drawings were done by hand old school fashion on a drawing board and then colored using a variety of colored pencils of the type available at any art supply store. While Martin does find some of the tools in Photoshop helpful, such as the transform and copy functions, his designs always begin with a free hand drawing, either in his sketch book, or on a larger scale on his drawing board.

 

Organic Inspiration for LED Wall Sconces

We have named our recent wall sconce Dragon Egg as we were riveted by the special effects and scenery of this show but this was a tongue in cheek naming and while the gourd shape may be egg like the texture of the piece is not. The custom sconce started life in Martin’s sketch book and went through several design modifications before being created as a three dimensional piece.

In this and in the next few posts we will be looking at how our new LED wall sconces and illuminated door handles came to life.

The Dragon Egg sconce took its direction and feel from our Morphic custom door handle collection, which was based on coral and other oceanic forms. Martin began the design by deciding the overall shape and settled on the gourd. He then focused on the characteristics of the open area and moved away from geometric shapes to a more random and sinewy look.

The LED spot shines down through this open area and creates a beautiful fragmented light that you will be able to see soon to our upcoming sconce video.

How did we then make the pattern and subsequent castings?

From the design shown in item 4. below a full scaled drawing of the gourd was created and a large 20” cube of alder was slabbed together and glued to create the “blank” for the pattern.

The blank was then turned on a wood lathe to create the gourd shape. As a wood carver and turner it is easier for Martin to create patterns using these older skills then to digitally create a 3D model. However from this stage onwards we worked using 3D printing technology in conjunction  with carving to create the final pattern below. The initial alder gourd was scanned and then its surface area was mapped digitally. The programmer then digitally hollowed out the interior of the gourd shape leaving a wall thickness of 3/16” and went on to print this as a resin model. Martin then drew his sinewy design onto the resin gourd and using a dremel tool followed the contours of the sinews and ground through the resin wall to create open areas for the light to pass.

Wall Sconce Drawings Copyright Martin Pierce

Wall Sconce Drawings Copyright Martin Pierce

 

Before the advent of 3D printers, Martin would have created the hollow gourd from solid wood and the inner material would have been carved out using a variety of hand chisels. While 3D printing is a big aid to pattern making, carving is still Martin’s preferred technique for complicated irregular shapes and for adding design details as these can often change as the pattern is developed.

Left: Printed one half of the hollow resin gourd        Right: Gourd sculpted by hand

Left: Printed one half of the hollow resin gourd        Right: Gourd sculpted by hand

Golden Door Handles

While we have on occasion silver plated our designs thereby earning the description of luxury door hardware, the appearance of opulence can be achieved in silicon bronze. We often visualize bronze door handles in darker more antique oil rubbed finishes but cast silicon bronze has much richer golden tones. Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper with varying amounts of silicon, zinc and iron and trace amounts of other metals and metalloids including aluminum, manganese and phosphorous.

While the high amount of copper gives the bronze casting its rich color, the remaining components combine to make the bronze a strong, durable and rust resistant alloy. The strength of the cast bronze and its dense pore free surface allow us to achieve a highly polished finish that looks like gold.  We first started using this high polish finish with our cabinet frogs in an effort to emulate the silky glossy appearance of tree frogs which were the inspiration for their design.

Lately we have started casting pieces from our contemporary Morphic collection in bronze rather than stainless steel. When cast in bronze these Morphic cabinet pulls take on a decidedly Moorish quality.

 

However, while bronze does not rust it does tarnish over time and if left un-sealed with develop its own unique patina with tones ranging from dark bronze to green depending on the chemical properties in the surrounding air. However, very much like silver ware the piece can be re-buffed or polished to bring back the sparkle. If the piece is a door handle then daily use will also buff the areas that are constantly being touched. 

Luxury Handles for Windows by Martin Pierce

When we began our venture into functional art we started by assessing how doors and cabinets function and endeavored to make all of our art hardware suitable for most uses. We have described in other posts how we adapted our custom door levers and escutcheon designs so they would be compatible with privacy and passageway latches, deadbolts and mortise locks and could be specified according to the door function they performed. Needless to say we did not think of all the possible ways that a door lever could be used and so when our Willow collection was specified as the style for furbishing a complete home, including the windows, we had to create several custom pieces to fit the narrower dimensions of the window frame as well as act as a trim for a lift and slide mechanism that was being used to push open the heavy windows with minimal effort. Thankfully we had seen this type of window in use in Europe and New York so had a rudimentary understanding of the challenge. The results were 2 new additions to our collection of custom door handles.

                                                     Handle for a lift and slide window mechanism

                                                     Handle for a lift and slide window mechanism

 

As our homes and commercial environments evolve so we are regularly challenged to adapt and customize our work and recently this has taken us into adding LED lights to our door handles and soon we will be adding a new section to our site devoted to this new and growing area

Making a Statement with Colorful Entry Door Handles

While oil rubbed bronze door handles are naturally beautiful and over time develop their own unique patina, designers seeking a more dramatic entry statement may want to consider powder coated steel as an option. We are fortunate in Los Angeles  to have access to highly skilled powder coating experts like Dan Regan owner of Primo-Powder. We began working with Dan when presented with the challenge of powder coating the inside of a custom Morphic pull that had been specified by Mike Hong of MHA.

The problem was two-fold:

1. How to perfectly match in powder the client’s brand color of that was sampled as a painted chip.

2. How to apply the color once developed through the front lattice of the handle while leaving the lattice and front of the piece color free.

What was surprising was that it was far more difficult to match the color than it proved to be applying it.

The client’s brand color “Toronto Blue” was available as a liquid paint by manufacturer Sherwin Williams but  not as a powder. We contacted Prismo Powder Coating who manufacture powder and who are familiar with matching colors. The problem though was that while liquid paint has a specific pigment formula or code, there is no cross reference from paint to powder so this process was done by comparing the blue paint sample with the Prismo’s archival records for the color blue. While some of the suggestions were close, out of hundreds of blues none was a perfect match so a custom blue was formulated for our project.

 

We learned a lot from this project and with help from Dan Regan gained a valuable education in how color can selectively be applied to metal using high temperature masking tape.

With this new insight designers can now add color to our Ergo Entry Door Handle and other pieces as shown in the photos above.

 

What Do We Mean by Custom Door Handles?

We decided to launch 2017 with some notes for designers who may be looking for custom door handles and hope to explain when custom work is a viable option. To begin with, for many people, the term “custom” is used to describe the production of a piece for a specific customer, in other words it is made to order for that customer and not a stocked off the shelf item. In this sense, all of our work is custom as we make every piece to order and each handle is cast, machined and finished according to the designer’s requirements. In this context while the product may be made to order, the patterns, molds and tooling jigs already exist hence the relatively short lead time of 4 to 6 weeks.

Custom - each handle is cast, machined and finished to order

Custom - each handle is cast, machined and finished to order

 

The term custom is also used to describe a product that we already make but that needs to be adapted or modified to fit the designer’s specific site conditions. In this context, the viability of adapting an existing piece is determined on a case to case basis. The first consideration is whether the existing mold can be used to create a wax replica that can be modified to achieve the required adaptation. For example, if a designer has a narrow door stile then she made need a narrower escutcheon plate to fit the door comfortably. The grapevine lever set and our large lizard handles have both been customized in this way and the wax replicas were re-shaped by hand to remove ½” to ¾” from the base of both escutcheon plates. Clearly this takes time and not all styles lend themselves to being so adapted.

Custom - the escutcheon plate can be made 1/2" narrower to fit a narrow door stile

Custom - the escutcheon plate can be made 1/2" narrower to fit a narrow door stile

 

If the adaptation is too great or the number of pieces too many then the next option is to develop a new pattern and mold(s). This process is inherently expensive as it involves;

Designing and often re-designing a piece.

Creating full scale drawings showing the piece from several perspectives.

Creating a 3 dimensional pattern – one for each piece, if the design calls for a right and left directional piece, then two patterns will be needed.

Creating a rigid mold which will be used to create wax replicas of the original pattern and will be used in the lost wax process to create either bronze or steel castings.

The above steps add considerable time and cost to the production of the piece but if it is a piece being ordered for multiple doors then these costs can be amortized over the cost of the project.

Looking Forward to 2017 With New LED Lighting

We are looking forward to a new year with new products and with new ventures which we wanted to preview in the last days of what proved to be an interesting and creative year.

Through-out 2016 Martin Pierce has been busy designing, sculpting and developing prototypes for his new LED illuminated door handles, cabinet pulls and sconces. It would be an understatement to say that this has proven to be a multi-faceted challenge but thankfully our work has been rewarded and just before the Christmas break we received the great news that our products had received UL approval. We will write more about this process in upcoming posts.

Dragon Egg Sconce with LED Light

Dragon Egg Sconce with LED Light

In 2017 we will be photographing and making videos of these new pieces and our hope is that designers will share these with their discerning clients. To further that goal in 2017 we will be partnering with the well-established Interior Design site www.interiordesign.net and their partner Architonic to launch our new illuminated door handles as well as our new door hardware so that designers can easily access this material on this site as well as on our home site.

In 2017 we will be represented in Moscow by EMPORIO.RU. a showroom known for luxury hardware brands. We were approached in late 2016 by Mikhail Grigoriev, general director of EMPORIO RU who was drawn to the craftsmanship and detail of our castings and who was searching for more original works that are not available in Russia. We are looking forward to this new venture and to working with such a well-respected showroom with offices in Moscow and St. Petersburg and with projects both within Russia and abroad in Monaco, France, Switzerland and even here in the US.

Emporio.Ru can be reached through their site at: www.emporio.ru

Choosing Cabinet Pulls for Christmas Ornaments

While we make all of our unique cabinet pulls to order, some of our designer clients plan ahead and use  our unusual cabinet knobs as a special Christmas gift or even as stocking fillers. The pieces shown here have been used in this way and we also have been known to use the smaller items on Christmas Day when sharing the Secret Santa game with our neighbors and friends.

Lizard Cabinet Pull - stuffing stocker Christmas Idea

Lizard Cabinet Pull - stuffing stocker Christmas Idea

The pieces that are most often ordered tend to be our nature inspired pulls as well as our animal and insect pulls and our polished left and right frogs as well as lizard pulls top the list as best sellers at this time of the year. These pieces in particular do have a jewel like quality that fits the holiday mood and indeed  were  ordered by Candy & Candy in plated silver for a London residence.  The pieces were first cast in bronze and then electro plated with nickel to act as a barrier metal before being silver plated. Plating is a highly skilled profession and we are fortunate to work in Los Angeles where we have some of the finest platers including the renowned Boyles Synder who have been silver plating family heirlooms for  over 80 years and who can still be reached the old school way at tel: (323) 663-5363

unusual cabinet knobs

We have also used our leaf cabinet pulls as a decorative detail this year to create a festive wreath for our digital Christmas Card which we recently posted.

Celebrating Christmas with Martin Pierce Cabinet Knobs, Capitol Records and Patron

Here at Martin Pierce we celebrate the Christmas season in true Hollywood style. Living in the Hollywood Hills we have a great view of the iconic Capitol records building which every year celebrates the season with an illuminated Christmas tree. This year we have chosen to incorporate our view of the tree and the well known Patron neon sign with some festive cabinet knobs to make a Christmas card. We have also used the vine motif that appears on some of Martin Pierce’s collection off limited edition furniture designs. The card is a collage of photographs with the view from our home as the center piece. Every year, just before Thanksgiving, the Capitol records Christmas tree is lit. It is an event that marks the change of season and is a tradition we have come to love. The tree lights up just before sun down and these days stay lit till about 6:36am.

This year the celebration is also of historic importance as this is the 75th anniversary of the founding of Capitol records. In honor of the anniversary the City of Los Angeles will be proclaiming November 15th as Capitol Records Day. Apanel  has also selected 75 albums from the thousands of recordings made at Capitol to represent the best of Capitol records.

To find out  more about anniversary events and special product releases commemorating the year visit:

www.capitolrecords.com/capitol-records-to-launch-year-long-75th-anniversary-celebration/

Trees That Inspire Door Handles

Not all trees lend themselves or rather bend themselves to work as luxury door handles so when creating a tree door handle we use considerable artistic license.  With our Hedgerow design we blended several different trees and tree parts. Which trees inspired us? I am reluctant to name any one tree in part because this iconic design reminds different designers of different trees but also because the design came from Martin’s imagination and not from studying any particular tree. So, if the handle reminds you of a California Cypress or gnarly wild oak or even of a Bunyan tree, then you are right.

luxury-door-handle

We are in the process of adding different finishes to the Hedgerow tree and as you may know from previous posts are also developing a new tree design which if all goes well will be lit with interior LED diodes, so please do follow our post for progress reports. As with the Hedgerow heroic handle, while the new design is instantly recognizable as a tree the family it belongs to is imaginary.

The canopy of the Hedgerow tree shown above flows from the trunk of the tree and it is pitched and so that the back of the canopy lies flat and flush to the front of the door. The tree handle is attached to the door by through bolts that screw from the inside of the door into the back of the canopy.

The gnarly Bunyan reminiscent roots also flow from the trunk and similarly have a flat back where another though bolt supports the hefty handle that is cast from 10lbs of solid bronze.

Banyan tree roots inspiration for Hedgerow Pull mounting point

Banyan tree roots inspiration for Hedgerow Pull mounting point

A Textural Approach to Luxury Door Hardware

While much of what we cast is visually dramatic where possible we like to add a textural note to our Luxury door hardware. The lost wax method of casting is perfect for creating deeply textural pieces that would be almost impossible to achieve with less expensive casting methods such as sand casting. The depth of a particular detail is limited only by the pattern makers skill and by the gravity flow of the molten metal.             

The pattern is the 3 dimensional original and is the starting point for the casting. The mold is made from either a latex solution that can be brushed on or from a catalytic 2 part silicone solution that can be poured over the pattern. While both solutions take an almost perfect impression from the pattern, the latex solution will require several layers and will require a more rigid casing to support the floppy mold.

willow door handle bronze luxury

The Willow heroic door pull is a good example of the type of detail and texture that can be achieved from a silicone mold that was made from the pattern above. The pattern was carved by Martin in bass wood which is a pale and tightly grained wood and then painted with a grey primer to more clearly reveal any imperfections and to also help fill in any pores in the wood grain. The undulations in the leaf tendrils left good impressions in the mold and the result is a casting that is an almost perfect facsimile of the original but when rendered in bronze creates a stunning door handle.

Section of the pattern with grey primer to show any imperfections and to fill the wood grain

Section of the pattern with grey primer to show any imperfections and to fill the wood grain

Happy Thanks-Giving

We have used some of our cabinet knobs to create a festive wreath to celebrate Thanksgiving, see if you can spot the pieces we used. We will be spending our Thanksgiving with friends and neighbors and celebrating the day pot luck style. To all our friends, neighbors and clients may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.      

Anne and Martin Pierce

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Unique Bronze Towel Rails

We are known for casting unusual custom door handles and our creative designer clients often will come to us with their ideas for a new concept which is how the dialogue began with a design group in Florida who specialize in luxury yacht interiors.  As I am not well versed in specifics of yacht interiors I had assumed all yacht fixtures needed to be very light weight and made in corrosive resistant stainless steel, so was pleasantly surprised when we were asked to use our fiddlehead fern motif to create towel rails and robe hooks  in solid bronze.

While the major component of a towel rail is a simple bar the fun and artistry comes in creating wall mounts to support the rail. However, with this custom project  we were also tasked with making a curved towel rail to fit the wall surface in the master bathroom which was no easy feat given the very specific radius of the wall. In this post I wanted to show we re-invented the fiddleheads to change their function from gently protruding cabinet pulls to wall mounted supports able to take the weight of a solid bronze towel bar.

luxury-towel-rail
Cast in solid bronze and finished with a dark patina to accentuate the shape. The images here are the end result of a collaborative process with our very creative designer client. Below is the drawing that helped us understand the radius needed to fit the curvature of the master bathroom wall.

Cast in solid bronze and finished with a dark patina to accentuate the shape. The images here are the end result of a collaborative process with our very creative designer client. Below is the drawing that helped us understand the radius needed to fit the curvature of the master bathroom wall.

concept-bronze-towel-rails

 

 

Color As An Accent for Bronze Door Handles

As a large portion of our door handles are cast in bronze we have the ability to add subtle shading to the pieces by oxidizing them and then sealing them with oil and wax. However, those of you who are art collectors will also know that bronze can be finished with more sophisticated colored patinas. Some of these colors, specifically Verde Gris, will often develop naturally on bronze and we have all seen the beautiful blue green hues on the domed roofs of old churches and civic buildings that have developed after decades of exposure to the elements. As our time scale does not permit the patina to develop naturally we are able to create several colors of patina by applying pigments directly to our bronze. To ensure an intense color that permeates the surface we heat the bronze up to 200° and apply the pigment by hand often with a very fine brush. As you can see from the picture below we add a pea-green pigment over the body and toes of our lizard door handle to approximate the color of the Anole lizard.

lizard-door-handle

 

 

We use these hot patinas typically on our nature inspired door handles and cabinet pulls. For an autumnal appearance on our sycamore leaves we use an ox red pigment and for our wasp cabinet pulls we turn to a mustard pigment. Our use of hot patinas on bronze began when we started making our wasp cabinet pulls for our limited edition Ascot series of case goods. The furniture pieces in this collection are all decorated with vine leaf motifs created using a form of japanning, a technique that uses gold leaf over casein to create a raised motif which is then hand painted with colored glazes made by suspending pigments in turpentine. The bronze wasps, some with closed wings and the leader with open wings were made as the finishing touch to the Ascot Highboy.  

HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO BAT LOVERS

As many of you know Martin loves reptiles and insects but he also loves mammals and this extends to bats which are found in his collection of animal cabinet pulls.

For some reason I do not think of bats as mammals and see them as flying rodents and indeed if you look at many bats they do appear to be rats with leathery wings.

When Martin and I were in Belize several years ago we stayed at the luxurious Blancaneaux Lodge, a Coppola resort and took a guided excursion by canoe to Barton Creek Cave. The ancient Maya once used this cave as a burial site and the interior is filled with spectacular stalactites and stalagmites and a thriving bat colony.The ceiling of the cave was fairly low so with our head held flash lights we could see the fine details of the bat faces and their fury bodies as they hung from the cave ceiling in clusters. 

More recently, in Paso Robles, in the hot month of August with the doors open to cool the house a large bat with a 16" wing span flew into our bedroom. After much flapping the bat tired and so Martin was able to carefully hold the bat by its wings and emboldened by his action I stroked the incredible downy coat of its fur and touched the soft fine translucent leathery skin of its wings. Respecting the bats right to peace we turned all the house lights off and released him back to the night. For those bat lovers out there is a great YouTube page where you can see a bat rescue center in Australia with some adorable bat videos.

 

Custom Door Handle Videos

At long last we are making videos for our custom door handles and will be sharing these with you both on our new Video Gallery and on YouTube and DailyMotion.

The first video was shot on location at a private residence and features our Lizard Entry Thumb latch set.

The big advantage to showing our custom hardware in this format is you get to see and understand what we mean by “functional art”. The lizard sculpture acts as a large bronze door pull and you grip the body of the lizard to open the door or in this case front gate. Above the lizard there is a sculpted bronze back-plate reminiscent of stone, on which a butterfly is perched. The butterfly is also a functioning thumb latch and when depressed it opens the gate by releasing the mortise lock.  On the reverse side or inside of the gate we used a smaller lizard sculpture to act as the door lever and to continue the natural theme mounted the lever on a bronze back-plate styled to resemble tree bark. Lizard food, in this case a small beetle, is used as a whimsical bronze turn piece that functions to either open or close the deadbolt.

As the lizards have been made as lefts and rights they will also will work well on door double doors or gates.

In this particular project we created custom grills at the top of the gate in the form of flax stems and appropriately added a left and right bronze frog to complete the entrance. As Martin Pierce is also a wood carver he carved a wooden raven head to house the chain for the house bell.

While I hope you find this description clear I hope you will agree that the video does a better job of capturing the three dimensional reality of this set.       

While videos are fun to watch they can be difficult to make  so our thanks go to Jeff Jenkins whose patience as  director and skill as a videographer made this project a success. Jeff’s work can be seen at;

Anatomy of a Custom Patio Door Handle

As mentioned in an earlier piece, we were recently commissioned to adapt our Ergo Door Handle so that it could be used as a low profile door pull for sliding patio doors. This is not the first request to adapt this piece and so bending to designer demand we decided to create a new left and right pull.  Our standard Ergo pull is 18”High, 5”Wide and 5”Deep and these dimensions allow the piece to have pleasing fluid lines that are easy to grip so the challenge was to find a way of retaining the artistry of the design but with a profile of 4”.

The result is shown below.

Low-profile-patio-door-handle.jpg

To accentuate the fluid curvature of the Ergo series we have developed a two tone finish that is both beautiful and labor intensive. To begin, we clean up the rough cast surface and remove all the seams and imperfections by using angle grinders and sanding disks of varying grit. Next, we polish selected areas with successively finer sanding compounds till we achieve a reflective mirror like surface. At this point the piece is only half finished and we next mask off the polished section by applying a thin flexible tape that is positioned to closely hug the polished seam. Once, we have masked the piece it is then sand blasted using white oxide sand. The tape is then removed and the result is a custom door handle with jewel like facets but with softened areas that are easy to grip and that accentuate the curvature of the handle.

Reflection of KAUAI Beauty in Martin Pierce Work

We have recently shared our Hawaiian cabinet pulls on Instagram so wanted to share some photos from our recent trip to Hanalei Bay in Kauai, HI.

Golden Palm with resting Red Headed Cardinal                                   Bamboo Cabinet Pull cast in bronze

Golden Palm with resting Red Headed Cardinal                                   Bamboo Cabinet Pull cast in bronze

This was our first visit to the oldest and lushest of the Hawaiian Islands and we stayed on the north shore known for its sandy beaches, tropical forests and great hikes. We woke each morning to a chorus of bird song from native minor birds, red whiskered bulbuls and white rumped shama. The proliferation of bird life is a testament to the healthy habitat of this tropical gem that remains almost 80% un populated with many areas inaccessible to cars and to all but the most seasoned of hikers.

                                                                              How many frogs do you see?

                                                                              How many frogs do you see?

 

Thankfully, there were more accessible trails near Princeville including the Okolehao Trail, a 2.5 mile hike that climbs to 1,250 feet, which while muddy underfoot was home to a multitude of orchids, hibiscus and golden palm and bamboo. At the beginning of the trail we spotted a very well camouflaged frog which was especially rewarding as the arid conditions in our home, Los Angeles, have rendered frogs scarce in our local Nichols Canyon and Griffith Park.

There is one coastal road that takes you from Lihue to the remote and breathtaking craggy cliffs of Na Pali,  where on route,  tree lovers are rewarded with the sight of hundreds of Koa ,Eucalyptus and native Pine trees. The Koa trees are part of the acacia family and have wonderful airy feathery canopies that reminded me of the tree canopy used in our Hedgerow style of door handles.

Princeville is also the location of the St. Regis hotel and we stopped by to see how well our

custom Hawaiian door handles are holding up to the local weather and I am pleased to report that after 8 years they have developed a rich deep brown patina with a touch of verdegris.

What To Consider When Choosing Door Handles For A Home Renovation

A lot will depend on how you are planning to use the door handles, questions you may want to consider;

1.     How many doors are you planning to re-furbish - is this a statement piece for an entry door or are there several doors where you will be using the same style of design?

2.     How eclectic are you? Do you like to continue a particular style through the entire home or do you like to mix and match styles?

animal-door-knobs

3.     Is the door exterior or interior - if an exterior door, is it protected from the elements or will it be exposed to rain, snow or sea spray as these will contribute to the corrosion and rust of the handle. While bronze does not rust, it will over time develop a patina and is often referred to as a “living finish”. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant and while not rust proof, 316 stainless steel is the preferred alloy for coastal properties exposed to sea water.

4.     Does the door need to lock - and does the door handle manufacturer provide the handles you are considering for all types of function from locking front and privacy doors to non-operating "dummy" handles that are typically fixed and often used to complete the symmetry for example of double doors where one handle operates to open and close the door and the “dummy” handle is used more as a grip or pull.

5.     Are there special needs - to consider making it important that the door handle be easy to grip and that levers not be too heavy to depress

6.     Are your doors unusual -  are they extremely deep or shallow, bare in mind that a typical door in the US is 1 3/4" to 2" thick and while many handles can accommodate other depths, the manufacturer may have an up charge to create shorter or longer spindles or through bolts.

7.     Unforeseen charges to consider -  the  lock is often not included in the cost of the door set but this varies with manufacturer, for example  we do include the costs for tubular latches but not the cost of the mortise lock made by Accurate.  The installation of a door set, particularly one that locks, will need to installed either by a contractor or locksmith.