Its small, usually round, carries a lot germs and if you are in the serious business of door hardware, a crucial consideration. What is it? It is of course the door knob. And you would be wise to not underestimate its place in any interior design project.
Historically they were made from wood, metal, glass and apparently paper. Whilst these materials are still used for decorative door knobs, contemporary materials include ceramic plastic and a wider range of metals. Brass particularly is used because of its excellent resistance to rust. Historically again they were hand made but huge demand saw the rise of moulded door knobs with large manufacturing companies in America leading the way in the middle 1800`s.
To the door knob connoisseur they are `jewellery for buildings`. One American writer suggested we can tell a lot about the history of a city and its buildings by examining the craftsmanship, materials and decoration of its door knobs. Often door knobs were decorated with family insignia or symbols indicating status or position for instance of people in the Town hall.
Its clear the door knob maintains an important position for craftsmen, manufacturers, retailers and historians alike, but where is this often overlooked accessory in your kids room decor project?
Two things spring to mind when choosing your knobs function and decoration.
With respect to function there are essentially four types of door knob:-
Keyed Entrance door knobs These require the use of a key as the name suggests, to unlock the door from the outside.
Passage door knobs These allow passage into a room without the use of a key. They do not lock either side of the door and are often the type found in residential homes where easy passage into many rooms is required. They are also suitable in places where kids have access like nurseries and childrens bedrooms. This is the type you would need to ask for when designing and planning kids room décor. Generally they are used where locked access is not required.
Privacy door knobs these door knobs as the name suggests protect privacy by locking and unlocking only from the inside. In this way they are suitable for bathrooms, adult bedrooms, guest rooms and really any other area that requires privacy and should be kiddie-proof.
Dummy door knobs yes! this is the correct name. They are generally used where there are two doors closed together and only one door is used for access. The dummy door knob put on the unused door adds a balanced look to the doors. It is often used on other types of door that do not require a functioning door knob, for example kitchen cabinets or storage areas in kids rooms.
With regard to decoration you may wish to consider:
- Are the materials child-friendly? Are they easily washable?
- Do you want your door knobs to be hand-made and personalized or mass produced and moulded?
- Do they colour co-ordinate or are they mixed and matched with themes found on other accessories like book-end
- Do you want durable door knobs or do you prioritise aesthetics which you may have to pay more for?
Its easy to see that the door knob is an important consideration in any interior design project particularly for kids. With the wide range of decorative door knobs available it is useful to ensure you have a good idea of what you are looking for having first put in some time with your child to plan their room. Remember the door knob may be small but it is the first thing a child sees as they enter their special place in their home.
Dont underestimate the difference a decorative door knob can make.