For something we touch thousands of times over its life span, we often tend to overlook door handles. However, if you don’t include them in your home design planning from an early stage, you may find that there’s nothing to suit the rest of the home.

Considering your door handles are going to be in every room, it seems a bit counter-productive doesn’t it? We spoke to Tiffiny Hodgson from Halliday + Baillie about what has been trending in handles, and what everyone always forgets when choosing.

Brass tacks
Tiffiny says that, while handles and other items touched daily seem like a relatively simple part of your home’s design, they are quite intricate and complicated.

“It is hard, it’s down to the millimetre and it does take time,” she says. “People need to leave themselves enough time to get into the details early on, otherwise they end up with handles that don’t fit, or don’t look right.”

This lack of consideration for handles can be a problem with New Zealand architecture and design, where there is such a high demand for bespoke aesthetics and products. By ignoring handles until they are an afterthought, you may undermine your design by finding the available products don’t fit your plan!

As Tiffiny says: “These days architects are pushing the boundaries with joinery and cabinetry, and while most things can be made, that doesn’t mean there is the right hardware to fit it.”

So the message is clear – incorporate handles early on in the design process. But how do you know what is going to work the best?

What is trending in handles? 
As a coastal area, Tiffiny notes that Aucklanders tend to focus on 316 stainless steel handles, as they are marine grade and quite robust against the elements.

“But personally, I think there are a lot of other options people could be thinking of. When it’s done properly, aluminium is fantastic – we use it in our German levers.”

“And of course, brass and bronze last centuries – they are still finding handles from Ancient Rome!”

“Another trend we have seen is darker finishes on products,” she adds. “More than half of our current projects have darker finishes. I think it is coming from the industrial aesthetic, people looking at gorgeous, dilapidated old buildings and wanting to adapt that look for their own homes.”
These last two are living finishes – they do not require additional coating or colouring, and will accumulate a lot of wear and character over time, providing an air of the handmade. While this was deeply out of fashion a few years ago, Tiffiny says it has come right back in vogue.

But, just as trends come, they also fall out of favour. As well as thinking about your door handles early in the design process, Tiffiny wants designers and home owners to cast an eye to the future.

“People love black taps and handles right now, but will they feel the same in 10 years? These are the sort of questions we try and ask people that come to us, the points they haven’t thought of yet. If they’re living in a home for the long term, they have to think about these things.”

With a keen eye for ongoing trends and how to match handles to your design, Halliday + Baillie are well-poised to help improve your own home design.