Door furniture has never been quite so important. From handles and knockers to door knobs, escutcheons (keyhole covers), door bells, and letterboxes, all are now key style statements.
They are also an inexpensive way to carry out an exterior makeover — and this striking purple door with highly polished fittings and stained glass is a fine example.
So what are the smartest doors wearing this season? Here’s our guide.
Knock out: A Victorian-style front door with gleaming brass furniture makes a smart first impression
Increase kerb appeal
A neatly painted front door with impressive details is vital for boosting a home’s value.
Ensuring a great first impression has been a priority among homeowners since the Industrial Revolution brought cheaper manufacturing processes.
These enabled the middle classes to afford metal house numbers, door knockers and the rest. Grand door furniture had previously been the preserve of the aristocracy.
The letterbox became a feature when, in 1849, Royal Mail asked city dwellers to cut a slit in their doors for the speedy delivery of Penny Post letters. Homeowners did so, installing ornate letterboxes.
Over the past two decades, chrome door fittings — in contemporary and period style — have been top of the fashion charts. Also essential is a doctor’s door knocker — so called because the long, curved style denoted a medic’s residence in the 18th century.
But Chloe Alberry, who runs a Notting Hill emporium stocking new and salvaged door furniture, has seen a shift in taste.
‘There’s a move to a softer look in antique brass,’ she says. ‘People don’t want pieces that are lacquered and more resistant to wear, they want something that will age elegantly.’
B&Q has an £8 brass door knocker in the shape of an urn — a popular Regency motif — and an antique brass-effect letterbox (£16.55).
Meanwhile, Grace & Glory Home’s £59 brass letterbox is modelled on a Victorian original. Or, if you want the real thing, Chloe Alberry has a £130.66 antique letterbox.
Add a natural touch
The desire to bring the outdoors into the home, a current decor trend, is now extending to door furniture.
Striking: Door knockers in the shapes of bees, dragonflies, hares (pictured) and owls can be found at retailers such as Cox &Cox
Door knockers in the shape of bees, dragonflies, hares (pictured) and owls can be found at retailers such as Cox & Cox (from £26).
The apian theme continues inside the house with beehive-shaped door handles — a Georgian favourite.
Architectural salvage firm Lassco, which sells antique doors and fittings, has a pair of reproduction ebonised wood handles for £65.
A more budget-friendly option is Wayfair’s beehive handles in rosewood (two for £39.24).
Wooden handles are regaining some popularity, thanks to their organic feel, explains Chloe Alberry.
She also stocks handles made from pebbles, another way to add a natural outdoor element to your home.
The surging cost of living is causing more people to put off buying a new kitchen and instead renovate their existing one, repainting doors and replacing handles. This is more planet-friendly than throwing out kitchen units.
While replacing front door handles is a job for a professional, fitting new cabinet handles can be a DIY project.
Many door hardware ranges are available at B&M, John Lewis, Ikea and Wayfair, which stocks art deco-style handles for those who wish to stay true to a 1930s home. Wayfair also sells antique-style numerals from £5.
If you are revamping your kitchen, H&M has simple, round, marble cupboard knobs at £4.99 each.
The 18th-century minimalist Shaker furniture is returning to vogue.
If you are aiming for that chic farmhouse vibe, Homebase has a set of two Shaker cup-shaped handles for £8.
Specialist websites, such as Todd Doors, are a useful resource if you are unsure what type of door furniture in what material would be both functional and beautiful.
See the funny side
The British sense of humour means door furniture is often used in smutty jokes — a chain called Knobs & Knockers once graced the High Street.
People still like their door furniture to have some wit. Alberry stocks cricket ball door handles for £68, for example.
And Not On The High Street offers a series of quirky cupboard door handles, including one ceramic variety you can personalise to say a slogan or phrase of your choice, up to a maximum 255 characters.
Savings of the week! Outdoor sofas
If you buy a garden sofa in the sale for £76, enjoy it during the summer and then use it indoors for the rest of the year, it will cost you about 20p a day.
This is your excuse to pick up a bargain now!
The John Lewis Anyday yellow metal sofa has been cut in price by 20 per cent to £76.
Down £150: Dunelm has reduced the price of its wood-finish aluminium Seychelles set (pictured) from £699 to £549
Or consider Habitat’s grey Nordic Spring sofa, which comes with two chairs and a table — was £240, but now £180.
If you want an outdoor sofa bed, meanwhile, Robert Dyas has the smart cream and black Outsunny, which was £229.99 and is now £164.99.
Garden sofas with matching chairs and a table are now called ‘conversation sets’.
Dunelm has reduced the price of its wood-finish aluminium Seychelles set from £699 to £549. AA