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Door Knobs and Door Handles: Turning it Over

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been thinking about door knobs and door handles a lot recently. “Door knobs and handles?” you say, with fully justified incredulity. “Door knobs and handles” I confidently reply, doubling down and roping you into what is likely the strangest conversation of your week. But if you’ll humor me for just a few seconds, I think you’ll see where I’m coming from.

Door knobs and handles are like little paradoxes attached to your front door. They’re the first thing you touch when you go into a home and the last thing you touch when you leave one. They’re the means by which you either grant or limit access to a home. A door knob or handle almost seems like an afterthought, but if you somehow found yourself enclosed in room without one, you’re definitely going to miss it (nightmare fuel!). Most curiously of all, it takes very little effort to turn a knob or press a handle except when you’re carrying bags of groceries. At this moment, an act normally requiring the motor skills of a toddler suddenly morphs into a fantastic display of muscle tension, balance, ingenuity, and laziness as we stubbornly clasp our bags tighter, balance on one foot, and ineffectually kick at the knob with the other (we’ve all done it, and none of us are proud of it).

We use them all the time, but we never really think about them; door knobs and handles are, simultaneously, the recipients of all and none of our attention.

Lest you think that being the Schrödinger’s Cat of fixtures is the whole story, there are plenty of real world, non-quantum physics ways you can think about door knobs and handles (surprising, right?) In fact, they have their genesis in an eminently practical concern: the cost of securing a home. Prior to the invention of door knobs or handles as we know and recognize them today, a simple lock and key system served to keep a home’s door securely closed. And while this was simple, it wasn’t cost effective for a majority of people. Installing a customized lock and key was a luxury for many, so cheaper methods of door security were developed. It wasn’t until 1878 that a man named Osbourn Dorsey submitted a patent for a door closing device to the U.S. Patent Office, effectively creating the modern door knob. 

Can you imagine what everyday life would be like without this one simple invention? Today, we can accentuate our front doors in so many different ways. There are door knobs and handles for every home and every taste. There’s traditional, modern, vintage; there’s no wrong choice to make when you’re looking for door knobs and handles. Finding the right fixtures for your home is part of bringing that special character to it, that unnameable thing that makes your home “yours”. Give it some thought (maybe not as much as I did) and put that personal touch on your home.

And if you’re looking for some great ideas or styles for your home, check out some of our favorite door knobs and door handles here.

Looking for a great home to go with that new door knob? Check out our fantastic listings here.

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One Response to “Door Knobs and Door Handles: Turning it Over”

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