Door Knockers – Choosing a Style and Design For the Home

A door knocker is one of the most beautiful and prominent pieces on the front door of a house and reflects a lot of information to visitors about what to expect inside. The simple addition or replacement of an older knocker can completely transform the entire appearance of your entryway and add new elegance to the exterior of any home. Although the popularity of specific designs changes over time, there are lovely patterns that are always a classic and welcome addition to any entryway set.

Lions and Animals

Animal door knockers, lions especially, are a timeless pattern for most any architectural style. The dramatic designs offer something unique to the home and can be coordinated with most pre-existing door hardware. One of the most wonderful examples is shown below, a hand cast solid brass lion head door knocker.

Doctor’s Door Knockers

This pattern may not be as well known today but at one point it was a method of identifying the profession of the home owner for potential clients. This design is now used on any home and offers a bold example of a classic pattern. Sizes range from 6 inch to 8 inches:

Traditional Door Knockers:

Sometimes simplicity is best if you are looking for a classic pattern that will not be a focal point on the door, merely used to accent existing hardware. The traditional knocker is a basic design, most traditional utilizing a ring and plate installed directly to the door to prevent damage. These knockers are usually unadorned or with a simple roped pattern.

Mythological Door Knockers

Larger doors can support much larger and much more ornate designs. The use of Greek or Roman gods and goddesses is an impressive way to add a dramatic knocker to compliment the size of the door. Smaller knockers tend to appear inappropriate and awkward on larger doors – bold patterns offer a wonderful way to balance the size of the door with the size of the knocker.

Nature or Hobbies

A modern interpretation of door knockers offers a wide variety of designs never before seen. This can personalize a door and make it stand out even more. A whimsical touch would include flowers knockers, nautical themes (such as anchors), lizards, tennis rackets, etc. There really is no limit in this genre because the knocker is meant to reflect the homeowners’ unique personality.

Installation FAQ

If you are installing a new door knocker the best choice is a rear mounted knocker made from solid materials such as brass or iron. These will be more resistant to damage over time and offer a wider option of intricate designs. Rear mounting does require the door to be drilled for installation but this prevents theft of the knocker and ensures it will not fall off or break away from the door.

If you are replacing an existing knocker it is important to measure the pre-existing holes and choose a new knocker carefully. This will include determining the center to center distance (space between the holes) and selecting a knocker with this same measurement. By doing this there will not be a need to re-drill the door for a new knocker.

Choosing a knocker is a very personal experience and there is no right or wrong choices. Pay attention to size and choose a knocker that will look appropriate on your door. If you are unsure it is a great idea to cut out a piece of paper that is the same height and width of the knocker you are thinking of using and tape it against the door (actual shape does not need to be cut out). This will give you a frame of reference for what size you would like to use.

A knocker is a wonderful way to add new beauty to any door. Replace other old and worn hardware with beautiful replacements pieces including the door knob, deadbolt, kick plate, doorbell and mail slot. A complete entryway set can be created with a common theme or finish. Ask questions and search for high quality materials to ensure durability. The entryway of the home is the most prominent feature guests and homeowners will see and a worthwhile investment.

Mary J. Gibson

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