Door handles, whilst practical, can often be overlooked when it comes to home improvement. However, these simple pieces of hardware can have a surprisingly large impact on the overall aesthetics of our homes. They are the small details that help to frame the larger elements of our interiors, making them an important consideration in any design scheme.

The market for contemporary door handles has expanded in recent years, thanks to a renewed emphasis on minimalist design, clean lines, and innovation. This has led to a diverse pool of styles, materials, and mechanisms, providing a plethora of options to the discerning homeowner.

What Makes a Door Handle “Contemporary”?

Given the breadth of the market, understanding what defines a handle as ‘contemporary’ can be somewhat complex. However, in the context of design, ‘contemporary’ simply refers to elements that reflect the styles and trends of the present day. This differs from ‘modern’ design, which instead refers to designs from the mid-20th century.

Contemporary door handles can be identified by their simplistic yet elegant designs. They tend to have sleek lines, with minimal decoration, making them suitable for a wide range of surroundings. Key features might include slim, elongated handles in matte finishes, angular shapes in bright chromes, or robust and tactile brushed-steel knobs.

Importance of Door Handles in Home Aesthetics

It’s easy to underestimate the impact door handles can have on the overall aesthetics of our homes. They may seem like a minor element, but they contribute significantly to the overall look and feel of spaces. Door handles can add a touch of elegance, sophistication, or whimsy, depending on their design and finish.

Our front door, for example, often gives visitors their first impression of our home. Here, a grand and ornately designed handle might offer a feeling of traditional elegance, while a sleek, stainless-steel lever could suggest modern luxury.

Recent property trends show that even small details like door handles can influence property value. Choosing contemporary door handles that enhance the visual appeal of your home not only provides an aesthetic treat to homeowners but can also potentially boost your home value.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Contemporary Door Handles

When choosing contemporary door handles, there are several factors to consider. First, the material. Brass, nickel and chrome are popular choices, each offering a unique aesthetic and requiring different levels of maintenance.

When it comes to style, consider the overall design of your home. Contemporarily styled homes may benefit from lever handles, which offer sleek lines and minimalist design, while a traditional home may suit a more ornate doorknob.

Functionality and ease of use cannot be understated. While a door handle might look stunning, if it’s difficult to use, it can be a significant drawback. Ergonomics is worth considering here; a well-designed handle will not only look good but also feel comfortable in the hand.

Durability is another crucial factor, as no one wants to frequently replace door handles. Additionally, door type compatibility should be reviewed, ensuring the handle you choose can be effectively installed and operate smoothly with your door type.

Finally, budget is a reality we all have to face. Ensure you choose a handle that is within your price range, but also doesn’t compromise too significantly on the other factors discussed.

Navigating the Pros and Cons of Popular Contemporary Door Handle Styles

There are countless styles of contemporary door handles, each with varying pros and cons. For instance, lever handles, a popular modern style, are stylish and often easier for children or those with restricted hand movement to operate. However, they can also be bulkier than some alternatives and may not suit older-style homes.

Getting expert opinions can help cut through the noise. John Jenson, a reputable interior designer, suggests that “for most contemporary houses, the less ornamentation, the better. This often means choosing a handle with clean lines and a simple finish.”

Keep in mind these expert tips, research the styles you are interested in, and weigh up the pros and cons before making your final decision.

How to Match Your Door Handles with the Overall Interior Style Of Your Home

It’s important to ensure that the door handles you choose fit well with your overall interior design scheme. For instance, brass door handles can add a warm and luxurious touch to a minimalistic or industrial-style room.

A virtual tour through Melbourne’s show houses can provide insight into matching contemporary door handles to different interior styles. You can find examples where sleek, matte black lever handles are used in an urban loft-style home to provide a sophisticated contrast against raw, exposed elements.

The Installation Process: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Installing contemporary door handles might seem intimidating, but it’s a process that can be done by anyone with basic DIY skills. The first step is usually to remove the old door hardware, followed by the installation of the new handle. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, use the right tools, and take care not to damage the door in the process.

For those less experienced with DIY tasks, hiring professional installers might be the best choice. It might be more expensive up front, but can save time, stress and even additional repair costs down the line.

Where to Shop for Quality Contemporary Door Handles in Australia

Finding the right door handles can be a challenge, but there are many trusted vendors in Australia offering high-quality contemporary door handles. Suppliers such as Schots Home Emporium and The Door Store both offer a range of styles and finishes, while online retailers like Restoration Online cater to those who prefer to shop from the comfort of their own home.

When browsing, remember to look beyond just the product; consider the vendor’s customer service, return policy, and overall product knowledge to ensure you’re making the best choice.

Taking Care of Your Contemporary Door Handles

Like any other household fixture, door handles require upkeep. Regular cleaning using the correct methods for the material can prevent damage and maintain their finish. Meanwhile, occasional tightening of screws can ensure they keep functioning smoothly.

For those with brass handles, keep in mind that brass can tarnish over time. However, this can be easily remedied using a mixture of vinegar and salt to restore their shine.


Choosing the right contemporary door handles for your home can seem like a daunting task, but armed with the correct knowledge, it can become a rewarding journey in home improvement. Remember to consider the material, style, usability, and overall design of your home in your decision, and don’t be afraid to ask for professional help if you’re unsure.

With this comprehensive guide, you can navigate the world of contemporary door handles with confidence, adding your own personal touch to your interior aesthetics.