Throughout January and early February we have seen Door-Stop come out with four brand new ranges of door hardware for their composite doors. Solidor as many will know also have their range of funky brushed aluminium door handles already available.

Door Stop Hardware

Credit: Door-Stop International

Of course these contemporary options aren’t the only variety of alternative door handles on the market. Traditional iron-mongered handles designed to replicate handles on doors from hundreds of years ago have been around for a couple of years now, as have the super modern lever handles – many of which Solidor do, but are available from other outlets too. So what’s my point? Well, when you look at how far the door hardware has come along in the past few years, it demonstrates that window hardware still has some work to do.

Window hardware is about five years behind

There has been so much emphasis on doors and door design over the past five years that windows seem to have been ignored a little bit. I am aware that things like monkey tailed handles and the modern Ventiss range of window handles are out there, but when you compare the amount of door hardware choice to window hardware, especially in handles, there is a massive gulf.

I don’t really understand why it’s been ignored. Surely someone has sat down, looked at the current crop of handles and said “these have had their day, it’s time to design some new stuff”.

Look at the products we have in front of us. We have a push button, a spindle, a lever and the mounting it’s fixed on. All nice, solid, easy to design component. There is massive scope here for hardware companies to sit down at the drafting tables and start designing some really sexy, funky new handles. The push button model we’ve all used for decades has seen it’s day. The current crop of super-efficient, highly engineered windows demands nicer looking hardware.

Something German

There might be hope on the horizon though. A few days ago Gareth Mobley from Solidor tweeted this picture:

Doesn’t this look fantastic?! This is a window handle from Germany. It’s a massive departure from what we’re used to seeing here in the UK with our millions of push button handles. And this is exactly what our industry needs, a huge shot in the arm to energise the creative juices.

There is no reason for window handles to be boring, run of the mill, utilitarian, boring old bits of metal and plastic. Like our industry has done with door hardware, we should be using window hardware as a feature of a homeowner’s new window installation. They should be complimenting the installation and that person’s property. We have a very simple product slap bang in front of us that we could really get so creative with.

An issue like this brings up the much bigger debate about design in general. Hand on heart, do I believe that our windows and doors in this country look as good as they possibly could do? No. For me, there needs to be a serious injection of energy and thought into every single design process of every product we sell. In my opinion there are too many mediocre looking products out there on the market right now, failing to inspire homeowners and installers alike. If every product we had at our disposal made us all sit up in our chairs and say “wow”, then I believe our industry would be fundamentally different. But this is a topic which I will explore in a future post on DGB.

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