"Many consumers want to use hardware to define their personal style in their homes," says John Pelka, vice president of marketing for Hickory Hardware. "Entrance door hardware is the first thing visitors see when they enter a home." Whether consumers are looking to make a bold statement or blend in the interior of their home with the exterior, keeping abreast of the latest in door hardware makes designing and purchasing products a whole lot easier.


The whole-house concept

Coordinating interior and exterior door styles is a huge trend, especially in higher-end homes, and consumers are often interested in the "whole-house option," matching everything from the hall and closet to the cabinet hardware to the fine points of dummy trim door products. Matching hardware throughout the home is a development the industry has only begun to see over the past five years, and according to Hickory Hardware, it's a trend that will continue to grow.


"People are staying in their homes longer," explains Pelka. "They are choosing to renovate rather than move. Changing a home's decorative door hardware is the kind of project homeowners can undertake to update their existing homes at a moderate price."


Color, texture and design

Other than the whole-house concept, the biggest change the hardware industry has seen in the past five years is in the finishes, according to Pelka. Designs have changed as the emphasis on color and texture has become more important to door hardware consumers. As an alternative to polished brass, satin nickel continues to be the most popular color choice. Darker finishes, like oil-rubbed bronze highlighted or Venetian bronze, are quickly growing in popularity as well.


Textures, like rustic or hand-wrought, especially in exterior doors and cabinet hardware, have seen an increased demand. Traditional designs rooted in classical European styling have garnered interest for many years, but recently, more contemporary styles with clean, industrial looks have gotten more attention. Ornate classical styles and modern Arts & Crafts styles are favored in entrance handle-set designs.


Dollars and cents

When Hickory Hardware started planning for its new Designer Collection door hardware line, it decided to conduct some in-depth market research that focused on the consumer buying process and certain purchasing drivers. Its research found the average price paid by those who purchased front entrance handle sets was $129.20, and 44 percent bought exterior door products costing at least $200.


Hickory Hardware's Designer Collection entrance handle sets range in price from $249-$300 and have a lifetime mechanical warranty.

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