First impressions matter — Door hardware is one of the first things that your guests are sure to notice when they enter your home. That’s why, when selecting and buying Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) Certified locks and deadbolts, it’s important to decide on your personal style preferences and precisely how those preferences are reflected in the style of your home. Choosing BHMA Certified® door hardware means that you can automatically feel confident that your selections will have the durability and strength to hold up to the demands of everyday use. Having ANSI/BHMA Certified® hardware offers even more than the assurance that it has been tested for security, durability and finish — you can also be confident that certified hardware is available in a design style sure to fit into any personal décor preference and architectural style.

Locks and deadbolts are best looked on as being more than functional: if they are in a visible area, this hardware also provides an excellent way to embellish the décor throughout the home. The finish and styles of your door hardware choices can be true reflections of your taste.

As you approach the decision-making process, consider:

Are you looking to buy a product for an interior or exterior door?

Will the protective aesthetic finish be exposed to the elements?

What color finish are you looking for?

Do you have a preference for a handle or a knob?

Lever door handle with child safety lock
There are a bevy of style(s) of finish on the market from which to choose, including:

Deriving from 19th century European design and encompassing the Georgian, Federal, and Victorian movements, this classic style focuses on comfort, familiarity and romanticism.

Contemporary / Modern

Having come into vogue throughout the design era of the late 20th Century, this style, which continues to evolve, is an ever-popular choice for contemporary homes. Admired for its simple yet elegant lines and shapes, it is often described as “industrial” with a masculine tone.


Influenced by the American craftsman style, this may be the perfect choice for that farmhouse or other country home.  This style would add to an eclectic look, perhaps as part of a handcrafted, timeworn approach that evokes a down-to-earth, rugged beauty.

Mix and Match

You may decide to mix and match by featuring a variety of door hardware styles in your home. For example, you can create a rich medley by combining Old World aesthetics such as Antique Brass with contemporary touches such as Matte Black.

An extensive variety of metal finishes are available to enhance your home décor, in gold, silver and bronze-black tones, including:

Bright (Silver or Gold) Chrome – Often chosen for its durability, it rarely scratches, fades or deteriorates, with a reflective finish for a contemporary or retro style.

Antique Nickel (Silver) – This muted finish lends a warm feel to its overall clean look that supports the trend of modern, minimalist styling.

Matte Black – Modern and traditional styles are well-matched for this elegant finish featuring minimalist styling.

Polished Nickel – Made from solid nickel, it adapts its color and look with a change of lighting. Its adaptability makes it stand-out choice for any décor.

Antique Brass – Perfect for traditional settings, antique brass features lustrous golden and rich brown undertones.

Aged Bronze – Featuring warm, copper tones that blend into a darker, aged exterior, this traditionally-inspired finish is also part of the Arts & Crafts movement, working well with rustic, hand-crafted furnishings.

Among the other choices for your door hardware’s finish are:
Gold Tones
Bright Brass
Satin Brass
Silver Tones
Satin Chrome
Satin Nickel
Distressed Nickel
Antique Pewter
Bronze-to-Black Tones
Satin Stainless Steel
Oil Rubbed Bronze
Beside your door hardware’s finish, consider if you prefer a handle or a knob:

Lever handles and knobs are both great options, but depending on your needs you may find you prefer one over the other.

Lever handles provide ease of access to many, especially for those who struggle with using their wrist to open doors, are often carrying things into the house, or simply feel it matches your decor choice for a sleeker look.

Knobs provide another level of security for some. If you have young children or pets, having a knob makes it harder for them to access spaces they shouldn’t. Nonetheless, a spherical doorknob can be universally flattering whether you’re going for a victorian or a colonial home to a midcentury modern one.


BHMA® emphasizes that finish measures how well a product can withstand sun exposure, humidity, saltwater, dew and even the oils on our hands

all of which can cause the finish of a lock or deadbolt to discolor or corrode