There are several basic designs to select from. Levers are easy to open. They make a sensible choice when applied to settings where residents can expect to have their hands full or struggle to grip a knob. These include homes with young kids as well as places where the residents are elderly and arthritic.

Many levers are formed from simple, straight bars. Others have been given a twist, literally, forming curved shapes or resembling tree branches. A base plate is used to mount these onto the door and can be rectangular, oval, or a combination of rounded ends and straight sides. If there is a key hole it will be drilled into the base plate below the lever. Simple plates are not embellished, while others are framed with narrow bands of simple metal work.

One great thing about knobs is that parents can make them child-proof. Most safety products for children are made with knobs and preschool-aged escape-artists in mind. Many lavish examples in fine hotels and estates have been created out of combinations of contrasting metals or a mixture of metal with some other material such as glass.

One other type of structural door handle is rounded with a push tab on top. Otherwise, the most common place to see push handles would be on interior furnishings. Kitchen, bathroom and bedroom doors and drawers often come fitted with curved or right-angled versions, though manufacturers continue to play with shapes and come-up with original styles. To create a sense of unity between all metal-work, think about matching interior knobs and levers to taps, shower enclosure hinges, railings and other hardware.