March 18, 2018

HOUSE NUMBERS

CHOOSING THE RIGHT
HOUSE NUMBERS
AND DISPLAYING THEM CORRECTLY

Dontcha hate trying to find someones house at night and there's no visible house numbers?
Do you see them above? 
They're there, under the porch light.

  • Deliveries, mail, Amazon, Uber, food delivery and other drop-offs need to see your house number - easily and clearly.
  • When you entertain, especially at night your guests need to see the house numbers, so they don't go to the neighbors home - who weren't invited
  • The fire department and police may need to find your house in an emergency
  • Why would you cheapen your home by using tacky, inexpensive house numbers?

HERE'S SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO IMPROVE VISIBILITY AND UPGRADE YOUR LOOK


WHAT STYLE IS YOUR HOME?

Italian or Mexican ceramic plaques with the
numbers artfully painted look stupid on a colonial house, and bronze cast plaques look dumb on
Adobe style homes in Santa Fe, and so on...

A Craftsman bungalow has five-inch contemporary Neutra-style numbers clearly visible from the street.  The contemporary numbers don't interfere with the homes style and are easy to read.


A traditional 'Cape Dutch' house has plain black numbers on their gatepost. 


Paul Rudolph designed this townhouse for Halston. The large, mod numbers on the door were easy to find when Liza was wandering up and down the street all coked up…


This San Francisco home sits high on a hill, and their five-inch numbers are legibly placed over the garage door, at street level - not up by the front door where you couldn't see it from the street


My own traditional Bermuda-style home in Florida has black, 5-inch 'Neutra style' numbers and are clearly visible from the street


An estate-style home uses a simple wooden plaque with painted numbers. Visible, not flashy - perfect.


A California contemporary has 14" stainless steel numbers placed in a prominent spot


DISPLAYING NUMBERS CORRECTLY
The number one consideration is how far is your house from the street?
If close, small numbers will suffice; if it's thirty feet away you need a 5-inch number; sixty feet away you need 6-inch; 100 feet away you should have them at the end of your driveway.

WHAT TYPE ON WHICH HOUSE?


FEDERAL, VICTORIAN and EDWARDIAN homes look nice with the numbers painted or etched onto the transom above the door, light fixture, or beside the door. The numbers should be in a 'period appropriate' typeface.


MID-CENTURY MODERN homes look best with mid-century style numbers (duh). They can be artfully placed in vertical or horizontal positions - never diagonal


MEDITERRANEAN style homes can use ceramic plaques, which are perfect. The problem is usually those are too small to see from the street. 


MODERN numbers look great on these traditional homes instead of those hideous Home Depot off-the-rack type.


TRADITIONAL homes with large visible numbers in practical locations - visible from the street


ON THE DOOR

Often, I think it clutters up the door too much combined with knockers, handles, keyholes, etc. 
But, sometimes it's the right choice, like below.


These two beautiful entrances are using 6-inch numbers well-matched to the hardware and overall aesthetic.

These two doors have etched/frosted panels with the numbers left clear. It's extra large, different and visible day and night due to light conditions

ON A WALL, PIER, PLAQUE OR GATEPOST

This contemporary home has a huge house number visible day and night, it's architectural and simple!



Left: The two-tone plaque is easily read and placed where people will see it. 
Right: The elegant cartouche looks great and well-located, but should have the numbers darkened on it as it's almost invisible as is.


Perfect house numbers! 
Plaques with large numbers



Left: A pylon of brick and stucco with the 5-inch metal numbers applied to all sides
Right: The column of this entrance colonnade has 5-inch blackened numbers applied to the front for easy identification from the street


Modern numbers are applied to the privacy wall; exposed and clearly visible from the street.
Subtle and low-key, but smart looking.


These two placards are both the correct size but both are too low and would be obscured by any parked vehicles.



A fab entrance, but WTF is up with that crapy plastic mailbox and those icky house numbers?? A perfect place for an enamelled plaque or hand-painted numerals…


Pylons built specifically for house numbers! 
Top: 12" stainless steel numbers add to the mid-century style.
Bottom: Contemporary redwood post with the stainless numbers, visible and modern.


TYPES OF NUMBERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly

ENAMELED EURO-STYLE PLAQUES

These small plaques are great - however, they're often too small to see as American lots are bigger and they're too far from the street to see.


SCRIPT

Definitely a more elegant way


It must be clear script in a good size, not overdone with flourishes and doodads, and in a contrasting color which is visible from the street.
Script numbers should be written out:
Two Hundred Seventy Three
NOT  Two Seventy Three.


EMERGENCY NUMBERS
Municipalities may paint your numbers on your curb for emergency use, but when cars are parked in front of them - you can't see the numbers, so you still need something on the house which is visible day and night

ILLUMINATED NUMBERS

Tacky, Tacky, Tacky... They're illegible from the street, and if they're too large they look commercial.


BUILT INTO THE ARCHITECTURE

I love these - but what if they ever reassign
house numbers, you're soooo F#c&e@!


HOUSE NUMBER STYLES



MODERN / EICHLER STYLE
Most any house, unless you live in a 'period' home



EURO STYLE
Older, moderne or early 20th C. homes



ARTS AND CRAFTS STYLE
A very specific aesthetic! Cottages, bungalows, houses in the plains and woody areas



VINTAGE
Any home built before 1930



CUSTOM "ART" STYLE
Southwestern, plains, mountains 



HAND PAINTED
Traditional homes




ARTISAN - HANDMADE STYLE
Cottages, bungalows, woody environments



TRADITIONAL
Any traditionally styled home 



RICHARD NEUTRA NUMBERS
Modern homes especially, but work on 
most homes, giving them a fresh pop


BAD HOUSE NUMBERS AND BAD PLACEMENT



TRUTH: All three of these heinuosities belong to homes in Palm Beach worth over $8 million!!!   
Dafuqizatabout?



These aluminum plaques from Frontgate or Restoration Hardware are just sooo everywhere.
I think they look cheap and not very special whilst trying to look upscale

NO arts and craft projects on the front of your house, please!


These big-ass numbers look stupid, they're all you see when you look at the house. Not your objective...


 
Really?
peel-n-stick numbers on a $15 mailbox on a spindly metal post shrouded by bushes….


Top: Peel-n-stick: perfect on the vinyl siding adjacent to vinyl shutters...
Bottom:  Obviously, a bored housewife who feels craftsy - can you read that from the street?? 


Top: For the craftsy stoner: too bad your dealer couldn't read your stupid-ass numbers and went to the wrong house and got busted delivering your shit. 
Bottom: From grandad's workshop with love



Why waste the limited space on these plaques with the street name? Uhmm..aren't you already on that street if you're reading the sign??
NEVER put your name on the outside of your home, it's bad for security - I need to tell you this?

Top:  FAIL! Really, you think that twiddly little plastic script from Home Depot is legible from the street, after dark, and pretty???
Bottom: FAIL! Huge-ass custom script lettering looks like a condominium - again, you don't need your street name


Left: FAIL: Too high on the door trim so its hidden by the front porch ceiling
Right: FAIL: Think those 2.5" numbers on your security gate are legible from the street? Wrong!



For all you big spenders... bronze is barely legible in the day, so it sure ain't legible at night... 



Never, ever put anything on the diagonal, it's a 50's thang - and I cant believe people still do it...
(Dontcha just love the one stuck in the bushes below too?)



I always think of looking under  the front door for the house numbers, especially on a rainy foggy night....





MASTER CLASS

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HOUSE NUMBERS

CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOUSE NUMBERS AND DISPLAYING THEM CORRECTLY Dontcha hate trying to find someones house at night and there'...