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How To Choose House Numbers & Letters

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Why do you need to pay attention to choosing the right house numbers and letter? You've heard it many times before: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your home, this first impression actually begins before you let your guests in.

A neat floor mat and a tasteful house number are your chance to showcase your attention to detail and set the right tone. However, don't forget that the latter also needs to be practical and easy to read: you don't want the mailman or---worse---emergency services to miss it, right? 

Here's how to choose a house number & letter that are both functional and pleasantly decorative.

What Color Should House Numbers Be?

In order for them to stand out and be easily spotted from the road, you should choose house numbers and letters in a color that creates a light and dark contrast against their background.

If there's a specific accent color on the outside of your house (for example, a bright yellow fence), you could consider keeping it consistent and using it for your house number, too.

However, if your door or house has a busy texture like a red brick wall, it might be better to have your house number on a backplate.

How to Choose a House Number & Letter That Match a Décor Style?

Are you aiming for a specific feel or taking inspiration from a particular décor style? Here are some ideas to make sure that your house number complements your vision:

  • Minimalist and modern: pick metal colors, either as individual numbers or on a plaque;
Floating House Number With Lights
Minimalist Modern Floating House Number
Clean Silver Floating House Numbers
Minimalist Wall Address Plaque With Flowerpot
Vertical Floating Wall Address Plaque
Floating One Line Wall Address Plaque
  • Rustic: choose light pastel colors and a painted style that gives your house number a handmade feel, or white numbers on a black natural slate plaque;
Rustic Stone Line Wall Address Plaque
Black Slate Line Wall Address Plaque
Rustic Slate Line Wall Address Plaque
Oval Black Slate Hanging Address Plaque
Carved Slate One Line Address Plaque
Four Line Hanging Wall Address Plaque
  • Country cottage: steal the layout of French signs, with white numbers on a dark blue plaque;
Blue Slate Three Line Wall Address Plaque
Dark Blue Three Line Home Wall Address Plaque
Nautical Two Line Wall Address Plaque
LED Address Sign With Solar Panel
Personalized Two Line Wall Address Plaque
One Line Lawn Address Sign
  • Art-deco: if you have a dark door, opt for warm-toned metal to achieve a 1920s-30s retro feel.
Personalized Two Line Black And Gold Address Plaque
Black And Gold Two Line Wall Address Plaque
Two Line Black And Gold Lawn Adress Sign
One Line Wall Address Plaque
Ornate Black And Gold Vertical Address Plate

What Font Is Best for House Numbers?

Some heavily-ornate house numbers & letters might look beautiful when you're browsing them online, but their fancy fonts could make them too difficult to read from the road. 

The safest choice is a sans serif font like Arial or Helvetica, meaning that it doesn't include the small decorative lines at the end of each stroke.

What Is the Best Size for House Numbers & Letters?

As a general rule, the best size for house numbers & letters is 4 inches in height. However, it also depends on how far from the road your door is:

  • If it's right next to it, 3 inches will do;
  • If it's 130-160 feet away, aim for 6 inches or more;
  • If it's over 300 feet away, it should be at least 10 inches high.

To be on the safe side, you might want to consider adding the house number to your front gate too, if your house is really far from the road.

To maximize visibility, don't forget about the kerning, which is the space between letters and numbers: they might be the correct size, but, if you mount them too close together, they could still be hard to spot.

Floating House Number With Lights
Three Inch Floating Brass House Numbers
Six Inch Surface Mount House Number
Five Inch Classic House Number
Twelve Inch Aluminum Floating House Numbers
Ten Inch Floating House Number

What Is the Best Material for House Numbers?

The most important thing to consider when choosing the material for your house number & letter is its durability, especially if your house is exposed to rain or tough weather conditions.

Some of the best materials are:

  • Stainless steel or chrome for a minimalist style;
  • Slate for a cozy, traditional feel;
  • Acrylic plaques for modern homes;
  • Brass for an art-deco revival;
  • Terracotta for European or Mediterranean vibes.

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