House numbers are an often-neglected detail of a house.

They are the first impression people get of your home. They are crucial for first-time dinner guests, emergency vehicles or Uber drivers to be able to identify the right address. So go out to the street and look critically at your house and see how clearly you can read the numbers. Perhaps you could use something a little more stylish, a little larger, a bit more classic or a little more modern.

"Numbers are the only typography on your house," says Glenn Milano, who started the House Number Lab in 2011 when he couldn't find a proper sign for his Wardman-style townhouse on Capitol Hill. "You can put a mindless number up there to get the job done. But you are missing a great opportunity to do something beautiful and interesting."

Could your numbers use an upgrade? We polled a group of designers about their go-to styles.

Carmel Greer, of District Design, often turns to Etsy vendors for interesting house numbers, especially for cottages and bungalows. Here are three:

• Camilla Cotton: She likes these "quirky, off-the-beaten-path" cast-iron numbers to add charm to a small house ($17.50 per number).

• Drop Metal: These painted and distressed aluminum house numbers are colorful and a nice deviation from predictable modern styles, she says ($17 per number).

• Eleven Owls Studio: Greer likes these vintage-style numbers that are painted on wood pallets for use on an alley facade or along a wall (from $24 per number).


Advertisement

For more contemporary homes, Anne Decker, of Anne Decker Architects, is fond of Richard Neutra's aluminum numbers because of "their clean, modern lines" ($27 per number, dwr.com). She says they age nicely, as they are tarnish-resistant. For more traditional homes, she usually turns to Baldwin's more classic numbers, ordering them in oil-rubbed bronze or unlacquered brass that will age over time ($12-$13.80 per number,

Courtesy of Chatham Sign Shop  Chatham Sign Shop numbers are classic and weather-resistant -- and also easy to read from the street..
Courtesy of Chatham Sign Shop Chatham Sign Shop numbers are classic and weather-resistant -- and also easy to read from the street..