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Thursday, January 17, 2013

The search for perfect house numbers

Many vintage lovers believe that God is in the details. Naturally we want the perfect pair of chairs or the quintessential vintage sofa. But we also spend countless hours searching for the right vase or the right candlesticks. Some of us even spend days, weeks or months searching for the right house numbers.

We finally found ours, and I got the contractor to install them, because we're great procrastinators in this house, and I figured they'd lie neglected on a shelf if something wasn't done quickly.

We also bought a curb stencil to match, but even with three fairly intelligent and high-functioning (well, sometimes) adults in the household now, no one has managed to stop by Home Depot for reflective paint yet. Anyone want to start a pool on how long it will take us to get that done?

Our house numbers (purchased from modernhousenumbers.com) are the 8" (20.33 cm) Palm Springs (Neutra typeface) style. They are made of 3/8" (.95 cm) thick aluminum with a brushed finish and high quality clear coat, and they have a 1/2" (1.27 cm) standoff so they cast a subtle shadow. In addition to house numbers and curb stencils, the company also offers mailbox numbers.


New house numbers...installed in a timely manner, thanks to our contractor!

Close-up of new house numbers...Love the shadows!

Curb stencil...Twenty bucks says it's at least 6 months before we get it done!


Reader Michelle E. of The Napa Project sent me a link to a song on youtube about Neutra typeface. It's too funny not to share. We Neutra lovers now have our own anthem! And if you haven't checked out Michelle's blog about their Napa home restoration, rush right over. You'll love it!


youtube.com
Uploaded by Jason Kinney on Nov 30, 2009

21 comments:

  1. I love your house numbers so much Dana. I spent ages looking for ours, because our house is an old shop and right on the street, it was important to find the right ones. I looked at modern house numbers but at the time they weren't shipping to Aus (BOO!), so I ended up settling for Some French zinc ones which are nice, but not as nice as yours. Such a great finishing touch, they say so much about the people that live inside the home.

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    1. I didn't know that little piece of trivia about your house. That's so cool! And anything with "French" and "zinc" in the description sounds chic from the get-go! I'd love to see photos of your numbers someday.

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    2. Tell us more about your shop house?

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  2. Neutra numbers! Nice choice Dana. xx

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    1. Thanks! We looked at so many more, but these numbers, along with taking the shutters down when we changed paint color, really gave the house a more modern appearance. It was built in 1950, so it's somewhere in that limbo between traditional and modern.

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  3. They look great! ( We know nooooothing about procrastination around here.)

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    1. Thanks! And did I say we procrastinate? That must have been a slip of the tongue. Nope, not us either. Definitely not. :)

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  4. Nice! Home Depot has 5 inch high nickel numbers that stand off the wall and are 6 dollars and made by the Hillman Group. Very similar to the Neutra design, just in case someone is looking for a smaller size. Still considering them for my ranch house.

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    1. When we looked, all they had was the 5-inch numbers, but I see that they carry them in 7.25-inch now as well.

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  5. Your new numbers look great -- are their multiple pin-mounts on each number? We need new numbers but I've been nervous about putting them up on the brick. The previous owner jerry-rigged a system where the numbers are on a piece of wood and just stuck into one hole in the wall (not attractive). Cheers - CT

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    1. I think the ones from Home Depot have pins spaced so they would mount in the mortar joints above and below a standard brick of 2 1/4" high. Drilling holes into brick is very difficult as I have tried.
      Dana is your new address 6304.5?

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    2. CT, yes, there are multiple pin mounts on each number. The previous owner had epoxied large wooden house numbers to the brick, which we had to chisel off when we repainted. I figured these could be even more permanent, and the next owner could worry about them. The contractor drilled into the brick and then used Loctite to glue them in. I don't think they'll be going anywhere anytime soon.

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    3. John, I've never had any luck with masonry bits either, and the contractor did remark that he had a harder time drilling this time than he's ever had on any other bricks. Maybe they were made better then, just like everything else.

      We went with these numbers because we wanted a larger size than we could find at a big box store. Also, most of the Hillman Group house numbers weren't reviewed on the Home Depot site when we were ready to buy, but I did find a couple of bad review somewhere about the mounts breaking off during installation (although I'm not sure how that would happen). Still, the price difference is fairly significant, so it might be worth it to try the ones from Home Depot first, if they have a size you'd be happy with.

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  6. Your house numbers look amazing, Dana, what an excellent choice! I saw Heath Ceramic's numbers some time ago, also in a Neutra font, but they're narrower. Yours are even more beautiful! Love the shadow, such a great detail:-)

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    1. I've seen photos of the Heath numbers too, and they're gorgeous. But is there a Heath product that isn't? I'd love to shop there just once before I die! :)

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  7. Love! I believe we purchased ours from DWR and they are Neutra as well. I am still waiting for the address plate I made to be installed on one of the stone pillars in front, and I can't wait! (Did you know that there is such a following for Neutra, there is a song?!?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHCu28bfxSI . It cracks me up!

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    1. Michelle, thanks so much for the link. The video is priceless, so I had to share it. I can't wait to see photos of your letters installed on the pillar.

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  8. I just noticed that the camera picked up some residual orange brick dust that I didn't notice when I was outside taking the pictures. The contractor hosed the wall down, and it looked clean to me, but apparently a little scrub with soap and a soft brush is in order.

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  9. I love your attention to detail, they are a fine set of numbers, Sesame Street worthy! :)

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    1. Some would call me a tad obsessive. :)

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  10. I love your Neutra font numbers!! We are in the process of buying a house and the first thing I noticed is that the owner has Neutra numbers on it. Such a great and distinctive touch.

    And the video is hilarious!!! Thanks for sharing. :-)

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