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House Number Lab in the Washington Post

September 22, 2019

House Number Lab in the Washington Post



Don’t let your house numbers give a bad first impression. Take designers’ go-to styles.

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.

Simon Jacobsen, Jacobsen Architecture

“When it comes to addresses on historic houses or new houses in historic neighborhoods, I try to relate back to when Washington houses were issued addresses in and around 1870,” Jacobsen writes in an email. “I incorporate these house numbers in the transom or elsewhere in the traditional manner. [The House Number Lab] is a historically accurate vinyl decal company that won’t break the bank to bring your house back into historical context where it should be” (from $15 per number,


Delancey house number by the House Number lab ( (The House Number Lab)
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