Your Guide to Choosing the Right House Numbers

House numbers can add the perfect touch to the exterior of your home. They help to pull together your look and make that beaming first impression. Custom exterior letters and numbers can do wonders for your home's style.

Modern address numbers, metallic, from Modern House Numbers

SoCal Numbers, Matte Black | Palm Springs, Brushed Aluminum

Even more importantly, your house numbers serve a purpose. What if emergency and first responders need to find your home? In an emergency, every second counts. You don't want your poor addressing to be the reason why EMTs can't find your home.

It's a matter of style and safety to have an address that is visible and easy to read. Even if your address is visible, perhaps it needs a significant update. No matter why you need new house numbers, here are some tips for choosing a gorgeous and functional set of address numbers.

1. Create Contrast

Creating contrast is very important for visibility, and gets you major style points. You can create contrast by putting a darker numbers on a light colored house or vice versa. You can also install your floating address numbers on a backing of a contrasting color to create the perfect contrast, no matter what your home is made of. Hold your number or letter against its installation surface before mounting to ensure it stands out and looks right.

Stylish house numbers from Modern House Numbers create contrast, Matte Black numbers on white wall,
SoCal, Matte Black

2. Make Sure They are Big Enough

The size of your house numbers is vital. Many address numbers four inches tall, but that size won’t be the best for every house. There are some factors to consider. If your door is about 100' feet from the street, opt for numbers around six inches in height.

The numbers should be considerably larger if your door is over 300 feet away from the road. If your house is far from the street, installing house numbers on your front gate, curb, or mailbox is also a great idea so people can still see your address from the road. Generally speaking, the farther your property is from the roadway, the larger your numbers should be. For locations with a home set far back from the road, you should consider two sets of numbers. One close to the road, and another set on your home. Here are our recommendations for the size you might consider, by viewing distance

  • 50 feet or less: 4 inches or larger
  • 100 feet away from the street: 6 inches or larger
  • 150 feet away from the street: 8 inches or larger
  • 200 feet away from the street: 12 inches or larger
  • 300 feet away from the street: 15 inches or larger

Large metal address numbers, Palm Springs, Matte Black, from Modern House Numbers

When mounting your numbers, also be mindful of the kerning, which means the space between numbers and letters. When you order from Modern House Numbers, our team of designers will space your numbers and letters for you! We'll remove the hassle of worrying about the spacing by creating a helpful drilling template specific for your set of numbers or letters. You can use the template to confirm your installation area will work, that the numbers look good, and when you're done you'll have a beautiful installation.

Example of helpful drilling tempate for installation from Modern House Numbers

3. Keep it Cohesive

You will add style and sophistication to your property if you can match your house numbers to your other exterior trim and fixtures like window frames, hardware, and lighting. Creating cohesion means you've thought about every little detail. This increases your curb appeal because it tells visitors that you've put a great deal of thought and care into your home. In some cases, you might have two hardware or trim colors. That's ok. If you have black hardware, but a darker exterior, it's ok to choose a lighter finish for your numbers to create contrast. For example if you choose brushed aluminum numbers, but have black window and door frames, you can introduce a brushed aluminum mailbox or exterior light, and your exterior will still look cohesive.

Palm Springs numbers, Matte Black, from Modern House Numbers
Palm Springs numbers, Matte Black

Popular Décor Styles

If you're overwhelmed by all the different styles and feel that you don't have an eye for design, we'll walk you through the most popular types and how to choose letters that suit them.

Modern and Minimalist

Modern and minimalist is always a popular style. To achieve a modern minimalist look, no matter the style of your home or business, you will want to keep things simple. You can choose metallic finishes, or classic colors like black and white. Modern fonts typically are sans serif, meaning they are simple without any strokes at the end of the number or letter. Almost all of our font styles are sans serif, and will compliment any style of home. 

Modern home with Palm Springs numbers, white, from Modern House Numbers

Rustic and Modern Farmhouse

If your home has a rustic style, creating contrast is important. Most rustic styles incorporate wood elements. If you want to create your own rustic element, you can install your new numbers or a stained wood backing. 

Modern farmhouse, with Palm Springs numbers from Modern House Numbers
Palm Springs, Matte Black

Traditional and Country Cottage

Traditional and cottage homes have a cozy feel. Surprisingly, you can use a modern or traditional font style on these homes. It's perfectly fine to express your personal style when upgrading your numbers on an older home. You will want to avoid anything too contemporary or trendy however. To create a traditional feel, consider our Santa Barbara style. It's our only serif font, and is very popular for it's wide and sophisticated look.

Traditional home with numbers and letters from Modern House Numbers

Santa Barbara font, Matte Black


This retro style is very popular for it's warmth and flair. Our SoCal font is art deco inspired and is one of our most popular styles. For an art deco home, you'll want to choose numbers that are not incredibly bold.  We suggest black or dark bronze on lighter exteriors, and brushed aluminum or matte brass on darker exteriors.

Art deco inspired house numbers, Dark Bronze, by Modern House Numbers

SoCal font, Dark Bronze

Consider your home's style, and choose number/letter options accordingly. Visibility is vital, cohesion adds sophistication, and a quality product means your new numbers will last a long time. We love seeing all the different types of house letters and numbers that our customers choose. Seeing people incorporate their personality through their house numbers and letters is rewarding. House numbers often bring the whole look of your home together and add an upgraded flare. Check out our gallery for our most popular choices, and use our preview feature to see your number combination in each of our font styles. You can also email us to create your very own custom design. 

Stylish house numbers, contemporary home, SoCal style, from Modern House Numbers


Selecting the right house numbers is essential for aesthetics and functionality. Enhance your home's exterior and aid emergency services by choosing visible numbers. Contrast, size, and cohesion matter: use darker numbers on a light house, opt for larger sizes if set back, and match with hardware. For varied styles, modern fonts suit minimalism, rustic homes can use wood elements, and personal style matters. Visibility and sophistication are key.

Picture of the Author

brandy mclain, author

Brandy is an urban planner and site designer with experience at private & non-profit organizations and has been responsible for land development and regional visioning projects. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture and Master in Urban Planning from the University of Arizona. Brandy is passionate about community involvement, anything handmade and holds fond memories of learning to sew at age five. Learn more about Brandy on LinkedIn.

You can learn more about Brandy on LinkedIn, at ShoutOut SoCal, or at the San Diego Voyager.

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