Skip the premade options and go for one of these creative ideas for house numbers.

By Kelly Roberson

House numbers might be a small piece of an exterior facade, but they are important for both function and beauty. Fortunately, you aren't stuck with plain, old plastic numbers: There are a range of creative ideas for house numbers that can add style and personalization. Here are some tips and ideas to use.

Pick a style Creative house numbers are typically an extension of the architectural style of your home. For contemporary that equals streamlined; for cottage, creative house numbers have a little more flourish. Decide the style that best suits you and your home as you gather inspiration.

Pick a material A variety of materials can be adapted to creative house numbers. You might want to pick a material that's already somewhere else on your home -- metal, for example. Or you might choose to add an unexpected element with your house numbers. Really, imagination is the only limitation when it comes to house numbers.

Pick installation spot The standard spot for house numbers is near the mailbox or above the front door. But creative house numbers can be installed in a range of places. Those might not even be on the house itself but at a post along a sidewalk or entry point to the yard.

Pick a background material Some creative house numbers are transparent or outlines, so the color behind the numbers shows through. For some house number designs, this might mean the house color shows through. However, if you choose a two-part house number, that secondary material will become part of the house number creation.

Ideas for creative house numbers • Hanging house numbers: A rail or fence might offer a good spot for a house number. It can hang at a sidewalk or a front door.

• Colored: Different colors of house numbers can be a whimsical element for a front door.

• Backlit: House numbers that are backlit have an added element of texture and dimension that works well with a range of styles.

• Stair risers: House numbers can be painted onto or attached on stair risers in a front walkway.

• Stainless steel: A smart choice for contemporary homes, stainless-steel works well with a variety of background materials, including mounting on the house in contrast to wood or attached to a separate piece of contrasting metal.

• Concrete or stone: Concrete or stone house numbers may be cut into a single block or stained a different color for accent.

• Corten steel: Corten steel supplies an unusual color and texture for a house number, particularly when contrasted against a cool color such as gray or on brick.

• Paint: Painted house numbers may be painted directly on a door or section of siding -- or painted on another piece of wood and hung on a house. The paint could be a color that already exists in a palette or it could be a contrasting hue that offers accent.

• Carved wood: Mounted on another piece of wood or on a house itself, a carved-wood house number lends traditional accent to a home.

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