Saturday, April 19, 2008

Nameplates in exterior decor

An eye-catching nameplate makes a good first impression on visitors

The unassuming nameplate that hangs faithfully outside your home does a lot more than display your name to passers-by. With a dash of creativity, you can transform it into a subtle statement that creates a lasting first impression to guests. Gone are the days when simple stone slabs with block stereotype engraving were used for nameplates. Thanks to technology, we have a wide array of materials and styles to choose from. Visit a home store and you will find a delightful display in stone or ceramic, metal or wood, glass or fibre to suit every taste and need.

There are a few basic traits you would need to identify before you consider options in nameplates. A nameplate is at the mercy of the elements. A weather-proof, easy-tomaintain template with lettering that does not fade despite weather changes will be best suited. While older homes stick to granite, explore other options that appear less heavy, and elegantly display information.

These days, clean lines define most interior design schemes. Ornate frills and other overtly decorative styles are on their way out, and people are looking for smart finishes to functional spaces. While deciding on the shape of your nameplate, think beyond the conservative rectangle to other interesting shapes that may reflect your persona. Couples can experiment with ovals and gentle curves that flow easily and appeal to the eye. A child's room can have a favourite cartoon character or a string of colourful beads to frame the child's name. A hobby home, on the other hand, can have a nameplate that is suggestive of what goes on within its walls. A play home in the city uses a toddler's pram to frame its name and a techie chose to do up his home's name around a ballooned out adaptation of 'www'.

When it comes to choices in lettering, never forget that the bottom line is font clarity. Draw a fine balance between artistic flow and readability for a lasting effect. The size of the font chosen should be one that is clearly visible from a few feet away, and choose to contrast your colours against the canvas of the material you choose for the nameplate. Gold and silver go well against a dark backdrop and black against a lighter one. If you decide to do it in etched glass instead, stick to colours that would highlight the font and make it easy to read. Metals such as brass would need occasional cleaning and polishing to retain the sheen. A coating of a weather-resistant polymer over synthetics would be a smart move to ensure that the nameplate lasts long and looks its best always.

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