Besides identifying a house, a nameplate can also be used to enhance the décor of a house and create a good first impression. We look at the basic dos and don’ts for putting up a nameplate on your house.
A nameplate or door plate serves the functional purpose of identifying a house. However, a nameplate can also serve as a décor element, which reflects the home owner’s style sensibilities. “Nowadays, nameplates come in various styles, such as modern, abstract, concept-based, as well as nameplates inspired by one’s religion and can be custom made in any Indian language. They can be hung or affixed on the doors, or at the entrance of the house or society,” says Abhishek Goyal, founder, Panchatatva.
Materials for making nameplates
The most commonly used and budget-friendly name plates for apartments, are made of acrylic or fibre. Simple signage for bigger and independent houses and buildings are generally made of glass and steel. Handmade signboards have a raw appeal, while designer name plates with creative use of fonts and a wooden finish, can lend a stellar appeal, says Goyal. “Designer and multi-compound name plates are made from a combination of different materials like wood, glass, steel, terracotta, brass, jute, fabric, grass or coconut. These name plates have a niche market. The trend, now, is to use a combination of various materials, to give a unique look,” adds Goyal.
Seasoned wood, such as teakwood and railway sleepers, can also be used for making nameplates. For budget-friendly options, commercial MDF (medium density fiber), plywood, veneer, and pine wood, are ideal. Individual, preformed ceramic letters can also be used to create nameplates, while stone, marble, mirror, and wrought iron are other common options. One can custom make nameplates in various shapes, like rectangle, square, oval, round, house-shaped, and other irregular shapes. The nameplates can be etched with motifs, or engraved with images of deities, or have photographs with floral designs, eye-catching calligraphy, etc.
Vastu Shastra tips for nameplates
According to Jayshree Dhamani, a Vastu Shastra and astrology expert, homeowners should always put up a nameplate, as it is like a ‘tikka’ on the forehead.
“As per Vastu Shastra principles, the main door is not only the entry point for the family, but also for energy. So, if your home doesn’t have a name plate, it will be difficult for opportunities to find their way to you. A name plate should be readable, clear and pleasing to the eye. Choose the correct material for the name plate, for positivity and harmony. A metal name plate is recommended, if the door is in the north or west direction. Use a wooden name plate, if the door is in the south or east direction. It is also good to decorate a home’s entrance with pictures or statues of Ganesh or auspicious signs such as Om, or the Swastika or even some shlokas,” advises Dhamani.
Modern-day homeowners prefer personalized nameplates. Consequently, nameplate designs often incorporate themes or the interest of family members, or the profession of a person, etc., says Goyal. “Traditionally, the trend has been to write one’s surname on the nameplate. Then, people started writing their complete names. Now, people write their family name, along with the names of all members, including children. Recently, a client asked us to leave a blank space on the nameplate, to add the name of a ‘soon to be born’ baby. People also add their pets’ names and photos on the nameplates, as they are considered part of the families. With a growing trend of naming bungalows, rowhouses, villas, and apartments, even these names get inscribed on the nameplate. Regional language nameplates have become very popular,” Goyal elaborates.
Neha Mehta, a home-maker from Mumbai, maintains that an attractive name plate is important, to create a good impression. “The nameplate on my house is made of glass and raw wood, with lettering in gold and illumination behind it. My son, who is a Bollywood fan, has a film clapboard painted as a name plate outside his room and the name plate on my daughter’s room is pink and white, with flowers on it,” she explains.
Tips for putting up a name plate at the entrance
- Always have a name plate on the main door or the adjoining wall, if the space permits, as it is believed to attract prosperity, opportunities and well-being.
- Ensure that the name plate is large enough to write one’s name or surname and the house number and is legible from at least a foot or two away.
- The design chosen for the name plate, should blend well with the main door.
- The main door, as well as the name plate should be well-lit.
- Keep the name plate stylish but simple. Do not clutter it with too many designs, calligraphy, engravings, and idols of deities.
- Ensure that the name plate is regularly cleaned and is dust free.