Crowning Touch with 'Pop' - Page 2

Couple bent on spiffing up the streetscape aesthetic with homegrown Eichler Numbers
house numbers
Photo: David Toerge
house numbers

who runs the family business. "The quality was just not there."

That was where science—and Scot's contracting experience—came into play.

"Scot does construction, and he worked with Corian before, so he knew the durability of it," Carmen says of the solid surface material, invented in the 1960s by the Dupont company and used primarily since then for countertops.

They switched to Corian for making the numbers, but still had some durability issues with the wood backing. Not until they experimented in 2011 with sign-grade polyvinyl chloride, commonly known as PVC, did they find the perfect backing material. It enabled them to switch from using an epoxy-style adhesive to a cyanoacrylate, similar to Super Glue or Crazy Glue.

"It definitely improved the product, making it more weather-resistant," Carmen says. "It took off really well."

It took the Nichols seven years to perfect their house numbers—and now the MCM world is taking notice. Most of the company's sales are to Eicher owners in California, but not all.

"We got international sales that I hadn't expected," Carmen says, noting that they've shipped to customers in Canada, Japan, and Australia. "The customer comments have been very positive. I think it's definitely that 'mid-century' or 'modern' tag that brought them to our web site," she says of the international visitors.

Orders from Eichler Numbers take less than ten days for delivery, Carmen says, and they come already assembled with pre-drilled holes and mounting screws. She attributes much of the company's success to their adherence to the original typeface and vertical orientation of the addresses.

"The spacing is very important to highlight the contrast," she points out about the look of white (or painted) address numbers on the black mounting tiles. "It's just that kind of 'pop' that shows you it's from a certain era."

That era would be mid-20th century modern—with 21st century materials, of course.

"It's just a small detail," she admits of the address numbers, but one with visual impact that she terms "subtle but dramatic."

"I think that, for people who are interested in maintaining that kind of look, it's an important detail," Carmen says. "I don't know how else to describe it. Eye candy?"

Okay, mid-century modern eye candy—that helps get your mail delivered. What's not to like?

For more on Eichler Numbers, click here.