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A name plate or door plate, serves the functional purpose of identifying a house. However, a name plate can also serve as a décor element, which reflects the home owner’s style sensibilities. “Nowadays, name plates come in various styles, such as modern, abstract, concept-based, as well as name plates 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.
Vastu tips for name plates
Materials for making name plates
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 name plates. For budget-friendly options, commercial MDF (medium density fibre), plywood, veneer and pine wood, are ideal. Individual, preformed ceramic letters can also be used to create name plates, while stone, marble, mirror and wrought iron are other common options. One can custom make name plates in various shapes, like rectangle, square, oval, round, house-shaped and other irregular shapes. The name plates 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 name plates
According to Jayshree Dhamani, a Vastu Shastra and astrology expert, home owners should always put up a name plate, as it is like a ‘tikka’ on the forehead.
“As per Vastu Shastra principles, the main door of a home 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.
Name plates with hanging bells, floral designs or a ‘kalash’, are considered auspicious. The colours for the nameplate should be chosen, as per its direction. For example, east-facing homes should have name plates designed with brown or green colours.
Personalised name plates
Modern-day home owners prefer personalised name plates. Consequently, name plate 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 name plate. Then, people started writing their complete name. 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 name plate, to add the name of a ‘soon to be born’ baby. People also add their pets’ names and photos on the name plates, as they are considered part of the families. With a growing trend of naming bungalows, row houses, villas and apartments, even these names get inscribed on the name plate. Regional language name plates 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 name plate 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.
Vastu tips for name plate placement
- The name plate should be placed on the left side of the main door, as it is considered more auspicious than the other sides.
- The name plate should be placed at the height equivalent to the upper half of the door.
- The name plate should be fixed properly and should not be left hanging.
- Ensure that your name plate is not directly in front of the elevator.
- The name plate should not be chipped or have any holes in it.
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. If the lobby area of the house does not have enough light, then, brighten up the name plate with an external LED light of any warm colour. Avoid red-coloured lights.
- Always opt for good quality and water-proof materials for the name plate, especially if it is a villa or a bungalow, to ensure that it can withstand the monsoon season. Even the paint should withstand harsh natural environments. As the main door is opened and closed often, ensure that the name plate is be strong, or else, it may break soon.
- Use a name plate as well as lettering material which is resistant to corrosion.
- Keep the name plate stylish but simple. Do not clutter it with too many designs, calligraphy, engravings, and idols of deities. Refrain from using stylish fonts that are thin, wavy and hence, illegible.
- Ensure that the name plate is regularly cleaned and is dust free.
Where do you put name plates?
Name plates can be hung or affixed on the doors, or at the entrance of the society or house.
What is written on the name plate?
The general trend it to write one’s surname on the name plate. People have also started writing their complete name. Nowadays, many households write their family name and the names of all members, including children.
What is a name plate?
Besides identifying a house, a name plate is used to enhance the décor of a house and create a good first impression.
(With inputs from Surbhi Gupta)