House Numbers in Cambridge and Somerville – House Parts We Love

Stick On House NumberHouse numbers are important – ask any Cambridge real estate agent.  As we’re driving around and around the block, craning our neck trying to find the house where we’ve scheduled an appointment, a bright clear house number is just what we want to see.  

House numbers are also critical for emergency personnel.  In fact, the Somerville fire department requires homeowners to have a visible house number in order to get the smoke alarm certificate that’s required in Massachusetts to sell a home.

So if you have to have a house number on your home – why not make it a special one?  Cambridge and Somerville homeowners have personalized their abodes with special house numbers – made of tile, of shiny brass, of polished nickel, in script, on plaques, in gilt on glass, even in one case in colored mesh on a garden gate.

Why would you want to settle for a paste-on sticker like the one above when you could have a stylish or charming house number like one of these?

Somerville and Cambridge House Numbers


Here are some sources for house numbers for your Somerville or Cambridge house:

Architectural Numbers by Weston
Brass House Numbers
Tile House Numbers

 Here are some other House Parts We Love:

Shutters With Cutouts
 Decorative Metal Doorknobs


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House Parts We Love – Decorative Metal Doorknobs

Vintage Metal Doorknob in CambridgeSo often when we fall in love with a house it’s the details that make the difference.  When I’m out on the real estate trail in Cambridge MA, I come across so many wonderful features in the great houses in Cambridge.

This series – House Parts We Love – is my celebration of the myriad of special features that add charm and character to a house.  Many of these features are found in older houses since builders in years past paid a lot more attention to the details.  There are fine features in newer houses too – so if new houses or modern architecture warm your heart – not to worry – I’m snapping pictures in houses of all ages.  And feel free to email me with your favorite house parts.

Vintage Decorative Metal Doorknobs Found Around Cambridge

Doorknobs have been catching my eye lately.  Doorknobs are such an integral part of the house – a part of the house that is hard for anyone to miss.  You can’t help but be intrigued when it’s a beautiful Art Nouveaux doorknob you turn to open the front door.  Or perhaps it’s the intricately patterned embossed doorknob that’s a standout on a closet door.   The utilitarian can also be beautiful.

Vintage Metal Doorknob in CambridgeHurray if you’re lucky enough to have some fabulous doorknobs in your home already.  If not, there are some great sources for new, reproduction, or vintage doorknobs.  Ebay is worth visiting regularly for vintage hardware and architectural salvage yards will have vintage doorknobs available.  Raybern on Weston Ave in Teele Square, Somerville carries a wide variety of specialty hardware including some lines with reproduction doorknobs. 

Here are some other providers of antique and reproduction doorknobs:

 Other house parts we love:

Cutout Shutters

Elizabeth Bolton is a house enthusiast and real estate agent in Cambridge MA.

Categories: Everything Else
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Cutout Shutters – House Parts We Love

Cutout Shutters on a Bungalow in Arlington Massachusetts

Cutout Shutters on a Bungalow in Arlington Massachusetts

People buy a particular house for all sorts of reasons – location, condition, size of the bedrooms, the renovated kitchen, the big backyard  – everybody has their own real estate wish list.

For some of us it’s the small things – the special features that catch our eye, that warm our hearts, that feel just right, that spark the fantasy – that make a house The One.  It might be the beautiful stained glass window in the stairwell, the handsome built-in bookshelves in the livingroom, or the deep clawfoot tub in the bath.

The list of features – house parts – that have that special magic, that create that pull of desire, is very long. Long enough that I’m going to make it a regular feature here. 

So without further ado –  the debut of House Parts We Love.

Cut-Out Shutters

Cambridge MA House With Cutout Shutters

Cambridge MA House With Cutout Shutters

Charm is always high on my list when I’m looking for a house to buy.  Cutout shutters are a sure-fire way to add charm to a house.  Put cut-out shutters on a house and it transforms the simplest and  plainest of houses into the most appealing home on the block.

Cut-out shutters seem to have been most popular in the 1920s to 1950s or so. I’ve seen them on earlier vintage houses though. For years a Victorian in Porter Square was adorned with “E”s on the cutout shutters – which I, of course, thought must stand for Elizabeth.

Designs are varied – shamrocks are popular in these parts, letters, crescent moons, diamonds, pine trees, animals – all sorts of designs are possible.  Location often dictates the style of cut-out, with nautical themes, for example, popular close to the shore. 

The Arlington house shutters pictured above have a fleur-de-lis cutout.  The Cambridge cape, a beautiful house in the Divinity neighborhood, has squirrels (I think!) as cutouts on  its shutters.

If you want to add cutout shutters to your house Timberlane Shutters has a variety of styles.  Shuttercraft in Connecticut is another company that produces custom wood shutters.


As a house enthusiast and Cambridge real estate agent I’m always coming across beautiful or charming (or both!) house parts.  I’ve taken to carrying my camera with me to capture them to share with you.  Check back often for more of my favorites – and please – let me know about your favorite house parts – and I’ll be on the lookout!

Other House Parts We Love:

Decorative Metal Doorknobs


Categories: Everything Else
Comments: Please leave a comment. Your opinions welcomed.

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