you have (modern) mail

One of the (very) few things we haven't written about yet is the mailbox (yes, we’ve written about the kitchen sink [and there’s prolly more coming: be forewarned...]). Given the financial troubles the post office is having these days, I’m (seriously) wondering if we’ll really need one in a few years, but I reckon there will still be mail service when we move in. So we need a box.

For a mailbox we need to decide where and what. There are several possibilities: Out front on a post, on the back of the “Mies Wall” (the wall in front of the front door), in the back of the Mies Wall (built into the wall), or somewhere affixed to the front of the house under the eave.

Let’s start our overanalysis with affixing the box to the house. There’s not really a good place to attach a mailbox to the house under the eave. It can’t go on either side of the door (just windows there), and we certainly don’t want it hooked up to the limestone cladding. It could go on the southern wall, but that would mess up the beautifully minimal placement of the doorbell on that wall (and given that we’ve chosen non-poppy colors for the doorbell button, it needs to be by itself). A mailbox could also be fixed to the wall under the window to the powderoom but, again, that seems to be messing with the aesthetics of that window on that wall.

So the Mies Wall, then? This is a real possibility and gives the wall something else to do besides being Miesian (although the wall does provide some privacy, shading from late afternoon sun [and evening headlights], and perhaps a place for address numbers). If the box goes on the Mies Wall, I think it makes sense to put it toward the northern edge of the wall: Don’t make the mailman walk too far and remove it’s visual impact as seen from the entry.

So, if the box is associated with the Mies Wall, should it be an innie or an outie? There are some darn cool outie mailboxes out there (see below), but I’m thinking it makes sense to built the box into the wall if possible. They’re less expensive; however, they will take more time (= money) to install. The innies are nothing special designwise (they are institutionally minimal), but their main asset is that they are built in.

Although plopping a box on a stake is a possibility, most houses in the hood have the boxes fixed to or close to the house: More convenient for mail pickup and reduces the temptation of any retired FBI agents from rummaging through our Lumber Liquidators and Boden catalogs. 

So we’ll need to talk to the architect and builder on their thoughts (design and cost, respectively) before making a final decision, but I lean toward a built-in in the Meis Wall.

How about a parade of modern mailboxes?

Here's one from Chiasso ($80):

There's this one by Radius Design (389 euros = wowsy! dollars; available here for $419):

Also by Radius ($345):

The Metro ($265):

The Urban ($225):

The Green Mailbox ($???):

The Tom Tom ($330 aus):

The Knobloch ($359):

The Blink ($173; it looks like an envelope!):

The Locking Soho ($99):

The Recessed ($137):

The Aluminum recessed ($126):

The Letterbox #10 ($250):


  1. I am always surprised that folks the obvious choice available in new construction -- a mail slot!

    That's our on the left hand side of the garage door.

  2. That's nice (and check out those clerestories for the garage!). We did consider (and quickly dismiss) a mail slot. Our garage is in the back, and in hot 'ole Texas you don't want a hole in the envelope. But where a slot would work, even in Texas, I agree: The most minimal and functional at the same time!

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. I asked someone at the post office about putting our mailbox on the house, and apparently there's some code that says new houses are supposed to have them at the street. Ours ended up on the house anyway (seemed like it would be easier for our mailman to walk from house to house instead of popping out to the street for ours). As long as it's easy for the mailman to get to, I don't think there would be any problem.

    I like the Chiasso (although there's no way the Statesman would fit in the newspaper slot -- it's perfect for the Allandale newsletter, though).

    1. Well, ain't that nine kinds of wacky!

      Wait, the newspaper delivery folks put your paper in your mailbox? Ours have always thrown them at us!!!