Mail It In—with Style

In the world of 'snail mail,' there are lots of choices in mailboxes with MCM aesthetics

Is there any American institution whose rep has aged worse than the United States Postal Service? Used to be, the USPS was the quintessential ‘neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night' kind of government agency. But these days...are they just ‘mailing it in'?

Regardless, you don't see USPS customers eliminating their mailboxes the way they do land lines.

So, if you still need to have this widely derided receptacle for ‘snail mail,' might as well do it with style.

There are a surprising number of modernist mailboxes on the market, produced by sources ranging from small independents without a website to well-established design firms. Etsy.com, for one, is full of choices. Here are eight of our faves.

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1. Waldo XL Modern Mailbox

Aesthetic considerations were indeed behind Eichler Network publisher Marty Arbunich's decision to recently install this sharp-looking modern mailbox by Nashville-based Deus Modern in front of the Eichler X-100. Called the Waldo XL, and part of the Deus Modern collection that includes several similar-looking mailbox models, this one runs $400 for stainless-steel finish or $375 in black, bronze, or gray (post is additional), and features laser-cut address numbers on both sides.

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2. BoxDesign's Wall-Mount Letterbox

BoxDesignUSA clearly understands the plight of the American mailbox. Their website fairly pleads modernists to realize, "Your mail needs a cool place too!" This New Zealand-based company makes sleek aluminum mailboxes in ten different colors, with prices ranging from $295 for a wall-mounted model to $525 with a stainless-steel post.

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3. CeCeWorks Modern Mailbox

Laser-cut characters are an attractive element of the wood-paneled boxes made by CeCeWorks of San Luis Obispo. "The mailbox can be laser-etched with names, numbers, or graphics," the company reports. "Normally the laser burns slightly, making the etching darker depending on the wood type." This etching looks great on any of the five choices, in ascending price order from $255 to $400 (redwood, mahogany, cedar, walnut, and teak).

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4. Modern Mailbox by Brass and Sons

An even more modern approach to the etching concept is the stainless-steel model by one of several Canadian companies in the market, Brass and Sons. Their shallow-cased, modest-sized box runs $155 plus another $20 for an optional locking mechanism.