Decorating & Design

December 9, 2009

Mailboxes & House Numbers

A girl needs to dream…and decorate it seems. So, while the inside of our house is in chaos, I really need an outlet for my decorating desires. A friend of mine describes this stage of the reno as having the guts of your house hanging out. And, yes, as that sounds, it is a little disturbing. While Justin is fine with it, and even enjoys seeing every nook and cranny of the house, I have a strong urge to make it pretty…stat!

Photo: White brick house with bright yellow door and frame

So, inspired by the simple, graphic lines of this cute cottage, I’ve turned my eye to the outside of the house to pick out a new mailbox and house numbers, without breaking the bank. Our place had an old handmade wooden mailbox, which someone obviously made with love, but it really wasn’t “us.” (I have since converted it into a birdhouse for the backyard.)

Photo: Bright coloured modern mailboxes

There were more options out there than I could have imagined, and some great Canadian sources too, including Modern Karibou. The vibrant, happy shades of these sleek letter-holders, designed by Canadian company Centrifuge Design Inc., were inspired by the colours of Toronto subway stations.

Photo: Orange funky house numbers

Or, I could add colour with some funky numbers, like these by typeface designer Erik Spiekermann, which were available a couple years back at Design Within Reach. Sigh, if only I had needed them then.

Photo: Black Nrban Mode house numbers

But, I am equally smitten with the Modernist simplicity of these little numbers from Urban Mode, no pun intended.

Photo: traditional look

Or perhaps a crisp, traditional look like this sign from House Proud Signs, another Canadian website.

Photo: Umbra mailbox

There is also the now-classic Postino box to consider, which was designed for Umbra by Toronto’s Matt Carr, whose own house is featured in our January 2010 issue.

Photo: Simple black mailbox from Canadian Tire

But, truth be told, I started all this searching after I had picked up this simple-chic black mailbox from Canadian Tire (to reassure myself that I had made a good choice…not always the best plan!).

So, I think I will get my colour fix by painting this one a sunny yellow (to match the colour I intend to paint our vestibule door). Cheap…check! Cheerful…ditto. My fellow H&Her, Emily Walker, chose a similar cheery accent colour for her bungalow reno.

Learn more about improving your home’s exterior in Revealing A Home’s Hidden Curb Appeal.

Photo credits:
1. Architectural Classics blog, photography by Tim Norris
2. Modern Karibou
3. Door Sixteen, from
4. Urban Mode
5. House Proud Signs
6. Umbra
7. Canadian Tire