Instagram @ fortheloveofahouse

Monday, July 5, 2010

mailbox design

Last summer we bought the very last large copper mailbox that the much beloved Smith & Hawkin sold... ever. The story of how we acquired this little beauty is here.

I immediately began a hunt for the perfect post for the box. I didn't find anything that I liked last Fall, and since the ground freezes here in the winter I mentally put the project on hold. With the arrival of Spring I have been diligently looking for inspiration on-line, and when we go for drives around New England.


Then.... a couple of weeks ago Dan found in our stone and rock quarry (yes, we literally have our own small quarry going- I'll post about it soon) an antique granite gatepost original to our property.


We are at the design stage. What that means is I design, and then Dan has to figure out how to turn my design into reality!! This is never an easy job since elements are usually antique, and were never meant to go together!
Here are the mailbox design elements:

This is the granite gatepost- it is over 7 feet tall.

Another view of the gatepost. This is the side the mailbox will be placed on.

A few days after we found the mailbox I remembered this antique iron lantern arm that we found in our antiquing years ago. We have learned that if something speaks to you, buy it. You will generally find a use for it! It fits perfectly under the mailbox, and will act as a support bracket.

Here is the mock up I did, with the help of Dan and the tractor!
It's laying on the ground, but it really gives the idea of what it will look like when installed.
The part of the iron "bracket" that extends beyond the mailbox door will be trimmed to fit under the mailbox. You can see the old iron bolt at the top of the granite.

Opposite side view of the mailbox. From this side you can see the old iron hinge for the gate.

The use of a granite post as a mailbox holder is a common sight in New England (New Hampshire is the "granite state" after all!), but the posts are generally newly cut, perfectly square and smaller in scale. Due to the snow plowing in the winter you see lots of damaged mailboxes that get hit by the sanding truck. For obvious reasons you don't see them hitting granite post mailboxes, so that's a plus!!

I'll post photos when Dan completes the assembly and install!


  1. Your own rock quarry? Really? How lucky are you?

    Don't you just love a man who can make our crazy ideas come to life?

    Can't wait to see this done, it's going to be beautiful.

  2. Very cool! Great find. Can't wait to see the finised product.

  3. I love your post, it's perfectly rustic, and how special that it is an original from your property.. It will be lovely when it's all put together, I hope you get heaps of 'nice' mail! (no bills)
    Flick :)

  4. It's a great idea. Looks terrific.

  5. hi joan,

    there is no end to your talents. it sounds like a perfect match to me.


  6. Your mailbox is going to look fabulous! I'm very envious as we don't need one as there is no mail delivery in our area but after seeing your gorgeous idea I'm beginning to think that we'll have to have one anyway. Leigh

  7. I love it! I remember the mail box post, I was so jealous. Now I am even more jealous! It is going to look great.

    P.S. Daniel and I went home this weekend and mom made THE (your) cookies.....they were a big hit!

  8. Too beautiful! Poor Dan to have to 'figure out' how to make it all work, but as usual he will.

    Clay would say the mailbox needs to be painted.

  9. Hi Joan
    Love the mailbox, the lantern arm and the post - they are wonderful all together! I am going to send you a photo of our neighbor's mailbox - not the same, but a great design you will appreciate!

  10. Omigosh - the way it's all coming together is like it was meant to be! The last copper mailbox, finding the great granite post (it looks awesome), even the bracket. woo hoo!

  11. Hi Joan,
    Absolutely beautiful! And how wonderfully perfect that the post came from your property. You and Dan are masters at old house are creating such amazing works of art.

  12. Doug just called after going out to lunch which he rarely does. He said he had an expensive lunch today. I said "how much?" and he said "$60.00". I said "WHAT!?!" He said he had a 'Dan moment', that when four police officers walked in the restaurant he bought their lunch. Doug has done it many times before since you told us years ago that Dan does that. Pay it forward. I thought you would like to know that we are still doing it too!

  13. Careful when you put it in that you put it back far enough but not too far- we had one of these and in the winter they can get "bumped" on accident and they like to snap right at ground level. It happened to two of my parents mail posts. I'm sure yours will be perfect- I cant wait to see it all finished!!

  14. It will be wonderful.....smiles.

  15. The perfect letter box!!! I am looking for one like that, i always like them ... but it is not easy to found one here... in France...:)

  16. Hi Joan: I love this post! The fact that you had a granite post on your property, along with an antique bracket and your prized mailbox makes this mailbox so special. Like Linda B. said, be careful...we have seen, in our neighborhood, a couple granite posts snapped at the ground, during the winter. As always, I love reading your posts! Cindy

  17. ... i am thinking you are going to have to write a book about YOUR can call it "another affair with another house"...if she is lucky bunny can write the preface...i am getting my order in now...

  18. What a gorgeous mailbox and it looks perfect with your post and iron bracket!
    I just stumbled upon your blog and it's really fantastic - I look forward to going through your archives! : )

  19. I love how you created something beautiful out of your mailbox! It's rustic but refined. Lovely!


  20. What a lovely home you have! I get so inspired to redecorate after I look at all these photos. Sadly, I just dont have the decorating talent!

    Porches have always been a fascination of mine, how lucky to have 3!


Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive and read it. joan