Sunday, April 27, 2008

First Impressions

As the old saying goes, “you never have a second chance to make a first impression”. Up until now, we have been concentrating on the big picture- what the house looks like from the street, how it fits into the neighborhood, scale and proportion. But the small details can be equally as important on one’s first impression and deserve some attention as well. We’ve made a couple of choices on some of these smaller details including solar step lights, a mailbox and doorbell,

Solar Accent Lights
This Smart Solar product has a solar module in the center that charges the batteries. At dusk, the LED lights automatically come on and turn off at dawn, as long as the batteries are fully charged. I found these solar step lights at They are about $25 each. I was impressed with the quality of the housing, which is stainless steel ring with glass top. The unit can be inserted into concrete, a wood deck or just placed at the edges of a sidewalk in mulch. I ordered 4 to start with, but I may order more now that I can see they are of good quality. We just have to decide if they will be mounted into our wood front entry deck, or will be alongside the sidewalk.

We have a partial height wall at the side of our front door that will serve as an edge to our entry stairs and as a place for the mailbox. This prominent location calls for something more than the $12.95 mailbox at the local hardware store. We also get quite a bit of mail because Kevin’s business mail is delivered to our home. We need to have an oversized box that looks good.

There are a number of places on the web that have links to well-designed, modern mailboxes. Apartment Therapy has their Top Ten Mailbox list with some great options. Chaisso has a number of inexpensive models and a search of mailboxes on Live Modern turns up a number of good options and resources.
We ended up selecting this Blomus model and ordering it from It has a small window so that you can see when the mail has come and a matching newspaper slot can be added on the bottom. It costs a bit more than some of the other models we were looking at- but I think the quality will be very good and it’s a bit oversized to accommodate the extra mail. Blomus is a German company that specializes in stainless steel products that have a simple, modern design. A German mailbox for EcoDEEP haus makes perfect sense!

Door Bell
There are a number of well-designed modern options at I picked the De-light Doorbell Button by Spore. This model has a LED light (I picked blue) and a couple of options for the surround (I picked polished aluminum). I was a bit disappointed when I received the doorbells, as the polished aluminum finish made the unit seem a bit cheap. In hindsight, I should have selected the matte finish. For the door bell chime, I went with this Cage Door Chime by Modern Doorbells also from It has a 2-chime ring for the front door and 1-chime ring for the backdoor. Genius!


Mark Fowler said...

Loving those solar accent lights.... definitely will have to pick a few of those up...

stacey said...

here's another interesting decor site StudioLX, home decor