This was a fun question - we went on the hunt for a good-looking recipe box. There are many, many cutesy and frilly boxes, which we really don't enjoy either. Stodgy is a good word too. In the end, we came to the conclusion that there is a wide open space for an entrepreneurial crafter and a tasteful, modern recipe box - something that wouldn't look out of place in Rare Device.
UPDATE: Also look at our revisit of this question here: Good Question Revisit: Jack and Lulu Recipe Boxes.
In the meantime, here are some of our best finds. Have other ideas? Tell us!
• eBay - Vintage Recipe Boxes: There are lots of vintage boxes out there on eBay, and for very reasonable prices too. Many of these have retro 60s and 70s patterns that are indeed rather Marimekko-esque. Clockwise from top left, above: Vintage tin Family Circle box, $3.99, Cream and green plastic Australian box, $4.37, Mod floral box, $4.99 - and, the best, a wooden box with a perhaps archaic spelling of "treats" - Threats wooden box, $.99.
If these don't excite you, try a search for vintage recipe boxes and see what else turns up.
• Shabby Chic Box: This may still be too traditional and stodgy, but we like how the stand is integrated into the design, along with the spacious two drawers. $69.99 at Organize.com.
• Satin Finish Box: This clean and simple metal box is the most modern-looking one that we found. $22.95 at My Secret Pantry.
• Martha Stewart Box: And there's always Martha's... $14.99 at Macy's.