Last week, I relocated out to Long Island for the summer—and maybe beyond, depending on whether there’s an upswing in the virus when fall arrives. Although I was sad to leave the exclusive club of people who didn’t bail on the city once corona hit hard, it is very nice to be here, and I’m so grateful that this house exists at all. But it’s also an adjustment: there are always other family members here, and it has made me realize how much I value my time alone. Instead of having a whole apartment to kick around in, my private space here consists of my eensy-but-cozy bedroom. What follows are a few of the items I brought from the city to make this place feel like home, and a few I’ve acquired, starting with a Kantha quilt from India kind of like this one. Etsy is crawling with them, and they’re pretty cheap, for quilts.
I haven’t pulled the trigger on these handsome-but-well-priced pillowcases just yet, but I’m pretty sure I plan to.
The house is old and a bit musty, so I burn this Otto Incense from Fornasetti, which has notes of lavender, cedarwood, and thyme. It comes with its own small incense holder, and makes my room smell so much better.
When we’re all out here at the same time, there are five adults, three teenagers, and three dogs—and my older brother Mike loathes dogs in the house (he and his family are cat people. Go figure). Mike especially can’t stand the smell of dog food, so I thoughtfully moved that operation to my bedroom, and acquired these handsome Yeti bowls for feeding purposes.
I bought this Vornado Fan without checking the dimensions, and it turns out to be much smaller than I thought it would be—about eight inches in diameter—but it is mighty powerful, and keeps my whole room cool.
Aphrochic started as a blog, founded by the husband and wife design team of Byran Mason and Jeanine Hayes. Now they produce a magazine, a podcast, and a slew of home design products, like this excellently graphic pouf.
Linoto was founded by Jason Evege, and the brand produces linen bedding, like this gorgeous duvet cover, in a multitude of glorious colors. You can also look to them for cool linen towels, curtains, and even boxer shorts.
I am so in love with the goods from Estelle Colored Glass, which was founded by former attorney Stephanie Summerson Hall— these hand-blown wine glasses are just divine.
XN Studio was founded in Brooklyn by Nasozi Kakembo, and I really dig their ecelectic collection of goods, like this brilliant Obama pillow.
Goodee supports sustainable black-owned brands. They carry stylish goods for every room in the house and beyond—like this spiff bicycle basket.
Some of the best prints I’ve seen lately are on the Eva Sonaike site—everything from pillows to poufs to cosmetic bags to this gorgeous lampshade are emblazoned with colorful, happy patterns designed by Sonaike, who is a graduate of the London College of Fashion.
Global Attic, founded by Kabria Cummings, stocks masks, paintings, sculpture furniture and home goods—like this beautiful bowl—from Africa and points beryond.
K-Apostrophe was founded by L.A.-based mixed media artist K’era, you can find pillows, throws, notebooks, tapestries, and prints like this one, all based on K’era’s designs here.
Johanna Howard Home was founded by a Swedish native of the same name, and I really dig their selection of throws, candles, scarves, and really attractive pillows, like this one.
I could decorate my home with only items from Jungalow, by Justina Blakeney, and be perfectly happy. The designs are stylish and well-priced, and there is much to want on their site, starting with this cool quilt set.
Marie Burgos is an ultra-stylish interior design company and commerce site that offers chic lighting, wall decor, textiles and more, like this nifty bowl.
Bolé Road textiles was founded by Brooklyn-based designer Hana Getachew, who works with mainly Ethiopian fabrics to create stunning items like this bath mat.
Malene Barnett is founder of the Black Artists + Designer’s Guild and a talented artist in her own right. I think this portrait is just stunning.
Harlem Candle Co was founded in 2014 by Teri Johnson, a travel and lifestyle expert who was inspired by jazz, Harlem, and fragrance. I think this citrus candle would be a perfect summer scent.
Peace & Riot is a boutique in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn owned by Achuziam Maha-Sanchez and her husband Lionel Sanchez. The selection is the best kind of eclectic, with everything on offer from $1000 leather chairs to $50 salt and pepper mills. I’m particularly partial to this spiff laundry bag.
Sheila Bridges Design is run by, surprise, Sheila Bridges, who was named America’s best interior designer by CNN and Time magazine. Bridges has designed homes and workspaces for many prominent names, including Bill Clinton, whose Harlem offices she oversaw. I’m a huge fan of her Harlem Toile wallpaper.
Do many of you journal? I’m very curious about this, as it seems like a number of people I know are doing it in earnest now for the first time since adolescence. I’m very intrigued by the notion—I think it’s a good creative practice—and and like the idea of writing freehand, in a pretty notebook, like this one from Christian Lacroix. I also just like notebooks like this for jotting down anything I run the risk of forgetting, like phone numbers, names of TV shows I mean to watch, dreams, songs that randomly came on my Spotify, and so much more. I know that’s what the Notes function on your phone is for too, but it’s not the same.
This one from Need Supply comes in a few colorways, but I’m partial to this red and orange.
If this were a silkscreen, I would 100% hang it on my wall: so punchy and graphic.
I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.