Week of requests: items to perk up your home


“How about house refresher items that we can all order in January while we are sitting at home waiting for our turn at the vaccine?” asks a reader named Betsy. And I love this idea, of course, as I recently moved and have home decorating on my mind in a big way. What follows are items that have piqued my interest lately, including these chic amber mugs.

The confetti print on this duvet cover is fun, and nicely subtle. Also, I feel that it would camouflage stains well.

Congratulate me, please, as I have found the only attractive paper towel holder in existence. Most of them are cheesy and fabricated of white plastic or some other synthetic material, but this one is composed of wood and leather and looks just fantastic.


I just love the yellow of this bright planter, and think it would be a perfect home for one of my succulents.

I asked my dear friends Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo—late of the awesome commerce site Of A Kind (check out their fantabulous newsletter here)— for a shower curtain recommendation, because that seemed like the type of thing they’d know. They directed me to several great options, including this irregularly striped number, which is in my shopping cart as I type.

One of my little luxuries of life is the big glass of fresh orange juice I make myself every morning. I’ve got a cheapo citrus juicer that is on its last legs, so I’m thinking of going for this handsome specimen from Smeg.

A really cool midcentury storage rack.

I have wanted this Fornasetti trinket tray forever, but have never been able to justify the purchase. Maybe your powers of self-persuasion are stronger than mine, though.


I purchased this runner for the hallway between my dining room and living room, and it’s just aces.

My new place is a duplex, with the bathroom on the top floor, which means that if I’m running out the door and want to do a quick-check of what I look like, I’ve got to go upstairs, and I’m not complaining but I go up and down those stairs many, many times over the course of the day, which is not too easy on my bum knee. So I’m looking for a mirror like this, which I believe is a dupe of this much pricier one.

It occurs to me that this glass vase looks a bit like the backside of a bong, but I still think it’s rather elegant, and for sure looks pricier than it is.

I also quite like this brass vase from Hawkins New York. It’s chic and unbreakable, and just about any arrangement will look good in it.

I have a very small collection of pieces by midcentury ceramicist Waylande Gregory—like this small bowl—and am always looking for more. Check out Etsy and eBay for more options.

In my old place, the walls were mostly all windows, and it’s been nice to display some of the pictures that languished, un-hung, during those years. But I’ve still got plenty of wall space to cover, so I’ve been checking out vintage posters like this one from Swiss brand Bally.

Home gifts under $100


OK, the largest version of these octagonal marble bowls rings in over $100, but the two smaller sizes don’t, and one could use them for everything from serving nuts to holding jewelry, change, and what have you on a bedside table.

Just a really handsome handmade walnut cutting board, which one could easily utilize as a cheese board too.

This Orla Kiely vase has a deco-ish feel I like a lot, and green in general is just a good, versatile color for a vase to be.

These dish towels would brighten up any kitchen; I also quite like these.

I am such a big fan of this Roland pine candle from Soap & Paper Factory—it smells just like a December hike in the woods.

These smoked pint glasses would be just as good for serving a morning smoothie as a beer.

Such a cute little floral wireless charger from Rifle Paper Co.

A cheese dome is an awfully grown-up thing to own, and not something a person is likely to purchase for herself, making it an ideal gift.

A ceramic match striker that’d be the perfect gift for a friend with a fireplace, or maybe just a serious candle habit.

This 16oz. canteen keeps drinks hot or cold, and couldn’t be a whole lot cuter.

A leather oven mitt is awfully sophisticated.

I might order these salt and pepper grinders for myself: they’re so nicely minimal.

Puzzles are apparently all the rage at the moment, and this one from Christian Lacroix is especially pretty.

A ceramic berry bowl is another gift one would be unlikely to purchase for herself, and it really does come in quite handy.

Garlic lasts a lot longer when you place it in a pot like this, and I think it’s great-looking too.

And finally: you can’t go wrong with a classic Stendig calendar.


Things I bought, things I want, home edition


I first saw this cute pillow from Lucky Fish at Lost & Found, a Santa Monica store I visit whenever I go to L.A. I didn’t buy it when I was there, but it stayed on my mind, and I just ordered it the other day. I love how graphic and Lichtenstein-esque it is.

Mostly I’ve been cooking for myself lately, but from time to time I crave sushi—which I dare not prepare on my own. I like the idea of serving it on this cool plate set.

This wall mirror looks like a brilliant flea market find.

I own enough quilts and don’t need more, but I do like the idea of this yellow one, which would look great in my primarily grey and white bedroom.

My newest coffee table book is Mag Men: Fifty Years of Making Magazines, and I recommend it highly to all of you print nostalgists out there. It’s by superstar graphic designers Walter Bernard and (the recently departed) Milton Glaser, and is such an inspiring look at the inner workings of early New York magazine, and other publications they worked on.

Because sleep problems continue to dog me, I’m thinking of going for this Diptique lavender candle to burn for a half-hour before bedtime. It’s the best lavender scent I’ve ever come across, and believe me, I’ve looked.

This cylinder planter would be a nice pop of midcentury design in any home.

How appealing is an old-school flip clock? I think it’d be aces on my nightstand.

My bath towels are looking a bit worse for wear, so I’m thinking of pulling the trigger on this leopard print specimen, which is kind of appealingly Mrs Robinson-ish.



Kim France

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.

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