Taking requests: Not-unattractive items for the kitchen

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This challenge comes from my sister-in-law Shirim, who is redoing her kitchen and wonders why most standard items for that room are so ugly. She is not wrong; this was a challenging post to put together. But because I love Shirim, I forged ahead, and bring you, for starters, this very chic bread bin.

I like this utensil holder so much I might have to order it.

Nothing like a classic Wesco trash can.

Shirim specifically asked for me to find a good-looking toaster oven, but I am not convinced such a thing exists. Also, toaster ovens never toast to my satisfaction, so I’m going old school on this one.

I mostly like this paper towel holder because it pretty much disappears.

Shirim is having a vexing time finding a dish rack that isn’t too awful to look at, and I have to say, this was the single toughest item to find. This one from Williams-Sonoma wins, mostly because it is less ugly than most, and is compact, which is good for your average New York apartment.

It wasn’t that easy to find a good-looking coffee maker either, but I did like the look of this one.

Shirim wanted an automatic coffee maker, but my choice for most stylish coffee maker of all time is this timeless drip version from Chemex.

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38 Thoughts on Taking requests: Not-unattractive items for the kitchen
    Sam
    29 Sep 2017
    7:54am

    I have that coffee maker and I love it. Looks great and makes yummy coffee.

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    Nessy
    29 Sep 2017
    8:10am

    Hi!
    In Italy we never have dish racks visible, we hide them in an upper cabinet, using one insert like this
    https://www.amazon.it/Scolapiatti-Incasso-Inox-pensili-cm-90/dp/B00A6DR14E
    to avodid ruining the wood.

    I have had one in my standard Ikea upper cabinet for the last 10 years wuthout any issues!

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      Stephanie Wu
      29 Sep 2017
      2:53pm

      Brilliant! Thanks for sharing.

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    Dana D
    29 Sep 2017
    8:22am

    Start my day with Chemex coffee and Kim…

    I love my A Detacher wooden dish rack. Coolest design.

    My mom gave me a Viking toaster years ago (to match the Viking standing mixer) and both of those kitchen appliances are sturdy and beautiful.

    But, I have to say, I do like Smeg in the right room.

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      Dana D
      29 Sep 2017
      8:26am

      OOooppss…

      Viking no longer makes toasters and the one I have has been recalled…

      The Wolf toasters are also handsome, but there are many opinions about Wolf…

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    y.k.
    29 Sep 2017
    8:54am

    i had that Wesco trash can in my kitchen for a while but i had to get rid of it – way too impractical.

    it’s sure hard not to think of that word SMEGMA when i see their beautiful refrigerators & toasters.😆

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      DeDe
      29 Sep 2017
      9:34am

      I always think that, too! Thank you for making me feel a wee bit less like a 12-year-old! 😝

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      Linda Kerr
      30 Sep 2017
      8:46am

      Agree.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      3 Oct 2017
      12:39am

      Lol! Learned the meaning in college. (Late bloomer) But still, that SMEG toaster!!! I have got the shittiest toaster in the world. Really. It was slightly defective when I purchased it, but I needed to replace my old faithful, and of course I didn’t discover shitty toaster’s many faults until I got it home after a 45 minute drive. So, laziness rules.

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    Susanna
    29 Sep 2017
    9:14am

    I’d use that bread bin for countertop composting. It would be perfect. Most of the ones I’ve seen are ugly plastic either issued by the city sanitation department for from IKEA.

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      Susanna
      29 Sep 2017
      9:14am

      *or from IKEA

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    kimberly
    29 Sep 2017
    9:26am

    Simplehuman always makes really nice, well designed stuff for the kitchen. I believe they have a super fancy drainboard I saw at the Container Store

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    ritu
    29 Sep 2017
    9:45am

    Food52 has a nice dishrack in 2 versions, over-sink and countertop.https://food52.com/shop/products/3063-wood-handled-dish-rack

    At one time, there was a Jasper Morrison-designed autodrip coffee maker, but I’m pretty sure it is no longer in production. Good-looking, though. Chemex is hard to beat for simplicity and beauty.

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    c.w.
    29 Sep 2017
    9:56am

    Once upon a time I rented a house in Taos which had a cabinet on the counter which housed ALL the countertop appliances. One of the smartest designs I’ve ever lived with, BUT in order to make it work you need a big kitchen with loads of counter space.

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      Mamavalveeta03
      3 Oct 2017
      12:41am

      My little brother built one for my mom when he was about 18. She loved it.

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    Kim
    29 Sep 2017
    9:57am

    The Technivorm Moccamaster drip coffeemaker isn’t as sleek as the one you posted but it makes amazing coffee: https://www.amazon.com/Moccamaster-10-Cup-Coffee-Thermal-Polished/dp/B002S4DI2S

    We had our first one for over 10 years and it never made a bad pot.

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      DeDe
      29 Sep 2017
      10:25am

      A big fat YES to this! We have one too and it is hands-down the best coffee maker we’ve ever used (and we’re super, super picky). If you don’t have the time for pour-overs or just don’t wanna, this is the next best thing. Worth every penny.

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      Susan G
      29 Sep 2017
      11:06am

      Yup, I have the one with the glass carafe and it is nice looking and works beautifully!

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      AT
      1 Oct 2017
      10:10am

      Another shout out for Technivorm. I think it looks great, is well made and makes hot good coffee. Using it for about 6 years.

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    Kristie
    29 Sep 2017
    10:17am

    We love our all-stainless dish rack so much that it was one of the items that made it to storage when we shed most to move onto our sailboat: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E7RRYG/

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      mlinky
      29 Sep 2017
      11:18pm

      Ooooh love this!

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      SoSuSam
      1 Oct 2017
      12:55pm

      I second this one! It’s simple and striking. Weirdly, I regularly get compliments on it. (Compliments on a disk rack? Yup.) Very easy to keep clean and has lasted for 3+ years so far without any problems. After literally decades of hating the dish racks on my counter, I really like this one. No connection to the company, btw; I was just so happy to find this that I want to share the love! I actually intended to provide the link myself but was delighted to see someone had beaten me to it.

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    Colleen
    29 Sep 2017
    11:46am

    I am too puerile to have the word SMEG on display in my kitchen. Too close to smegma.

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    Stacey
    29 Sep 2017
    6:59pm

    Does anyone have a recommendation for countertop composting? I’m not finding anything that is simple, clean, looks fantastic and something that doesn’t scream compost bucket!
    Thanks

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      Mamavalveeta03
      3 Oct 2017
      12:54am

      Susanna (above) said she’d use the bread bin Kim featured as a compost bucket.

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    Angela
    30 Sep 2017
    10:45am

    Tell your SIL to splurge on a Jura for coffee – will do espresso & coffee (both taste amazing, and I am very much a coffee snob) you can get smaller models refurbished for a reasonable price and if you are a daily drinker/addict the cost per use is beyond reasonable! Long lasting, easy to use & clean super-automatic. I am a die-hard fan. Plus they are pretty sleek and unobtrusive.

    The simple human slim wire frame dish drying rack is great. And the toaster ovens on the william & sonoma website don’t look terrible (although some are crazy expensive!)

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    Viajera
    2 Oct 2017
    10:49am

    Your round waste can is lovely… however, I find step cans easier to use, and this one can blend into the background if you have a white kitchen – it goes at the end of a counter and Bob’s your uncle.

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/simplehuman-reg-slim-plastic-40-liter-step-on-trash-can/111932?categoryId=14368

    There are at least two kinds of people – people who care more about how things look than how they work, and the opposite. Some people hate to look at trash cans, and they should just hide it in the lower cabinet, I think. Plus if it’s small you have to empty it more, which means less smell. It really depends what your SiL’s priorities are.

    And thanks you-all for making me look up “smegma.” It sounds cool, or volcano-related.

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      Viajera
      3 Oct 2017
      10:45am

      oooookay, now that i’ve looked it up… well.

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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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